What Is a Togle?

A toggle is a switch with two positions, on and off. It can also describe something that switches back and forth between states, like a screen that toggles between video chats with two friends at once.

A software feature toggle allows teams to test a new or updated functionality with a small segment of users before a full rollout. Using a toggle to introduce a new feature can reduce risk and help you gain user feedback without impacting the entire population of users.

Typically, a toggle is used to allow the user to update their preferences or settings, with a clear and simple interface that provides immediate results. They can be implemented in a number of ways, from adding a checkbox to a form to creating an HTML element. Toggles are most effective when they have a clear and distinct default state (ON or OFF).

When you create a toggle for a feature, it’s important to think through how to manage configuration. For example, a common approach is to hardcode the toggle through commenting or a preprocessor feature (#ifdef). However, this method doesn’t allow for dynamic re-configuration and may be more difficult to maintain.

Managing the lifecycle of a toggle is also crucial. Savvy teams treat their feature flags as inventory that comes with a carrying cost and try to minimize their codebase’s technical debt by being proactive in removing toggles when they are no longer needed. Using a toggle management platform such as Kameleoon helps streamline this process and ensures that no unnecessary flags are left behind.