You think your T's are crossed, your I's are dotted and your website is ready for launch. This is the most exciting time for our clients, where we see all of the hard work come to fruition. Before we press 'go' and send your site off into orbit, there's a few things we want to make sure you think about prior to launch that can have a major impact on your website's success.
When your site launches, you'll anxiously wait for the calls to start rolling in, Facebook and Twitter shares to start racking up and are probably sending out emails announcing the exciting news. It's important that before we promote the site, that we set up the proper way of measuring your site's audience. Your old site probably has a Google Analytics script that can be transferred over into your new site, so that you have a definitive comparison of old versus new. If you don't have an existing analytics script, it's important to create one to measure your new site's success.
Without ensuring your analytics are set up at launch, you miss valuable information on the initial launch of your website, losing out on insight that can help you identify which parts of your site are the most engaging.
Domain Registration and Email
If you're working with a hip digital agency that has shown you a proof of your website, they are probably converting it in a live browser that isn't your actual domain. Before pushing the website over to your domain, there must be precautions in place to prevent server downtime. Without these precautions, you could lose email communication, URL access or even worse, website errors for potential customers.
Our Sitewrench content management team offers online how-to's and specialized training on how to transfer registrar information to eliminate any problems during launch.
With your new site, it's a given that you will have new information to share. Making sure that all of your content areas are fully flushed out and up to date is a major task for your website list. Delegating content load to the appropriate person guarantees that all information is loaded and accounted for before site launch.
In addition to loading out all content, making sure attachments are up-to-date and organized properly is also important. Making sure your site's content is keyword rich and on the appropriate page will help you out when you begin implementing a keyword strategy for your website.
Site Architecture and Backlinks
When you are migrating content, it can seem easy to simply copy and paste text, carrying over existing hyperlinks. However, if your site's structure is different from your last site, it's likely that page titles have changed. Migrating text without checking links can lead to hundreds of broken backlinks, which is a major red flag for your website's credibility online. Your new website likely has a different structure than before, and will need to be appropriately linked.
This can be done by manually checking links on each page. If you have ongoing search engine maintenance, your SEO consultant can return and fix an entire list of links that are broken and resubmit your site to the search engine crawlers.
The last step before lift off is to confirm who will be responsible for site maintenance. If your hours of operation change, you have a change in staff or need to update another section of the website, someone on your staff must be responsible for making the change. This person should spend time getting acquainted with the system as a whole and be comfortable with how it works and how to process a change.
It's also important to delegate who will have admin access to all things necessary for the website such as access to analytics, website registration information, etc. Having a specific person to manage this will keep your site organized and uniform and will eliminate any confusion through turnover or in case of emergency.
With this final checklist, your website will be ready to launch! Of course if you're building a new website with Speak Creative, your account manager will be there every step of the way and ensure that your site is ready. We know this is an exciting time for your business and look forward to helping your project launch successfully!
If you'd like to speak with our Memphis or Nashville office about your next web design project, give us a call or leave a comment below. We are here to walk you through the process of your next design and have ideas that will keep your online presence powerful.