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Every website your organization puts up is going to reach a moment when it is obsolete, out of date or buggy.

How will you know?

And what will you do about it?

Big organizations have this problem every day. When building a website, the hierarchy pays attention. There are meetings and approvals, and it all fits together in the current strategy.

But a year or a decade later, those folks have moved on, but the website remains. And it’s unlikely that there’s someone checking it for bad behavior.

So there’s the Fedex database that sends customers to a drop box that doesn’t accept packages any longer. Or the part of the Brother website that requires users to change their password every single time they visit. I’m sure I have pages out there on the web that are out of date or buggy as well. It’s inevitable.

Here are two simple questions that ought to be part of any online launch:

  1. Where can our users report defects on this page?
    If you include a link to a human or perhaps a monitored feedback form, it’s a lot more likely you’ll hear about the things that aren’t working in time to actually fix them before you take a loss.
  2. What’s our plan for sunsetting this site?
    If they close down Vine or our strategy changes or we need to take action, who is responsible? 

Stick around long enough and it’s going to break. We come out ahead when we treat that event¬†like part of our job, not a random emergency.

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And when it breaks?