Launching a website is akin to opening the doors to a global audience. The anticipation of showcasing your content, products, or services is exciting, but it's also accompanied by the weight of ensuring everything runs seamlessly. A meticulous website checklist is not just a tool; it's your peace of mind. It ensures that every element, from design to functionality, is in its rightful place, ready to impress and engage your visitors.
While website builders have revolutionized how you can set up online platforms, they are not a substitute for thorough preparation. Think of them as the foundation, but the structure, design, and content are what truly define your website's essence. Planning is paramount, and it's more than just aesthetics. It's about user experience, speed, compatibility, and ensuring your message resonates with your target audience.
Remember that a smooth launch is a culmination of careful planning and attention to detail. Let's embark on this journey together, ensuring that from the very first click, your website shines, performs, and delivers on its promise.
» Want to build an online store? Check out our top picks for the best Zyro e-commerce templates.
1. Ensure Your Design Is Consistent and On-Brand
According to Doctor Elizabeth Sillence, 94% of visitors will reject a website or mistrust a company with poor design elements. You can avoid this by looking at your website as a whole and ensuring the color scheme is consistent.
Brand image can directly affect customers' confidence in you. For example, it can increase the likelihood of them paying a premium price for your product or service.
2. Assess the User Experience of Your Website
To optimize the user experience of your website:
- Follow visitor progression routes on your website
- Map out user interactions by storyboarding
- Go through every step as if you were a customer
If the pages are loading too slowly or the menu is difficult to navigate, you'll need to improve the user experience on your website. These issues are easy to address but can affect the success of your launch.
3. Make a Backup of Your Data
Regular data backups are a staple of good website management. Many website builders (like GoDaddy, for example) back up your website automatically, but check your platform's settings to make sure.
If something goes wrong, you'll quickly restore your website and save the day. I almost ruined my previous one with the wrong theme. My backup habit allowed me to swiftly revert to an earlier version.
4. Test Your Website on Different Devices
Mobile responsiveness can affect your website's performance in search engines. Don't count on the in-app testing features. Make sure it's mobile-friendly by opening it on different devices and operating systems.
In 2023, nearly 60% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. It can go even higher depending on the industry and the type of website. You would want to take advantage of this.
5. Verify All Links
Check all links and buttons on your website and ensure they link to the correct pages. Pay special attention to the following:
- Call-to-action and add-to-cart buttons
- The navigation menu and all its sub-categories
- Image links
- Links to individual product pages
- All links in the cart if you have an online store
A broken link can make a user leave your website in a snap and never return. You can use a tool like Ahrefs Broken Link Checker for this.
6. Enable Search Engine Indexing
To have your website appear in search engines once you launch it, you need to enable indexing. You can do this in your website builder's SEO settings.
Once you launch, you can also submit a sitemap to speed up the process. This is one of the most crucial steps—otherwise, new clients would be unable to find you.
» Stay at the top of Google's search results with the best website builder for SEO.
7. Secure Your Website
You must perform regular platform and plugin updates to secure your website. Most update automatically, but do them manually for WordPress, as plugins are responsible for 92% of all security issues. Here are some other things you should do to bolster the security of your website:
- Install an SSL certificate
- Set strong passwords
- Use two-factor authentication
- Manually verify and approve comments
- Stay alert for phishing attacks
8. Proofread the Content
You've already checked everything multiple times, but now's the moment to take a break and return to your website to proofread.
Your brain glosses over the details when you're familiar with something. That's why a break is essential. I do this all the time, and it helps me find errors I've made. If you're pressed for time, change the font to enhance readability.
9. Set Up Your Analytics
Setting up your website analytics correctly from day one is the key to assessing the performance of your new website.
Head to Google Search Console and Analytics to set up both profiles. They will guide you through the setup process, which is pretty straightforward.
10. Promote Your New Website
To maximize the effects, promote your website before and after the launch. You can use social media and your newsletter to create excitement.
The right marketing strategy will drive traffic to your website and help you get your first sales if you're opening an online store.
Use a Checklist for a Stress-Free Launch
Whether you're diving into e-commerce or sharing your insights, these steps form the basic building blocks of a successful website launch. Once you put them into practice, you're all set to kick off your digital adventure with confidence.
» Designing a website yourself? You need to know the differences between UX and UI design.