With a website revamp in place, I thought it would be fun, if potentially embarrassing, to look at what I did differently between doing my businesses first website, and this one.
Knowing That “Done” Is Better Than Perfect
Like spiritual mantras or Buddhist Koans, you can read and repeat that phrase a lot, but it takes a while for it to click, and a while longer to start applying it.
Starting out, it’s easy to obsess over everything being just right. It doesn’t have to be about your website. There are so many decisions to be made regarding a new business that determining which ones call for extensive research and thought, and which just need to be good enough, is where a lot of the effort goes.
The first site had text graphics I made myself and an image rotation that was actually rather elegant. It also took me a long time, and I found out I had a lot to learn if I was ever going to do graphics work efficiently. This one has a stock image I feel represents the idea of something starting, and then using a mathematically governed procedure to grow. I also think it’s a nice picture. It took me a couple hours to find and crop, instead of days doing something I find frustrating.
If you have always had high standards, been a bit of a perfectionist, called demanding by others, etc, good enough for us is probably good enough for the people visiting your website. You can always improve it later.
Launch Websites When Ready, Not When Done
It seems obvious to most people that something has to be done before it is suitable for public use, but websites are a very different beast. The revamp I just launched isn’t done: there is supposed to be a portfolio page, there are no links to social media or sharing tools, it hasn’t been optimized for speed, and on and on. But, my old site wasn’t even mobile responsive
The only thing you need done before launching is something better than what you already have. So, I launched, and I’ll do that stuff when I get to it. Now, there are obviously economies of scale to be had in building a website, so if you can save hundreds/thousands of dollars by waiting a couple weeks, and you aren’t sure about the difference the new site will make, go ahead and wait. People in my industry can help discuss these kinds of things to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Try making lists of your needs and wants from the website, or if you are doing an RFP, be clear about your priorities. Sometimes it’s easier to include lower priority items while addressing higher priority ones, and sometimes you can get a significant price reduction by delaying features, without having to pay more to do more on their own later. The better a good provider knows what is important to you, the better they can recommend a phased approach where appropriate.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions, about the website or about getting better things sooner than perfect things later.