During 2018 FIG has managed the design, development and launch of a range of new websites and we’ve noticed certain issues come up time and again.
So, here are our top 6 tips to help ensure you capitalise on the investment you’ve made improving your online presence:
Your web project critical path will include a ‘go live’ date. Commit to it and do everything you can to meet it. Of course if you experience major or unforeseen issues you may need to change it, but in general (and assuming that overall you’re satisfied with the site) it’s better to get it live than delay making minor amendments. Once your site’s live you can get on with the valuable work of analysing how users are responding to it.
Remember, like any business environment your website is an evolving environment which (if designed intelligently) will be easy to amend and update as your business develops.
Often overlooked, ensure you have your domain name record login information to hand well in advance of the go live date. Web developers will need to update them to direct browsers to your new website. Keep records of log in details centrally to prevent issues with domain name registrars at a later date.
Avoid linking your ‘go live’ date in with a major, immovable date like an exhibition or product launch. Occasionally elements of a web project take longer than anticipated or technical issues need ironing out (whether in your control or not) so the less that depends on the launch, the easier it will be to manage their impact.
In most cases, FIG recommends a ‘soft launch’ period of around 14 days after your site is put live. This acts as a safety net for any bugs to be fixed before the site is formally launched to a wider audience.
If your new website has the potential to create demand at the back end for which you’ll need staff, make sure you have enough resource to cater for the potential demand.
Avoid launching on a Friday as this can sometimes mean things get rushed or missed and if there are problems there may be less resource available to help put things right over the weekend.
Once the site is live and you’re happy (see point 3 above), communicate its launch to customers, staff and other stakeholders using a press releases, emailshots and blogs as appropriate, explaining briefly what’s different and why they’ll benefit from the changes you’ve made.
Ask for customer feedback – it’s a great way to demonstrate you’re interested in their opinion and will provide valuable information for your first formal review of the site.
And finally, remember why you started on this journey, be proud of the hard work and team effort that’s gone in to it. Stay calm and be positive – your customers are going love it!