Launching a website, especially when it’s replacing an old one, can be a challenging endeavor.
When I first started my agency, this was the most stressful day on the job. Editing DNS records, changing domains, installing SSL certificates — there are dozens of points of failure.
Inevitably, after it’s finally live, you realize something that’s been overlooked. Usually it's the most obvious things that you're not sure how you missed!
One of the first steps I took to solve this problem was scheduling the launch day in advance, and having a repeatable process in place to make sure everything was ready to go.
But no plan is foolproof, the best you can do is analyze all the possible options and make the best decision based on the information you have. A recent poll gave us a large amount of data to go on — enough that I think we can put this issue to rest...
What is the best day of the week to launch a website? According to the web development community, it’s Tuesday. Launching a website on Tuesday gives you both the energy of the beginning of the week, while still affording you several weekdays to iron out any issues or bugs.
Tuesday was the obvious favorite, gathering more votes than Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday combined!
|All Other Days Combined||24%|
This data did get somewhat distorted by allowing other options (besides the 7 days of the week) in the possible responses. For the sake of this experiment, I only took the data from the selections from the 7 days of the week.
With Tuesday taking such a commanding lead, I figured there has to be some truth (and reasonable explanation) behind it.
Before we dive into possible reasons why Tuesday is the favorite among web professionals, let’s take a look at why other days just aren’t ideal.
Friday's have become known as the worst day to launch a website. In fact, one of the poll options was "any day but Friday", which garnered plenty of votes itself.
Most web agencies take the weekend off, and with the amount of uncertainty that surrounds every website launch, publishing your website on Friday is just asking for trouble.
Even if things look fine right after the launch, it's almost inevitable that someone's going to find an issue; whether that's you, your customer, or their visitors.
If there's a major issue, you can have your weekend easily disrupted by bug fixes and changes. Customers aren't going to care that you don't work the weekend if the mutli-thousand dollar project they just paid you for "doesn't work".
Not only can this ruin your plans for the weekend, you risk damaging your relationship with your client.
Since we know we want the weekend off, we can set Saturday and Sunday aside as well.
Even though Monday came in second place (likely due to the long buffer before the next weekend), Monday’s tend to be stressful.
You’re out of the routine of work, having just spent 2 days off thinking about anything except websites. Hitting the ground Monday morning taking on such a big task might not be the right move to start your week on the right foot.
You’re almost always welcomed to Monday morning by a pile of emails, voicemails and requests that came in while you were away. Planning a launch on Monday morning means delaying your responses even further, or getting a late start because you’re putting out fires.
Since launching a website can be both a mentally taxing and time consuming task, Monday might not afford you the brainpower or schedule that makes it the perfect candidate.
You should also keep in mind that Monday is also the day people are most likely to call out sick. If your launch depends on multiple parties all having to share the load, missing one of the key players can make launch day a lot more difficult.
Unlike the start of the week, by the time Wednesday rolls around, you start dreaming of the upcoming weekend again. This mid-week slump can lower your motivation, which makes you more prone to mistakes.
As you get further away from your last weekend off, your energy levels continue to dissipate. While you might come into the week on Monday full of energy and excitement for the week ahead, by Wednesday you’ve started to deplete much of that energy.
You should also consider your ever-growing to-do list, which tends to get longer and longer as the week goes on. By mid-week you’re list is usually as full as it’s going to get, before you plow through things to get them off your plate on Friday.
Launching on Wednesday or Thursday means you're trying to launch on days when you have the most other work to get to.
Tuesday seems to be the perfect candidate to avoid the stress of coming back to work for the week, while avoiding the low energy levels that plague the end of the week.
There are three reasons I found that make Tuesday such a great candidate...
Unlike a Friday launch, Tuesday gives you plenty of buffer between your launch and the upcoming weekend.
If you launch on a Tuesday and you’re still working out major bugs 3 or 4 days later, then something has likely gone terribly wrong.
In most cases you’ll have the website launched and major bugs ironed out with plenty of the week left to focus on other tasks.
Studies have shown that Tuesday tends to be the Monday-Friday worker’s most productive day of the week.
After getting back into the groove of work on Monday, by Tuesday you’ve put the past weekend behind you, and made it through the chaos of the first day back to work.
There’s still plenty of gas in your tank, which means you have both the energy and motivation to start the week off right by being focused and motivated to succeed.
As your week goes on, your to-do list tends to grow. One of the reasons why Wednesday and Thursday weren’t favored is because by mid-week you usually have the most demands on your time.
But Tuesday is early enough in the week that you’re less likely to be already behind.
With the chaos of Monday behind you, and most of the week still left to get to everything on your to-do list, Tuesday is the ideal day to fit in a time-intensive task like a website launch.
Chances are the stars won’t align perfectly for you to make every launch day on a Tuesday — and, of course, it can be done any time.
One respondent reminded me that it's worth taking into consideration your specific website's needs and audience
It depends on the website. If it's a brand new site then any day, any time, because it's not like there's any existing traffic anyway. For a re-design and transfer of domain, I do that at night on a Friday, especially my heavy e-comm sites that get a decent amount of traffic. Generally Friday is their lowest traffic day so that's the day I do it on. 🤷♂️
Google Analytics can be helpful in telling you what days (and times!) your website is busiest, and avoiding peak hours will help minimize the disruption a launch can cause. Before making a blanket decision, it's worth considering each website on a case-by-case basis.
Before I analyzed the results of this poll and wrote this article, I hadn't really considered what day would be best — other than knowing I didn't want to launch on Friday.
Just because Tuesday has a lot going for it doesn't mean you necessarily have to launch on Tuesday — but it's worth taking into consideration why so many developers prefer it. A good argument can be made for Tuesday being the ultimate day of the week to launch a website.
Personally, I'll take all the luck I can get!
And while both opinions and circumstances will differ, but there was one commenter who reminded us of the most important consideration:
Not before pay day.
No matter which day of the week you decide is best for you — there's one thing that will help your website launches succeed: preparation.
It's easy to forget the open graph / social share image, or to turn off the no-index (we've all been there).
A website launch checklist can help you avoid these mistakes, save time by doing things the the most effecient order, and give your customers confidence that you know exactly what you are doing (if you have a process, you're going to seem much more prepared).
One of my products, Docket WP, was made specifically to help you do this inside WordPress.
With a subscription, you can create, edit, and manage all of your processes and access them without ever having to leave the WordPress dashboard.
If you don't have processes yet, Docket WP comes with plenty of process templates to get you started.
You're welcome to try it out today with a 7-day free trial and access to our WordPress Website Launch Checklist and see if it will help you save time, make fewer mistakes, and increase your productivity.