Your Website and Your Minimum Viable Product

You've heard the concept before, right? The minimum viable product is the best product required to go to market. It's by far not perfect. It's not the best you can do. It's the bare minimum required to start getting your stuff out there.

apply the minimum viable product {MVP} concept to your website

It works. Case in point: my own website. I was clear to me within weeks of launching my first site that the Squarespace template I was using wouldn't do everything I need it to do. I couldn't have known in the planning stages that I would need it to do these things. This is what happens in beta.

When working at the enterprise level, you define the needs, draw up a plan, wireframe it, float it to the team, edit the plan and the wireframes, bring in the designers and programmers, get a beta to review, tweak the beta, tweak it some more, and eventually launch. then keep refining a bit after launch. {I've done this at least a few times.}

When working alone, this has to happen in miniature. All in one person. And way faster.

give your new website time to breathe before you launch.

So here's my suggestion for anyone out there building your website solo: create it and don't launch for a few weeks.

Keep working with the site as if it is live. Add blog posts daily. Keep refining the main pages and architecture. Keep testing your assumptions about what it's for and who it's for. Share screen shots with your closest colleagues or friends for feedback.

go live with a soft launch.

Eventually, when you're ready, go live with a soft launch that you announce to a controlled number of people.

Yes, it's on the real-live interwebs and anyone can find it. But odds are that the hordes won't be swarming your site on day one. So refine some more as you watch what happens when it's live. Maybe for another few weeks. Then launch a social strategy. Keep refining and building your audience and adding content as you go.

and stick to your deadlines.

I'm glad I kept to the commitment I made to myself and my altMBA community to launch my first site by June 1 {of 2016!}. And I'm glad to have gotten some experience with Squarespace, a platform I didn't know well yet. I knew when I launched that I'd likely have to switch templates soon because I launched quickly. Which would require extra work, though hopefully not as much as I've already put in. 

So, now, a year later, I in fact have launched a new site with a new Squarespace template that serves me better. I probably still rushed it a bit. I still am wrestling with SEO and other coding issues that I'm still sure will send me running to Wordpress eventually. When I'm ready to invest in someone else managing my website for me.

But, again, I stuck to the commitment I made to myself about what I would launch and when. I built phases into my project plan for pre-launch and post-launch, and have continued to add to that post-launch to-do list.

 

If you're feeling lost in the weeds with your new website or your next website upgrade, you don't have to go it alone. Give me a shout! Let's talk. Maybe I can help...