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Are You Paralyzed by Website Feature-itis?

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I’ve seen feature-itis strike, and sometimes paralyze, new website owners. With no good reason, their websites take over a year to go live.

How do you know if you’re suffering from feature-itis? Here are 4 symptoms:

1. You hear about the latest, cool website feature and you must investigate it before moving any further with your website development.

2. Every feature on your competitors’ websites must be on yours too, only better.

3. You spend more time investigating new things to do with your web site than you actually spend doing anything to actually get your site up and running.

4. You’ve spent (and are still spending!) a lot of money on cool applications for your website but your website still isn’t even close to going live on the Internet.

Is There A Cure?

First of all, I think certain personality types are just prone to feature-itis and can never be completely cured. But, rejoice! Relief and and a live website can be had. Understand that:

Feature-itis is usually just rank procrastination dressed up in business attire

What are you avoiding? What are your fears associated with having your website up and running? Does the whole thing just seem overwhelming? Break up the website launch into doable phases and challenge yourself to stick to the timeline without introducing anything new into the plan.

Web site features alone will not increase your sales

You’ll need good content, good people and good practices on the other side of those features. And you won’t have time to develop those things if you’re always off to the next feature. I’ve seen many nice, expensive web applications go virtually unused because the company doesn’t have a good process in place for supporting the applications. This applies to search engines, content management systems, e-learning applications, you name it.

All that glitters isn’t necessarily cha-ching

Your competitor’s site may look slick to you but you don’t really know how well the website is perfoming compared to the time and money they’ve put into it. How satisfied are their customers with their service? How’s their repeat business?

So put away your checkbook and step away from that issue of Cool Website Apps. Every day you’re offline is another day your online competitors, even the ones with the dullest of sites, could be picking up your business.

Keita Del Valle is the owner of Crafty Pixel, a Corona website design company which operates from Southern California’s Inland Empire. Her site is updated weekly with small business website news, tips, articles and opinions, including her Hollaback blog.

Are You Paralyzed by Website Feature-itis?
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