Website Launch Checklist

July 2, 2020

Before you go live – Read our Website Launch Checklist

You have created your website and you are getting ready to go live. You want to make sure that it is showing just the way you want it – with no errors of any kind. Just before you launch your site, go over the final website launch checklist of things to do. While you may be certain that you are finished – it is always best practice to double check.

Website completion final checklist

Here at HelpDesk Heroes we have successfully launched projects for a wide range of businesses and understand the problems to avoid during the launch. So we have put together a list of things we recommend you do before you launch.

1. Spellcheck your entire website

Having spelling mistakes on your website is not a good look, so check your content for typos. Ensure that all the text throughout the site is checked for any spelling mistakes, gramatical errors and readability. Make sure all the text is well written and offers quality content. This is not only good for your visitors but also for your overall SEO optimisation. If you hired a copywriter or website design agency this will be part of their responsibilty however it is always best to check everything over yourself before publishing.

2. Image optimisation.

Having good looking images on your site is important, but make sure that they are optimised properly. Take a look at all your image sizes, titles and tags. You need to ensure that your images are named correctly, have an ‘alt’ tag and that the image size isn’t too large. The heavier the image, the slower your page will load. Long page loading times will put visitors off and they may quickly leave your site without waiting to see the actual content. If you haven’t used an image optimising plugin, then it might be a good idea to add one. There are also tools online to help reduce file size.

3. Check for broken links (404 Error)

Check for broken links. A 404 error is when you click on a link and it doesn’t take you to the page you were looking for and you see a message saying ‘this page doesn’t exist’. If your site is only a few pages with the majority of links accessible via your main menus, spend 20 minutes manually checking all of your links. If you have a more complex website with a large number of pages – use a link crawler like the W3C Link Checker, the Chrome plugin Check My Links, or Screaming Frog (which is excellent for SEO audits, too).

4. Plugins and themes

If you are using WordPress it is best practice to only use the plugins that you absolutely need. They all need updating regularly so remove any unused or out of date plugins and themes. Keeping them will increase your security threats as time passes.

5. Test your forms

Test any contact forms you have on the site and test them regularly. You don’t want to have people trying to contact you and you not receiving them due to a technical glitch.
Send yourself a message on all your contact forms to make sure that they are going through to the right place. If you are going to set any auto respond replies, spell check them and test again.

6. Ensure your website is secure and includes an SSL certificate.

An SSL Certificate make your site secure, which is essential especially if you have an e-commerce website. All major search engines started penalising websites without a certificate.

7. Check your XML sitemap

Is your website XML Sitemap on the server and configured properly? Your XML sitemap is simply a file that lists of all the pages on your website in an XML format. This is so that search engines can discover and index your content.

8. Test your website across all browsers

Testing your cross-browser compatibility is important as websites can show up slightly differently on different browsers. Make sure you look at your website on the all major browsers so that you know it looks the way it should for everyone. Chrome, Firefox, Safari is a minimum checklist as they are not 100% identical.

9. Test your site on different devices

Is your site mobile friendly? As your visitors will be using a range of different devices to access your site, you must check that your site is responsive and looks good on all devices. Your website should be fully responsive and perform well on any screen size. iOS and Android devices display websites slightly differently, it’s best to check on both.

10. Test site speed / Check your page load times

Visitors to your website will be using different devices, from laptops to mobile phones and iPads. If your website pages take too long to load, your users will click away from the page. So it is really important to test your site speed and make sure the load time for site pages is optimised. Site speed greatly affects user experience and conversion rates. Google even made ‘page load time’ a search ranking factor’ for good SEO.

To analyze your overall site speed you can use a site speed tester like Google Page Speed Insights to see website’s load speed. With this online tool you can see your PageSpeed score and get PageSpeed suggestions to make your web site faster.

11. Review your SEO

Having good SEO is fundamental to your website success. Take a final look at your meta titles and descriptions and check that they are all filled in and there are no typos. You also want to check that each page has unique meta titles and tags. Your meta tags help to describe your web page information to search engines. They also form the text description for your page that shows up in search results.

12. Submit website to Search Engines

Once you have finished going through the final checklist and you have published your website, submit your site to search engines. Most engines have webmaster tools, for example, to submit your website to Google you need to add your sitemap in Search Console.

Now that you have reviewed your website using our final website launch checklist you’re ready to hit the publish button.

Maintaining your website after the launch

Once your site is live, you will need ongoing maintenance. Whether you are going to be adding new content, blog posts and / or products, somebody will need to do it. Decide if you plan to maintain it yourself or have someone else take care of it for you.

At HelpDesk Heroes we have been designing and developing, maintaining and hosting websites for our clients for a decade, so if you need professional web solutions, give us a call.

Do you need help with your website?

If you need any help with your website call our team today on 0208 0642 150. We can help and advise you on the best solutions.

Tell us about your technical needs and we will recommend the ideal solution for you.

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