Your Site Is Never “Done”

My wife and I recently bought a house. Our apartment lease ends at the end of June so we decided to do some work on the house before moving in. We had the hardwood floors refinished. We’re going to be doing some painting. Stuff like that. Nothing major, but the type of stuff that’s easier to do when you’re not living there. At some point though, we have to stop the projects and move in. No house will never be “perfect” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t live in it and enjoy it as you improve it.

Websites are the same way. Since we launched our revamped Detailed Image last month we’ve deployed new code 29 times, pretty much once per day. It’s a mix of bug fixes, minor functionality or design improvements, and a few new projects. The “biggest” new thing might be the addition of markup on our product and review pages. This is a pretty normal pace for us. We’re constantly improving everything, pushing towards that perfection that we’ll never actually achieve.

A website, like a house, is never done. It’s never perfect. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t launch it and reap the benefits from it, just like you eventually have to start living in your house. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered someone who keeps pushing back a launch because some minor feature doesn’t work, or because the site doesn’t look “perfect.” If they start browser testing and insisting everything look the same in every browser – especially in this day and age with all of the phones and tablets out there – they’ll never pull the trigger. They end up stressing themselves out, stressing their developers out, and all the while what they have is probably 10x better than what’s out there now but they aren’t reaping any benefits financially, getting feedback from their customers, or collecting any data. Sometimes it can be painful to watch.

We could have help back DI another month. Or two. Easily. May is on pace to be our largest sales month ever, in some part because of the site. Many of the improvements we did make we didn’t even have on our radar before launching but they bubbled up for one reason or another. We’re in a much better place because we launched sooner rather than later.

3 comments on Your Site Is Never “Done”

  1. Tim says:

    Perfection is impossible to achieve, in work, life or any other facette of life. It’s all about balance, few have the time, skills, resources (financial or otherwise) and experience to do anything perfect, but finding a great combination of everything is the key. I’ve been stung by the “it’s got to be perfect” site launch bug, the site was a disaster because we were so ill prepared for what people really wanted, live and learn!

    How is the new place? It would be great to see a few before and afters and the home office. We’ve been in our house for nearly 2 years now and while we’ve accomplished a ton, even though it’s still far from perfect, it just may perfect for us, at this very moment!

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Well put Tim. (btw – I wasn’t referring to you as one of the examples of the “it’s got to be perfect” bug)

      The house is coming along pretty good. This in between phase where we have both the apartment and house kind of sucks but we’re getting a lot done without our stuff in there so it’ll ultimately be worth it. I’ll be sure to post some pics of the office once I have it set up. So far I’ve changed the paint from dark purple to a nice calm blue. I’m hoping to have enough space in there for my standing desk and a meeting table for when the guys come over. And I plan on having the router in there so everything is hard wired. We’ve got FIOS so it should be super fast. Nothing too fancy but exactly what I was hoping for.

  2. Jason says:

    This is so true – websites need continuous attention to ensure they are up-to-date and performing in the most effective manner. As Tim says, perfection is impossible, but finding the right balance is key!

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