Roll Out Schedule: Single Launch or Phased Releases
Our site update is getting closer to completion and you may have noticed in the last several posts that we’ve released updates in phases. Four to be exact: blog update, website update, content revision, and SEO element revision. Hopefully those last two were less obvious or invisible to our visitors but this phased rollout raises the question, why not get all the updates set up and then do a single launch? Neither a single launch nor a phased rollout is appropriate for all situations but each offer unique advantages that trainers, consultants, and professional coaches should consider when rolling out an update.
- Phased Release
Phased releases have the advantage of evaluating elements of your update without the whole project going live. It’s an important aspect of the AGILE process and allows for intermittent testing and analysis. It also allows for individual elements to launch faster rather than waiting for the whole update to be go-live ready.
- Single Launch
Launching an update all at one time is a more traditional method but still offers advantages. Cohesion is the biggest benefit. For example, if you are updating a layout for an email campaign, it’s best to have the design fully fleshed out rather than launching with a half-developed concept. A single launch can also be used as a promotional tool if the update is significant enough that it might draw attention from your audience.
In our case, launching the blog update gave a badly needed refresh to our posts while allowing us to test the template before deploying it to the rest of the site. While the interim period lacked cohesion between the site and the blog, we were sure to have a post explaining the process. Once the template was deployed site wide, it was an obvious choice to make content and SEO element updates live as they were ready because they were unlikely to be visible to our visitors.
Phased launches are often most beneficial due to their expedited go-live process and ability to test the results. However, a solid production schedule must be defined and followed. If your digital marketing often gets postponed or you’ve struggled to adhere to deadlines, then a single launch might be a better fit. A perpetual “under construction” notice or half-baked appearance gives your audience the impression that your marketing, and therefore your product or service, is not your primary focus. A phased rollout that gets stuck mid-change causes confusion, often looks unprofessional, and might negatively impact your processes.
If you can logically break up your project into multiple releases, do a phased launch. If you can’t see any natural breaks or are uncertain of your ability to consistently move through those releases, do a single launch.