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 Schema.org 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.