If you’ve taken a look at our website (www.wakefly.com) lately, hopefully you’ve noticed the new look and feel. Yep—we launched a new version of our corporate website today. Since we’re an online marketing company that designs, develops, and launches quite a few websites for our clients, it’s always humbling to work on our own. I think we’re on version 4.0 of our corporate site, now, and this one by far seems to have taken the most time and effort. We’re used to working with our clients to get their sites in order, working them through our web design and development process, assisting them each step of the way. But when it comes to our own, well….it’s a bit like the cobbler’s children going shoeless.
This time we did our best to adhere to our process, as we know it works successfully. But being placed in the shoes (I swear I didn’t intend for this to turn into a Nike advertisement) of our clients always provides a little (that is, a lot) of humbling perspective. And this last round left me analyzing it. On the client side, it’s tough to be the marketer in charge overhauling the corporate website; that’s a lot of pressure. A website is probably the most public facing aspect of your company, and a lot of stakeholders with many different viewpoints have a piece in this as a result. Combine this with a process that can take two months or more before everything is ready to go, and don’t forget that as soon as it’s live everyone will be searching for any issue. That’s a lot of attention for a marketer!
So how do you combat this? Well, maybe I’m making it too simple, but a website should be viewed as a living, breathing thing. Refinements will be made continually, design will be tweaked, content will always need updating and new content will have to be added, and…well, you get the point. A website evolves, and is never perfect. (And nor should it be–you should always be testing and refining to get optimal paths and conversion.) Realize this, commit to making your website the best it can possibly be, make sure you thank those who point out the issues (better to know they’re there and fix them, right? Plus for every flaw, there should be like 1,000 things right, so you have that going for you, too), and do your best to manage expectations (getting your website to hit on all cylinders take time and lots of testing). Hopefully this will help get you through. Oh, and show some love to your marketing firm—they’re there to help you with the process and guide you through as easily as possible.