Friday, November 14

When is a site ready for open Beta?

Hmmmm. So we tested everything. We fixed everything.
Features.. check.
Functions..check. Graphics...check. Speed...check.

We turn the site on, and discover 101 things that we need to optimise, fix, shore-up. So when is a site ready to unleash. There's nothing like a strict deadline to force the site to be ready. And we did that. But in reality, putting live sooner rather than later is/was an even better thing to do.

Traffic from search spiders, random global users, members, always turns up some 404/403 errors you never knew existed. And the fact the site is live, means the urgency to fix is much greater.

But we have the luxury of being a new site that know one knows of, and in Vietnam where users can be a little more forgiving. I've worked on some huge 'relaunches' which have hundreds or millions of unique users already. And in UK/USA the user "expects"... it's a huge business risk. Get it wrong, and it doesn't take more than a few clicks for loyal users to find a substitute.

However big or small the site. There are always 404/403's. There are always unexpected problems. So when is a site ready for public Beta?... Probably, when it fulfills all the basic needs of it's users, but definitely well before it's is perfect. (don't tinker, launch!).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Simon,

I just found your blog via Tech bloggers list on Anh Hung's blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! We obviously cannot finish everything before launch. When the site is marked as "beta", that means it still has bugs and needs to be improved. Folks at 37signals advised "Launch it fast and fix later" (Getting real is a must-read book for start-ups, in case you haven't read it yet).

Pixished just closed its door in October because they didn't launch fast enough and they missed the chances to compete other major competitors in their category like 99Designs and crowdspring.

25 November, 2008 04:49  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home