If you are a seasoned web developer ready to launch a new website, or a small business owner creating a free website, you’ll want to make sure that your site is 100% ready before you push it live.
Many people are excited to get their website out into the public as soon as possible – all those man-hours spent in getting it picture perfect have finally paid off and the final product is ready to be showcased on the World Wide Web! Before you launch that beautiful website, however, it is still worthwhile to wait that extra day or so to make sure it’s truly ready.
So we’re shedding a little light on the ‘why and how of launching a new website’ with some tips, tricks, and checklists that our team finds valuable when going through this process.
The Why – Creating a ‘Pre-Launch Website Checklist’ is a great way to ensure that all aspects of your website and branding are set up for success.
Here at Organik SEO, we include time in our schedule to go through a list before each and every website we launch.
1. Design & Branding
2. Functionality & User Experience
3. Browser & Mobile Device Compatibility
4. On-page SEO
Design & Branding: Does your website match your business’ brand?
It’s surprising how many times the logo, color scheme and font styles are overlooked. Make sure to utilize a brand and style guide to make sure all of these elements are consistent on your website prior to launch. It’s also a good idea to make sure the messaging speaks the voice you want your audience to hear, and makes sense for your product or service industry. Make sure visitors to your site have a clear picture of who you are as a brand, and what it is that you are offering.
Functionality & User Experience: Does your website work?
This is HUGE as you could lose potential customers if you don’t have a website they can use. Things as simple as setting up the contact form to send to the correct email account or adding your social media links are two great examples of the little things that can easily go unnoticed. Another little tip: Make it simple for visitors to find a way to contact you without having to dig for it. A web developer can help you with the placement of this information to make sure it’s easy for users to contact you.
Browser & Mobile Device Compatibility: Does your website work on every device and every web browser?
Sure, you may use Google Chrome, but what about your audience? Websites do not display the same for everyone! The screen resolutions and the browser settings vary across the different providers. Web development and design goes beyond the aesthetics, an imperative part of the process is to make sure websites are viewable on all devices – on all browsers, desktops, Macs, PCs, smartphones and tablets.
On-Page SEO: Is your website prepared to rank in Google searches?
Perhaps initially, but it still needs your help. Your site will have a better chance of ranking if you make sure that search engines can index it properly so that your customers can find you in an online search. That’s the whole point right?! For your customers to search your product or service, find you at the top of Google, and ultimately call you! On-page SEO is your on-site search engine optimization. It’s the set up of your site’s meta tags and descriptions for each page so that search engines know what your website is all about, instead of trying to guess. This blog article provides more information about On-Page SEO: “Elements of On-Page Website Optimization”.
The How – Below is a brief checklist to help get your site ready for launch.
- Preview your site in full from top to bottom, page by page and click on every link
- Go through and set up all the settings in the backend
- Get some fresh eyes on it – have a friend or two review the site and see if it works for them
- Download the various web browsers and pop your site’s domain (or staging site domain name since it should still be in Beta at this point) into the URL field and see if there are any major issues. Depending on whether you have a Mac or PC, you may not have access to Internet Explorer (IE) or Safari, but there are ways around this. Borrow a friend’s computer!
- Open up your tablet and smartphone and make sure your site is responsive – or at least somewhat mobile friendly. Again, borrow a friends iPhone or Android if you don’t have one.
- Install the free and easy-to-use SEO plugin, Yoast, if your site is built on WordPress. This is a great tool for those who do not have experience with coding. On-Page SEO can really be done by anyone.
- Run your site through some tests to check for loading time and other site speed elements (Try Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights)
This list is a good place to start. There are several free pre-launch checklists available online that you can use to add to this (Try Launchlist). Hopefully this information has given you some helpful tips on launching websites, and we would love to hear what best practices you follow!
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Tips, Tricks & Tools for Team Organization & Communication”. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!