Just like cars, boats, roofs, roads; just like everything else we build, digital technologies fail.
The problem is, on the Internet, they fail silently.
You see… If you had a physical store, you’d see these folks.
They would be walking up to your store, picking up your products, and even asking you questions with every enthusiastic intent to buy… And then SNAP!
All of a sudden, they would disappear. Gone for good.
That would be obvious. And that would cause you to investigate what’s going on!
But unfortunately, it’s not that obvious online.
Online Tech Failures Are Invisible
You don’t have customers popping out of existence when they visit your store.
Instead, you have an invisible stream of would-be-customers, who are trying to find you, trying to connect with you and trying to buy from you; and who are simply being kicked out of your servers regardless of what they happen to be doing.
This type of failure happens all the time. Every day. And without fail.
And if you think a single bad experience that a single customer has, like a 404 error or a bad opt-in is not a big deal… think again!
We’ve seen these problems cause massive revenue problems for companies who track their daily users in the millions.
And we’ve seen solo affiliate marketers go bust, because their links weren’t redirecting properly.
In other words, we’ve seen silent technology failures hurt businesses in every conceivable size and scope.
And as far as the users are concerned…
They Judge You When Your Tech Fails
Just think about it…
Would you trust a website with broken links?
Would you let them have your credit card information? Or even give them your email?
Would you think they have their act together?
You probably wouldn’t.
Maybe you’d think that they are amateurs.
Maybe you’d assume the all their stuff is low quality.
Or maybe you’d think that they are hackers trying to “phish” for your information, and you’d lose all trust in them.
After all, this hacking and scamming thing is more prevalent than ever.
In fact, in the first two quarters of 2018 alone, $64,597,734 was lost in scams – majority of which happened online.[Scamwatch]
Sure. People may not know the numbers or how big the problem really is.
But they would still be wary of any user experience that has errors, glitches, or even friction.
I bet you are.
And I bet you cannot afford such friction, especially if you are paying for any sort of lead…
So… You need to ask yourself:
How Much of a Problem Is This For You?
I have some good news, and some bad news.
First the bad news.
If you use an out-of-house hosting solution (i.e. if you don’t physically own the boxes that host your website or app) you’re in trouble.
And that’s because, webmasters who don’t own their hardware tend to think that the technologies they rely on work as intended.
I used to think this way too, until of course, I stumbled upon the truth:
Servers break ALL THE TIME.
They are riddled with errors. They crash and recover in milliseconds. And every 1000th, 100th, 10th or nth user has a crappy experience.
Chances are, that’s exactly what’s going on with your servers.
And the important question you need to be asking yourself isn’t “how much of a problem this is?”
The important questions is:
Is Your Tech Betraying You?
How will you know?
This is worth thinking about…
Sure… You’ll always know if you have a MASSIVE failure, like, if your server goes down.
You’ll see your average numbers tank, and you’ll get alerts on your analytics – when your site goes completely off rails.
And this way, you’ll be able to handle the emergency. You’ll deal with the crisis, roll with the punches and move on.
But, such massive failures are what I’m worried about.
And they are not what kills most internet businesses. Think about it: when was the last time you saw someone go out of business because their server crashed?
Massive failures are not the issue.
You see… Most tech businesses don’t crash and burn in glaring explosion. And that’s because, those types of failures are obvious and in your face, and they can be dealt with.
Instead, most tech businesses bleed out and die a slow, drawn out death – which is a death witnessed only through dwindling sales and declining revenues.
It doesn’t happen in a dramatic way…
It’s more that half a percent drop in conversion rates week after week, or that steady three percent at a time decrease in your opt-ins that finally lead to bankruptcy.
And these happen – much more frequently than you think.
That’s why, when I ask you “how will you know”, I’m not asking you rhetorically.
I’m asking you: “How will you know if your technology is failing you behind your back and killing your business?”
In fact, it doesn’t even need to kill your business; even if it loses you a customer here and a lead there, it will do enough damage, and give your competitors the edge they need to lord over you.
So… If you have an online business, you need to regularly ask yourself these types of questions.
Ask Yourself These Questions (Honestly)
Today, right now:
- How will you know if you are losing visitors to 404 errors?
- How will you know, if you fail to process a transaction because your payment form doesn’t submit?
In other words, how will you know if your technology is working as expected?
If you are like most people, you won’t…
When these types of technical problems occur, most people never even notice.
The lucky ones may get an obscure email from a loyal customer about it.
Or get some cryptic message from friends or family members – like “Your website doesn’t work!”
Or… The really lucky ones… One of their tech people might stumble upon it.
The lucky ones run into their errors. And the unlucky ones suffer in ignorance.
Now… While I don’t know how lucky you are and how big of a teach team you have, I do know one thing: Unless you are regularly and actively dedicating resources to look for system failures, you have no idea if your technology is working as expected.
Maybe you are losing a few dollars here and there. And maybe your business is slowly bleeding to death…
Unless you are regularly testing your technology, you simply cannot know the extent of your problems.
That’s the bad news: if you aren’t testing your servers, your websites, your technologies, your apps – regularly and actively – you don’t know how bad they are failing.
You can bet on the fact that they are failing. You just cannot know how bad.
But don’t despair! There is also the good news…
…And the good news is, this is not rocket science.
Software engineers have already and completely solved this system testing problem. And we’ve implemented the following guideline to help you with it.
The Five Pillars of Online Test Coverage
Here’s what you need:
- You need to have every single page, link, form, button, opt-in, cart and checkout tested every day*. In other words, you need to make sure that every click/tap works as intended on a daily* basis.
- You need to test the reach-ability of your servers from a variety of access points using proxies and VPNs, on an hourly* basis.
- You need to test the presentation of your pages across common browsers and devices and make sure that everything looks right, on a weekly* basis and also on every day you make a change. (We recommend image comparison using fuzzy logic.)
- You need to make sure that your protected / pay-walled content is actually protected behind the right access restrictions so that it doesn’t end up on some offshore content locker. Do this on an hourly* basis.
- And finally – most importantly – you need to guarantee that every purchase action is actually processed. You do this by both testing the action daily*, and also by recording and matching the purchase actions with processed payments.
(* we figured out the time intervals based on the statistical likelihood of relevant errors, you could go more frequent, but you should not go less)
Take these five pillars. Write them down. Or print this page, cut it out and hand it to your programmers.
Just make sure that you cover all five areas, and you’ll be fine.
And remember: It doesn’t matter whether you get this test coverage by hiring someone to write automated tests for you, by hiring someone to test it by hand, or even by testing it by hand yourself…
It doesn’t matter who does it.
What matters is that someone does it.
When To Tackle Your Testing Problem
Make no mistake, if you have untested, un-validated, and unverified technology; you are kicking your customers out of your business.
And unless you stay on top of it, unless you pay attention to it, it will continue.
This is why you should copy the five pillars from above – or download our Five Pillars Worksheet – and create the test coverage you need.
It’s not a question of whether or not you should get this handled.
The question is *when* you need to get this handled.
And I’ll be blunt with you…
While we do have a set of proprietary technologies that allow us to rapidly create automated test coverage for the five pillars…
And while we can create these tests at a fraction of the time (and cost) of most freelance developers would charge you…
For these tests to be a worthwhile investment, your technology needs to be at a certain level of maturity.
In other words:
- If your business is pre-revenue (i.e. you haven’t sold anything)
- If your user experience is up in the air (i.e. you don’t know pages/screens you’ll have )
- If your don’t have any lead generation or conversion funnels (i.e. your digital marketing is undecided)
If any of these are true: it is NOT worth getting us – or anyone else – to build automated tests for you.
And that’s because, you’d have to throw away the tests as your business changes.
If you are in this boat, you have to bite the bullet, and do the testing yourself until your business has stabilized enough for us to take this over.
On the other hand:
- If your business generates revenue
- If you are getting leads or customers online
- If you have a stable user experience (i.e. you aren’t adding over a handful of new pages/screens a day)
If any of these are true, you should invest in your automated testing today.
And you won’t find a better deal than what we offer.
Your Automated Testing Solution
We’ve done this dozens of times.
And we’ve built all the scripts, the libraries and the infrastructure needed to create fully automated test coverage for any conceivable website.
Because of the level of technology we’ve already built in this area, we are able to deploy our tests very rapidly.
In fact, with most of our clients, we can secure their websites within a week. And no client so far has taken over a month.
Here’s what you get:
- Access Verification: We make sure that your application can be accessed through all networks across the globe.
- Protected Content Verification: We make sure that your protected content (i.e. member videos, e-books, etc.) is actually protected.
- Payment Verification: We make sure that you can process payments, for every product/offer you have.
- Opt-In Verification: We make sure that users can join to your mailing lists, subscribe to your services, or create accounts.
- Availability Metrics: We give you regular diagnostics of your server availability, load and processing times.
- Error Capture: We track, capture and identify all errors on your website in real-time. And if you want, we even fix them for you.
- Multi-Platform Verification: We make sure that you can be reached through every popular platform/browser/device.
- Penetration Testing: We try to hack your site to identify your security weak-points – obviously all under your permission, with full transparency, and without any harm.
To get a quote, simply click the button below and fill out the form on the next page.
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PS – Admittedly, we offer this service *dirt cheap*: it costs something like $20 to $90 per page/screen to setup, and a very low monthly fee.
This is all because, we are confident that once you see the quality of what we do, you will want to work with us on other projects where we actually charge substantially higher than our competitors.
PPS – Please note that the problems I’ve mentioned on this page are not your tech team’s fault.
Automated testing (including functional, white-box and unit tests) is a repetitive, tedious and excruciatingly boring work. No developer wants to do it, even through they know they should.
In fact, if we didn’t have our extensive set of tools that made it very easy for us to quickly create these tests, we wouldn’t do it.
This is not the type of work good developers want to spend their time doing.
That’s why, across the dozens of developers we’ve worked with and led, not one – not a single one – took on the role of creating automated tests unless their boss made it their job.
So… Please don’t go and fire your tech guys because you think they didn’t do their job.
They did their job. This is a different job.