How to Make Sure Your Website is Ready: A Prelaunch Checklist
There are countless factors to consider when building a website – the layout needs to be just so, the copy impeccable and all the technical building blocks in place. The success of your online project depends on how well all the separate elements come together, so covering all bases is a must. Indeed, getting it right is an ongoing process and requires continuous maintenance. However, whilst no website can be perfect at the moment of launch, there are certain things that absolutely must be in place prior to going live. Before you release your site into the great World Wide Web, run through our pre-launch checklist and make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes.
1. Is your site optimized for mobile and tablet?
We are always reading how mobile is rapidly overtaking desktop, yet many people fail to give this the attention it deserves. In this day and age, it is a fact we can no longer ignore, and your website should be mobile-ready from day one. To ensure optimal performance across all devices, opt for responsive design; your web page will detect what screen size a website visitor is using and adapt the layout accordingly. Sites that are not mobile-friendly have an immediate disadvantage, and stand to lose a significant amount of traffic.
2. Have you included all the right keywords?
When launching your website, you want to make sure that it can easily be found. This means ranking well in Google and other search engines, so keywords are paramount. If you haven’t done so already, go through your content and optimize it based on a keyword strategy. One of your keywords is, of course, your brand name, but there are plenty of other things to incorporate too. Consider how people should end up on your website – what kinds of words and phrases do you want to be associated with? Your defined keywords should then be weaved naturally into your website content – and inform any additional content you generate in the future.
3. Are all the necessary security measures in place?
Publishing an insecure website is like opening a bank without installing an alarm. It is easy to get caught up in making your site look great, but security is just as important. In fact, today’s internet users are extremely safety-conscious, and being lax on security will no doubt cost you traffic. At the very least, your website should be equipped with SSL protection; this ensures secure communication between your server and that of your website visitors. This is especially important if you plan on taking payments via your website, as it allows credit card details to be transmitted securely; however, SSL is necessary for all types of websites. In addition to installing all the integral measures pre-launch, it is absolutely vital to monitor the security of your website on an ongoing basis. With free website checker tools, you can test how secure your website is at any time and patch up any holes as quickly as possible.
4. Do you have a backup plan?
No website is invincible; from malware and viruses to online hackers, there are dozens of threats once your site is online. You might not be able to prevent these things from happening, but you can certainly take steps to limit the damage. Before launching your site, make sure you have a backup plan in place – this way, if something does go wrong, you can quickly restore all your content and files. Your web host may offer a backup service, or you can install a backup plugin. It’s also possible to compress your website files and store them yourself. However you choose to do it, make sure you have this figured out before going online.
5. Is your site error-free?
Nothing says unprofessional like typos and errors, so don’t let last-minute carelessness undermine your hard work. Just before you make your website live, be sure to proofread one last time. If you can, get someone else to look over it as well; a second pair of eyes will pick up things you might have missed. Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation in particular; these may seem like minor things, but they will stick out to the user and immediately make your site seem less credible.
After working on your website for so long, you will no doubt be keen to move it online. However, by making sure you are really ready to launch, you will not only save yourself work in the long run, but also improve your website’s chances of success. For more help building a successful website, read through these 11 useful tips.