What’s the best time to launch my new web site?

by Thom Hiatt

CLIENT: My new web site looks great, and I like what you’ve done. But I want to look around for things to change. When should we launch it?

TWIN BEES: It’s better to “soft launch” a web site when most of the items are in place and maybe not every single little teeny tiny text detail is 150% of what you would ever expect it to be.

In other words, we think it’s best to “turn on the site” when we feel that everything “structure-wise” is pretty much finished. Then you, the client, are able to see it live, see it all working, poke around, etc, and be looking for the teeny tiny things you may want to adjust … ESPECIALLY the text on the site.

This gives the web site owner a jump start on getting indexed by the search engines, and let’s the client adjust a live product, to make small tweaks to the article text, etc.

After a few weeks of self-tweaking, the client is in a much better position to have a “grand opening” per se, and send out email blast announcements, postcards, sales packets, etc.

Contrast that to:

A client spends weeks upon weeks looking for every little possible thing to “fix” before launching…. and she’s never quite sure of herself… and keeps putting it off… while looking and looking and looking.

“It’s like waiting until you are in perfect shape before ever stepping foot into a gym!”

The bottom line is:

Today’s websites are living and breathing, rather than set-it-and-forget-it. We no longer have to make them 100% perfect before launching it and leaving it alone for 5 years.

Web site owners today are making changes and adding to their website on a daily and weekly basis… for fun, for profit, for new opportunities, and in response to customer feedback, etc.

So, the best time to launch a new web site is the moment you feel proud of it.

It’s like sending your son or daughter to college. “They’re in good enough shape to let them live on their own, but there’s still going to be advice to give them along the way.”