Why LoadView, A Cloud Based Load Testing Tool, Can Help Your Websites and API’s

Website Load Testing Explained

You’ve built what you think is a pretty good website, and you can’t wait to start catering to visitors—while your site may have performed just fine when you were the only one testing it, are you sure it’s up to the challenge of handling real operating conditions?

Load testing is essential to deploying a web presence that works, and you can’t afford to launch without it. Here’s what you should know.

What Is Load Testing?

In the realm of modern computing, the concept of a load is equivalent to the amount of demand being placed on a given system at a particular moment. For instance, network hardware such as servers, or the computers that answer requests for your website’s data, make decisions at specific rates and only accept a certain maximum number of connections. Similarly, a site’s database software backend may not be capable of processing more than a limited volume of transactions at one time.

How Does Load Testing Work?

As you can see, there are many different ways to quantify load and measure the performance of the distinct elements that make up a functional website. Load testing simulates what could happen when your site faces real-world conditions. For instance, you might use a testing tool that generates thousands of requests that your server has to answer or force your shopping cart software to process hundreds of dummy orders simultaneously.

You can take this practice even further by pushing your site beyond its limits, which is known as stress testing. By exceeding the reasonable demands that your website usually faces, you get a better picture of what could happen during disaster situations.

What Can Load Testing Reveal?

Why try to break your site with stress testing or have it perform simulated tasks? The idea behind load testing is to prevent the unexpected from catching you off guard.

Websites and the business systems that they connect to depend on a seemingly endless amount of computer code. Many sites and server operating systems run tools and libraries from hundreds of sources. It can be hard to anticipate when something might not behave the way you assumed it would.

To make life tougher, many programmers design software to fulfill specific needs in a limited range of use cases. It’s not unreasonable to assume that you might commit a fatal error while attempting something you thought was totally fine. Instead of waiting until you’ve got a thousand customers trying to make Black Friday purchases to find out that your site can’t cope, it’s better to learn how it behaves in a safe testing environment.

Load testing doesn’t just let you know what you’ve done wrong. It also reveals what you could be doing right. Since testing exposes performance data, it makes it easier to optimize the way your site works so that it meets demand.

How Can I Get Started?

Whether you’re preparing for Cyber Monday or just trying to create a new revenue source, automated load testing needs to become a part of your software development cycle. To learn more about your options, check out LoadView-Testing.com

Glenn Lee is a Web Performance Engineer and Technical Writer who has worked at Dotcom-Monitor for 5 years. He is passionate about the technology industry, how it progresses rapidly, and meets varying global development needs. Glenn focuses on web performance advancement.
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Extendware Aligns with Blue Swallow as Official Development Partner

Extendware is excited to announce our recent partnership with the E-Commerce Agency, Blue Swallow. At Extendware pride ourselves on our top of the line Magento Extensions. Our priority lies with the quality and service that comes with our extensions, and therefore want to focus our time on improving and adding more add-ons to our store.

We know that may times Magento Stores can be different and require more attention after installation. To make sure our customers are getting the best in timely and efficient service, we have outsourced Blue Swallow, a quality E-Commerce Agency.

At Extendware, we believe that you are in excellent hands as the developers at Blue Swallow Group are well versed in Magento and work 7 days a week to ensure our customers are taken care of as urgently as possible. 

Blue Swallow is an experienced e-commerce agency, curating a highly skilled team of Magento specialists, serving clients on a local, regional and global scale. Our qualified team of hand-picked and individually trained developers is certified and highly skilled in Magento, Drupal and WooCommece platforms. We have a combined 7 years’ experience in web development, native mobile/app development, performance optimization, third-party extensions customization and bespoke software development. 

Our working philosophy is based around providing a high degree of efficiency and efficacy, without compromising on quality and having a tailored approach to each individual project. This ensures that all our valued clients get a premium service and the highest degree of quality

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How excellent customer service can lead to eCommerce success

As the largest eCommerce players such as Amazon continue to enhance their customer service experience, it puts increasing pressure on smaller retailers to follow suit. Customer service means more than handling post sales enquiries, it also covers many steps leading up to the customer making the purchase decision.

Importance of good customer service

Consumers have extremely high expectations when it comes to customer service. A recent survey by Business Insider discovered the 60% of US consumers didn’t complete a transaction due to a poor experience and that 66% of US consumers will actively pay a higher price to shop with a company that provides a high standard of customer service. With this in mind, there is clearly a lot at stake for ecommerce retailers to provide the best possible shopping experience and after sales care.

Customer service before the sale

Before you can convince a visitor to part with their money, it is essential to create a smooth shopping experience. We have highlighted a number of key areas below.

Easy Product Finding

Different shoppers like to use ecommerce sites in different ways. For example, some people prefer to use the onsite search, whereas others will use the navigation or rely on recommendations. It is therefore essential that you have all of these bases covered. If your onsite search is not up to scratch, look to incorporate a third party extension or plugin. Make sure that you have a simple to use product filtering function on your category pages. And also make sure that your related product recommendations are well maintained.

Clear and visible delivery and returns information

When a customer is going through the process of determining whether to make a purchase, they need to know how much any added extras will cost and how easy it is to return items once they have purchased them. Having a clear and visible delivery and returns policy always visible will solve this.

Free Delivery

Further to the above, offering a free delivery option either on all purchases or above a certain spend level can further incentivise a browser to become a shopper.

Flexible delivery options

Online shoppers are also looking for flexibility when it comes to delivery. For example, they might be happy to pay for an expedited same or next day service or they may find a click and collect more suitable for their needs.

Fast site

A slow loading website can be a conversion killer. If your site is too slow, you will be leaking customers and it can also have a negative impact on your Google rankings.

Mobile experience

More people shop on mobile devices that on desktop. It is therefore essential that your mobile experience is fully functional.
Customer service after the sale

Once the purchase has been made, the traditional after sales care will kick-in.

Multi channel support

As with browsing, different customers will expect different channels of communication. It is therefore important that you have a number of alternative methods for customers to submit enquiries, questions etc. These are: Livechat, telephone, email (have this connected to a support ticketing system) and social channels.

Listen on social media

Sometimes a customer might try to reach you directly or indirectly via social media. It is important that you have a customer service representative listening to your social channels so that they can pick up and deal with any complaints and queries before they escalate.

Fast response to query

It is sensible to publish a reasonable response policy on your website, however, you should always strive to beat it. The faster that you can respond to a message or query, the less time the customer has to post a complaint online. This should be taken into account during the traditional seasonal busy periods, planning for this and hiring extra temporary support staff can be sensible.

Delivery problems

If a delivery problem occurs, do whatever can be done to take the pressure from the client. Contact the courier company on their behalf and do what you can to remedy the issue. If the delivery is delayed and the customer paid extra for faster delivery, you should refund this charge. Further to this, you should offer an extra incentive such as a free gift or discount with their next purchase.

As we have seen, there are many ways to enhance the pre and post purchase experience in order to have a positive impact on revenue and general customer satisfaction. Now is a good time to review your existing processes and see if they where they should be.

David is a Director at Best Response Media. They provide innovative Magento ecommerce and digital marketing solutions from their offices in Central London.

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Tips On Making Your Online Store Successful

Ok so you have your store all set up, now what!? Just like anything, an online store takes a lot of time, care, and effort to make it successful for you and helpful to your customers. Here we look at some elements needed to ensure everything is working properly. Make sure to ask our support if we can help set you up with a Magento extension that will benefit you and your business!

full-page-cache-webFAST LOADING TIMES

We don’t really think about loading times these days and that’s because a reliable high-speed internet connection is taken for granted. Although one thing is for sure: People aren’t going to stick around for long waiting for a page to load! This is all about making the shopping smooth. You want to optimize your online shop for speed so there’s no money left on the table! Try Extendware’s Full Page Cache extension for Magento to make your pages run faster!

PRODUCT REVIEWS

Sometimes the best advocate for your online shop and product are your customers. Your product descriptions can only do so much to convince folks to part with their money. Allowing your customers to review products they’ve bought lets them express how they feel about the overall experience and the product itself. It is also the perfect way to get your products validated by a third party! Reviews produce an average 18% increase in sales, and having 50 or more reviews on a product can increase its conversion by 4.6%

QUALITY IMAGES

With today’s smartphones packing some very capable cameras, almost anybody can shoot quality product photos. Who would buy something without seeing a photo first anyway?

camrea-01Tips on taking good photos:

◦ Make sure the lens is clean
◦ Take shots with lots of light available
◦ Try different camera angles
◦ Increase the resolution
◦ Check out special shooting modes
◦ Get help from apps with filters and tools

image-optimization-web

 

Another issue with photos can sometimes be that they are too large to load quickly on your site, leaving customers waiting on the next page to load. Extendware’s Image Optimization extension can help your images load faster reducing the drag time with large photos.

EASY PAYMENT PROCESS

Your checkout page is the final stop on people’s shopping journey. And one of the best ways to increase conversions and sales is to make it hilariously easy for folks to pay you. This is the place where visitor finally become your customers. To help make your payment process as easy and simple as possible, follow these great tips:

◦ Make sure to have several payment methods availablepayment-methods-01
◦ Don’t force people to sign up, tacky!
◦ Make sure your checkout page matches the rest of your store
◦ Don’t redirect people
◦ Make errors easy to fix
◦ Don’t ask for unnecessary information
◦ Reassure folks with security certificates

QUALITY DESIGN

Most online shoppers base their opinion of a website on overall design alone and many do not return because of overall aesthetics. A professionally designed online shop can go a long way to making it successful. It also adds credibility and is a way to show your brand personality.

RELATED PRODUCTSwho-viewed-this-also-viewed-for-web

This is upselling at its finest. On your product pages show visitors other items people have bought together or items that are complimentary to each other. For instance, customers may need a pair of batteries for a device or would be better off with extra memory for their camera. This is your opportunity to increase revenue because it shows items visitors may not have otherwise been looking for. Try Extendware’s Who Viewed This Also Viewed extension to help push similar items.

EASY STORE NAVIGATION

For anyone shopping online, one of the simplest ways to make the experience pleasant to make sure they find what they’re looking for. Make your online shop easy to navigate with an effective category, filter and search system. Since people shop online for convenience, this just makes the whole shopping experience faster and easier for everyone

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Optimizing the Shopping Cart: 12 Steps for Magento Users

T he shopping cart is the most important component of your e-commerce business. In order for your business to survive, your customers need to be able to make their way to the “Complete Order” button easily and quickly. Magento enables users to create user-friendly shopping carts, allowing you to maximize ROI. Here are the best practices for creating a streamlined checkout process with Magento:

  1. Provide checkout buttons at the bottom and top of your site.

Today’s Internet users are more distracted than ever, and one checkout button just isn’t enough. Place checkout buttons at both the top and bottom of your website. That way, customers can begin the checkout process Checkout-buttonsno matter where they happen to be on the page.

Checkout buttons should be in contrasting colors that catch users’ attention. As with most elements related to shopping carts, usability outweighs aesthetics.

  1. Allow customers to continue shopping

Some customers want to continue shopping after adding an item to the shopping cart, and you need to make it easy for them to do so. Shopping cart pages should include a visible “Continue Shopping” button.

  1. Product-DisplayProvide a related products display

By showing customers products related to the items already in the shopping cart, you can increase the average purchase order. There are extensions available for Magento that automatically display products that are frequently purchased together.

  1. Minimize the number of steps that customers must take to complete checkout

There’s a reason why Amazon has established a one-click buy feature. It’s an established fact in e-commerce that more steps to complete a purchase means fewer orders. While most e-commerce businesses cannot implement a one-click purchase feature like Amazon does, streamline the process so that buyers go through only one or two screens before finalizing their purchase.

  1. Implement proper authentication procedures

However, don’t skirt on authentication procedures. Trust is critical to any e-commerce business, and customers appreciate seeing that basic security measures are in place. A two-factor authentication system is industry standard.

  1. Don’t ask for the same information repeatedly

Entering in the same information more than once is tedious, so don’t make customers do it. This means, for example, that you should provide a checkbox for customers who have the same shipping and billing addresses (as most of them do).

Also consider which information is truly vital to collect. While it may be useful to know demographic information about your buyers for marketing purposes, requiring users to enter in too much information is a turn-off. In addition to being tedious, many e-commerce buyers worry about privacy issues and become suspicious when they are asked too much personal information.

  1. Give customers a variety of shipping optionsShipping

When you are able to offer customers more choices for shipping, you increase your business’ credibility. Again, look to Amazon as a model. For most purchases, users can choose from at least three different shipping options, from more expensive selections that allow quick receipt of purchase to more budget-friendly choices.

  1. Better yet, offer free shipping for large orders

Studies of e-commerce buyer behavior have repeatedly demonstrated that many customers balk when they discover high shipping fees. In order to remain competitive, more and more businesses are offering free shipping in order to offset the effects of shipping price shock.

Setting a minimum order price for free shipping is particularly effective because it incentivizes customers to buy more items.

  1. Show customers their savings

If you’re providing customers with savings via special deals or a rewards program, show them exactly how much they’re saving. Knowing this information will make them feel confident in the purchase and more likely to buy from you again.

  1. Allow customers to register for reward programs

The moment of checkout is your best opportunity to gain a long-term customer. Make sure that buyers have the option to register for your site while checking out—and make the process easy.
While many customers are wary of signing up for fear of being spammed, offering future deals and savings provides a strong incentive for registration.

  1. Let customers provide feedback at time of sale

feedbackEveryone appreciates being heard. Providing an optional comments box at time of purchase starts off the customer-seller relationship off on the right foot by letting buyers know that you care about their input.

  1. Use a shopping cart recovery system

Among e-commerce experts, it’s no secret that abandoned carts cut into profits. In 2015, the estimated cart abandonment rate was an astonishing 68%. Implementing a shopping cart recovery system helps businesses to gain back some of this lost business. Sending friendly reminder e-mails to customers who didn’t complete the checkout process gains additional sales. If you can provide a discount to sweeten the deal, shopping cart reminders become all the more effective.

Optimizing the shopping cart is critical for the success of any e-commerce business. All of these tweaks can be made with Magento. Investing in expert-designed Magento extensions makes it easy to create a great checkout experience, thereby maximizing your ROI.

We hope you find these tips useful to enhance the checkout process of your Magento Store, until next time!


Shopping Cart Price Rules Extension Overview

Extendware’s Magento Shopping Cart Price Rules, you can create new promotions that are not possible in default Magento stores. With 24 different price rule actions, you will be able to create much more powerful promotions to attract customers to your store and products. For example, you can create rules like, “Buy a shirt and get a discount on a tie” or “Buy 2 of a product and receive the 3rd for free”. Why wait? Take action now and create much more powerful promotions to make your online business successful!


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Increase the Speed of your Administrative Backend with Improved Indexing

Improved-Indexing-(for-web)When saving products, categories, and other entities to your Magento store, the Magento platform must update its various indexes, which can cause a huge delay that reduces your productivity.

Having a Slow Magento Administrative Backend can be a real waste of your time

Not only for you, but also your employees if you have them. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to save categories and products with ease? If these issues sound familiar then Extendware’s Improved Indexing is the extension for you!

Magento Improved Indexing Extension

More Great Features of Improved Indexing

Increase Responsiveness of Admin Backend
Saving products, categories, and more will be much faster, which will allow you to get more work done faster.

Optimize Catalog URL Rewrites 
We include optimizations that optimize the slowest index for large stores: catalog URL rewrites.

Save Time and Save Money
The faster you can get work done in the admin area means you will be able to do more work or have more free time. If you have employees, then the increased employee productivity will enable you to save employment costs.

View How Much Time You Have Saved
You can easily view how much time has been saved as a result of using Improved Indexing for Magento.

Re-Index Manually or On Schedule
Re-indexing events will be processed periodically with a cronjob or you can manually force the processing of events if desired.

Full Page Cache Support
If you are using Extendware’s Full Page Cache, then deferred indexing is compatible out-of-the-box.


Quick Improved Indexing Extension Overview

Improved-Indexing-(for-web)Increase the speed of your administrative backend. Do you have a slow admin backend when saving products, categories, etc? Improved Indexing will speed up your admin backend by making the saving of products, categories, etc more responsive. The end result is that you can get more work done in less time.


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