Imagine sitting in mission control as a rocket is launched into space. The countdown initiates. “10, 9, 8…” The boosters engage. The astronaut comes over the com to confirm final checks. “7, 6, 5…” Everything is a green light. The launch crew sits on the edge of their seats. “4, 3, 2…” The moment is finally upon us, and then… quitting time. Just as the rocket is about to launch, everyone gets up from their desks and heads home for the weekend.

Sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it? Why would anyone do something so reckless? Doesn’t it make more sense to give launch the time and attention it deserves? After all, if everyone walks away right before lift off, they may miss a critical moment that could make or break the whole operation.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what happens when you try to launch a website on a Friday afternoon. You initiate the countdown and walk away, naively trusting that everything will go smoothly. No verification of success. No post-launch QA. You just push the button and go home for the weekend.

You’d think this would be common sense. You’d think any good web development company would know better than to do it like this. Regrettably, you’d be wrong. This has happened at every web shop I’ve worked in, not just once, but often. Clients have been allowed to say the word “Go” at the worst possible moments, thinking it’s as simple as pushing a button and letting everything magically work out.

The thing is, clients don’t know any better. They don’t do this for a living. It’s the job of their web development team to explain that launching a website is a non-trivial process that takes time and attention, that launching without a human being present to fix things when they inevitably go wrong means they’re stuck with a broken website all weekend, that unexpected glitches must be factored in, and that it’s a bad idea for their company and their brand to do otherwise. Anything less is reckless.

The alternative, of course, is a broken website that languishes for days while clients gnash their teeth, pull their hair out, and make angry phone calls at 3:00am because their brand new website isn’t working right. This hurts not only the client’s business, but the web shop’s business, too.

So the next time you’re working with a client who insists on launching late on Friday (or you happen to be that client), do everyone a favor. Stop, breathe, and ask if it can wait until Monday. 99% of the time, it can, and as I’ve said, it really, really should, for everyone’s sake.

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