We get asked this quite a lot by normal store owners who want to see how good their host really is. However, our Magento Benchmark service is only really aimed at web hosts themselves. So to answer a popular question (albeit briefly): There isn’t a standardised test – as there is a myriad of different testing procedures.
ApacheBench / Siege Will test PHP performance and PHP processing concurrency only (results are skewed by caching) GTMetrix Will test the overall page load time for 1 user (however, the template weight/complexity has a bigger effect on this than server performance) Pingdom FPT Much the same as GTMetrix (the results for this are even more skewed though, as it downloads ALL content in the CSS files too – not indicative of real-world load) Apache jMeter Will test PHP performance, concurrency, static content delivery, template performance and can replicate real-world browsing habits of customers; adding to basket etc.)
Apache jMeter is our tool of choice, it is a little tricky to configure – but allows you to tailor your test exactly to your type of expected customers browsing habits. By controlling the number of pages they browse, page view time, replicating checkout process, logging in/out etc. It is as close to real-world simulation as you will get.