I’ll let you in on a secret: No website launches perfect. That doesn’t mean it launches broken, but rather, until real visitors are introduced, you don’t know all the ways they will use the site.

That’s okay. You can perform Judo on this inevitability — turning a weakness into a strength – by taking a cue from software engineers.

Embrace imperfection

One of the hard problems of practical software engineering is optimization. If you spend your time trying optimize and perfect every part of the system, you end up spending much of your energy — or worse, your limited time — on a lot of things that turn out not to be very important.

It gets worse: Even if you try, until you’ve actually built and run your system in the wild, you can’t correctly identify the bottlenecks.

Good software engineers are pragmatic: First, make the system function. Then use it and observe it. Soon enough you’ll find the rough edges and sand them down.

Then polish to a shine

You do some of this before “launching” the WordPress website; that’s part of quality assurance. But you also keep at it when it’s live. Keep notes on issues you find, little or big; look at your analytics and gather data about what your visitors are doing.

As both you and your visitors use the site, you’ll start to find things. Maybe an introduction could be written more clearly and work a little better. Maybe a call-to-action button could be renamed to make it more attractive. Or a poorly performing sign-up form can be shortened by a few fields. Or the spacing between paragraphs might be tweaked. You might even discover that nobody bothers to click the button on your homepage hero — that’s fine, just do something about it!

Some of the most successful WordPress websites are great not because they launched already perfect, but because the client took the time and energy to keep working on the site, month after month and year after year.