Pacific Website Co.

Countdown to launch

What to do when your web designer hands you the keys


All too often, I see a ton of time and effort go into building a beautiful, functional new website, complete with content management system, only for it to linger unfinished on a staging server.

Whether this is due to last-minute design squabbling or a lack of preparedness on the client’s part, the root cause is usually content – either too little of it, or too much.

In mid 2009, a client hired us to build them a custom website with an extremely ambitious content structure. They had visions of three main sections, hundreds of pages of content, and tons of amazing resources. Although the site itself was built in a matter of weeks, it sat on our development server for over a year before it finally went live, due to the mountain of content that the client was faced with writing.

Start With a Simple Structure

Instead, I recommend starting with a simple site structure and manageable amount of content that you can scale out over time. Our newly redesigned website is a perfect example: we kept it small (four pages) so we could get it launched in a timely manner, but we plan to keep publishing new articles, tips, and case studies in our blog along the way as we become inspired.

Learn Your CMS

Most modern Content Management Systems are actually fairly intuitive and user-friendly. As a rule, if you can send an email, you can publish a page or blog post. A one-on-one tutorial with the person who built your site will also go a long way. As you become more familiar with it, you’ll start to see how powerful a web publishing platform like WordPress can actually be.

Press the Big Red Button

In journalism there is a “good enough” rule, which basically states that it’s better to publish something than nothing at the end of the day. So get your site launched, then start adding some more content, rather than letting it die a slow death in Internet purgatory.

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