To steal from some popular advertising slogans and catch phrases, sometimes you just have to do it.
Pull the trigger.
Take the leap.
No, we’re not talking about making relationship decisions, we’re talking about launching your website.
The construction of a website is in many ways similar to other construction projects. There is a process, a logical flow that begins with conception of the idea, continues to the building phase and culminates in the public unveiling of the site (or, in the case of a construction project, the cutting of the ribbon).
There are many potential places along this path where the process can become stalled. One of the biggest is the pursuit of perfection. Nothing is ever perfect. In construction there areas of missing trim, a poorly done paint job, a missing screw or nail. In website design there is the less than perfect photo, the copy that could use another tweak, the arrangement of content that isn’t quite right.
While we understand the importance of getting things right, at some point it’s more important to get things GOING.
In the construction business, this issue is often resolved by the “punchlist,” a list of imperfections that need correcting, but can be done after the project is opened to the public.
In the world of websites, this is even easier, for in truth, a website is never finished. A website can and should change frequently, as your business and organization changes. Employees come and go, products and services change and evolve, policies are updated. All of that should be reflected in a dynamic website. And the very nature of a website makes it easy to tweak, to fix, to adjust. Many, if not most, of these changes can be done on the fly, with the site live, without users ever noticing.
A website does not need to be perfect to be launched. While you need to make every effort to make sure information is accurate, spelling correct and technical errors fixed, you don’t need to anguish endlessly over the phrasing of every word on the site. They can be changed later.
At best, an unlaunched website is lost opportunity. It’s a lost chance to reach out to your customers, both those you currently serve and those you have yet to reach (and may never).
That’s the optimistic view. At worst, an unlaunched site is a liability. Customers who stumble across those dreaded words “Site Under Construction,” as they search for products and services go elsewhere, most likely with a negative impression of your operation in their mind. Not only have you failed to capture their business, but you’ve left a potential customer with a negative impression.
Unlaunched sites are also at a higher risk of being hacked. Because they sit out of sight and, as such, out of mind, it’s easy for their software to become dated and at risk for being attacked. And, again, because the site is not being attended to, it may take longer for you to become aware of that hack. In the meantime, visitors who stumble across your hacked site will not only be left with a poor impression of your business, but may also find their systems compromised by adware or malware that was hidden on your site.
So if you have a website that is lurking under a dusty cover, waiting for everything to be perfect before you unveil it to the public, I encourage you to get going, stop procrastinating and launch it. Talk to your web designer about what’s needed to make it public and do it.
And if you don’t have a professional involved in the process, we’d be glad to help. We offer a free assessment service where we will tell you want you need to make your site ready for public viewing and a useful tool for growing your business.