Hey! I’m Marissa, a web designer for big dreamers, soul-based entrepreneurs and creatives. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog!
Has website launch anxiety struck? Here’s how to easily send it packing
The big day has come. You’ve been working hard on your shiny new website for weeks now and it’s ready to go live.
You’ve given it 111 proofreads. Your great aunt Wilma who has a degree in English Lit has looked over it 22 times. You’ve even let the dog sniff the screen for bad energy. He seems to be quite good at uncovering dodgy-looking things.
All appears to be splendid.
Yet still, you hesitate.
Your finger hovers over the Publish button. But you’re more frozen than when you last attempted a cold water shower. Website launch anxiety has struck.
“I’ll maybe leave it one more day,” you think. “I’ll check it tomorrow with fresh eyes.”
“Hmm, I wonder if the pink headings are too pink? Best to check with a couple of people. Don’t want to put visitors off.”
And so it goes on.
It’s easy to find excuse after excuse to stop you from launching your website. And no wonder. This is no small thing. This is your online baby. You’ve spent ages perfecting it. Your business depends on your online presence. It’s scary. You’re on the verge of making an altar sacrifice during eclipse season to make sure things go hitch-free.
If this is you, please don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to almost every client I work with. The more you invest in a website, the more it can become a terrifying thing you’re sure will make you a laughing stock. Spoiler alert – it won’t.
Here’s my advice on how you can quash your website launch anxiety.
Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen when I launch my website?”
It’s time to put things in perspective. When you hit the Publish button, no one is going to outer space. Even if you need to call Houston and tell them you have a problem, it will be fixable. Don’t panic. Oxygen is not going to run out on WordPress. Breathe. Breathe. You can do this.
Also, if we’re working together on your website then you better believe that my eyes are all over it during launch. I’m 100% the Hermione to your Harry when you go live. I’ve got a spell to fix everything. We’ll sort out any bumps in the road together. Although I’m confident there will be none as I’ll have tested every link, contact form and button to within an inch of its clickability.
Consider soft-launching your website
You don’t need to get the party hats and streamers out for the big day. It’s your website, your choice, remember. Launch it in whatever way feels right for you.
A soft launch of a website involves going live without announcing it to everyone. You just hit publish and that’s it. Well, maybe it’s not quite as easy as that… but it’s not far off it.
This approach sees you airing your site without the festival around it. You quietly go live minus the big ta-da! Then you use the days that follow to iron out any creases and make sure everything is working as it should.
Doing it this way takes the lid off the cauldron of your emotions and brings you back down to a simmer. You don’t feel that everything needs to be perfect. And that’s a good thing, because, let’s face it, perfectionism halts us in our tracks and stops us from making progress.
When a hard website launch is necessary…
Not all websites can have the luxury of a soft launch, unfortunately. For example, if people visit an e-commerce site often to buy items then they will notice if things change. You also might want to guide them on what’s different, before you launch. The aim is to keep their user journey as seamless as can be.
For a hard website launch, you want to make sure you’ve had as many people as possible test the site. Use various computers and mobile devices to check everything is compatible.
It might make you feel better to know that most new e-commerce sites typically don’t sell for the first 30 days. While this isn’t ideal for your pocket, it is a good buffer period for you to make sure everything is okay on your website.
But what if people don’t like my new website?
This is a big worry a lot of my clients have. However, if you’ve done your target audience research you can send your concerns back into the ether.
I spend time with my clients at the start of the project to really understand who we want to land on their site. It’s a critical part of the website launch process. It influences everything we create, from fonts and colours to the tone of voice and user journey.
If you’re building your own website and you haven’t done this yet then it’s worth taking time to investigate. Profiling your ideal customer is essential for your website and your business. If you’re not familiar with profiling, Hubspot has some good advice and templates here.
Then, if you want to take it to the next level, you can develop your buyer persona. Keeping these points in mind as you build your website will make sure it appeals to your dream customer. It’s a step not to be missed.
Remember, the energy you give out via your website affects what sort of clients contact you. If you are being your authentic self in your copy then your ideal customer will relate to you and get in touch.
The terror of typos
The next thing that seems to give people shivers is the thought of typos. Especially if you work in an industry where attention to detail is crucial (e.g. copywriting, marketing or social media management).
If you don’t have a budget to hire a copywriter then it’s okay, no need to panic. The gods of the internet have bestowed on us tools that will make your words as accurate as your daily Oracle card.
Run your website copy through Grammarly, Hemingway and Repetition Detector before launch. They’ll help identify any spelling and grammar mistakes. They can also pick up on readability issues or when you’ve used a word too many times.
It helps give you extra peace of mind if writing is not your strong point.
Is your website launch anxiety going down yet? If not, here are a couple more tips…
Affirm it and it will be
Never underestimate the power of your mind. If you spiral into self-doubt and worry then it’s not going to help you launch your site well. Launching should be fun. Take time to try and change your mindset with affirmations.
Affirmations trick our subconscious mind into believing something is true. They help reprogram our thinking patterns. So, if you’re wallowing in your PJs cursing the moment you decided to update your website you can change how you feel.
Say things like,
“I am creating an amazing website that my customers will love.”
“My website launch will run smoothly and successfully.”
Make up an affirmation that feels right for you. Remember to keep it in the positive tense and say it repeatedly throughout the day. Try to believe that what you’re saying is real.
And my final tip to help soothe your website launch anxiety…
Double and triple check everything to give you peace of mind.
Here’s a handy website launch checklist for you to tick your way through if you’re feeling nervous.
- Check your SSL certificate works
- Check all your links work (no 404 errors)
- Check headlines are in a consistent font and size
- Test forms and email signup forms
- Proofread copy for typos
- Ensure images and videos load correctly and are optimised
- Complete on-page SEO (meta description, title tags, alt text)
- Do a test purchase on any e-commerce elements (check again once live)
- Check pages are optimised for mobile devices and different browsers (check again once live)
- Make sure your content management system is updated to the latest version
- Backup your website
- Integrate analytics (e.g. Google analytics)
- Setup a custom 404 page
- Check your XML sitemap
- Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
So, there you go. By following these steps you should feel better about your site going live.
Remember, it’s not a ‘one and done’ project. Websites are meant to evolve and be updated. If you still feel nervous then feel free to ask any questions below and I’ll do my best to chase away any worries you have.