Imagine that you are a professional athlete who will participate in the Olympics. Obviously, you want your body to be in the best physical condition to realize its full potential. What would be the first step to achieving this goal?
Chances are you think that training hard is the answer. If so, you would be wrong. The first step in taking your body to the next level is assessing your overall health.
A similar situation applies to digital content. if you do have an existing website, optimizing your website or streaming service for China is not the first step. The first step is product testing.
Why does testing matter in China?
As one of the world's largest economies, China has a huge and rapidly growing online population that demands high-quality content, that is, fast loading times and minimal lag. In other words, the user experience expectations are high. The problem is that several aspects make it challenging to live up to these expectations.
- The Great Firewall of China (GFW) has a direct impact on the performance of online services and content delivery in China. Thus, optimizing your product without first testing it across China to assess its (actual) performance is basically impossible.
- Testing can help businesses to ensure that the website is compatible with Chinese browsers, that the website is loading correctly, and that the content is displaying correctly.
- Besides the problems that the GFW introduces, China's Internet infrastructure can vary from region to region. In this sense, performing both synthetic and manual tests is crucial to optimize your content for each region later.
Furthermore, beyond helping to identify problems, testing provides valuable insights that serve as a baseline for metrics that can be used later during optimization.
Now that you have a clear overview of why testing is a critical step in China, we will look at the various testing methods employed, their importance, and what you can expect from GoClickChina's comprehensive testing report.
Why do you need this comprehensive report, and what can you expect from it?
You may be wondering why we emphasize that GoClickChina's testing report is comprehensive. Don't all test reports provide the same information?
The short answer is no.
Most of the test reports out there are generic; that is, they use the same techniques and parameters widely accepted in Western countries. What your organization needs is a testing report performed by experts with in-depth knowledge of the aspects that make the Chinese market unique. With that said, let's review what you can expect from our comprehensive testing report.
How do we do it?
Following onboarding, our team typically devotes 2 to 3 weeks to collecting data from both manual and synthetic tests. This time frame allows our team to perform such tests on different days and at different times, both low traffic and peak hours. This is crucial to ensure that the report data is statistically reliable and that the results are useful when designing an optimization strategy.
Once completed, the results of these tests are later presented to the client in a comprehensive report. This report provides all the necessary data and our expert advice to achieve the most effective setup for delivering content in China.
Below we describe how the report data is structured.
Reports like this often go into the hands of senior engineers and team leaders. For this reason, the first section is an Executive Summary that presents the most relevant aspects of the report in an easy-to-digest way. To do this, we list the good and negative aspects using color codes.
The image above shows the insights from the tests carried out on a fictitious game. Similar to a traffic light, each color has a meaning.
Green. List the positive findings. Knowing a product's strengths is important since it allows your organization to know its competitive advantages. Moreover, this data helps optimize resources and focus efforts on the areas that need it most.
Amber. List warnings to keep in mind. This category presents aspects that can be improved on the product. The impact of these findings is usually neutral, but they should not be lost sight of since they could harm their services in the medium or long term.
Red. List areas that require immediate attention. The information listed here serves as the starting point for creating an optimization strategy.
As the name suggests, the recommendations are a summary of insights from our experts on what the next steps should be and what aspects should receive more attention.
These recommendations are calls to action that allow your team to craft an optimal optimization strategy.
Manual Test Results
The suggestions made by our team are supported by comprehensive manual and synthetic tests, which are attached to the report so that your team can analyze them in depth.
Let's start by reviewing an example of the manual test results.
Some organizations need to pay more attention to the importance of manual tests. The truth is that manual testing offers unique advantages over synthetic tests and network tests.
- Manual tests are performed by knowledgeable humans - GoClickChina’s quality assurance engineers. This allows us to provide valuable insights about user experience and performance, something that is impossible to obtain with an automatic test. Furthermore, implementing synthetic tests can be difficult when dealing with complex services since any UI changes can break them.
- Synthetic and network tests are useless in certain use cases. Synthetic and network tests shine for obtaining data related to static content. But manual tests rule when it comes to complex services like video streaming or online gaming.
- Synthetic testing and automated network testing do not provide a reliable picture of your product's performance across China. Due to the way the GFW works, the automated tests may give inaccurate performance data for certain regions of China. Instead, manual tests can be done in specific cities to gain a deep understanding of the impact of GFW and other factors on your service performance.
- Manual tests are more flexible. Manual tests allow you to collect last-mile data, browser compatibility tests using real devices, ad-hoc tests, and more.
Automated Testing Results
The fact that manual tests are so effective in understanding the behavior of your product in China does not mean that automatic tests are worthless. Quite the opposite. Synthetic testing is fundamental to any content monitoring and optimization strategy in China.
- Testers can simulate real-world conditions to spot potential bottlenecks and performance problems.
- Synthetic testing can provide valuable insights regarding service uptime and APIs behavior under different network conditions
- Synthetic tests can run 24/7 from key locations for your business within China
- These types of tests can collect an enormous amount of data, both about your service and that of your competitors. This allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of both your offer and that of your rivals.
All in all, synthetic tests complement the information from the manual tests by providing valuable insights related to the performance of your content delivery infrastructure and how this affects users in China.
Among our report's metrics and performance indicators stand out: average download size, average response, and availability.
Network Test Results
Network testing results are essential before optimizing any online service in China. Let's quickly review why they are so useful.
- Network testing help identify the root cause of various problems that may be present in the network infrastructure. For instance, they could give you valuable information to make the decision to change your CDN provider.
- Allows detecting issues in the network that could cause slow speeds, latency issues, packet loss, and even security breaches
- Help businesses take proactive steps to address network issues before they lead to service outages or other serious problems
- Network test results can also help businesses better understand their customers’ experience. This information can be used to improve the service offering to ensure customer satisfaction. For example, thanks to the network tests, your business could make the decision to hire more bandwidth to meet customer demand.
- Finally, network test results can help online service providers in China improve their security. It can help identify vulnerabilities in the network that malicious actors could exploit.
Overall, network tests, together with synthetic tests, give your organization an overview of the overall performance of your product within China. Among the top performance indicators included in our report are latency, packet loss, and jitter.
The report would not be complete without our experts summarizing their findings and final recommendations. This section, along with the Executive Summary, is invaluable to senior managers who do not directly handle the technical angle and who are more interested in forming an informed opinion on what should be done.
Our comprehensive report is an invaluable tool that provides your organization with a snapshot of your product and what the next steps should be to optimize it. Furthermore, in addition to offering you the most detailed market report, GoClickChina provides your business with comprehensive solutions designed to help you break into the Chinese market. Among these services are our proprietary synthetic, manual, and network testing and monitoring, consulting, and custom-tailored Managed Services.
Contact us today and get a sample report and access insider tips and advice to help your business make the most of your product in China. Get access to detailed information on how to get started in the lucrative Chinese market without guesswork on how to avoid being blocked or affected by the GFW. Start your journey with GoClickChina today!
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