Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a Website

by Martin Malden

Crash and BurnA couple of incidents recently reminded me of two important principles when it comes to launching websites:

Firstly: KISS

Secondly: GIOT

KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple

GIOT stands for Get It Out There.

Despite my best efforts, the project I’m currently leading here in HK is in danger of failing because of KISS – or the lack of it.

Since the start of the project (a new eCommerce site, and the first for this company) the message to the Marketing team has been:

‘Come up with simple offers, that are easily understandable by visitors, will enable us to launch a bug-free site and which we can develop as we gain experience’.

All of which has been ignored.

As a result, the project timeline has been compressed as the developers attempt to meet increasingly complex requirements and the site, which is due to launch in about 10 days, is currently buggy and unreliable.

I do realise this is pretty usual with this kind of project. But that doesn’t lessen my frustration!

Keep It Short and Simple

It doesn’t matter whether you’re launching a mini-site to sell an eBook product, or a full fledged eCommerce site.

It has to work when you launch it. Flawlessly.

It doesn’t matter if the design is not quite right, or the copy could use some polishing. But it must be easy for customers to follow and it must work.

If it crashes, or if customers can’t understand your offer, or if whatever they need to do next is not clear, you’ll lose the sale.

Get It Out There

We set a very firm deadline for this site launch and we’ve adhered to it rigidly.

The reason is because it’s all too easy to keep tweaking, with the result that you never get anything launched at all.

With this project, we could already have added months to the launch date if we’d attempted to accommodate all the requests that have come up.

They’ve all been captured and an initial release schedule developed, but we haven’t moved the launch date.

And, again, that applies to any site – large or small.

Even if you’re launching a 4 page mini-site, keep it simple, make sure it works and get it out there.

Websites evolve over time – all mine do and I’m sure yours do too.

It’s only natural. New technologies become viable, design fashions change and we all update our sites to keep them contemporary.

So you’re never going to launch with the perfect site and you’re always going to be making changes.

So just keep it simple and get it out there.

You’ll have plenty of time after launch to refine it, and you’ll have the benefit of experience and user feedback to help you.

Martin Malden

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