Blog Post

Your Critical Website Launch Checklist

website checklist

Whether you’ve created a new website from scratch or you’re launching a new website for your existing business that you hope will do a better job of handling the input from your customers, there are a lot of details to cover. You don’t want to be so bogged down by those details that you miss the big picture of a great website, but you don’t want to miss any of them, either! This website launch checklist will help ensure that you’re able to get your website up and running as smoothly as possible.

1. Make sure you’ve looked over standards and validation. Check HTML, Javascript, CSS, and Accessibility. This is not a step that can be left for the last minute–obviously, you’re going to be looking over it many times throughout the website design process–but you want to be sure that your code is free of error. This is particularly true if you’re adding third-party coding late in the design process. Make sure that everything runs smoothly before you send it out for a public website launch.

2. Consider your SEO. What keywords did you intend to optimize for? Have you covered all of the relevant details on your site? You should also make sure that your focus has been on what your business does, not on what it doesn’t. Keep in mind that search engine optimization efforts should focus on terms that are genuinely relevant to your business, not on terms that don’t have anything to do with what you actually do. Have you actually done keyword research to see what search terms customers are really using? Did you pay attention to both long-tail and short-tail keywords? All of these are pieces of the SEO puzzle that will help you build a more effective website.

3. Analyze website copy. Have you maintained the tone you want throughout your website? Are you aiming for highly professional or slightly humorous? Do you want your website to connect with customers or show a highly professional, slightly distant view of your business? Look over the quality of your content: is this the type of content that your customers come looking for? Remember, quantity of content doesn’t matter nearly as much as quality–and losing sight of that key detail can destroy your search engine ranking.

4. Look over your site functions. Does your search function work smoothly and actually pull up relevant information? Does your site work well from different browsers? Are you mobile accessible? While you’ve likely been working on this all along, it’s critical to check it one last time before your site launches.

5. Examine tracking and analytics. What critical data are you tracking for your website? What do you genuinely want to know about your users and the pages that they’re visiting? Make sure that your tracking is in place and ready to go on the website launch day. This is also a great time to consider what analytics you’ll be using in order to determine website success. Make sure that you’ve selected data that is in line with the purpose of your website.

6. Check your indexing. Do you have a sitemap for easy indexing? Have you protected critical pages that you don’t want to be visible on search engines by installing the right robot text? These steps will help make the right pages of your website visible and protect the ones you don’t want the world to see.

7. Look over the security of your site. Make sure that all of your software and protections have been updated and that there are no holes that a hacker can slide through. You don’t want your website to be either a source of information or a victim of a denial of service attack. 

8. Check the legal details. Have your legal team go over your website in order to ensure that you aren’t making false promises or providing information that you don’t want others to see.

9. Examine the performance of your site. Make sure that it works smoothly: that you’re able to easily access key pages, that it loads in a reasonable period of time from a variety of devices, and that there’s nothing that will prevent your users from having a great experience on your website.

10. Check your site icons and error pages. These small details can make a big difference in how your website is perceived! Make sure that the icons are clean and show up well on a variety of screens. Examine your error pages to make sure they’re in keeping with the tone of your webpage.

11. Go over the details. It’s amazing how many websites go up with phone numbers that aren’t quite right or email addresses missing a letter. Take the time to send emails to the address and actually call the numbers listed on your website before your website launch date. Are those numbers and email addresses all current? What about your physical address: is it current? Those details matter to your customers–and you need to take the time to check them!

12. Look over the text. Is it free of errors? Double-check punctuation marks. Pay particular attention to headers and footers, but cover all of the small details to make sure that your text flows smoothly. Customers might scan right over the top of a small error without noticing it, but they could also be distracted by it–and that could spell disaster for their opinion of your business.

13. Assess how you will drive traffic to your new website. You’ve designed your new website to be SEO-friendly. How else are you promoting it? You can launch a paid ad campaign, raise awareness on social media, or partner with other businesses to help drive traffic to your site. Ideally, you want people to be able to easily locate your website from the time it’s launched.

Your website is an incredible tool for your business. This website launch checklist will help ensure that it’s ready to go from the moment you launch it. Need more help with the design of your website? Contact us today to learn how we can help.