4.15.14

How to Ensure a Smooth Launch for your site

BY JON SYU

So you've spent a ton of money getting a new-fangled site built. It looks good, functions well, and everything seems to be running exactly to plan. What can you do to ensure this thing gets launched on-time? Well, at Carbon8, we've successfully launched a ton of sites, small to large, and we've got some insight on how to keep things on track.

1. Get multiple eyes on your site before it launches

It’s easy to get tunnel-vision with something as visual as a website. Even as developers and marketers, getting only one person’s opinion is a sure-fire way to ensure that most people hate the end-product. Our suggestion? Have other people go to the site - we always have a demo site available for review, so bribe your friends and friends with coffee or something and have them run around on the site. Don’t tell them what to look for - just let them try to do whatever comes naturally to them, and you’ll find that their feedback is far more useful than most internal reviews.

2. Figure out your technical requirements

If you’re planning to host your own site, get us in touch with your IT person directly, far in advance. As a former IT person, I know how annoying it is to work with an outside vendor, but frankly, it’s far better to work with them directly than to work through a middle-person. We generally know how web servers work, so unless you’re planning to do something really unique, we’ll be able to hash it out with your system administrators.

3. Try to avoid last-minute changes

Websites are intricate feats of engineering. Things work together in ways that are even a mystery to the developer sometimes, and “minor” changes have a tendency to have snowball effects. Things that can be easily changed are things like text and images, but stuff like “Can we add a Twitter feed here?” are not things you want to request the night before launch.

4. Plan to do nothing after launch

As a general process comment, the less you have planned to happen post-launch, the better your process will be for everyone. In no other arena in life would you want someone working on your stuff while it’s actively running (e.g. airplanes), so try not to intentionally plan for it. Carbon8 performs our own post-launch check for things like security and speed, but optimally, the only thing you should ever have to do with a site post-launch is brag about it.

Jon Syu
written by JON SYU

Jonathan is the senior technology manager at Carbon8, with years of experience working with various nonprofits and businesses in technical, development, and marketing positions. He began his programming career at 12, when he realized that he could create games on his graphic calculator instead of learning math. At Carbon8, he is responsible for all things technical, providing direction to Carbon8's development offerings and overall strategy.

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