A Simple Pre-Launch Checklist: The Steps To Successfully Launch A Website!

It’s a huge milestone when your website is ready to launch. However, your site’s success depends on having a well-defined launch plan that covers all the bases. To ensure your website launch is successful, it’s essential to have some kind of checklist to follow. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most important items that should be included in your comprehensive website launch checklist.

Agreeing on a launch date

A seemingly simple task, but it holds immense importance as it sets the stage for your website’s successful debut. Agreeing on a launch date allows for effective planning and coordination of the following parts. A definite launch date also instils a sense of urgency and accountability for everyone, driving everyone involved to work towards a common goal. So, gather your team, align your objectives, and agree on a launch date to propel your site towards its launch.

Find any broken links

It can be exasperating for users and damaging to your website’s search engine rankings to encounter a broken link and get to the dreaded 404 page. To prevent this, ensuring that all links on your website function correctly is essential. Multiple tools are available, including online link checkers and website crawlers, to identify broken links. If you detect any such links, resolve them before you go live with your website. If you’re building a WordPress site, check out the Link Whisper or Broken Link Checker plugins.

Test your site

Testing your website thoroughly before launch is crucial to ensure a positive user experience. Significant bugs or errors that could negatively impact the site’s functionality should be identified and addressed. It’s also important to test for design issues such as layout, fonts, and images. Tools such as browser extensions and online services that simulate different devices and browsers can be utilised for testing.

Test the website on different devices and different browsers.

Ensuring the website’s responsiveness and optimal viewing experience on various devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, is massive. To achieve this, testing the website on a range of devices is essential. Moreover, it’s vital to guarantee that the website loads swiftly on all devices, as slow loading times can negatively impact the user experience. Hence, both responsiveness and loading speed should be considered during testing.

Test the checkout process

If your site is an online store, then thoroughly testing the checkout process is crucial. It’s imperative to ensure that customers can complete purchases without encountering any problems. The entire checkout process needs to work correctly. This means you need to test adding items to the cart, entering shipping and billing information, and confirming the order. Various tools, such as online payment simulators or test credit card numbers, can be utilised to test the checkout process.

A Comprehensive Redirect Plan

If your new site has been designed to replace an existing website, it’s imperative to have a thorough redirect plan in place. A redirect plan is like a helpful guide that ensures everyone who used to visit the old website can still find what they’re looking for on the new website. 

Here’s a simple analogy – imagine if you moved to a new house, but your friends didn’t know your new address. A redirect plan would be like leaving signs or sending them a message telling them your new address, so they can visit you without getting lost.

It’s crucial when launching a new site because it helps people find their way and not get confused when you change your website. It also helps search engines like Google understand the changes and make sure they show the correct information when someone searches for your website. 

Security measures

Before your website goes live, it is crucial to implement several security measures to protect your website and its users and to make sure your website complies with guidelines. Here are some key security measures to consider: 

  1. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
  2. Strong Passwords for all users
  3. Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  4. Secure Hosting
  5. User Access Control
  6. Captcha or reCAPTCHA
  7. Data Backup and Recovery
  8. Secure Payment Processing
  9. Security Monitoring and Logging

Remember, security is an ongoing process, so regularly review and update your security measures as new threats emerge. By implementing these security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches and protect your website and its users.

So your site is ready to launch. Well done! Your website is ready. You’ve tested it and checked off the items in this checklist; you’re prepared for the go live!

Having worked with the team on a UK website build, maintenance and reporting, as well as regular mangement of Google Adwords, and an international SEO project for a global website, I couldn’t recommend enough. I’d recommend over many of the larger agencies I’ve used over the years.

Gerry Johnstone, Service Express

Website Post-Launch Checklist

Congratulations on launching your new website! While it is an exciting accomplishment, it is only the start of a long journey toward success. It’s important to recognise that the effort to maintain and improve your online presence is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention. Before you promote your website, there are a few steps you should take to ensure everything is running smoothly. These steps include:

Test it again

You now have a live website. The site launch is almost complete. Launch day is now! Nope, hold it there. When you launch a new website, sometimes technical issues can occur. So before you shout about your new site launch, there are a few things you need to do. Starting with testing. You’re probably thinking, “But wait, I’ve just tested it?”. Well, listen up, every website needs continual testing, different devices and different browsers test it again and double-check it’s all okay before you announce the launch of your new website. You’ll thank us later on that one!

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Submit your sitemap

Okay, so the testing is done, you’re happy, and you’re ready to announce a new website launch? Not quite! Next, you need to submit your sitemap. A sitemap is a blueprint of your website’s structure, listing all the pages and content it contains. By submitting your sitemap to search engines like Google, you provide them with valuable information about your website, enabling them to crawl and index your pages more effectively. This improves the chances of your website appearing in search engine results and attracting organic traffic. Once your site is live, open up Google Search Console and submit your sitemap to start the indexing process.

Monitor the website for errors.

Regardless of how much pre-launch testing you conducted on your website, there is always a possibility of encountering bugs or errors that can affect its functionality. Hence, it is essential to monitor your website regularly to ensure smooth operation. A website maintenance plan is a worthwhile consideration at this point. Common issues to look for include broken links, missing images, slow-loading pages, and broken forms.

Several tools, such as Google Analytics, can help monitor your website’s performance and identify any issues. Conducting a thorough manual review of your website at regular intervals is also recommended to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Monitor traffic

To comprehend user behaviour on your website, it is essential to monitor its traffic. Various web analytics tools, like Google Analytics, can help track essential metrics such as bounce rates, session duration, and page views. These metrics enable identifying popular pages, understanding the time users spend on the website, and highlighting pages that require improvement. 

Monitoring website traffic can help recognise any performance issues. For instance, if there is a sudden drop in traffic, it may imply that the website is down or experiencing technical difficulties.

Monitor search engine rankings.

Monitoring your website’s search engine rankings is crucial to attracting new visitors and customers. To achieve this, use various SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to track the keywords your website’s ranking for and identify areas for improvement. Google Search Console can also help with any SEO strategies you choose to put in place.

Monitor user feedback

Gathering user feedback is a reliable method of recognising areas for improvement and resolving any issues impacting your website’s user experience. Feedback can be collected through various channels, such as surveys, polls, or feedback forms. It is crucial to review feedback regularly and address any problems experienced by users. We often recommend putting a link to a feedback form on a confirmation page whereby the site has done its job, and the user has been successful in getting what they want.

Monitor analytics

Web analytics can offer valuable insights into user behaviour on your website and enable informed decision-making to enhance performance. Google Analytics and other tools provide crucial metrics such as page views, visitors, and conversions. 

Analysing these metrics helps identify high-performing pages, areas requiring improvement, and pages with low visitor rates. This data can guide data-driven decisions toward website optimisation, ultimately improving website performance.

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Carl Darnell
Founder and Director

My passion lies in helping growing businesses achieve their goals by leveraging the power of digital channels. I strive to bring a fresh perspective and innovative strategies to the table to help brands reach new heights.

Carl Darnell
Founder and Director

My passion lies in helping growing businesses achieve their goals by leveraging the power of digital channels. I strive to bring a fresh perspective and innovative strategies to the table to help brands reach new heights.

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