The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist You Need Before It Goes Live
Let’s say that you have completed the essential and the most crucial steps of the whole web development process. Now, you are intrigued by the idea of your site going live. But, wait for a second, will it run successfully? This is not to scare you, but things could go wrong at the first instant of launch. However, relax as there is a way to make sure it doesn’t happen. This post is going to address the crucial areas that you need to make sure that they are in check for the launch to be successful.
Things to Consider Before Creating A Custom Checklist
We usually make checklists for everything, depending on several factors. For that reason, you will need to consider a few things before checking the items we are going to look into. Here are some of them;
What is the primary function of the website? This aspect is essential because it will help you note the functionality features required and how they perform when it goes live.
Hosting and site management services. Before checking whether your site works as expected, make sure you put the hosting provider into consideration. This will come in handy when measuring the content rendering speed and site load time.
The website access points. The internet indexes sites differently depending on the geographical locations of users, thereby differentiating the sites’ response when accessed.
When these three items are mapped out, you will be able to customize the details you need to look out for before launching the website.
Moving on, let’s now highlight what we need to before setting the site up and running.
1. Did The Final Product Meet Your Expectations – Design?
I know this sounds like the general purpose of a checklist, but when you think about it, it’s not. The web design process is meant to make your dream a reality. But, sometimes, this may not be the case when you compare the final product and what you had envisioned. This observation might be due to such factors as failure to pay attention to details, unqualified personnel, and lack of time.
Still, there is a way around that. Whether you did the web design yourself or hired a designer, you should be able to revise your draft as many times as you need until you are satisfied with the final product.
Before launching the site, you will need to make sure that the UX and UI design are perfect, the CSS fields are mapped appropriately, and the different pages are loading correctly. These are the aspects of the web design of your website.
2. Is the Website Visible and Indexed for Search Engines – SEO?
We both know how awful it feels to search for something online and to end up not finding it. That instance happens due to several things, and one of them is a lack of Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Your website needs to have the following elements of optimization so that your targeted audience will have ease when looking for it.
See, your websites’ function is a crucial area of concern to mark when creating it. For instance, if the site is going to address the issue of cryptocurrency, you will have to ensure it has content that relates to cryptocurrency. Here is where keywords come in.
Make sure that the content on the website addresses your message directly. Also, search engines provide results to browsers according to how well they relate to the search query.
Here, a new website might have few backlinks, if any. These links to external content are a superb way to increase visibility and SEO of your website. Therefore, if you need more command on the internet, check for relevant links, mostly from authority websites, and link your content back to them.
Your new website might be a rebranded version of a pre-existing website. In that case, you need to make sure that both website URLs link to the new website. By so doing, your site will be appearing in search results regardless of the query or domain search.
3. Is the Website Compatible with Multiple Browsers?
Browser compatibility of websites is another issue that most sites owners overlook when launching them. You don’t have to be like them. Therefore, you need to make sure that the website runs seamlessly on at least the major browsers. This aspect is important because internet users have their prevalence of the browsers they use.
There are numerous ways to check for compatibility, for example using this Browser Shots tool that lets you type in your domain name in a search bar, then it automatically checks for compatibility.
Alternatively, you can go manual and search for your website with a couple of browsers to make sure it renders without errors. Doing so will make the web user experience smooth and thus building the sites’ reputation and credibility.
4. Does the Website Have Content?
We have agreed that content is king, right? From images to texts, anything of that nature falls under content. And you might be wondering, why is content a vital element of your website? As we said earlier, search engines are quite sensitive to information, and for good reasons.
When your site goes live, it will have to compete with the existing ones for it to stand out, and the content will be its reference point. Besides, people visiting your website will need to find whatever they are looking for, or else they will leave for good.
Before launching your website, you need to make sure that the individual web pages are packed with relevant information that might be of help to the reader.
Moreover, your website should have at least an ‘about us’ page that communicates all that your site or you are up to, a blog page that provides resourceful articles revolving around your industry or niche, and the home page that headlines the sites’ function.
5. How Would Rate the Websites’ Load Time and Speed?
Did you know that close to 50% of web users admitted that they expected a website to load in at most a second or two? Plus, up to 40% of them said that they leave it if it doesn’t load within that time. This is according to a statistic provided by Kissmetrics.
You are probably wondering why. And the answer is obvious; time is a scarce commodity.
Having a sluggish website is like being a slow speaker. You might have a lot to say, but you never will get time to say it. However, it is often not your fault, and it can be amended.
The website load time is dependent on several factors. One is the number and size of the files in it. Huge and numerous files tend to make the site take longer to load since they increase the HTTP requests a browser needs to retrieve them. Although this issue can be solved by minimizing these requests by using fewer and lower resolution files.
6. Is the Website Secure?
In the recent past, cases of cyberbullying have been on the rise. Such issues have raised a lot of concerns from the public on whether the online space is safe anymore. Therefore, to address the issue, governments and selected regulatory bodies took it upon themselves to make it safer.
A safe website is defined by the availability of features such as SSL certifications, privacy policies, and trust badges. All these elements your web visitor that they are in good company when using your website.
Furthermore, you, as the web owner, need to ensure the security of your site’s data. This means that hosting your content and files with trusted hosting companies, having a back-up system, and assigning sites roles to people appropriately.
Launching a secure website is thus a checklist item you cannot afford to skip during the countdown to launch.
As a side note, the above phrase, countdown to launch, is also an aspect you might want to consider. This countdown can serve as a ‘double-check period’ where you make sure that all these checklist items are taken care of.
If I were to summarize this checklist, I would say that the perfect website does not exist yet, which means that it’s normal if your site still has bugs that render 404 errors and so on. Partly because technology is fast-changing, and, it’s still an area of research. But, minimizing the occurrence of these errors by following these easy steps will put your website milestones ahead of others.