A New Website Design is Like A New Suit
Creating a new website is like buying a new personal business outfit. The color, style and size of the lapels will only look current for so long, and it’s no different for a business website. It’s worth it to spend lots of time perfecting the underlying content and strategic focus – but since most businesses will need to refresh their website appearance every few years, a speedy development process is critical. When creating a new site or freshening up an existing one, perfectionist tendencies can easily derail the process if you let them.
Don’t Let a ‘Perfect Website’ Happen to You
Is your website still in development? Has your design team started to tune out, with weeks instead of days between milestones? There are many rational reasons why a website development process can get off track and languish in the weeds for months or longer.
Here are some of the phrases that can indicate a concern with perfection may be contributing to website delays:
We want to write some more content to make sure people know every service offered”
We want to make a few more changes then show it to the team”
We want to add some more social media icons, because we’re creating videos and plan to launch a youtube channel”
These are all perfectly reasonable concerns, but can cause problems if too much time is spent in the middle of a new website design or redesign. If the underlying content seems to be in a constant state of refinement and the web design process is slowing, then it may be time to consider moving forward with an imperfect website.
Top Tips for Launching an Imperfect Site
Avoid Indecision by Focusing on The Benefits
Remind the team why we’ve started the redesign process and what the benefits are of replacing the current site. For many businesses a website is simply a first impression for online visitors, don’t let your first impression be stale and outdated. While everyone involved in creating and launching the company’s new online presence will have different ideas on what the site should accomplish, try to get the whole team to focus on the benefits of launching quickly and avoiding delay.
Get the Content Started (and Completed) Before the Design is Done
Incomplete content is the number one potential delay. Avoid last minute stress by completing site content before putting the finishing touches on the web design.
You’re not creating an online encyclopedia… are you? Remember that not even your organization’s biggest fans are interested in reading a whole book covering the entire history of the company. Start by establishing what are the key pieces of information a prospective new customer will want to see addressed before taking the first step in the sales funnel. If those points are covered you may be ready to launch your site without creating more page content.
Discuss Future Updates
Design for online is a process of learning and improving things so your website visitors will stay longer and engage more with your online offering. Updating and adding new images and blog posts after your new site is launched will help keep things looking current. If development gets bogged down close to the finish line, it may help to remind stakeholders that a new website is not something to do once every five years and forget about. Help everyone on the team become comfortable with launching an imperfect website by discussing what elements will be changed in the months after launch.
By committing yourself and your team to imperfection, it will be easier embrace constant improvements over time. So don’t just create an imperfect website this one time, make every site you launch an imperfect one!