If you have built your own website to launch a brand new project or business, it can be a scary time when you finally come to actually put it out there. In order to learn from the mistakes of people who have come before you, it may be a good idea to follow some of our advice when you’re negotiating this awkward step.
1) Launch before it’s perfect
Is your website ever going to be perfect? Probably not. Does that mean you should give up and never launch it at all? Absolutely not.
The best thing you can do in that situation is to put the site online anyway and start getting on with your project. You still need to find out if running this website is actually viable, so don’t invest too much too early. That will allow you to the all-important second step.
2) Listen to feedback
You need to be open to all criticism when you first launch so you can make an informed decision about what needs your attention first. You may never please everyone, but you should be able to benefit from the honest opinions of real users and identify the most important areas to fix now, given your objectives.
3) Consult your analytics data
In addition to feedback from individuals, you can draw conclusions and see convincing trends just by focusing on aggregate data, so don’t skip the opportunity to do so. You might be surprised by what you notice, but eventually it will guide you towards success.
4) Stay in touch with the competition
Take inspiration from what others in your industry are doing right (or wrong). Stay up to date with the latest developments in your field so you can adapt your website design as appropriate.
5) Abandon things that just don’t work
Investing in something is one thing, but if it fails you have to accept that as soon as possible and cut your losses. Not everything will be executed the right way the first time, which is OK, but you have to be able to recognise something that needs re-doing or something that deserves to be axed from the site.
6) Make sure it works above all
For now, the most important thing is that your site actually works and does what it’s supposed to do. If that’s the case, people will forgive it for not looking absolutely perfect. A beautiful UX design that doesn’t actually work properly will quickly become much more frustrating.