What are the best services to stress test a web application?

Caleb Garling Writer

February 3rd, 2015

My web application Post.As requires users to login via Facebook and then lets them create rich media webpages: what are the recommendations for services that will get X number users to lean on an app at once? Or do folks have other (cost-friendly) ideas on stress testing other than a big coordinated sit down with friends/family?

Chris Robertson Technical Operations, DevOps, IT and all that jazz

February 3rd, 2015

Another vote for Grinder.  I've used that in several environments for load testing various HTTP applications/components.  Several times using various developer laptops in a farm (which iirc is support, if a bit poorly).

The other tool you can use for something similar is Selenium though that tends to be much more client resource intensive.  It's also a great way to record a script of the expected click path for a user and then replicate that.

Happy to help more if you want, just PM me.

Samuel Brown Senior Product Architect at InboundCrowd

February 4th, 2015

Hi Caleb,

I have had some good success with  They have a range of configuration and pricing options and can throw a lot of weight at your service in a short amount of time.

Brian Milnes CIO and VP Business Dev at XBRLCloud

February 3rd, 2015

Caleb, there are many commercial products to do this type of stuff. Mercury has a pretty full suite. There are also plenty of free ware ones that are more difficult to work with. One decent one is the Java Grinder.

 I've done this many times in my career, starting with building my own tools at Lycos and Amazon and running a performance team at Zillow and here at XBRLCloud.

 BTW, the Zillow launch crash I had stress tested our application to 3 X projected traffic by marketing
and we got 5 X. It took 45 minutes for us to find and fix the bottleneck which was in our network.

 You can get a feel by just hitting URLs in simple cases and that test is pretty quick to build. But a real test you have to have some idea what your users are going to do and to build little user scripts that mimic real use and run them as N parallel users.

 You can also avoid a lot of this by simply buying hardware in the cloud. Hand test a bit and architect to scale and throw hardware at it at early stages to save money, when and if you start getting traffic.

 However, in the long run an automated performance test with each build is essential. One program bug can take you down totally and keeping your CPU rental costs down can save a lot of money.


Inderpal Singh

February 4th, 2015


We've used both LoadImpact and LoadUI at our firm.

We had also looked at which seemed great, but didn't work for our needs (we couldn't easily have it hit one of our client sites behind a firewall).

Caleb Garling Writer

February 6th, 2015

Thank you to everyone that responded here -- a wonderful help! May message a few folks on the side, but thank you!

Anthony Erlinger

February 3rd, 2015

As a developer, I write scripts that emulate user behavior and basically just spam my target application with as many requests as they can. Then I monitor the results using logs and other monitoring tools live as those stress tests run. I know there are dedicated services for this stuff, although I prefer to do it myself that way I can be more confident in the results of the stress test.

Eric Burleson Product Manager-Program Services at Invodo

February 4th, 2015

Applause is a company that does exactly this under a wide variety of conditions, and they are pretty reasonably priced.

Scott Elrod mHealth technologist☁ex-COO/CIO@Cloud 9-tech for behavioral health■ex-CIO@AmeriDoc(now Teladoc) healing 1.5M patients

February 4th, 2015

for ongoing long term stress monitoring has some small price packages and ability to upgrade to very powerful features.