Web Design

4 wise ways to tell you’re ready to launch your new small business website

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Lyzi Unwin
Content Producer
Fervent blogger sharing signature Studio Cotton advice & small business stories
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Before we launch into this blog post, a disclaimer: if you’re reading this thinking, “uh oh, this blog post is aimed at me and I’m in trouble” – you’re so not. I am one of you. My new website is still not live, and that’s mainly down to me fretting over getting the words absolutely right before I sign it off.

If you’re DIYing your own small business website, making small tweaks, changing the layout and wording… If you never actually get around to putting it live because you’re not sure it’s quite ready… My dudes, let us help you.

Hands up if you’re one of the small business owners out there who is also a perfectionist… yeah, my hand is up too, I get it. It stops me from finishing most things, because I can’t deal with the fact that they’re not perfect.

But let me tell you why done is better than perfect.



There are discernible positives to getting your small business website live sooner, like search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits – having your website live for an extra month or having an extra seasonal blog post live can reward you for years down the line.

Here, I’m going to show you how and why, with 4 ways to tell that your shiny new website is ready to launch.


1. Your conversion point works

Your conversion point is where someone who’s browsing your website turns into a customer or client, so for ecommerce this would be the checkout, and for service based small businesses it would be a form or booking system.

Most of the time this isn’t something a small business owner needs to worry about, because the website platform you’re using –  whether it’s Squarespace, Shopify, WordPress, or WooCommerce – takes care of a lot of this for you.

You usually just need to make sure your checkout has a payment method and delivery options, your forms are sent to a real email, or you’ve hooked up your booking systems correctly.


2. You’ve addressed all of your website dealbreakers

Your dealbreakers for putting a website live will be things like removing placeholder text. In place of any words that you need to write on websites built by Studio Cotton, we use a tonne of lorem Ipsum (click this link if you feel like getting distracted/learning the super interesting origin story of this made up language) to fill out a page.

You probably don’t want gobbledegook all over your new website, so I imagine that this is a dealbreaker for all small business owners. Make sure you check through all of your website pages to replace this text with helpful and lovely words. I recommend getting a trusted friend or co-worker to check through as well, because it’s easy for only one set of eyes to miss something.

Psst… If you’re really struggling with the words and want to work with some very nice website content experts, head over to the Studio Cotton Content SEO packages to see if we can help, or take a look at our recommendations for copywriters.

You also probably won’t want to launch your new website before adding the products you wish to sell, or without legal pages. If you’re not sure where to start with your legal pages, a good place to start is by seeking legal advice or having a look at SEQ Legal. Big ol’ caveat though: we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice.



3. You can afford to launch your new website

We all know that small businesses don’t have a nice hefty budget to play with, so this is certainly something to consider. This point is mainly about making sure you’re not going to pay for two different systems, or an additional system that’ll be out of budget.

If you’ve had your website made by someone else, it’s worth taking into account that some professional designers won’t include changes made after go-live in their pricing – often any work you need after your website goes live involves booking in additional projects.

It’s best to check into retainers and updates beforehand, but if you’re already coming to the end of your project, make sure you factor in a bit of that budget for possible future tweaks. Not everyone builds all sorts of possibilities into a website from day one the way we do 😉


4. Your new website is as good as or better than your current website

To be totes transparent, we popped together this whole blog post so that we could write this down. We’ve met approximately 770,340 small business owners who aren’t launching a new website because it’s not perfect, even though perfect doesn’t exist.

As long as it’s at least as good as your current website (or, preferably, better than your current website) – great! Get it live. You can continue to edit content after your website goes live, so as long as the above points have all been seen to, it’s all gravy, baby.



I asked fellow copywriter Bonnie (who also sounds like a perfectionist) to tell us why she doesn’t feel ready to launch her new website yet.

There are a combination of issues blocking me from launching my website, and it’s extra frustrating because all the blocks are me!

Perhaps it’s because I’m a copywriter, but I’m massively overthinking my own copy. I’m finding myself writing a section, editing it, changing it, rewriting it, and then starting all over again. I’m getting super nerdy over word choice and punctuation, which is time consuming. There’s also a whisper of impostor syndrome which is holding me back.

The truth is, once it’s launched, I know I can edit it and tweak it as much as I need to. The first step is getting it “good enough” and then I can make any changes later.

You, I and Bonnie all need to remember that there’s no such thing as perfect website, especially if you’re doing it yourself. So get it as good as you can get it, and then let other people put their eyes on it.

Basically, the sooner your small business website is live, the sooner you can benefit from improved aesthetics, user experience and SEO, and hopefully you’ll make some lovely money from it too.

And also, a new website launch is yet another thing to stress about – small business owners have enough to think about without keeping it on your never-ending to do list for longer than is necessary. Pop it online and stop stressing, ya sausage.

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