Website Launch Checklist - 9 Important Steps To Take
The final countdown begins! The website which you have designed so meticulously, keeping in mind all the important factors of your target audience, is ready to roll on the internet.
Your website is ready to be launched. Whoa. Are you thrilled? Is excitement surpassing your thoughts? Of course, this is the common answer to most of the site owners.
But it is essential to pause for a moment and plan as to how you will launch your website. The successful launch of a website is not as easy as it seems. There may be many minute mistakes like spell errors, broken links, undirected hyperlinks, and many more. To make your site launch error-free and perfect, there are many important steps that need to be considered before the launch process.
A well-planned site launch checklist can resolve many issues and ensure a successful website launch.
Let's get to the point and have a peep into some of the important, not to be missed steps before launching your site live on the internet.
1. Test Mobile/Browser Compatibility
For the success of your website, it is important that your site fully functions on all famous browsers across the globe. Different visitors use different browsers to access the internet. Test your website responsiveness for different browser compatibilities by opening your site on various browsers.
Also, do website testing by viewing your site on mobile, laptops, desktops, and tablets and ensure that all features and functions are visible without errors. Another crucial factor is to make sure that your site looks desirable on all the browsers and other devices to attract network traffic. In short, the better the accessibility of your site, the better the visibility it gains.
2. Add XML Sitemap
Google SEO ranks are just not based on websites; they are related to images, video, content, and keywords, and much more. Ever wondered which URL's are ready for crawling, and how do search engines pick them up from your site's domain?
An XML file with a list of URLs of your site is called Sitemap. These XML sitemaps, supply search engines with the site URLs of your website, are important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
XML Sitemaps are located at the root directory of your server.
You can use any popular SEO plugin like Google XML Sitemaps etc. which can create XML Sitemap automatically for your site for better SEO visibility.
3. Check link update and functions
Broken links lead to error and impact network traffic in a negative way. Check whether all the links are updated to your site URL, and there are no broken links causing errors.
Broken link Checker tool is available for checking bad hyperlinks or dead/broken links. They show the link location on the website as well as on the HTML code. Find and fix these links for smooth navigation.
Check the functionality of all links and remove the problematic links before launching the site on a live platform.
4. Learn SEO Basics
SEO increases the site visibility for visitors, thus bringing more traffic. Since SEO has a major contribution to your business's growth, it is important that your site stands good in SEO.
Here are a few SEO tips:
- Proper fitting keywords and suitable phrases should be used in the content. Free Keyword Tool is available, which helps to research long-tail keywords for your content.
- Search engine giants love relevant and unique content related to the product without duplications. Websites updated regularly have better visibility.
- SEO searches for title tags or page headlines (referring to the content) while displaying search results; hence it's advisable to use title tags to show the motive of the pages and content.
- A brief summary in the form of a meta description, just below the clickable title tag, attracts potential visitors to your site.
- Check whether all these tips are taken care of while launching the site.
5. Setup Analytics Tracking
Google Analytics is a popular analytics tracker, which is available free of cost. It does a complete analysis of how visitors find your site, maximum links clicked by visitors etc. It is a tool that helps you to understand your target audience in a better way by understanding their behavior, needs, and expectations.
It also helps improve SEO performance by providing valuable data, content, or keywords for your site, making it more reachable to your customers. Set up Analytics Tracking on your site for better goal conversions.
6. Check Site Speed
The ideal page load speed of a website is 3 seconds approximately. Slow page load speed distracts visitors from visiting the site, and they move over to other sites with faster site speed.
Google Page Speed Tools helps to optimize website performance by analyzing the web page and giving suggestions to make it load faster. Since Google loves its users, it has incorporated page speed as an SEO factor, so check it before launching your new website.
7. Update robots.txt
Before updating the robots.txt file to your site, it is essential to know its usefulness. Webmasters create Robots.txt file to instruct the search engine giants to crawl on web pages of the site.
If the "Disallow" option is set in Robots.txt file, it will block pages of your site from being indexed, and hence will make your site lose its position in SEO because of non-visibility of pages. Always set the "disallow" option to blank, so the advantage of robots can be taken.
8. Install SSL Certificate
Before launching your new site, never forget to install SSL security for prevention against cyber-frauds. SSL security comes in the form of encryption, and it encrypts all the data-in-transit between browsers and servers. These SSL certificates are available in multiple brands and types and secure your site in various ways.
For example, Cheap Wildcard SSL certificate secures the domain of your site and its unlimited sub-domains with one single certificate.
Since data is in an encrypted/coded format, it becomes challenging for hackers to penetrate and misuse it. Trust symbols like HTTPS in URL and padlock in the address bar, displayed in the browser bar, immediately give visitors a secure feeling, and they are ready to explore your site to satisfy their needs.
Precaution of protection of the website in the form of backup always helps in case of catastrophes. Before the migration of your website to a live server, go for a full backup of your website.
Regular backups once a month help save the loss of important data in case of a system crash, hard drive failure, or man-made disasters.
A few more items on checklist prior to launch are:
- Check social media integration
- Configuration of Perma-links
- Installation of SEO plugin
- Check for minor errors
- Re-check everything, contents, links etc.
- Ensure all legal formalities are taken care of
- Remove unused plugins
Though a successful website launch is an exhaustive process, it can be simplified with a proper checklist, proper planning, and proper execution. If proper re-checking of a checklist is taken care of before launching the website on a live server, your website is bound to have a smooth launch. Best Wishes!!
Andi Croft is a freelance writer whose main interests are topics related to business, technology, and travel. This is brought about by her passion for going around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, and bringing along with her the latest tech to enhance her adventures.View Andi Croft`s profile for more