Washington Mutual: How NOT to Launch a Web Site
Ian Lurie Aug 3 2006
Kudos to WaMu for demonstrating, graphically, how not to launch new features on a web site. A story on CNET points out that their online bill payment and banking system has been down since last Saturday.
In the mean time, they apparently didn’t really admit to anyone that there was a problem.
And Gary Kishner’s excuse doesn’t wash, either.
Here’s what happened:
1. WaMu launches new features on site.
2. Site fails.
3. WaMu tells customers it’s ‘routine maintenance’ (!!!).
4. Almost a week later, they admit it’s not routine maintenance.
Here’s how launching new features on a web site should work:
1. Test what you did.
2. Launch it.
3. If it fails, roll back to the old version.
My company is hardly perfect. We’ve had some real forehead-slappers. But leave an entire chunk of a site totally nonfunctional? For days?
A good quality assurance regime is critical to internet marketing.
When things go wrong, be honest with customers.
Always have a backup plan.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More