Check Marks Before Going Live
Great! your new website is complete and ready to go live. Exciting times. Although it can be tempting to rush along and push the “go live” button, there are literally a numerous thing that one should checked and verify before making that call. These checks range from aesthetic, content, and style checks to functional, security, performance, and search engine optimization (SEO) checks. Any professional web developer will automatically do most of these for you, which is great, considering that many of the checklist items are quite technical. But there is numerous item that, as a website owner, you should verify yourself to make sure you’re satisfied. Here are some of such items.
1. 301 redirects
If it is a website redesign that you’re doing, then you’ll probably want to set up 301 redirects. The reason is that your current website pages have been indexed by search engines, and they have some sort of page rank associated with them that you’d probably want to maintain. When you update your website, these pages will more than likely either not exist anymore, or will have moved.
For example, say on your current website, you have a page about your company located at www.domain.com/about/, and on the new website, this page has changed to www.domain.com/company-profile/ , then you’ll want to tell the search engines about the move. 301 redirects essentially tell search engines where the corresponding pages on the old site resides on the new site. This way the page rank will be transferred from one to the other and not lost in the ether. Make sure to ask your website developer to set up this for you.
Having a brand-new website is good, but it’s even great when you have analytics installed. Analytics will tell you all sorts of useful information such and where your website visitors are coming from, which pages they visit, where they leave your website from, and so on.
Installing analytics is not done automatically by your web developer so you will need to check that it is installed. Google provides a great free analytics tool that is very straightforward for the web developer to install. It’s recommended that you use this as a minimum. There is also a plethora of more advanced but paid analytics tools out there if you are so inclined.
3. Browsers and devices
This task should be done by your web developer, but there is no harm in making sure that you are happy with what’s been done, since, as a website owner, it can be easy to overlook this. Just because you use Firefox as your default browser and your phone is a Samsung Galaxy S does not mean that everyone else does. Your customers will be using all sorts of browsers and devices, so it’s important that the site works on every device.
For browsers, you will want to check your website on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. To see which browsers to focus on more check the analytics of your current website to see what most people are using when they visit your site.
You’ll also want to check your site on some phones and tablets. It’d be close to impossible to check everything, of course, but there are a couple of handy browsers tools you can use to come close.
Make sure to check everything, not just how it looks. For instance, fill in any forms you might have and make sure they work. Does the form of validation work? Did you get the email response? Perform a search, use the map, download the press release, etc. In short, make sure to check the interactive features, as well as the style and presentation.
Speed is very important these days. It can mean the difference between a high bounce rate and a low one. Even your page rank will be affected by your website speed.
It is necessary to check this before actually going live, because prior to the launch, the site is most probably residing on developer / staging server, and so the results may not be accurate. You can make sure it as soon as the site goes live though, and there are several tools available for this.
5. Go live at the right time
Lastly, even if your website is ready and checked and verified to go at the end of the week, it’s not recommended to go live, say on a Thursday. Computers can be a bit unpredictable at times, and things can often go wrong. Either the server is not fully compatible with the website, or data is lost on the upload. Whatever it is, going live before the weekend is risky because you could end up with a broken website sitting in all its glory for the world to see for a couple of days. It’s much safer to go live at the start to the middle of the week so that in case something is wrong, your web developer can fix it right away.
Clarity is proud to have been providing Website Design services to the Americas and the world since 2006. Our clients are Worldwide currently using our unified communications platform. Clarity Technologies Group, LLC surpasses expectations.
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