A lot goes into a new website; it can be weeks or even months worth of work, so when you finally get ready to launch, it can be scary. The goal of a new website is to improve your company branding and sales. When launching, you want to ensure that everything is just right. Here is a 10-step checklist to use before launching your new and improved website.
1. Initial Testing
You should test your website in a few different ways to see if any issues pop up. Before launching you should make sure your website is going to look great in any situation.
These are a few ways to test your website:
From various devices: desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone
From various locations: home, office, coffee shop
From various operating systems: Windows10, Windows7, Mac OS, and others
From various web browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge
It is essential to check all of these different options to root out any issues. Viewing your website from multiple devices ensures that it will always look great for your visitors no matter the size of their screen. It’s better to test all of these different variables yourself than to have a potential customer be the first to notice them.
2. Browser Check
People use a variety of internet browsers, so you want to make sure your website is going to function and look the same on all of them. Ensure consistency across all browsers by checking for differences; this is a step that is often forgotten because people have a go-to browser. Test the top internet browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge for the following:
Functionality – do all areas work correctly on all browsers?
Visual – does anything appear differently on different browsers?
Navigation – do all the menus and submenus work as they should?
Media – do all videos and images display properly?
Speed – are there any noticeable differences in site speed from one browser to another?
3. Content Check
Before launching your website, it is essential to go through each page and proofread all of your content. It’s easy for small errors to go unnoticed so you should consider going through the content yourself and having a second set of eyes to check for possible errors. Also, use tools like Grammarly to make sure your website content is just right. There is nothing worse than getting an email from a visitor telling you there’s a misspelled word on your website.
When relaunching a website, you want to make sure your redirects are appropriately done. Redirects allow you to directly from your old content to your new location. There are two types of redirects, 301 redirects, and 302 redirects. The 301 redirects are for permanent moves, and 302 redirects are for temporary moves. Redirects are a way to send users and search engines to a different URL from the one originally requested. They are a good way to help traffic run more smoothly with fewer errors, but you want to avoid overusing them. Overusing redirects on your website is frowned upon by Google.
5. Final Content Check
When designing a website, it is very common to use temporary sample text or images. For this part of the checklist, go through each page of your website, and make sure that all of the content is intended. Remove or replace any temporary sample text and ensure that the images you own or are licensed to use. It can be easy to miss a block of sample text when designing the website, so be thorough with your final check.
6. URL Check
This step is not as visually noticeable as the others, but it can make quite a significant impact. It may not be common knowledge, but businesses can inconsistently use their URL.
We use “Test” for this example:
Make sure that you are always directing visitors to the more secure HTTPS version and that the other two versions correctly redirect to that one also. Using this URsL inconsistently will harm your SEO and make it more difficult for your customers to find you.
7. Responsive Website Check
With such a large number of people browsing from their mobile devices, it is crucial that your website displays properly on its smaller screens. A responsive website adjusts to tablets and phones seamlessly, and it is beneficial to your Google ranking. Check that your whole website displays properly on a mobile device by going over each page. Mobile users can make up for a significant amount of your website traffic so they should see a beautiful highly functional website.
8. Speed Check
Your website speed is more important than you might realize. Website visitors don’t like waiting around for pages to load and can often abandon a website if it takes just a few seconds too long to load. Slow website speed is not only frustrating to your visitors, but it can also be a significant factor in your search engine ranking. Make necessary adjustments to improve the speed of your website before it launches.
9. Customer Test
It always helps to get a few opinions when it comes to a website. Have a few of your customers or staff members take a look at your website to see if anything stands out to them. Having an actual customer perspective can be very helpful as they are the ones the website is intended for. After looking at your website so often, you may no longer have a fresh perspective having other individuals test the website may result in them finding errors or issues you hadn’t noticed.
10. SEO Check
Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process, but there are some things you should make sure are done correctly before launching. These are a few elements that you should verify are in place:
- URLs (properly)
- Title Tags
- Header Tags (H1 and H2)
- Alt Tags
- Meta Tags
- Linking (internal)
Launching a new website is a lot of work, but hopefully, with the aid of this checklist, your launch will be a bit smoother. If you have any further questions or are considering a new website, please contact us for a free consultation. Our web developers at Right On Tech have designed hundreds of websites and are ready to help you create the website of your dreams.