Following the Money: 3 Transaction Pathways to Monitor

If all you have is the beginning and the end, you’re left with a short, boring story: “Once upon a time, it was UP…then, it was DOWN.” Knowing the twists and turns of your transaction pathways is not only illuminating, but profitable.

Information channels dry up when all you have are pieces. 

If you’re looking to fill in the plot, building a script to mimic user action and monitor your important pathways is the best way to receive intel you can use to fix any elements, selectors, or errors that may be keeping the important processes on your site down. 

Shopping Carts

A profitable transaction pathway to monitor is a shopping cart, but before you start assembling click actions and recreating a user’s shopping experience, you’ll want to add some steps to navigate to your URL and verify the status is 200 OK. 

We’re bringing this up for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a handy fact that Transaction Checks and Synthetic Monitoring can validate commands and verify status. Second, adding a step to verify your page is UP helps isolate the issue when the check goes down. Is there a problem with your page? Or with your Process?

Using our Run Test feature in the check editor will give you valuable intel before the check is activated. Simply click the Run Test button to reveal response time for each of your configured steps, check that everything is working, and receive screenshots and browser console data for failed steps before any website downtime counts against you.

Shopping Cart Tips 

  1. Use a fake credit card so you can test the transaction process from start to finish – including payment input and charging
  2. Be sure to select an item that won’t run out of stock – perhaps a digital asset, or provision some items visible only to your test user, don’t forget to take your inventory accuracy into account 
  3. Use validation codes like URL should content text to validate the URL slug and verify the item’s page is loading

Login Forms & Contact Submissions

For both your login forms and your contact submissions there are three important questions:

  1. Do all your fields exist?
  2. Can they be filled out?
  3. Can the form be submitted?

Login Forms

Basic Authentication is standard practice for login forms, and the Uptime.com Transaction check supports testing for basic auth fields. To monitor this pathway, our first step is authentication. The login is triggered with a Go to URL step, and completed with a status code validation.

For a more detailed check that will test each element of your form; build steps to test each form field, input your username and password, and submit.

360º website monitoring should not only cover your internal infrastructure and public site, but each facet of each process that means something to your success.

Contact Submissions

“Communication is key.” We love a tried and tested cliche.

Your contact submissions cover everything from blog subscriptions, accident reports, quote requests, vendor applications, email subscription lists, status page subscriptions, and an endless litany of communication needs. To monitor them is similar to monitoring logins, minus the basic authentication. 

  • Verify your elements
  • Input information
  • Verify submission

What if?

Do you use a third-party service for your contact forms? Do you pay per submission? Even if you don’t want to synthetically test your contact form due to submission fees, you can still use the Uptime.com Transaction check to verify the existence of elements and selectors to test that the form is fully loaded.

To stay in the know on working with third-party partners, check out our knowledge base on SLAs to learn what your providers should be providing to guarantee the uptime of the services you need. 

Landing Pages

Last but not least, Landing Pages; your marketing site’s well-crafted showcase for product features, competitor comparisons, and generating google search rankings and traffic. 

You may think it’s enough to monitor these single page platforms with a basic HTTP(S) check but we disagree. Landing pages aren’t the equivalent of print ads, they act as portals to specific assets housed within your company’s site.

Does your landing page have a button to request more information, or perhaps a link to reviews, or a media asset? These are key navigation functions that – if down – would largely decrease the success of your landing pages. 

A simple Transaction check can not only act as an HTTP(S) check and confirm your page is UP and accessible (that good old 200 validation), but can simulate the navigation of button clicks to key conversion assets like demo requests or a free trial

Make it Easy

Building a Transaction Check and constructing effective Synthetic Monitoring requires some knowledge about CSS selectors, HTTP headers, and the occasional bit of XPath, but all is made infinitely easier with Uptime.com’s Chrome-based Transaction recorder. This makes simulating user actions as easy as clicking your mouse. 

Transaction recorder illustrating a pathway to monitor

The story doesn’t end here. Our Transaction Checks and Transaction Recorder are ready for your testing. Sign up for a free trial or reach out to our team to learn how you can add more Transaction checks to your Uptime.com account.

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Emily Blitstein is a technical content writer for Uptime.com. With a background in writing, editing, and global HR, Emily is committed to delivering informative and relatable content to the Uptime.com user community. Aside from travel, she enjoys making short stop-motion animations, and live music.

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