Don't Break in on Friday

Don’t Break it on Friday

My motto for the past 10 + years has been “don’t break in on Friday”. I have seen too many cases where launching a website at the end of the week , ends up being a problem over the weekend. Most organizations / agencies will not have the available resources to deal with issues that popup over the weekend.

If you examine the software release dates for the major tech companies, they seem to agree with me. Over the past few years, most of the major software release dates are scheduled from Monday to Thursday.

Version History
Android Version History
Microsoft Version History
WordPress Version History

Setting Up an Incubation Period

A website is in development or has major edits ongoing; it is important to have a 1-3 day “incubation period” from the last round of edits to going live. This will ensure there is a sufficient amount of time to do a full quality scan. A bigger website may need a longer period of time. A smaller / informational site may only require a single day. The need for an “incubation period” should be defined at the beginning of the project.

Caching Issues

One of the major reason going live at the end of the week can lead to disaster is caching issues. I had a website I went live with a few weeks ago that tested perfect for myself and the project manager, only to render poorly on mobile over the weekend. After investigation it was determined that the “marketing department” added a popup plugin that caused the CSS to break on mobile.

DNS Transfers

If going live with a website involves a DNS transfer , it is better to set off the “cut off time” earlier. I have seen cases where it has taken a full day for the domain to propagate. The time is takes the DNS to resolve can push into the weekend. This would not allow for any finalizations. I normally set to cut off time for a DNS transfer at / before 10am EST on Thursday.

Summary

Going live / major edits on a website is a bad idea. Even the larger tech companies with unlimited resources tend to set major events from Monday to Thursday. Smaller / agencies organizations will generally not have available resources to deal with issues the come up over the weekend. These expectation should be setup up front with your client. If you have questions / comments feel free to contact me.

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