The Ultimate Website Launch Checklist: 15 Things To Do Before and After You Launch
Skipping some of these things could have a negative impact on your success, so it’s vital you do it right from the first step.
You’ve created your website and you’re so excited for the whole world to see it? Before you rush into publishing it, you should first check whether you’ve done everything you should to ensure your website launch goes as smoothly as possible. Skipping some of these things could have a negative impact on your success, so it’s vital you do it right from the first step.
We all create checklists for our daily activities, from business tasks to shopping and vacations. This helps us to stay on track and not forget things that are important to us due to some reason. The same approach should be utilized with your website launch. If you wish it to be successful, you will need a checklist.
Huge potential lies in your website, so not being able to launch it the right way could prevent your business from growth. Just like it is with everything, not being completely dedicated to something increases the chances of mistakes and failures.
To help you successfully launch your website, we’ve created a checklist of 15 things you need to do before and after the launch to ensure the best results. Start taking notes and focus on these things right away!
table of contents
- Start with security
- Protect website from spam
- Create a Google Analytics code
- Configure an SEO plugin
- Check permalinks
- Ensure an SSL certificate for the website
- Allow Search Engine Indexing
- Submit your website to Google
- Review Cross-browser compatibility
- Test website on different devices
- Check broken links
- Optimize images on your website
- Double-check your grammar and spelling
- Edit the admin email address
- Test all website forms
1. Start with Security
The first thing you need to check when launching a website, whether it’s in WordPress, Wix or any other platform, is to focus on security. An unsecured website will not have a good ranking on search engines so you will suffer from low traffic as people tend to avoid the ones that are not secure for them. Luckily, you can find a wide variety of tools that will help you understand how secure your website is and what needs to be improved in certain areas. Not protecting your website from possible threats can cause a lot of problems in the future.
2. Protect Website from Spam
When thinking of the negative things that could ruin your great website, one of the first things that will come to your mind is probably spam. Take some time to deal with spam before your launch your website. You can do so by installing a plugin that will help you handle those annoying, useless comments. There are also numerous great anti-spam plugins on the market and some of them are completely free. Make sure you get one before your website launch.
3. Create a Google Analytics Code
You’ve spent so much time building and designing your website and now you don’t have a clue who is visiting it? Thankfully, you won’t have to guess because just by adding a Google Analytics Code, you can see who is looking at your website and so much more. Start by creating a Google Analytics account and add the code to ensure you’re tracking the entire website. Besides seeing how many people visited your website, you will see where they are coming from, how long are they staying on your website, what browser they use to access your websites, etc.
4. Configure an SEO Plugin
You can design the most beautiful website in the world with all the breathtaking elements, but when you look into your traffic numbers, you will be very disappointed to see these numbers are actually really low. Why is that so? Having a beautiful website design will not guarantee you traffic. For that, you will need to optimize it for search engines. If you don’t quite understand SEO, you can start by creating your website in WordPress as it’s search engine friendly.
5. Check Permalinks
If you’ve decided to create your website in WordPress, you’ll be happy to hear that creating URLs to your pages is actually very easy. You can choose any of the previously defined structures or even create something completely unique. Everything needs to be set up right before you decide to launch your website. The process of setting up permalinks is so simple it takes only a few seconds.
6. Ensure an SSL Certificate for the Website
Secure Socket Layer certificates, also known as simply SSL, are becoming increasingly crucial for business websites. If you’re not using an SSL certificate, browsers will flag your website as insecure. As we’ve already mentioned what are the consequences of having an unsecure website, you understand this is something you shouldn’t allow. More importantly, it’s really easy to fix it and the majority of hosts provide a free SSL certificate nowadays.
7. Allow Search Engine Indexing
While building a website, many of us will turn off search engine indexing. That’s a great method while your website is still in the development mode, however, once you’re done, you will want it to be indexed by Google and other search engines. To do that successfully, you will need to turn on the search engine indexing before launching your website.
8. Submit Your Website to Google
You’ve built and designed your website exactly how you wanted and you’re ready for the world to see it? Then, you will need to inform the largest search engine in the world you’re ready for some traffic. If you wish to ensure Google stops by as soon as possible, you should consider adding your website to Google and informing them they can take a look at it. Some assume this is a very complex process but it’s unbelievably easy to do it. Just search ‘Submit URL to Google’ to get an input box. Add your complete website URL, click on the button ‘Submit’ and you’re done!
9. Review Cross-browser Compatibility
Your website visitors will come from many different places and they will use different browsers to access your website. That’s why it’s vital to ensure your website looks and performs great with other browsers. It might be exhaustive for you to test so many browsers, but if you wish to ensure the best quality for your website visitors regardless of the browser they use, you will need to do it. To save your time, you can use tools that will help you review the cross-browser compatibility.
10. Test Website on Different Devices
After you’ve ensured that your website performs great across various browsers, it’s time to test it on different devices as well. Luckily, you can use tools even for this to be more precise and save your time. Some of them even generate and show you screenshots of how your website looks on different devices which helps you to understand which parts of your website need to be improved to ensure all your visitors are enjoying the same website quality.
11. Check Broken Links
While you’re building your website, in all these processes of changing links and pages, it’s possible there will be a few broken links. Before you launch your website, you should check if there are any broken links and if there are, fix them as soon as possible. Moreover, you should scan your website very often to ensure that all of your old links are working perfectly as sometimes these links can get broken and without checking it, you risk of having broken links on your website.
12. Optimize Images on Your Website
By adding images, you’re making sure your website is dynamic and captivating for your visitors. However, not optimized these images will lead to negative SEO consequences for your website, such as lowering the speed of your page loading. The smaller and more compressed your images are, the better the performance your website will have on search engines.
13. Double-check your Grammar and Spelling
Your content is the most valuable thing you can offer to your website visitors. That’s why it’s vital that you double-check the grammar and spelling on your entire website, not just your blog. Take the time the read the text on all of your pages, including landing pages and SEO elements, such as meta descriptions and titles. Having a website full of grammatical errors will make it harder for you to sell whatever you’re selling as your target audience will not be encouraged to purchase from someone who is not focused on providing the best quality content for their audience.
14. Edit the Admin Email Address
If you remember the first time you’ve installed WordPress or any other CMS platform, you were asked to add your admin email address. That’s the email address where you will be receiving notifications when something happens on your website. Once your website is ready to launch, you should check that email address once again to ensure if it’s the right one. If you forget to check it and leave an email address that is not valid or used, you risk to miss out on things that will happen on your website.
15. Test All Website Forms
If you’re adding forms to your website, will they provide your visitors with what they need? For instance, having a form that requires your visitors to add information for no reason can cause frustration among people. Test every form you add on your website, from their design to feedback they provide to a person who completes it. Check where these answers are being sent to and, most importantly, have a purpose for each form you add.
Launching a website is not a complicated process but it involves numerous details you could easily forget. That’s why it’s crucial that you have a checklist for your website launch. If you’re currently building or re-building your website, make sure you cover all the things from our list to enjoy benefits from a great website later.
Joel Koh is the director of One X Tech's Technology Management & Digital Solutions practice. He leads the firm's Asia Pacific office efforts in continually evolving and growing new capabilities to serve clients in technology-led transformations.