For the 19-year anniversary (birthday?) of FireSpike, we decided to do a complete overhaul of our website. Admittedly our company website has always suffered from “Cobbler’s Kids” syndrome. (The saying is “The Cobbler’s Kids Have No Shoes”—meaning we often ignore doing what we do in terms of our own internal needs, and instead we focus on providing our services for our customers.)

So: new website time! And, of course, the usual way to launch a website update is to make all the design and content changes at one time, in one big fell swoop, and launch the new site in its entirety.

Well, with everything going on in the world right now, I found myself being distracted and procrastinating with more than my usual (usually very high) capacity to do so. Every time I imagined working on “the new site”—in addition to keeping up with regular work, life, a big home improvement project still in progress, and… you know… just the whole world right now—I felt dread and overwhelm. Even when I was thinking about doing small parts to add to the project—I’ll just write new text for one page today!—the whole project felt like so much to take on.

So I changed my tactics.

The first thing I did to reduce my own amount of overwhelm was to decide NOT to do the visual design aspect myself. While I have been designing websites for about 23 years now, I also know a number of excellent designers to call on. So I turned to long-time collaborator and client, Netta Radice of Netta Radice Design, and I asked her to come up with a new look for our site. She did, and I love it.

The second thing I did—after realizing that filling my mind with a big project right now was filling my brain past capacity—was to decide that we could change the site over time, rather than redoing the entire thing at once and having to have everything ready at once for a new “launch date”.

It occurred to me as I was painting the third coat of Behr Premium Plus “Taupewood” paint onto our newly textured, previously non-existent bedroom wall: our home improvement project wasn’t happening by us replacing the entire house at once, but one room at a time. While we’re working on what will be our new master bedroom, we are staying in the room that will be Brian’s office. Previously, while we were working on that room, we stayed in the “old” master bedroom. And so forth.

So why not take the same approach on the website? Websites are not like a printed piece. They are living, changing things. You can add or remove pages or articles at any time. You can change some text here or a photo there, and the site suffers no down time.

If you would like to overhaul your site, but want to spread out the cost, the effort, or both, give us a call. We can figure out a plan for doing incremental “renovations” that will make the whole process less overwhelming and scary.

(And check out our website renovation, currently in progress!)