Planning for after the website launch

A little while back I wrote an article about planning for your site before you begin the process of engaging a web design agency. Today I’d like to talk a little about what to expect after you launch your shiny new site.

After launch the biggest trap is believing the job is done! I like to use the analogy of having a child. The 9 months leading up to the birth are exciting, uncertain, full of expectation. The reality of a newborn can be a bit of a shock. And yes I speak from experience! Getting a new site to launch is a little like that. The excitement of design phase, the uncertainty of how it all works, the expectation of what the site will do for your business. And then it’s launched…

FamilyWe all know that the real work starts the day a child is born. It’s an intense and rewarding lifelong labour of love. We all know that the more we put into the relationship the better the results in the long run. There is nothing better!

Ok, so a website isn’t quite that important, not quite that intense, but the analogy holds. The real work starts on the day of launch. To get the most out of it, you have to be prepared to put some time into it.

So here are some tips to consider before you start the process:

1) Think of your website as an investment that you’ll need to nurture over time. If you plan for it from the outset you have more hope of achieving your desired results. If you abandon your site on the day of launch, it will eventually stagnate and fade away.

2) Choose your design agency with a long term vision in mind. Hopefully, if you choose wisely, it will be a long term relationship and you will all benefit. You should be thinking of your agency as part of your team. Make sure they plan to be there for the long haul as well.

3) If you plan to do everything yourself make sure you understand what that means. What amount of time will you need to invest? Is there training available? Is doing it yourself the best use of your time? Is your agency open to helping you stand on your own two feet?

4) Plan to review. Is the site doing as you hoped? Is it meeting your business objectives? Plan for modifications and redesigns from the outset. The world changes. Your business changes. Your needs change. The web changes. Be prepared to change your site as well.

In short, your website is a long-term investment, a child to be raised if you would. To get the most out of it, you need to put some effort into it. So plan to do so from the start. Unlike a printed brochure, but very much like children, you have the ability to change your approach, refine your language and shape your future!

Then, of course, the world will change…