This week’s reflection point: Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock and ignoring the news, you must have heard about the failure of the Obamacare web site launch. Although tempted, I am going to keep my political viewpoints out of this article and focus on what we can learn from this.
Running a technology company that specializes in Internet strategies and has been involved in the implementation of hundreds of successful web site launches, here are the top 10 points I suggest you follow:
- First, realize that there is a difference between developing a web site and a web presence. A web site is just one piece of the puzzle in developing your web presence.
- The critical component of your web presence is the strategy and tactics your business must execute. This is all about defining what your business looks like today, where it needs to be in the future, who your buyers are, where are they located, what are your remarkable offerings and how will you market and deliver them and engage your audience.
- Develop a site blueprint which includes the proper specifications of your site’s functionality. This means determining how your audience will be attracted to your site and what will happen, step by step, when they get there. I would highly suggest a step-by-step checklist of what is included and needs to happen.
- Realistic bandwidth planning is critical. The last thing you want is to launch your new site that immediately crashes because it cannot handle the amount of incoming traffic. For example, the Obamacare web site was intended to support millions of visits yet can barely service even a handful.
- Identify the objectives, which are the outcome and results we want to achieve as a result of your audience interacting with your site.
- Determine who are the players involved in the development and implementation such as strategists, architects, designers, coders, testers, and your beta test group. An important part of this is to test, adjust and evolve after launch day.
- Set realistic deadlines and accountabilities for all involved.
- Allow for ample testing time.
- Murphy’s law suggests that if anything can go wrong, it will. Plan and prepare for issues that may go wrong with a contingency action plan around them.
- If and when issues arise, take ownership and responsibility. Your client will quickly forgive and respect you if you address the issues swiftly and with honesty and integrity.
This week’s tip: Invest the time and effort in developing your blueprint upfront so you don’t regret the consequences later.
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