Beginning, Not an Ending
There is a vicious cycle that defines the existence of most large-scale websites.
It goes something like this:
Someone or some team at the organization decides it’s time for a new site.
This often happens alongside a rebrand or because the organization is just sick and tired of the site they have. It’s out of date, difficult to update, visibly worse than competitors, etc.
They get the necessary approvals and get to work.
The process is relatively arduous and involves a lot of herding cats.
Eventually, though, the thing gets done and the site goes live.
There is a celebration for about half a day and then, like at the end of Truman Show, folks are back to business as usual and our old friend, the website is forgotten.
Thus begins the slow process of rot and decay.
Little by little the site begins to fall out of date. Maybe the latest product offering hasn’t made its way to the site. Maybe a team member leaves and their bio remains on the team page.
It happens gradually, then suddenly.
“Kelly, how do you update the website anyway?”
“I don’t know. Ask Mark”
”Hey Mark! Love that sweater. Kelly, says you might know how to update the site?”
“Thanks! Got it at TJ Maxx. But no, unfortunately I don’t. Maybe try Duncan?”
“Yo, Dunks! My buddy. Mark says you know how to update the site.”
“Please don’t call me Dunks. And no, unfortunately I don’t. Try asking Mark.”
And forever and ever until our protagonist has died.
Jokes aside, what we see most often is that the process of decline continues for 2-3 years on average until the difference between the site and the business is so massive, the design so outdated, and the decisions of the people who made it (and are often no longer at the company) so intolerable that someone gets frustrated enough to start the whole thing over.
Only this time, your entire team will have been trained to see this new site as an ending and will act as though this process is the last time they will be able to add something to the website for a while. This instinct will undermine the process and lead to a bloated, confusing, underperforming site.
To get the site of your dreams, you need to break the vicious cycle and let everyone know that launch day is just the beginning.
It only gets better from there.