Site Tagging Deployment Process – TMS Q&A

When is it safe to deploy tags on my website via a tag management system?

In every organization I’ve worked with, the same question has come up. “How do we ensure non-developers with access to our TMS can’t just publish any rule at any time?” The answer is always the same – restrict users via some permissions panel. Thanks for reading, folks. See you next time!

Kidding. Well, not really. Restricting user permissions is the most reliable way to safely deploy tags. Integrate it with your development cycle and boom, you’re done. However, I like to live a little on the wild side. What if I told you that it’s safe to sometimes let analysts publish rules outside of the development cycle. Bear with me for a second…

Bear with me
I hear adding images to blog posts increases engagement.

So what if I told you that I can guarantee with 100% certainty that it won’t screw anything up? Would you still let your analyst publish the rule?

“How can you possibly guarantee that,” I asked myself preemptively. The stuff that’s baked into the UI of Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM) will not screw your website up*. Each TMS handles tagging roughly the same (yes yes I know they are different, too). The default tags are really just flies on the wall – they listen in the background and take notes on what the user is doing. Default tags will NOT take down a website or screw with site behavior. So what will? Custom JavaScript, HTML, jQuery, or any other code. When you see something go wrong, it is not because someone tried to fire an eVar named “aksljdalsjdkalsjdlkjasd” bound to every anchor element on your website.

So in my opinion (because I like to live dangerously), what’s the best process for tagging with your TMS? Train your user(s) to pass it through a developer/QA only if there’s custom code or scripts. I know this post won’t convince an organization to completely change their process – but use this as motivation to fight for change and eliminate a bottleneck.

* The exception is “Apply event directly to handler” in DTM. That can actually screw with JavaScript handling that’s bound to elements.


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