Pre and Post Website Launch Checklist

Vicente Diaz
By Vicente Diaz

When we are about to launch a brand new website or a redesign, we have to always be focused so we don’t screw anything up. It might sound simple: It’s just about a change to the DNS and that’s it, right? Nope! Launching or migrating a new site has lots of little things that need to be addressed in order to have a successful launch. With each of these little things, we have to be sure to check all of the functionalities, aesthetics, SEO values, etc. We perform these activities to avoid losing traffic and decreasing our ranking. For these reasons, we’ve created a simple to-do checklist for pre and post-launch to have an overall successful launch!

Related: Developing Websites With Marketing in Mind

Content

Fine tune your content. This might sound obvious, but many times, it is easily forgotten. Before pushing your site live, double check all of your content by fixing any grammatical errors, replacing placeholders (which are either lorem ipsum or images), and be sure you have a well-written privacy policy and copyright.

It is also very crucial to ensure that each and every link within the site is properly set up to avoid any 404 or mistakes.

Related: Web Design and Content: How They Perfectly Balance One Another

Aesthetic

Be sure to do an extensive QA (Quality Assurance) throughout the whole site, looking at different screens sizes and devices. Assuring that the aesthetic is ready before launch generally requires some time. For maximum efficiency, be sure to have more help when testing the site on different phones, tablets, etc. It’s critical that the site has a great UX on all devices.

Functionality

Although checking the spacing and other aspects that could look odd on the site is important, functionality is key. It’s important to check the functionality of the site and all sizes; be sure that whatever the functionality is, it applies to all devices.

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Within functionality, we also refer to all the forms, feeds, and check out (if e-commerce). They all must function properly in order for us to keep track of any submission or purchases done in the site post-launch.

Cross Browser Testing

This is a big one. When you develop a site, you usually stick to your favorite browser. Since many people vary their internet use from one browser to another, it is important to do a cross-browser testing to be sure that your site works across all browsers. If the site is developed well, this step shouldn’t cause much trouble (exception: IE).

Image Optimization

Make sure that all images are sized respectively and with a good file size. Doing this directly benefits the loading time on your site.

Related: How to Test Your Website Loading Speed Time

Minimize Assets

Minimizing CSS and JavaScript is also a very good technique for reducing load time. Having them on the corresponding spots is very important (CSS on the header and JavaScript on the footer).

Analytics

Analytics is important for every website. It’s a great resource for checking all of the traffic and engagement your site receives. As an added bonus, setting up Google Analytics is simple and free!

Related: 5 Common Google Analytics Errors and Their Solutions

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO has many variables that could influence the site’s ranking. If you are interested in taking advantage of these variables, here are a couple you should include on your site.

Schema Markup

Schema Markup can benefit your site tremendously. It is normally used to show more information from your site to users who are searching through Google, and is compared to rich snippets.

Meta values

The Meta Title and Meta Description play a key role on the search engines. Not only do they associate the title with what people are searching for, but also define the main topic of the page, and normally specific keywords that are used to attract users.

Related: Search Engine Starter Guide for Launching a New Webiste

Open Graph

An open graph is important anytime one of your pages is being shared across social media. This usually includes a title, description, and an image. It is important to have these three items well-implemented to have a good “look” on pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which ultimately attracts more users.

Redirect Map

A redirect map it is super important when launching a new site, as it redirects every old item to its current page. For example, if your contact page used to be “/contact/,” and is now “/contact-us/,” a redirect map will automatically redirect the item to the current page and will avoid 404 errors, which negatively affect your SEO ranking.

XML Map

When you launch your new site, it is important to create a new XML map and upload it to the Google search console. This is created so that Google knows that the structure has changed and can crawl your site again. If you don’t do this, the links in Google will take much more time to be updated.

SSL

Making your site secure is more important now than ever before. Why? Many users avoid going to unsafe sites, and even worse, Google penalizes all unsecured sites.

Conclusion

If not done correctly, launching a website can create many issues. You must pay crucial attention to every single detail to avoid future surprises such as site-traffic decrease or values related to SEO. Assure your site is responsive, user-friendly, works across multiple devices, and has a quick loading time to create an amazing user experience.

Ready for a new website, but not sure where to start? Contact us and enhance your online presence today!

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Vicente is a Web Developer at Power Digital. Born and raised in Chile, he moved to San Diego, CA to pursue a degree in Management Information Systems at SDSU. His passion for coding and design has driven him to focus on currently on web development but desiring to extend his skills to further complex applications to create great user experiences in multiple environments.