Some Important Things to Check Before You Launch Your Site:

Before you launch your website out into the world, there are some key actions to take to increase the chances that your audience will find your website in the first place of any popular search engine, and that when they do, they will take the actions you want them to take. In 2022, there is a lot of things to consider. You need to make sure your site is ready for success in the current situation. Follow the steps on this website launch checklist to help you avoid mistakes that can turn your audience off, or even prevent them from finding you in the first place. This is very similar to the checklist I follow for every site designed by 360 Interactive.


1. Do Your Quality Control

Making a good first impression with your site has a lot to do with elegance– how it looks, reads, and feels. This means your messaging and the colors that support them are important to consider. – take time to make sure it doesn’t have any embarrassing or avoidable mistakes:

  • Make sure your site title and description is set and that your logo displays correctly

  • Check fonts, sizes, colors, and other details and ensure consistency

  • Read through all pages and ensure there are no spelling mistakes, typos, broken links, or dummy text

  • Make sure your contact details (phone, email, address) are all correct

  • Test your navigation and make sure all links are working and go to the correct pages


2. Test Your Website Functional Elements

Beyond appealing, it’s important to ensure that your site functions well. If you’re an eCommerce site offering customer support, check your user communication experience. Make sure all the functional aspects of your website work exactly the way you expect them to:

  • Test all of your website forms and make sure they behave as expected and that submissions go where you expect them to

  • If you have email sign-up/newsletter forms linked to your email marketing platform, make sure that the connection is working

  • Make deliberate mistakes when filling in your forms and make sure that error messages are clear and understandable

  • If your site is eCommerce-enabled, place some test orders


3. Optimize Your Mobile

Your website will hopefully be viewed by people on all sorts of devices, using many different browsers. So, whilst you may have viewed it primarily on your own mobile or laptop with your preferred browser during the design phase, you do need to make sure it looks consistently good across ALL platforms and devices before going live.


4.  Browser Compatibility Testing

Not only do people visit your site via various devices, but they also use different browsers. According to statistics, Chrome is the most popular browser. Still, many people use Safari, Firefox, or another one. What you need to do is check if your website displays correctly on each of them. The very least you can do is to test it yourself. Use Chrome, Safari, and Firefox (both on desktop and mobile) to make sure everything is in order.

Naturally, you can’t test every single device or browser out there. That’s why you can use these two sites to help you out.


5. Make sure every page has a Call-To-Action button

This is a good time to take a small step back and remind yourself why you wanted a website in the first place. What do you want your site visitors to do – are you trying to sell your services, do you want them to book an appointment, read your blog, sign up for your newsletter? Whatever it is, they’re more likely to do it, if you explicitly ask them to. So make sure you are signposting and that every page has a clear call to action.


6. Enable a Cookie Banner

By law, if you collect cookies from visitors to your website, you have to enable a cookie banner or pop-up that allows visitors to provide their consent for you to do this. While you’re at it, make sure your privacy policy (and returns policy and T&Cs for e-commerce-enabled sites) are easy to find.


7. Upload a Professional Favicon

A favicon is a little icon that you see next to your site’s name in the tab of a web browser or in bookmarks, it represents your brand. a simple version of your logo. Although it’s a small element, it can help your website stand out in a sea of open browser tabs, so you definitely want to add it. Google also displays favicons on the mobile search results page, which can raise the visibility of your brand there.

These tools can help you create a favicon if you don’t have one already.

If you don’t know how to add a favicon – ask your web designer to add them.


8. Add the Sharing Buttons and Connect Social Media

And of course, add links to all of your active social media accounts (but only the active ones please!), so that your website visitors can interact with you across all their favorite social channels. There are so many social icon sets available, and you can have them as subtle, or bold as you like. Just make sure they are visible, link to the right accounts, and preferably open in a new tab, so that visitors aren’t taken away from your website down a Facebook black hole!

Social sharing is used mostly for blog posts. These icons at the bottom of each post enable your visitors to share your articles to different social platforms at the click of a button. By having these enabled you will increase your chance of being shared and growing your audience by word of mouth. If your site is eCommerce-based, or you show a lot of product photos, you might also want to include a Pinterest share button on certain pages. This will allow visitors to ‘pin’ products they love and increase the visibility of your items to a whole new audience on Pinterest.


9. Optimize for SEO

Google uses more than 200 factors to rank a piece of content. Of course, not all are obvious, but following some key guidelines will help you to rank. At a basic level, every page should include a Meta Title (around 40-50 characters) and Meta Description (no more than 110 words). These are the first pieces of content rendered when search engine bots and crawlers explore your website and subsequently define how relevant your pages will display within search results.


10. Create Policies

There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things.

To give maximum reassurance to your customers that you’ve got their safety in mind, make sure to draw up a set of policies. Your COVID-19 policy should highlight what procedures you’ll implement across your service to protect your customer’s products, from package handling to delivery. Will you ensure hygiene standards and social distancing measures? Get it written and make it clear on your site.


11. Connect Google Analytics

Whilst platforms like Shopify and Squarespace have built-in analytics, which is perfect if you’re just starting out, when you’re ready to dive deeper into how visitors are using your website and which of your marketing campaigns are really working, you’ll want to have access to Google Analytics (GA). First, you’ll need to create an account with GA and then you can set it up on your website. With GA installed, you’ll be able to see how many people are visiting your site, where they’re coming from, what devices and browsers they’re using, which pages they’re visiting, and much more. For eCommerce sites, you can set up goals, track sales funnels, view shopping cart drop-off rates, and more.


12. Ensure your website Security

Around 70% of website professionals are concerned about potential cyberattacks on websites. Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificates are completely mandatory if your website collects any personal information or if you are doing e-commerce transactions, but they are also fast becoming very important for all other websites too. Google has confirmed that SSL certificates are an important ranking signal (ranking signals determine where your website fits in the google search results for specific search terms), and many browsers will actually flag your website as insecure if you don’t have an SSL certificate – which won’t exactly instill confidence and trust in your audience. Most hosts offer a free SSL certificate – ask yours if you’re unsure.

This means you must do everything you can to protect the security of your website, and the data of your customers. It’s very important for your business in the long run.


13. Submit your website to Google and another major Search Engine

As of mid-2021, Google has an almost 88% share of the search market, so when you launch your website, you’ll want to make sure the world’s most-used search engine knows how to find you. Speed up the process of getting indexed by Google by asking Google to look at your website sooner rather than later. To do this, just search ‘Submit URL to Google’ and follow the steps. Within a few days, you should see your pages indexed in Google. Yay! People can find you now.


If you have any questions about this Website Launch Checklist or are looking for help after you launch a website — feel free to CONTACT US today! We would love to help set you up for success.