Your website serves as your home or your headquarters on the Internet. Thus, you should take great care in establishing your online presence through your website.
If you don’t have a website yet, then you should make sure that you’re doing it right the first time as much as possible.
Of course, you may end up tweaking it here and there, but the foundation of your site should be relatively workable. With that said, before launching your website, you have to make sure that you’re covering every factor possible so that the launch goes smoothly.
Using this website launch checklist, you’ll be able to check off every must-do before you launch your website and open it to the public. Check out what they are in this article below.
Optimize page loading speed
The first thing you should check when you’re tweaking your website is the loading speed. What’s the point of adding all sorts of features and gimmicks on your homepage if your users won’t stay long enough to see it?
If you have a slow page loading speed, people are likely to click away due to impatience. Then, you’re losing out on significant user interaction with them. The rate with which people who’ve only visited one page on your website then leave is called the bounce rate.
If you have a high bounce rate, then Google won’t want to include you on their search engine results to their users. Thus, you should make sure that loading speed is one of your priorities when it comes to your website.
Test for cross-browser appearance
Not all people use the same browser as you. Neglecting to take that fact into account is an easily negligible task for a lot of people when they’re testing their site.
You want to make sure that your site holds up no matter which browser people use to visit it.
Thus, before launching your site, you should make sure that you run it through all sorts of browsers beforehand. You don’t have to use every single conceivable browser, but maybe you can test it out on every major player to be sure you’re covering the majority of people.
According to Sytian Productions (outsource website design Philippines), “If you don’t test out your site on different browsers, you might be severely diminishing the user satisfaction with your site. How people see and navigate your site can affect the user experience, so it’s important that you do this extra step first.”
Test for cross-device appearance
Another important thing that you should test your site for is whether it still is easy to navigate for users who aren’t on desktop.
Given the fact that there are a lot of mobile phone users nowadays, it makes sense that you would want to create a website that is also able to adapt to what type of device the user is on.
The transition from each device should be seamless. You wouldn’t want your website not to work as you’ve wanted and planned it to work for others. Thus, you should account for the differences in screen size that you are to encounter.
Remember: there are also tablets aside from mobile phones.
Test all your links
When checking your website before launching, it’s crucial that all of the links on your website work.
It will be a shame to get the attention of your users long enough to interact with your website, only to drive them away because there’s a link that is a dead-end for them.
With that said, manually checking your links is one way to go about it if you want to make sure that every single one works. However, there are plenty of alternatives on the Internet that can help you do that.
Just look up for link crawlers to test whether your website’s links all lead to somewhere.
Test out your forms
Most websites have some form for users to fill-in depending on what the website prefers users to take action on.
Sometimes, there are forms for inquiries on the website. In some cases, there are simple forms that make anyone who fills their email in to become a subscriber of some sort.
No matter what form you have, make sure that you test it out to make sure that everything’s working as it should. After all, your website visitor responded to your call to action. This is where the process should be at its smoothest.
Again, it would be a shame to lose a potential connection with a user all because of a failed subscription form.
Ensure the 404 page is set up correctly
Something that you may not have thought of setting up is a customized 404 page.
A 404 page is the error page that we are all acquainted with that tells us that they didn’t get any information out of the website URL that you clicked-through
Now that you know what it is, how does this relate to you?
Well, say a site visitor typed in the correct domain name but the path is wrong. They’re still on your website, but they’ll be greeted by a generic 404 error page which is a space that you could use to brand your website or business or enterprise better.
Even an error page can bring some delight or personality if you modify it first. Perhaps you can link them to your homepage, which is the standard for error pages.
Set up 301 redirects
Of course, even if you have a funny, cute or clever 404 page, you shouldn’t aim for users to encounter one if you can. Often, the reason some users end up on a 404 page is that the website had a redesign and the old links don’t lead to the right places anymore.
In this case, what you should do is set up 301 redirects, which will lead your website visitors to the right places based on the URL that they’ve clicked through. The reason you would want to do this is that it puts you in favor of search engines.
Aside from that, it’s less of a hassle for your website users to go through all sorts of links to get to the one place they want to visit.
Look for duplicate content
Plagiarism isn’t desirable in any way, shape, or form. It is especially not appreciated by the search engines, and you will not like how you’ll rank if you encounter the issue of duplication.
Thus, before you launch your website, make sure that you check it for any possible duplication issues that might crop up.
Sometimes, even if you didn’t intend to duplicate content, it just so happens that someone did it before you. You wouldn’t want to lower your search engine rankings so you might as well change these duplicate content.
Besides, it’s good for the integrity of your site to have original content on it. Otherwise, why would people visit your site, right?
Proofread all your text
Another thing that you should look out for before the launch of your website is the overall grammar and spelling on your site content.
It can come off as unprofessional to others if you have misspelled words. Plus, some people might mistake your site as something sketchy if you can’t spell your words right.
Thus, you should make time to check your website and proofread it. You shouldn’t stop once you’ve checked it once. If you’ve got the time, why not check it some more. Get some fresh eyes on it as well, so you’re sure you aren’t missing (or adding) anything.
Implement necessary SEO
Search engine optimization will aid you in getting organic traffic flowing to your website. SEO is a process that involves tweaking your website in a way that makes you favorable in the digital eyes of search engines.
You can do this through many means, one of which is by inserting certain keywords related to what your website is about. However, you shouldn’t overpower your site with keywords because it’ll drive people away.
Create a sitemap
An XML sitemap is a way to let the search engines know of the changes of a new website. It helps them understand the pages on your site and its structure. Hence, the term “sitemap.”
If you don’t have this set up yet, then make sure you do. That way the search engines can properly index your site. If you’re hosting your site using WordPress, then you can install plugins to help with that.
Make sure your website is secure
Last but not least, make sure that your website is secure. Websites that don’t have a Secure Socket Layer certificate or SSL is unlikely to be trusted by website visitors, especially if they plan on purchasing anything through that website.
Contact your web host to find out how you can get an SSL certificate.
Going through this checklist to see if your website is up to par can help you avoid headaches in the future. It’s better when everything’s optimized now instead of waiting to see negative feedback and results in the future during your launch.
By making sure that you’ve done all you can to have a great website, you create a user experience that benefits not only you but also your website visitors.