Web Reliability

47. Monitor Continuous flow

Mitchell Kimbrough
Written November 30, 2021 by
Mitchell Kimbrough
Founder

You've set an astonishing number of systems in motion to create and maintain a flow of customers through your web property. The last thing you would consider would be to just 'set it and forget it.'

Systems of any reasonable degree of complexity must be monitored. One of the most effective approaches is to try and monitor flow itself.

Most websites live and die on their contact forms. The website attracts suitable customers. Those customers find their way through the purchase process. Then they submit a contact form of some kind to express their interest and desire to be contacted. Our favorite versions of these systems are the ones that include a monitoring component, a way to automatically and regularly validate that this part of the customer flow is running reliably and friction free.

There are a number of ways to achieve this monitoring. We recently built a tool that is capable of imitating a customer, navigating to our website, filling out and submitting our forms and tracking any errors or issues with the flow. Systems like this serve to monitor flow in a continuous manner. They are among the first signals that alert us when our tools fail.

Imagine running an oil pipeline from Siberia to Moscow. Imagine just trusting that the oil is flowing without any monitoring stations along the way. The investment made in building the pipeline would be all but lost.

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