The best way to launch a web site

Ian Lurie

is to:

  1. Choose a dictator. Committees design camels and K-cars, not success.
  2. Meet. Talk about features. Sketch out the plan, in rough terms.
  3. Stop talking and start coding.
  4. Build what’s necessary, and no more.
  5. Design what’s necessary, and no more.
  6. Code for speed, simplicity, and graceful degradation or progressive enhancement.
  7. Write great stuff. A beautiful design won’t save you. If you sound like a moron, a great head of hair won’t get you far.
  8. Put that stuff on the site (see #2).
  9. Slap anyone who says a feature has to be on the site because “it’s part of the brand”.
  10. Look at every graphic, page and feature and ask “What is this for?” If you can’t answer in 15 seconds or less, remove it.
  11. Keep. The. Team. Together. For the whole project. Please. Otherwise, just shoot me in the groin and be done with it.
  12. Stop coding.
  13. Test it. If it works, launch it.
  14. Look and listen: See what your visitors think of your site by watching analytics, and by asking them.
  15. Go back to #1. Repeat.

Recent posts and a few plugs

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1.’s funny that you wrote this because step 14 is just something that i implemented yesterday.
    i kept looking at my sites and i noticed that one page was getting look at alot longer than the other pages.
    so i made a survey and asked them why.
    comes to find out that the page that had a video on it actually made my stick rate much higher..
    awesome post thank you.

  2. Nice sentiments and I agree with the simplicity of the ‘ship it’ concept. Seth Godin would be proud too, and consider the ‘ship it journals’ that he publishes for even more ideas and and approaches for creating a ‘ship it’ culture. I think of it as turning a small ship frequently with short turns by getting immediate and frequent feedback vs turning a big ship, getting after-the-fact feedback only after long-ass, wide-berthed turns. Cool beans, Ian. See ya for lunch.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. Oftentimes I find that clients are looking for their website to magically create their business identity for them, instead of it being a way to drive conversions. Even beautiful websites need to have the emotion taken out of the process so that no one is living and dying by each work or CSS change. I try to remind clients that a pretty good website that’s being marketed is making them more money than a gorgeous one that’s in the pipeline for 10 months.

  4. I like step 13, because if you wait for perfection there will be no website at the end (and no end too). Working site is a starting point for improvements and tweaking conversions. Gorgeous sites usually don’t sell well, because people prefer simplicity when they spend money.

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