Things to Consider Before You Launch Your Website
Launching a brand new website, redesigning an existing one via Web Design Company or moving a site onto a new CMS (Content Management System) for a client is all about a staggering number of small ways to not screw up. It also includes managing many moving parts as well such as content, design, marketing, and the technical side. To make sure you miss out on nothing, here are a few things to consider if you wish to make your website launch a success. First of all, you should,
Figure Out the Launch Schedule
It includes everything from setting a launch date (which should at least be a month prior to give you enough time for research, design and development) to preparing for worst-case scenarios (prepare a list of ‘what could go wrong’ and device a backup plan) to setting up a staging site (to edit and work with updates in an identical environment).
Now that you have a month before your big day, let’s check out some other issues you might face and how to avoid them.
Let’s start with content, after all, content is king. Here’s what you have to look out for-
- Grammar and Spelling which includes capitalization, tense/style of writing, variations in words, recurring phrases etc.
- Typography and Layout which includes checking for punctuation marks, headings and orphan terms in important paragraphs.
- Test Content should not be present anywhere on site, check it out and trash it wherever you find it.
- Proof Read which includes reading everything, again and again, to pick out anything you missed (A tip: get others to read as well).
SEO or Search Engine Optimization means to analyze and optimize your website to ensure a high ranking. Here’s what you can do-
- Use Proper Meta SEO Tags to help web crawlers (which read your website to understand content in order to help search engines display your website on appropriate places) understand your site by tilting and describing your pages. Here you have to focus on –
a) Meta Title which translates to the linked text that appears on search results (use relevant keywords)
b) Meta Description is a short sentence which describes what your website offers (keep character limit under 160).
- Use Proper Semantic Structure to help web crawlers such as Google bots to crawl over your site. The key here is to use traditional (such as h1-h6 for heading, p for paragraphs and ul/ol for unordered and ordered tags) as well as new HTML5 semantic tags (such as <header>, <footer> etc) in your language to help them better understand.
- Open Graph Setting includes three pieces of content namely title, description and an image where the title and description follow the same rules as their SEO counterparts but with one major difference, they appear on social media platforms when shared. Same goes for images too.
Web design plays a crucial role in the production and maintenance of websites. The things you should checkout are-
- 404 Page is the most commonly overlooked defensive design element. Make sure to set up a custom 404 page on your website to direct your users to the home page or any other page they may be interested in.
- Mobile Device Testing is essential as it ensures your site’s proper working on multiple screen sizes. You can check this by going to Page Audit module in Website Auditor and look through the page usability information (A tip: implement AMP to load faster on mobile devices).
- Scan Site Speed regularly to serve content quickly to your users as your page load speed will directly affect the overall website’s Google ranking. A few ways to fix page load speed include –
a) Opt for a faster hosting solution.
b) Enable compression to reduce bandwidth by zipping large files.
d) Store media files on a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Checking live URLs and Links manually to make sure they work alright is manageable provided you have a small business website with a few pages but if you own a large commercial website, then the URL check should be automated (A tip: use WebSite Auditor tool to scan and resolve URL related issues).
Now, before your big day arrives, repeat all the above-mentioned checks yourself or with the help of any Web Development Company to see if you haven’t missed out on anything. Certain things will go wrong but the important thing to keep in mind is that these are minor issues which can be fixed in real time. The last step would be to spread the word about your website launch via different platforms and you are all set.