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The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist

The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist
TagsTesting

Site Content

Before your site goes live it is important to check for any content on your site that may be missing, have errors or is incorrect.

Check for Missing Content

Sites often have hundreds, if not thousands of pages, if you include news and blog pages, and it is quite common for content to be missed out when creating content or transferring the content from a previous, older version of the site.

Top Tip: Content that is often forgotten about typically tends to be content that is linked to by pages that are 3 or 4 pages deep within a website.

Check Spelling and Grammar

Nobody is perfect. Except Bison Grid of course (joke). Therefore, it is good practice to check your content for spelling and grammatical errors. Typos and poor grammar make your business look unprofessional and can often put off potential customers and lose business, so it is important to nail spelling and grammar.

 

spelling-mistakes

Replace Filler Content

When sites are in development, 'dummy text' or Lorem Ipsum, as it is formally called, is often used as filler content to give an idea of what certain pages will look like with actual meaningful words are on them. However, Lorem Ipsum is just nonsense of course, and can throw a user off when stumbled across if some is left on the site by mistake.

Likewise, stock images are often used as filler content, and arguably, are more devastating if left in on go live. This is because stock images are copyrighted most of the time and if you do not own the rights to use the stock image, you can be charged with a hefty fine. Not to mention, if a user sees an image of a smiling businessman in a suit with iStock plastered all over it, it looks highly unprofessional and lazy.

Read More on Lorem Ipsum

Site Functionality Testing

Having a site that functions as intended is a necessity for creating a pleasant user experience, therefore it is a good idea to check that your site does what it says on the tin.

Cross Browser and Device Testing

It is important to realise that although Google Chrome is used by more than 60% of all users on the internet, Google Chrome is not the only browser in existence and sites can often look and function wildly differently from browser to browser and from device to device. So get cross browser and cross device testing to iron out those bugs before go live!

Link Testing

Although it may sound like a tedious task, it is a good idea to go through your site and check that all of your links work or actually go to where they are supposed to. Nothing is more infuriating from a user experience point of view, than eagerly clicking on a link to read more and finding out that the link takes you to a 404 page.

Site Search Testing

Having a search feature on your website is essential to providing a positive user experience and is a must for most websites.

However, if you do already have one, good. But, have you tested and made sure that your search feature on your website functions correctly?

Create a 404 Page

Speaking of 404 pages, although annoying for users to stumble across unexpectedly, they can also be surprisingly helpful if setup correctly.

BisonGrid 404 Page

Good 404 pages usually have an apology notice or include a funny joke at the expense of the website/company to lighten the mood.

404 pages can be helpful to users if they have a site search feature which helps the user find what they were looking for. Another helpful feature is if the 404 page has a list of suggested links that might be of interest to the user, such as a list of commonly visited pages.

SEO

SEO is important for getting your website found, without it, all of your hardwork that went into launching the site will not be seen by anyone.

Add Page Meta Tags

Page meta titles and meta descriptions are great for advertising to users browsing SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) what each page of your site is about.

If you do not set your meta titles and meta descriptions on your pages, then Google and other search engines, will attempt to do this themselves and will often cut sentences short and will not best represent your page.

Therefore setting and optimising your meta titles and meta descriptions to describe your page will give users a better understanding of what each page of your site is about and users will be more likely to click on your page if they find it of value.

Create Google My Business

Setting up your Google My Business allows for your site to have extra visibility when users search for your business or content related to your business.

Google My Business also allows for your information such as your address, opening times and telephone number, to be easily accessed from a Google search results page, therefore it is helpful to users to have this set this up. (Plus its FREE!)

Google My Business

Add Image Alt Tags

Making sure that your images have alt tags improves the accessibility of your site and can provide a slight indexing boost as robots/spiders cannot see images and therefore having a text description of the image will make the image easier to understand and index.

Optimising images for your site is also important as large images can increase page load times drastically. The average page load speed is around 3 seconds and page load speeds longer than this can cause a user to click of the page if multiple large images are taking too long to load.

Redirect 404 Errors

Putting 301 or 302 redirects in place of URLs that do not exist anymore is good practice.

This is because instead of a user visiting a page and being faced with a 404, a user could instead be redirected to the new page for that URL, if there is one, or a page that has similar content.

Create and Upload Sitemap

Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console allows for bots and spiders to more intelligently crawl your site, allowing for better indexing.

Add Google Analytics Tracking

Have you got Google Analytics/Google Tag Manager tracking code setup on your site so that you can analysis and review how well your new site is performing?

Legal Compliance

If you don't want to get hit with a whopping fine or a slap on the wrist (who does?) then we suggest that you account for legal compliance when creating a new site.

Privacy and Cookie Policies

Has your site got a privacy policy and a cookie policy?

Your privacy and cookie policies need to be in depth and explain exactly what data you collect, how you store it, for how long and who the user needs to contact to see the data about them.

GDPR Compliance

Is your site GDPR Compliant and ready for the 25th of May 2018?

Read More on GDPR

 

Security and Load Testing

Security and Load Testing can help prevent foreseeable disasters and can save a site from having downtime or becoming compromised. Security and Load Testing helps your site always be prepared for this.

Security Testing

Is your site ready for potential threats on go live?

Do you have Web Application Firewalls? DDoS Mitigation? Network Scanning? Malware Defence?

Load Testing

Have you anticipated for the amount of users your site will receive? And does your server/network have the computational power to deal with this? There is nothing worse than loads of eager users jumping onto your brand new site on go live day, just to see a 504 gate-way timeout because the server cannot handle that many users at one time.

Using load testing/stress testing software is a useful way of finding weak points in your site and can give you an indication of what you need to strengthen in order to keep up with demand.

Summary

Overall, there may seem like a lot of things to check before you can push your site live (which there is admittedly), but as long as you check that things on your site that should work, do work, and that your user's have a good experience on your site then you should be all set to go live!

Website Launch

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The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist
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