Take the leap: launching your new Web site

After months of work, the day arrives. The code is in place. You’ve edited and re-edited; tested and re-tested. The tracking code is activated. Your new Web site is ready to go live.

But what about that one page?
Is there enough information to explain your latest product or service?
Is the site engaging enough?
Maybe that picture of our location is a little low quality?

You can drive yourself crazy with the fear of everything not being perfect. At some point, the site has to go live and believe me, your “perfect” won’t be everybody else’s “perfect” anyway.

Test and measure

The Web moves too fast to delay a site that is fully tested. By the time you're done humming and hawing, it will look out-dated.

Consider a multi-stage roll-out

Sometimes breaking up a launch into different stages can make the whole process easier and ease concerns about dramatic change. You could:

  • Launch a beta site and invite visitors to visit and provide feedback.
  • Launch an A/B test.
  • Launch your home page followed by deeper pages at a later date.
  • Use a mixture of these options.

Get feedback from your customers

Let the numbers decide. Your ultimate goal should be to please the visitors of your site anyway, so take it to them. It may feel a little like running out of the house with your fly undone, but someone will stop you and point it out.

Setup a feedback form - there are tools available as plugins to your site (e.g. feedbackdaddy.com, usabilla.com) - and encourage them to tell you they love or hate it. Have your designers and developers at the ready to make easy adjustments and put a plan in place to address the items that will take longer to implement. Be prepared for the fact that you'll get a lot of feedback about things that have little to do with the Web site. Stay focused on your goals.

Make sure you implement a way to track what customers are doing on your site, such as Google Analytics. This can often help identify where there are problems on the site even if your visitors leave without telling you about it. It can take some time to learn to understand your metrics but it's worth investing the time.

So go! Launch that sucker. Listen to your customers. Adapt. Then go onto the next project!

Celebrate with your co-workers