10 ways that Starting a website is like planning a wedding

I am getting married this year and among the things I’ve noticed is how many parallels there are between the process of arranging a wedding and arranging a web site launch as I’ve just relaunched my own site.

Exactly like a wedding, it doesn’t matter whether it is your first, second or third (website launch), it is still stressful, and if you’ve ever taken the plunge before, the lessons you’ve learnt the first time around might not automatically protect you from making new mistakes this time!

1. Hosting

You must host your reception somewhere just as you must host your website. What type of help will they give you if there is a disaster? Do you receive a dedicated account manager/function planner? Is there a package you may upgrade to if guests (in this case, clients ) grow? Do you want the extras or in-house providers?

2. Decoration

How will it look? Will it have all the bells and whistles or are you planning a no-frills event? Is it a DIY job or are you calling in the pros? Can it be themed? What colors are you going to use? Flash now appears as laborious and old-fashioned as an ice swan carving!

3. Entertainment

What have you got that can keep people there, enjoying themselves? Can it be a one time extravaganza or are you going to plan a lot of smaller lead-up celebration occasions? What surprises will have them oohing-and-aahing? What have you got they could share on social networking?

4. Invitations

Although most people footing the bill for a wedding will probably be happy if they had more invitations dropped to reduce costs, the opposite is true of a site launch. But, both a wedding and a site launch ask that you obtain and maintain spotless records of their guests’ contact information and preferences or you can’t invite them to participate.

5. Low-key and romantic or a splashy affair?

Is your wedding for a select few, celebrated without a lot of fanfare (ie a soft start ) or are you going to employ publicity pros and paparazzi to sell your photographs into the magazines? How many people do you wish to know about your site launch? What if you are left at the altar (ie something fails to materialise)? Can you manage the scandal?

6. Our story

I’m confident that you’ve been to weddings where, encouraged as a plus-one, you’re still no closer to knowing the background and history of the wedding couple. Other weddings have almost excruciatingly private accounts full of embarrassing and teen candid photos. How much information will you share from the About Us page? A bland, generic narrative that leaves the client no longer involved or a fairly comprehensive account that makes it possible to understand the people concerned?

7. Guest list

When you are young and inexperienced, your wedding — and website — may be appreciated by many men and women that you may no longer see. For weddings and site launches planned once you are a bit more seasoned, you might decide that quality always trumps quantity. And if you are paying for it yourself (as my fiance and I are, rather than my parents footing the bill), I would rather have real lovers and advocates, than those that are merely warming the chairs but who provide nothing. Can it be invitation-only (ie Rue La La and Gilt) or open-house?

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8. The wishlist

Many couples getting married produce a wedding gift registry of what they would most like to get. Because you put a whole lot of effort into working out your fantasies, it can be disappointing to not receive them. In precisely the exact same way, you might get some, but not all your website launch preferences before the big day. And usually, some of the most expensive ones are the ones you’ll need to save up foryourself.

9. Thank yous

Just as you need to when you get wedding gifts, online retailers will need to show good manners and invite clients immediately for their purchases. A handwritten note is always a unique touch.

10. Plan for contingencies

It may rain, the celebrant may get waylaid in visitors, or the dress is destroyed on the day. But disaster can hit new sites too. Strategy for alternative shipping suppliers, product failures, out-of-stock scenarios, inadequate staffing levels, power outages, unhappy clients or negative social networking feedback. Keep smiling and plough on.