Good news! I’m going to make this short and sweet.
Think of your website as if it’s your body. That big redesign project was you getting in shape. You quit smoking. You went to the gym. You got ripped. You started eating kale. You bought new clothes. Your friends complimented you. You felt good. Things that used to be hard to do became easier.
That was progress. Progress is change. It comes with much glory and celebration.
But after progress comes maintenance. You might argue that maintenance is like progress, but measured in smaller, more subtle increments. And sure, I might grant you that. But for the sake of making a simple point, I’m going to say that maintenance is the opposite of progress. It’s preventing change from happening; or, at the least, the sort of change that is undesired. It keeps entropy at bay. It preserves the status quo. It’s expected. It gets no glory and no celebration.
If the website you just launched is your newly toned body, the web it lives in is the world of earthly delights. The world of things you want, that even your willpower isn’t strong enough to resist. It’s the couch that beckons to you after a long, hard day. The bag of chips. The beer. Your dinner pre-game. Movie theatre popcorn. With butter. Binge-watching House of Cards. Being alive in the world presents plenty of opportunities to cut living short. And let’s be honest. You’re not going to resist them all.
While you struggled to maintain — just to maintain — your new body, you realized a couple of things. First, it stopped feeling new. The compliments stopped. Your metabolism settled down. Maintenance got harder. You noticed every pound, plus or minus. Meanwhile, the people you work with and depend on? Well, in this analogy, they are the browsers and devices that are used to pull up your website. That’s the second realization. You got in shape and it was grand and you were ahead of the game. But then the people around you got in shape, too. They discovered yoga. Pilates. Rock climbing. Spinning. You saw them trotting down the street in their tight, space-station chic Nike flyknit and Lululemon and realized how amazing they looked. And then you looked down at your worn-out, old Gold’s Gym t-shirt and sweat pants and the few extra pounds that lay beneath that maybe nobody else saw but you did and realized that their progress made your maintenance harder and maybe it was time to rethink your entire regimen and make progress happen again.
And you were right.
It’s a cycle. You do the progress work. Then you do the maintenance work. Both are necessary. Neither is forever. Get used to it.