Ship Early and Iterate

Too many people take a long time on website builds, waiting for them to be ‘perfect’ until releasing them. It’s a long and exhausting process.

By the time your site launches you’re so fatigued that you never want to work on the site again. Then a few years pass, traffic starts to dip, and your site feels old and out of date, so you decide to go through a rebuild.

This could have been avoided if we shipped earlier with a ‘good enough’ site and focused on the long-term.

Some people create websites the way an author writes a book. They toil away for for months, and once they hit publish, it’s never touched again. But websites aren’t books. Websites are a conversation you’re having with your visitors.

Some folks use the analogy of gardening when talking about their sites. They tend to the pages, pruning dead content and nurturing what’s working.

A garden is never finished. There’s always some small way you can improve it. It’s also not something you can do all at once and neglect. You need to tend to it day after day to see the biggest yield.

It’s not the fault of the person making the website. Most tools push you towards the website launch, but not much beyond that. The typical website creation workflow has a beginning, middle, and end:

Design → Development → Content

But it shouldn’t be a straight line, it’s a series of loops. The straight line is the beginning, but with iterations it always loops back.

Design leads to Development which leads to Content, then each of those loop back on each other.

Maybe the content team ships a new page. Then they discover the hero’s design needs to be refined. They loop back to design and the iterative process begins again.

At Prismic we’re focused on how we can help people “make a website that keeps getting better.” We’ve been working on ways to make the initial site build easier and to help users loop back and iterate.

I think this approach works especially well for personal sites and portfolios. It’s better to have some web presence that you iterate on, rather than waiting for your perfect portfolio to be done.

Ship that first MVP and fall in love with the process of updating your site.