I just had a thrilling first in my career… managing a website go live! I’ve been on this project for almost 4 months now, working with a third party programmer and an internal team to get the final product, a brand new website, pushed out. It’s been a long time coming, and I was excited to push the “go live” button. So, a few things I’ve learned from my first go live…
Glitch-free? Yeah, right! Things will go wrong, no matter how much testing and editing you do prior to the release. There’s a few things you just can’t know until you release the site out into the world. Being married to a software development engineer, I know this logically in my head, and I know that problems on the live site do not indicate total failure. However, it’s hard to combat the failure feeling when links are breaking on a site that’s out in the real world.
Your on-site programmer is your best friend. Due to the afore-mentioned glitch problems you are sure to encounter, your on-site programmer is your best friend! My IT guy helped me work out problems as I encountered them on the fly, which was tremendously helpful and comforting. He was just a chat window or quick walk away, meaning that any issues we faced could be fixed in real-time. I highly recommend maintaining a strong working relationship with your IT personnel, as they are invaluable in today’s technology-driven world.
Your highest priority is not everyone’s highest priority. I’ve been heads down on this project for several months, and I was just sure that my mass email about the new live site would result in an onslaught of feedback. Simply untrue, as my highest priority is not everyone’s highest priority. Again, I know this logically in my head, but it’s a little deflating when only a handful of people share my enthusiasm about the culmination of this HUGE endeavor. This is also important to remember when thinking about your on-site IT/programmer… his schedule doesn’t automatically prioritize my website go live! I made sure that he was going to be available to make on-the-fly edits, and that for the few hours immediately following go live, my priority became his priority. Again, I highly recommend planning for second or third place, and making sure that you inform the key personnel about when you’ll need them at the drop of a hat!
It’s been a crazy week, and it’s only Tuesday! I’m still soliciting feedback from my team and other external users (a big thanks to my husband, for instance!), but I’m proud of the work I’ve done on this project. It’s been a great learning experience in project management, software and technology, and cross-functional teamwork, and I’m excited to turn my attention to the next website overhaul on the docket.