We've all been in those meetings when you're asked if you can get something done by Friday. Our natural inclination, for the most part, is to try to hit expected deadlines, so it's no surprise that sometimes we say yes.
But getting something done on Fridays doesn't mean we should launch on a Friday. If you've never done it, count yourself lucky and blessed. But if you have, you know what I'm talking about.
For the uninitiated, here are three reasons why you should never launch a new site (or product for that matter) on a Friday.
Now I know you did everything right. Trust me on that. I know that it's the other guy's fault. But here's the thing. If you're a developer and you've worked on a web site, then you know what I know. Sometimes a client doesn't know what they want until their friends see it live.
I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but if you launch on a Friday, and you get some immediate feedback to make tweaks or changes, two things may happen. First, you may end up working on the weekend. We'll get back to that more in a minute. But the second thing is worse.
Let's say you do start working on those tweaks, and now you have a question. What do you do? You call your client. But your client is enjoying their weekend. So response times are slow or non-existent.
Of course that won't stop the same client from wondering why you didn't get things fixed by Monday morning. So if you want faster response times, launch on a Monday or Tuesday. It will give you much faster client interactions and more focused attention.
If you're lucky to host your site with a hosting partner that provides staging, like WP Engine does for chrislema.com, you may already have tested the entire site in staging. But I know a lot of folks that haven't moved to a managed WordPress host yet.
When you're developing the site, you often do it locally – which is driven off your own hardware. When you move to a hosting provider, things are a bit different. And sometimes, not every time, but sometimes, that difference is enough to break a site.
But breaking a site doesn't always mean the whole thing is dead. It can mean it looks great and almost works great – but you can't do something essential, like check-out from your shopping cart. I'm pretty sure we can agree that's a big deal, even if the site is live.
But now you're left asking for support on a weekend from your host. And most hosts will help – but you'll not be a priority compared to sites that have gone completely dark. And since there are less staff available on a weekend, that can be tough.
So launch when hosting partners have their most staff ready to help – towards the beginning of the week, not the weekend.
Your own sanity
I told you we'd get back to the whole “work on the weekend” thing in a minute. Well we're there.
When you launch on a Friday, you're counting on the fact that you've done everything perfect, that your customers are 100% thrilled, and that there are no issues with your host.
That's a lot of positive energy and hope. I love it. But hope's not a strategy.
And that means there's a good chance you'll end up working on the weekend. That's no fun – regardless of how awesome the site or client is.
So if you want to maintain your own sanity, publish on Monday or Tuesday, maybe even Wednesday. But please, oh please, stay away from Friday.