I was having a chat with a buddy of mine John about his website and the reason as to why it’s still not live. Don’t get me wrong here I love seeing beautifully designed functional websites. But the pursuit of perfection can be a double-edged sword. Wanting to create the perfect website that really embodies your vision and you can show it off with pride, can lead to a never-ending cycle of revisions and delays. I’m guilty of this myself. I am in the process of rebranding from Odin Media to Odin Agency. This website has been sitting “in development” for over a year… Whereas, an imperfect live website might seem like an inferior choice, but it will ALWAYS outperform one that’s not live. We will look into the advantages of launching early, the risks of perfectionism, and how a live website can evolve and adapt to become the best version of itself. While already building up rankings in Google and making more people aware of your business along the way.
The Paralysis of Perfectionism
The pursuit of perfection in web development can often lead to analysis paralysis. I’ve been guilty of this early on when designing websites for clients. You know it’s finished you know that sending it to the client for feedback would be best. But you delay it and tweak it as you’re not 100% happy. But you know deep down this is what we should roll with and get it out there. Here’s a few things that might hold you back… Wanting to fine-tune design elements, functionality, picking the right images, writing perfect content, trying to make every aspect flawless. This can go on for months or even years. During this time your competitors have a (in your eyes) laughable, “shit” website. But they are getting eyeballs and providing information, and support to your potential customers that have no idea you exist…
The Benefits of Going Live Early
- User Feedback: Launching an imperfect website early allows you to gather valuable user feedback. You have a reason to share it into Facebook groups for feedback on your website. They will spot any glaring issues you might have missed, or be able to help you make improvements to the user experience and customer journey.
- Market Entry: Speed to market is crucial. An early launch can help you gain a foothold in the industry or niche before the market is flooded. You can start to build an audience, customer base, brand recognition, and authority. The best time is always now.
- Testing and Optimisation: Live websites can give you data you won’t get by it sitting behind the curtain. You can look at the analytics to make informed decisions about user experience, and customer journey. And that all-important Google Goodwill to start getting you into the Google listings.
The Evolution of Imperfect Websites
Imperfect websites, when launched, have the opportunity to grow and evolve. So instead of trying to build Rome before people can start living in it. Look to get your MVP (minimum viable product) established. The MVP is the simplest, functional version of your website that ultimately serves its primary purpose. From this foundation, you can expand on it and enhance it over time. A website isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it. It’s your marketing hub! It should grow as your business does.
The Imperfect, Successful Examples
Several wildly successful websites started as imperfect versions. Facebook for example (no I’m not saying you will build the next Facebook) it’s early interface was FAR from perfect, but it was functional and allowed for rapid growth… Airbnb had a really basic website at launch. It’s now got an app and is Hugely successful. Amazon the now e-commerce powerhouse, started as an online bookstore. The website was mad basic. I realise I’ve used BIG examples but again proof that launching early, growing, and adapting with your audience is SO strong.
Overcoming the Fear of Imperfection
The fear of imperfection is real. We grow up wanting to do everything perfectly and to the absolute best of our abilities. This stops you in your tracks and makes you fear being judged that it’s not perfect. To overcome this, adopt an agile mindset. Set yourself achievable steps, focus on delivering value to your customers that need your information and service. Accept that imperfections provide opportunities for growth. The plant hidden in the cupboard doesn’t grow. Your website behind the “coming soon curtain” doesn’t either.
So to summarise. The perfect website that never goes live is an anchor, holding you back from the MANY benefits of launching early and evolving your website with your users. Imperfect websites, when launched and nurtured will always outperform the “perfect” but ultimately not-so-perfect counterparts. Embrace the imperfections, learn from them, and watch your website transform over the years into the marketing hub your business deserves.
Do you need help with getting started, and building your website on the best foundations possible for growth?
Odin Agency has a couple of ways to help. Both of which involve using WordPress. Which can grow and expand as your business does. See how you can work with us and start to build your online marketing hub.