Four Kitchens

When to launch your new site? When it’s better than your old one

2 Min. ReadDigital strategy

Creating a new website is a lot of work. You devote a great deal of planning, time, and effort. In the beginning, you plan for all the great things your new site will do for your business. As you put in the work, new designs are crisp and responsive and features are implemented as ticket after ticket gets resolved. Everything moves smoothly.

But every project has an end point. And as that last stop gets closer, anxiety can start to spike. 

The reason is that as companies enter those final sprints, it becomes clear that some things just aren’t going to get done — or they’ll need to be moved to a future phase, meaning that they won’t happen in time for site launch.

Sometimes better is good enough

Our advice? Realize that the goal is not to complete every ticket and feature on the planning board before launch. Often, the goal should simply be to ensure that what’s ready to go is better than what’s currently available. 

To wait or not to wait?

Consider a project for a higher education website. One of the new features of the university’s site is a student portal that enables both undergraduate and graduate students to access pages and documents intended just for them. But as launch approaches, the developers say that based on the deadline, a custom portal for both undergraduates and graduates can’t be completed in time. Should you hold up the launch?

Of course, if this feature is vital, then the answer is yes. But it isn’t an automatic yes. Ask yourself: Does your current site have this type of portal, for either group of students? If the site is new or is an existing site that doesn’t already offer this functionality, then launch without the portal and add it later. 

What if you can’t add the portal later because other projects are scheduled and timelines can’t be changed? Consider scaling back requirements. Do you have the time and capacity to make a single portal that includes content for both undergraduate and graduate students, perhaps in separate sections?

Launching a new site is an exciting time

Don’t fret about what could be — celebrate the great work that you’ve done! And remember, so long as what you’ve achieved provides a better user experience than what you had before, users likely won’t be thinking about the items that you had to remove from your wishlist.