When is a Website Done?

Jeffery KirkUncategorized, Website Conversion

Let’s say you’re going to get a brand new website.  You might decide to create it yourself, hire your nephew, or have it built by a professional firm.  (I know which of those three you should choose, but that’s for a different article.)  Regardless of your choice, when will the website be done?

On the due date, before the due date, some time after the due date?  You’re thinking you’d like it done, all wrapped up and under the tree before the due date, right?  Keep dreaming.

I didn’t ask when your website should be published!  I asked when it would be done.  The correct answer is NEVER.  The proper website for your business is never completed.

Now you’re probably thinking that I might have gone off the deep end.  Maybe I should take a vacation, clear my head?  Well, let me put this in perspective.  Typically we see two different types of client mentalities…

  1. “The website is done and perfect when it’s published.”  This idea is that you’ve paid a lot of good money getting a site developed.  You might have even paid extra to get those developers that understand your industry (I have an opinion about this too) so gosh darn when it’s published it ought to be perfect, ready to start cashing in.
  2. “We can’t publish yet because it is not perfect.”  The idea here results in constant futzing, with never a website to show for it.  Since it is believed it will be perfect when published, like in mentality number 1, and yet it is perceived not to be perfect, then the client continues to request changes or stall until they can figure out what perfect will look like.

Here what should happen…  The original specs are met and the site is published.  Now the work really begins.  No one knows in advance whether the site will properly convert visitors into customers, so once it is published you can measure the real conversion rate.  Then change something and see what happens.  Did performance improve, great try something else.  Did performance go down, bummer, but try something else.

You see a new website just puts the stake in the ground.  Once its there the test phase begins.  There is no end to testing unless you get to the point of converting 100% of visitors.  If you get to that point then there’s nothing left to improve.  But until you get to that point, odds are good that you can get better results than you are today.  So, the site is never done.  It is always waiting to perform better.

Who’s going to test your site once it’s published?  Who will change different elements?  Are you going to do this?  Is your nephew?