Many clients spend months polishing and perfecting their website before publishing it. Meanwhile their old website becomes more out-dated, and the new site and customers suffer for it. Their intentions are somewhat understandable:
We see clients make these mistakes. It is important we share these learnings with you to prevent you from falling into the same traps.
Many people don’t understand that to make a perfect website, it has to be put in front of the public. Only then can you begin measuring results and refining. The best people to tell you what your customers need from your website, are the customers themselves
After going live you receive a lot of data and user feedback which you can use to plan further optimisation. Who knows what opportunities this might present your business? The alternative means your valuable content is hidden away on development servers, where no one can find it. The design is quickly going out of date.
Your customers and prospects experience a more professional, accurate and up to date representation of your business sooner
The sooner content is published the sooner Google will discover and index it
To direct and prioritise ongoing development and improvements to the site
Of two websites. Close your old website sooner
Remember your payment plan is not tied to the progress of your website. By launching your website early your new website is working before your payment is complete
By releasing small changes over time
That large changes might have on your results. Regular small changes are easier to measure and understand the effect on your results. Keep positive changes and roll back negative ones
Through your project and having to start from scratch with someone new
Over 15 years experience building websites we have learned the approach that maximises success:
a dedicated customer representative that can make the decisions in a timely fashion.
things that need to be done.
Of two websites. Close your old website sooner
Focus on the key pages that matter most. Prioritise, based on your website objectives and real customer data from metrics and feedback to prioritise your time and investment
That would make your website better than what you have already. Where is that line? If you don’t currently have a website, almost anything is sufficient. A homepage with your contact details would be a huge step up from nothing at all.
And launch - Set a deadline and aim for this
Of your time and/or Zeald time to improve the website and your online marketing
Google Analytics, split testing, Google Adwords, Heat mapping...
The website once it is available to the public by working through the list of remaining features.
A best-practice concept used by startups, entrepreneurs and successful businesses to focus on what’s most important. This helps avoid over complicating and over polishing what they produce, and deliver great products quickly to market.
For websites, we recommend an MVP that improves on what you have now.
a homepage and a contact us page is more than sufficient
apply a new design on top of the existing content
Sometimes clients do not agree with our recommendations for what MVP should look like. This is due to the misconception that people expect to launch a finished product, complete with highly polished design, snazzy features, all new content and structure.
Our recommended MVP line is based on the success and fails we have observed through our experience delivering thousands of websites over the years. Before we can move forward in developing a successful website, this minimum viable product must be agreed on, and a full list of features developed.
We see many clients forget this mission and drift away from the plan and work on features outside the MVP. It is important that you keep your list handy. Check each item off as you go. Every time you consider adding a new feature to your MVP ask yourself: How will this help me achieve my objective?
It’s your job to remain focused on MVP and get your project live. We will try to follow you up and remind you, but at the end of the day, this is your decision and your choice. We will avoid draining your budget unnecessarily with follow ups.
We provide a help desk 9-5 weekdays at any stage. Trained Support specialists are there to help you and your team to load and refine the website yourself.
We recommend that you launch at the beginning of the week so that you have specialists handy to help you test, diagnose and implement changes for you quickly.
If you have purchased content loading services from Zeald your marketing specialist will work with you to continue loading and refining your website after it has been launched. If you run out of budget you can always purchase more or choose to do it yourself.
The point is that when we go live, it will still be better than what customers are seeing at the moment. The benefit is, that you are now given the opportunity to tune and refine it, based on real user feedback. This is how websites really achieve success.
This message can be difficult and a challenge to deliver but it is important for the success of a website project. We have delivered many thousands of websites over the many years we have been in business.
After this explanation of the agile method and our definition of MVP, the benefits should be clear. It simply is not possible to deliver a 100% complete, successful website in one go. It takes careful planning, analysing and tuning in order for your website to grow.
There is a harsh truth when it comes to website development. It is never finished. There is no end product, no finish line. A truly successful website will continue to evolve with your company.