When it comes to website launch, people are always in a hurry. While business owners and entrepreneurs can’t wait to get their shiny new website online, development teams just want to wrap it up and jump to the next project in queue. We completely understand the haste but there are some things that shouldn’t be ignored. Actually, there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be ignored.
We created this website launch checklist to help business owners, working professionals, and entrepreneurs come up with an amazing websites in the very first shot. Have a look at our super website launch checklist for 2017:
Website Launch Checklist – Website design Insights
A user friendly design promises visitor engagement and also improves performance on search engines. That’s why website design should be carefully planned and checked before making the website live. Here are best points to be kept in mind:
1. Invest in responsive website design and check to make sure it is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
2. Choose a color palette that is akin to your current brand identity. If you are building a brand identity from scratch, make sure the color palette does justice to your industry.
3. Make sure the website design is in modern in nature and doesn’t belong to the 90s.
4. Check alignment of visual elements and cheap for minute design flaws.
5. Refer the Initial Brief and Deliverables document to make sure that design is as per your initial guidelines.
6. If using sliders or carousel, make sure that the transition is smooth.
7. Make sure that hyperlinks and buttons change color on hover to show their active state.
8. Best designers keep user experience in mind while making websites. If you are having a hard time finding your way through the website, then, there is scope of improvement.
9. If going from hoverable dropdown navigation, make sure that the transition is smooth and usability is high.
10. Make sure you don’t go live with dummy email ID, phone number, and office address.
SEO points to check before Website launch
No matter how good the website design is, your website won’t stand a chance on Google if it is not optimized correctly. That’s why you must check off below points before launching your brand new website:
11. Every page should be optimized for unique set of keywords. This is part of every webmaster’s checklist sitting on first page of Google.
12. Meta title and descriptions should be within the permissible limit of Google guidelines.
13. Spelling and grammar in Meta data should be checked thoroughly for typos.
14. A dynamic XML should be created and submitted to the search engines. Don’t forget to add this in your website launch checklist.
15. Make sure that page URLs are optimized for most relevant keyword.
16. Ensure that local host pages are not indexed on Google. Some developers make the mistake of not blocking search engine indexing for local host.
17. Make sure that website is not blocked from Google indexing.
18. Web scripts including jQuery must be optimized for reducing loading time.
19. Without keyword optimized pages, it’s a sin to dream about ranking on Google. So, make sure your website pages are optimized.
20. Ensure the usage of tags like canonical and non-index at right places.
21. Plan rich snippet with utmost care.
Website Launch Checklist – Website functionality
While visual appeal and ranking matters, visitor experience also depends on website’s performance in terms of functionality. Here are technical things to check before launching or re-launching your website:
22. Check if data submitted from Contact or Inquiry form is being stored at a secure database.
23. Check if internal and external links are working correctly or not.
24. Ensure correct linking of social media buttons.
25. Website logo should always link to the homepage.
26. Check website speed and try to reduce the loading time as low as possible.
27. Errors like 404 should be properly checked and redirected. Don’t forget to add this to your website launch checklist.
28. Make sure auto responders for emails and messages are working.
29. Ensure that your contact form comes with validation and checks spamming.
30. If you have Google Map integration on website, make sure that your official Map listing is linked to it.
32. If you have a website blog, make sure it has social media links for quick sharing of every post.
33. Check conversion funnel carefully for major glitches.
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Website Launch Checklist – Content check
While the design impresses the visitor, content educates him about your business. That’s why you cannot afford to go wrong the textual and visual content. Here are some content related website launch points to check before launch:
34. Proofread the textual content to check for spellings & grammar. Language errors leave a really bad impression on website visitors.
35. Formatting of paragraphs, headings, and sentences should be done correctly. Reader should be able to tell headings and paragraphs apart.
36. Don’t be boring with your content tone. Be engaging, creative, and killing! Must-have for your website launch plan.
37. Make sure that the images are of high quality and don’t belong to the world of bad stock imagery.
38. After check the content formatting on desktop, check it on your smartphone as well.
39. Make sure all the images and copyrighted content must be licensed or cited. This will help dodge copyright lawsuits.
40. Double-check contact information like email and phone numbers for obvious reasons.
41. Make sure labelling on main navigation is traditional in nature. Meaning, don’t like Our Team as Squad just to seem fancy.
42. In case you didn’t write the content yourself, check it for duplicity. This is really important if you are getting the work done at really small cost.
43. Make sure that your content is in harmony with your audience’s taste. For instance, if yours is a real estate website, content has to be professional, not cocky.
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Website Launch Checklist – Website tracking
Analytics Integration helps website owners keep track of traffic, visitor behavior and builds ground for strategic changes. That’s why you need to keep these website launch checklist points in your mind before you get started :
44. Check whether Analytics code is added to your website or not.
45. Create goals and funnels to set your business targets.
46. Identify IP addresses which must be excluded from Analytics tracking.
47. Regularly check the speed and crawling errors on your site through Search Console.
48. For better data analysis and control, link Search Console to Analytics.
49. If you plan on using paid ads, link AdWords account to Analytics for better data analysis and insights.
50. Make sure Analytics script is running properly and regularly updating information.
51. Add Pixel Code to the website if Facebook Ads are on your mind.
Security & backup checks before website launch
Things go wrong all the time in digital world. Data loss and malware attacks are common occurrences. That’s why you got to prepare for them from the very beginning. Security should be a crucial part of your website launch checklist. Here are some security tips and backup hacks for website owners:
52. Take regular backups of your website. It will help you in case of data loss.
53. Use a strong admin password and share it with caution. Also, change it every month.
54. Keep your CMS software up to date to remain secure from vulnerabilities.
55. Be careful while uploading a file and never forget to scan before uploading. It may contain harmful viruses and malware.
56. Test your overall website security with website security tools like Netsparker. A must-have in your website launch checklist since cyber attacks are rife.
57. Invest in a good hosting service provider to check website downtime and enhance performance.
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Website launch checklist – Bonus pre & post-launch points
Your business or personal website has to be best out there. So, here are some more points to guarantee the best website performance before and after your site launch:
58. Hire a third party agency to make sure that your website is coming up the right way. This comes at a small spend and ensures that your website rocks.
59. Take control of hosting and domain if they are not currently with you. Of course you should change the passwords.
60. Before going live, test your website on local host DNS. This will give understanding of website health.
61. Update the record of DNS and IP address and always keep a record of it.
62. Submit a new site map in Search Console. Usually, webmasters forget this before launching a new brand/website.
63. Check your website for browser and device compatibility.
64. Share the website with your friends and family to gather their feedback.
65. Email your current customers about your brand new website. They obviously deserve to know about your newly launched website
66. Make it an inseparable part of your brand identity by getting it on business cards, pamphlets, and marketing material.
67. Hire an experienced marketing and branding agency (like us) to get your website on top pages of Google.
68. Make sure that the blog is updated frequently (at least once in a week or two) to engage your audience.
69. Keep making enhancements to the website by adding new pages to make it more authoritative.
70. Lastly, make sure that everything you mentioned in the initial brief and subsequent feedback was implemented.
Obviously above are not the only points to be kept in mind while launching your website. More complex the website, more cautious you ought to be before launching it on web. And in case branding is on your mind, here is our super list of 100 branding points.
Did we forget any important website pre-launch or post-launch website check point? Share it in the comments section and we will consider it for inclusion.
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