26 Website Pre-Launch Checklist Items for 2020

Do you want to grow your business? Develop a website and sell your services online. But building a website requires meticulous planning, hard work, and consistency.  

Whether it’s a custom website, editing a template, or designing from scratch, preparation is the key.

A successful website is well-planned. In fact, to make a website successful a checklist can keep you on track.      

In this blog, you’ll get a detailed website pre-launch checklist that will help you create a successful website.   

Content

1. Proofread everything      

 

Your website is online. Do you want to leave a bad impression on the visitor? Of course not! Check the spelling, grammar, and readability of the content.

A visitor will judge the website by its content. One mistake can leave a bad impression on the new user. You must proofread every word before the site goes live.

2. Check for consistency

Studies suggest that the human brain seeks patterns. When a user visits the website for the first time, they don’t know much about your website. From the home page to every other page, the brain will look for patterns. The patterns that can help them unfold your website.

For instance, if there is a logo in the header, a user will expect that logo to be present on every page. If there is some text at the bottom of every product, then the user will look for it.

Similarly, photos of products must be similar: the angle, the light, and even the background must be the same. This leaves a good impression on the user.

3. Check for contact us details

When a customer faces a problem, they intend to contact the customer service department. Ensure that the contact us details are clear. Verify and cross-reference email, phone number, and social media links. You cannot assume that people will wait to contact you; if they get frustrated, they might move on to your competitor.

4. Backup the content

If your website stores data on a database, take backup regularly.  The most popular CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or CraftCMS, provides an option to make backups and email them. If you are having issues with website maintenance, we can help you with that.

Web Design

5. The Typography and colors

To engage users, use persuasive typography. Is the font size correct? Will the font look okay on a smartphone? Check these before you launch the final version of the website.

6. Optimize Images

Compress high-definition images so that the website loads faster. Website owners ignore this the most and face serious consequences later on. Don’t let this happen to you.

7. Check the UI elements

 The animations, the videos, and the transitions must work smoothly. Don’t let the users wait for anything to load. Check the elements that are creating delay and correct if something is not right.

8. Double-Check the Alignment

Often a single miss-alignment can leave a bad impression on a new user. That’s why it’s important to check the alignment of images, text, and make certain that none is going out of the gridlines.

Web Development

9. Links and Buttons

Google hates broken links and redirections. Check all the links on the website and see if there are any broken links. The CTA buttons must be checked – the visibility of the button, text on the button, and the clickable link must be clear.

10. Validation

Be certain that the website is validated. Use https://validator.w3.org/ to check your code’s W3C-validation. Also, inspect your code for WCAG guidelines compliance.

11. Custom 404 Pages

In the past using default 404 pages were fine. Now you must customize every page so that the user won’t see that boring 404 error page and instead see something engaging, humorous, or persuasive.

12. Minify the code

 Web developers use certain scripts in their code – comments that allow other developers to easily customize the code. Before you launch the website, minify the code, combine and compress the side code to improve the speed of the website.

Tools like YUI or YSlow can help you to minify your JavaScript and CSS code.               

13. Check Search feature

When the user lands on your website, they usually want to search for the product and place an order. But if the search feature is not working properly, it will frustrate the visitor and drive them away.  Test your search feature and make it user-friendly.

14.  Security & Safety

Whether you are using a custom website or a CMS based website, you need to keep in check the security or safety of the website. Use plugins, extensions, or ask your developer to develop plugins that will secure your website.

SEO

15. Check the title, keywords, and description

Before launching the website, ensure that you have clear tags mentioned on every page. From title to description, every keyword must be naturally placed.  Ensure that every ALT tag has a keyword because Google values that too much. Don’t forget to use long-tail keywords as they’ll improve your SEO.

16. Check for Sitemap

Once the website is finished, check that your sitemap is accurate. The sitemap must be according to the guidelines given by Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you haven’t created a sitemap yet, you can do so from the GSite Crawler website.

17.  Customize your URL structure

Don’t leave the URL structure to the developer. If you want to rank in Google search results, you must use a customized URL for every product. For instance, a gift category URL can be “www.giftshop.com/mens-collection” rather than “www.giftshop.com/dfgd123545” that will be difficult for Google to rank. Use a tool like Ahref to find out the top keywords in your niche and put them in your URL structure.

18.  301 Redirects

If you are redesigning the website, take care of the website redirects. Every link must be carefully redirected.

19. Do you have a blog?

Starting a blog is as important as launching a website. When you plan to launch a website, ensure that you have some blog posts ready to be posted on the website. You have blog categories sorted out, and you exactly know keywords that you need to focus on.

20.  Social Media Integration

Your target audience is already on social media. If you don’t integrate all the social media networks on your website, it will be difficult for them to reach you. Give them more ways in which they can engage and communicate with you.

21. Search Engine Submission

When you are new, it will take time for search engines to find and index your website. An easy solution is to submit your site manually on various search engines. This will index your pages faster.

Security & safety

22.  Get an Anti-Virus Software

Of course, no one wants to hear the bad news. That’s why you must install anti-virus software before you do anything else on the website. It’s advised that you use a licensed version of the anti-virus software.

23.  Take regular Backups

Uncertain things can happen anytime. So, it’s smart that you take regular backup of your whole website and store it in a cloud.

 24. Protect some pages

You must protect some of the important pages of your website so that they don’t get hacked. To prevent search engines from indexing your important pages, place them in robots.txt files.

25. SSL Certificate

 If there is important data on your website, which is mainly the information of the user, you should install the SSL certificate on the website. This will protect your website from any breach from hackers.

26. Terms & Privacy Policy

As a new website, it will be difficult for customers to trust your website. That’s why you must have clear terms and conditions and privacy policy. Be transparent with whatever conditions you have and let them know how their data will be stored and used.

In the end

It’s so easy to start a website. But it takes a lot of effort to launch a well-planned website. Now with this website checklist, you can easily take the burden off your shoulders and focus on other important stuff that you need to take care of before launching your website. 

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