Sorry to disappoint the collected masses, but this blog isn’t going to involve any waxing lyrical about Philip Schofield, Trevor & Simon or Gordon the Gopher.
Instead, we’ll be looking at that most fraught and nerve-wracking part of the website building process - the go-live.
Launching a new website is always an exciting prospect, but can also end up being a stressful process for both clients and developers. After many weeks, sometimes months of discussions, designs, development and round-after-round of feedback, the pressure put on the final go-live can be considerable. This is, after all, the point where everyone’s hard work finally becomes public! However, it doesn’t need to be this way - often simply taking a step back and regaining perspective on the project is all it takes to make the process much more manageable.
It’s easy to become bogged down with details during the course of a project - many weeks of staring at the same things can easily lead to fatigue and what’s important can easily be lost. This is especially true just before that final go-live form is signed - at this point everyone involved is heavily scrutinising every aspect of the site to make sure there are no cracks in the facade. This scrutinisation often results in many issues or ideas that weren’t covered earlier in the project coming to the front.
Additional ideas and scoping
It’s common for new ideas to come out during the process of a site build - there may have been an oversight at the scoping phase, or even ideas about how things could/should work might shift during the process of actually seeing things take shape as coded functionalities, rather than static designs. Whilst we absolutely want to ensure that each site we build is the best version of itself possible, it’s important to remember that the go-live is akin to the end of a chapter, not the final page of a story!
Web is very different to print projects in that sense, and there is never really a point where it’s officially ‘done’ - aside from the usual upkeep necessary to keep a site functional with the ever evolving technology that surrounds it, a site can also be added-to and updated as much as necessary over time. As such, when any change requests that crop up in the review process that precedes the go-live, we like to ask what is most important for our client at that point: actioning changes and pushing timelines back, or going live as scheduled.
The answer to this can depend on a number of factors - obviously if the extras being requested prove to be an essential addition, then postponing and working on them immediately might be the correct course of action. However, in most cases we find that the importance of these extras can be exaggerated as our clients check to make sure everything is ‘perfect’. We encourage our clients to really consider at this point if these extras are vital enough to push back the launch of a website, and in most cases the answer is no.
User acceptance testing
Another common occurrence during the UAT (User Acceptance Testing) period preceding the go-live is that the odd bug may be spotted on the website. Though our skilled developers make every effort to iron out all issues before handing the site over, it’s almost inevitable that the odd bug will slip through unnoticed. If/when this happens, it’s our prerogative to ensure that any issues like this are resolved quickly and thoroughly to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in the launch schedule.
Once both Webstars and the client are completely happy that the site is ready, the time to hit that big red GO LIVE button is here! (Note: We don’t really have a big red button, but imagine how much fun it would be if we did!). After all of the nerves, the excitement, and the tense nail-biting, your brand new website is finally a real thing, out in the world and ready to be used and experienced by users. And that’s where the real fun begins!
If you would like any more information on web process or design please get in touch!