Your WordPress Site: Five Lies Holding up your Launch

1. You have to settle on a design before you can launch.

Over the last several years of working with entrepreneurs, this lie may be the one I hear the most – that they need to pick, or worse yet, design the perfect theme for their site before they can launch. Mind you, these are people who want to get something serious done in the world – whether it's selling a product or raising funds for a non-profit in the inner city. Yet mission seems to take a back seat to wanting to make sure the perfect look is in place. Trust me when I say this – getting the right look not only takes time, but it takes interaction with your market, so get launched first, connect with your audience, and then make modifications as time goes on. You don't need the perfect theme to get going, you just need to make sure you don't look boring or horrible, but that's a pretty low bar.

2. You can't launch your site until all your content is complete.

While I'm working on getting a site functional, I hear the same refrain over and over, “I'm working on it” as folks reference the development of perfect content. Content is critical, but you can launch with as little as 4 blog posts or a single landing page (if you're collecting interest in a new product). So don't stall your launch if you're hoping to write 15-20 posts and fill up a site before you launch. As few as 4 posts or pages will get you going.

3. Every main feature needs to be in place before launch.

You're killing me, you know that, right? You want to hold up your site's launch because the sidebar on that one page should have an additional little bit of text that says something really specific but also dynamic? Oh, I know your kind – but you need to find friends (you know, the kind that ask if you if you're really going outside looking like that). Your site can launch without every feature and get better and better over time. Don't stall! (If that custom sidebar is critical, you should check out my friends at WooThemes).

4. You need to worry about performance, caching, and other technical stuff you don't yet understand.

Don't get me wrong, some technical things are critical upfront, like security. Don't mess around. Get that in place quick (see my friends at Sucuri.net, or browse the plugin section of WordPress). But waiting to get your site at optimal performance when the only person who “likes” your site (in FB parlance) is your mom? Not a good call. Get launched!

5. You need a great photo of yourself or a perfect logo.

I know, I left it for last, but that's because you know I'm talking to you. You fret over those images don't you? I know. Every last one of you. And guess what? You suck as the determiner of what actually looks ok when it comes to your own photo. It will never be good enough. And if you don't have a logo, go see my friends at 99Designs and get past this hurdle. Quick!

What traps do you fall into?

So that's my take on matters. Getting your site launched should not be so tough. What traps do you fall into? I want to know…

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.