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Website launch checklist 2017, 101 Things To Do Before Launching a Website

We’re in the middle of 2017, and launching a website is still as complex as ever. Starting a new website is a challenge task. It doesn’t matter how much prior experience you might have in website development, the moment before your site goes live, is enough to make even the most successful digital marketers nervous.

And while you can’t wait to share your dream project with the rest of the world, there is also a tiny percent of chance that some small amount of detail might have skipped your attention. Such mistakes, no matter how small might appear, are still significant enough to ruin your website’s chance to make a good first impression among first time viewers.

Remember, Quality always lies in the details. And before you take the final step of launching your website, take some time out to make sure you didn’t miss out on anything.

To help you do exactly that, we have made a comprehensive list of 101 things to check before launching your website. We hope the following information will come be of great help for all the web developers, web designers, and future online marketers.

Search Engine Optimization Checklist

To ensure that your website has a solid foundation for SEO success and follows best SEO practices, every website developer must make some extra effort to perfect their SEO skills.

1. Make certain that your Meta titles and Meta descriptions are no longer than 70 characters and 160 characters respectively.

2. Ensure that every website page includes headers and sub headers. H1 tags should also contain the target keyword for the page.

3. There should be internal links among the web pages throughout the website (unless it is a one-page website). And if relevant, these links should also contain the target keyword of the page it is linked to.

4. All images on the website must include alt-tags, containing relevant descriptions of the image and include a target keyword (if relevant).

5. While creating a website, it is a common procedure to include a robots.txt file on your site. Doing so will allow robots to access it and understand your website’s structure.

6. Before launching your website, it would be a good idea to reduce the total amount of server requests.

7. Double check that a dynamic XML sitemap is in place.

8. At the time of development, authenticate that the website URLs are search engine friendly.

9. Double check that proper keyword mapping for the website has been performed before hand.

10. In case you are operating a PPC campaign, make sure that it’s properly set up and ready to start as soon as the site launches.

Website’s Content and Layout

The feel and look of your website is crucial in determining how viewers view your content. Thus, it is crucial for you to ensure that all information on your website is accurate, and that the website can be easily accessed on different electronic mediums as well.

11. The website’s content must add value, be interesting to read and created with a well defined purpose.

12. Before your site is launched, it’s critical to optimize all your images beforehand.

13. In case you have used any stock images on the website, make sure that you own licenses on each of them.

14. Check for spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar and typing errors across the entire website.

15. Make sure that font formatting is consistent throughout all web pages.

16. Ensure that Favicon is functioning smoothly.

17. A custom made 404 redirect page must be developed.

18. Ensure that your web page is perfectly compatible with different devices such as Android, iOS, and tablets.

19. Website pages must also be compatible with all major internet browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

20. Both scripts and CSS should be optimized throughout web pages.

21. Verify that correct paragraph formatting is used throughout all web pages including headers, lists and block quotes.

22. Headings and body copy must be properly styled.

23. No punctuation mistake must be made in ordered as well as unordered lists.

24. Accurate symbols and hyphenation should be used wherever applicable.

25. There should be no empty/broken link on the website.

26. Photos used in web pages must be relevant and be of excellent quality.

27. Ensure that the content depicted on the website is based on actual facts.

28. The company’s logo must be directly linked to the website’s homepage.

29. Thank you messages or similar page displays must be available after form submission (wherever applicable).

30. The tone of the content must remain consistent throughout the web pages.

31. The style of your content must be along the lines of the brand’s guidelines.

32. Terms & Conditions and the privacy policy should be clearly visible to the website’s visitors.

33. There must be relevant icons to share the website’s content on Social Media and should be running properly.

34. In case there are videos on the web page, it should be checked that they are in their right order and can be viewed across different electronic devices.

35. Company’s contact details provided on the web pages must be correct.

36. Copyright date (usually located in the footer) must pertain to the current year.

37. All content must be proofread before the website’s launch.

38. All images and the website’s layout must be Retina display ready

39. There should be an About Us section on the website, giving a brief introduction to the company.

40. A Privacy Policy page must also be provided.

41. Icons must relate to the items they’re supposed to represent.

42. Web designers must ensure that there’s a common design aesthetic felt throughout the web pages.

43. Scroll animations, parallax effects, or other engaging visuals should be working properly (if applicable).

44. Care must be given that there are no Flash elements loaded on the website. When in use, there's an alternative method for users without Flash.

45. Video/image/GIFs must be consistent with the intended message.

46. Web developers must pay attention to ensure a user friendly navigation system in place for the site’s users.

47. The website must support a responsive layout.

Word of Advice for the Web Developers

Web developers must ensure that the website is running smoothly, prior to its launch. It is the job of the web developers to manage, secure and update the website on a regular basis to ensure a smooth user experience.

48. Prior to the website’s launch, double check all the programmed features so that all website’s functions can be accessed on all electronic devices.

49. Run a series of tests to check out any HTML/CSS errors and to find out compatibility with every major internet browser.

50. Take help of any IT professional that can assist with the website’s launch.

51. Ascertain the current domain holder by using Whoi.com.

52. Confirm that Google Analytics is collecting data.

53. Configure Google Search Console.

54. After logging in your Google Search Console account, submit a new sitemap.xml. Again,

55. make sure that the new sitemap passes without errors.

56. Check out the site’s pages to ensure that they are not set to noindex, nofollow.

57. It should be made sure that you use a responsive framework like Bootstrap.

Analytics Check

This is another area that requires your special attention. You can do it later, but then you won’t get historical reports. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to get this step right the very first time.

58. As the site owner, you must have full access to Google Analytics.

59. Enable e-commerce (if relevant).

60. Link Google Analytics to Search Console. Under Google Analytics visit Admin > Property Settings to link your accounts.

61. If your site has an SSL, you need to confirm that “https” is selected for both Property and View areas in your account.

62. Your website analytics codes must be inserted on the website itself.

63. Funnels and goals should be properly created in your analytics software (wherever applicable).

Functionality

Before launching your website, it is important that you take some time out for testing all the features on your website. Social media sharing form submission, and any other technology must work smoothly throughout your website.

64. Internal links across web pages should be working properly.

65. External links across web pages should be working properly, and must open up in a new tab.

66. Form data should be emailed to either a recipient or stored in the database of the company.

67. In case your site receives a heavy traffic post launch, you must check whether it would be able to handle the load through load test software tools.

68. Integrations with third-party tools (if any) must run smoothly.

69. The allotted load time for the web pages should be optimized.

70. To alert you in case of any server shutdown and other site issues, make sure that Email and other SMS notifications are turned on.

71. Site uptime must be monitored carefully.

Security Updates

To protect your website against malware and other cyber threats, you must have an adequate set up for site security and timely backups.

72. 24/7 monitoring scripts must be installed.

73. Make sure that your site’s users do not have access to secret or hidden pages.

74. Error messages that are meant for web developers must be turned off for visitors.

75. The server's capacity should match your site's needs.

76. The final website’s copy must be kept in place for backup purposes.

77.Site backups must be monitored.

78. You should have a proper system in place for the times your server goes down. The backup system should be configured properly and the recovery process should be tested to ensure that it works.

79. Passwords and other website information should be stored in a secure database.

Legal compliance

Internet laws can be tricky, but important nonetheless. It’s best to consult a legal advisor to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. A few things to consider are given below.

80. Web pages should offer accessibility for disabled users. (WAI-ARIA).

81. Websites must be PCI compliant (in case there is a storing and processing of credit cards).

82. Web developers must also test Coding’s W3C Compliance

83. Web pages should declare beforehand if the website uses cookies.

84. Website should comply with usage rights pertaining to purchased or borrowed code, images, and fonts.

85. Copyrights to images, fonts, and other content have been properly licensed or cited.

Marketing

Last but not the least comes the role of marketers to spread the word about their new website. After all, you need to have a base of potential users ready before actually launch your website.

86. On the webpage, reviews and customer testimonials must be featured to be read by the new visitors to the website.

87. Advertising channels and mediums must be examined beforehand.

88. Create social media accounts for your brand before launching the site.

89. Create unique selling propositions for your company.

90. Announce the date of launching your website in the company’s next newsletter.

91. You can also write a blog post about the process of creating the website itself. While doing so, make sure to mention the challenges and obstacles that your team had to face as well.

92. Spread the news of your website’s launch on the existing social media platforms.

93. Analyze unique ways to reach out to your target audience.

94. Jot down all the needs your products could possibly meet and how you can deliver this message to your prospective clients.

95. Send out emails inviting people in your circle to check out your new website.

96. A press release might also be a good option if the product at hand is deemed as a revolutionary addition in the market.

97. Write a blog post about the process involved in the creation of the product at hand.

98. While working on your unique selling propositions, perform some competition research to find out the USPs already used by competitive firms.

99. Keep monitoring emerging trends in the market, to identify the need for a new product.

100. Reach out to social media influencers and bloggers to raise awareness of your website before it is launched.

101. Plan your advertising budget and find out various options that you would cover in your budget.

Launching a website can be tricky, but the key determinant for success is planning. The more you plan, the better the results. Just follow this guide and ensure a stress free website launch.

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