The Web Project Guide Podcast: Episode 23: Plan for Post-Launch Operations (w/ Meghan Casey)

It’s The Web Project Guide Podcast, and we made you a new episode.

I recently used a weird metaphor when talking about the web process: a site launch is, essentially, a kind of birth. A lot of work and planning and personal maintenance go into making sure birth is a smooth process, that everyone is safe and healthy and ready to thrive. But you don’t stop there. You don’t have a kid and then say, “Cool, everything’s great!” and move on.

Instead, the bulk of the work is in the ongoing “maintenance” of that kid. The raising, the teaching, and the safety of that kid. Birth was a starting point, just like a web launch.

The metaphor falls apart after a while — websites eventually need to be rebuilt and redesigned, and you can’t really do that to a kid — but the sentiment is there: you can’t just set and forget a kid, just like you can’t set and forget a website.

This month, we chatted with our friend Meghan Casey about content and web governance, specifically about how launch isn’t a freezing point for content — on the contrary, it’s the starting point.

From our interview:


How do we reorient our clients towards what I would call incrementalism? We’re so obsessed with launch, but we’re also obsessed with Big Bang cycles. Launch, do nothing for three years, and then redesign the entire website.

I always thought the greatest web operations strategy would be one that maintained and did routine maintenance so you didn’t have to fight these fires all the time, and I don’t know how to get clients to totally understand that.


I think a lot of it is just doing it with them.

If you can get through at least one round of “we’re going to take a look at the content quarterly” and “we’re going to figure out what might need to change” from different types of content. Having some proofs of concept.

Again, I don’t always get the budget to do this kind of thing, but I think a lot of it is just doing it and then seeing how it works, and seeing how it actually makes life easier. Like, “Oh, what if we did look at this every year, instead of every five years being like, ‘Oh, shit, look at all of this content that nobody cares about.'”

I think it’s a lot about showing the effects of it. I think money talks — time talks — so if we can really demonstrate the effects … I don’t have all the solutions, but I think a lot of it is demonstration versus just saying, “This is important.”

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