Website Launch Checklist: 27 Power Things to Do Before Launching a Website

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Are you planning on launching your business website? Are you feeling confused on what you should do before your website go live? Would you care if I tell you what to include in your website launch checklist?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, then you are in luck because in the next few minutes I will be sharing with you the things to do before launching a website.

There’s no doubt that in the last few years has become so easy that in a matter of minutes and with a few clicks on the mouse, your website would be live for business. But this notwithstanding, a lot of small business owners still feel overwhelmed when it comes to launching a new website for their business.

Of course that is understandable because, launching a website is not just about setting up a few web pages. It requires careful planning. In fact, if your business website must succeed in the midst the competition out there, you will need to build it on a solid foundation and with the right elements.

In this website launch checklist, you will learn exactly what you should do before your website goes live. This checklist contains the essential tasks that I’ve learned over the past 10+ years of creating and launching websites for my personal businesses and for my clients.

For better understanding, I’ve divided the checklist into 5 section, namely:

  • Website Design Checklist
  • Website Content Checklist
  • SEO Checklist for New Websites
  • Website Credibility Checklist
  • Website Functionality Checklist

Web Site Hosting/Web Design Software

Making Money in the Web Hosting Niche Market

Before we jump into the details of the website launch checklist let me quickly say a word or two about website hosting and web design software. This is necessary because when you use the right webhost and web design software, implementing this checklist will be much easier.

Choosing a webhosting service is intimidating for most business persons. As a result most are comfortable using SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform for setting up their business websites. However, if you’re the type that wants more control over what you can do with and on your website, then getting a web hosting services that provides your website with its own server is important.

Some of the things you should look out for when choosing a webhost are:

  • Storage and Bandwidth
  • Speed and Optimization
  • Security
  • Ease of Setup and Use
  • Downtime Records
  • Customer Support
  • Flexibility of moving between different Types of Web Hosting Services

In the last 10+ years I have used a number of webhosting services. And from my personal experience and that of my clients, I now recommend either of these hosting companies:

  1. DreamHost.com,
  2. Hostinger.com; and
  3. BlueHost.com.

These services provides your website with its own server and you can choose a shared, virtual, or dedicated server, depending on your website’s requirement.

Another reason why I recommend getting a webhosting service is that most of the SaaS platforms charge a hefty amount each year for an SSL certificate. Because SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are a necessity for websites these days, this can put a big strain on your resources.

If you’re using the above recommended webhosting services you can get an SSL certificate for free for all your websites hosted by these services.

For web design software, my recommended resource is WordPress. This is for a number of reasons. First, when you use web design software like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. you’re literally squatting on someone else’s land. You don’t have much control over what you can and cannot do. But with WordPress you have full control over your website both in the area of design and what tools you can implement on the site.

Besides, WordPress comes with a plethora of themes (templates) that make designing an aesthetically beautiful website easy. There are also thousands of plugins that can be implemented to achieve a functional website. And, if you’re using web hosting services like DreamHost.com, Hostinger.com, and BlueHost.com, you can easily install WordPress with a few clicks of your mouse.

Please note that there are two aspects of WordPress namely WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Though the two are free to use, the former is the same like the other web design software named above in that your website is only squatting on a rented space.

In this article I am referring to the second, WordPress.org. This allows you to download the software into your own webhost so you can design your site to your heart’s desire!

With that being said, let’s get your website ready for a successful launch.

Website Launch Checklist before Going Live

  1. Website Design Checklist

The saying, “You only have one first chance to make one first impression that lasts a lifetime” is definitely true when it comes to website design. When most people land on your website, it will take them a few seconds to glance at the general appearance before deciding whether to stay and read or listen to what you have to say or click away to the next one!

It’s important therefore that you review your website’s design before your launch. The design should be user-friendly so it excites and encourages visitors to stay on the site. This is the only way that they can soak in what you have to offer.

Be aware however that these days classic, minimal designs are the in-thing. So, don’t be carried away with all the fanciful things you could include in your website.

The things you should be thinking of here are:

  • Site colors – You need to pick the right colors based on your brand. This should be clear and simple. Making them too bold and loud is never a good idea.
  • Fonts – Make sure the fonts stand out and can be read clearly against the background. Simple fonts are always better.
  • Appearance – Ensure that your website design is optimized for all platforms. Of course, most modern browsers have more improved and better standards but there could still be inconsistencies from browser to browser. It’s important that your check your website on different browsers to ensure that the assets utilized render correctly across multiple browsers and devices.
  • Make sure it can be accessed from any type of device – mobile is the in thing these days, so pay attention to this.
  • Make sure that the texts are written in readable fonts and in clear colors
Website Design Checklist
  1. Website Content Checklist

The content on your website is the primary reason why visitors come to the site in the first place. The content should be useful and meet their need. If this is not so, they would be disappointed and might never return again.

Depending on the type of website you’re launching, there are a few basic content pieces you should have before launching. These are, the “Home” and “About us” pages that succinctly show what your website is about, a “Contact us” page, custom landing pages, and a blog page where necessary.

If you’re launching a blog site, or your business website has a blog page, it’s important that you have at least 5 to 7 blog articles published before launching. It’s also a good idea to have your blog content organized into well thought-out content categories. This will help visitors to your site have a taste of the type of content you produce.

Before you launch, carefully review these different pages and their content to ensure that:

  • Content is organized under the right category.
  • Page content is legible.
  • The website pages load quickly because if they are too slow, no one will wait long enough.
  • The images are loading easily.
  • Downloadable files are accessible and can be downloaded without any problem.
  • Video files, if any, are playing as expected.

Recommended: How to Write Blog Content that Sell [& Grow Your Business]

  1. Website Functionality Checklist

How does your target audience find your site and when they are already on your site, how easy is it for them to find what they are looking for? This is what website functionality is all about.

A website that is too complicated and difficult to find your way around is always a failure. People have very short attention spans when they’re browsing the internet, so you need to satisfy their needs quickly. If you fail to do that, they will quickly leave your website and find a better one to use. So, before you launch this is something you should check.

You should include a navigation menu that is conspicuous and has a layout that makes it easy for visitors to move around the site. Besides the navigation menu you should also include obvious “Calls to Action” that tell your website visitors exactly what you want them to do when they log onto your website.

So, before your launch review your website to ensure that:

  • You have CTAs that point visitors in the direction you want them to go.
  • Navigation menus display correctly on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Links to internal pages are not displaying a 404 error page.
  • Submission forms are working as intended.
  • XML sitemap has been generated and added.
  • Robots.txt is generated and added.
  • Website can be accessed by search engines (remove noindex, nofollow for pages).
  1. SEO Checklist for New Websites

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing website marketing strategy that gets better with the age of your website, optimizing your site’s functionality from the onset will ensure that the search engines can crawl your website efficiently and suggest your content in search results.

The most efficient way to SEO optimize a new website is to create useful content and include relevant meta-data for each content page. At a basic level, every page should include a Meta Title which should be around 50-60 characters and Meta Description which should be around 120-160 words.

Using these pieces of content the search engine bots and crawlers will be able to define what your webpage is about and subsequently decide how relevant your content is to a search query.

Another piece of tool you need to implement here is a website analytics tools. This helps in gathering information about your site visitors, their behavior and demographic, and the pages that receive the highest traffic, etc. There are a lot of analytics tools to choose from, but I recommend Google Analytics because it is free and easy to use, and it gives you a lot of data about your site.

So, before you launch your new website make sure:

  • Site and individual pages are optimized with the right Meta title and Meta description.
  • All page titles are unique.
  • Page titles are descriptive and SEO friendly.
  • You have installed Google Analytics and that it is working.
  • Structured Data Markup is properly configured.
  1. Website Credibility Checklist

These days, security and user trust is a big issue when it comes to doing business online. One of the requirements for users to feel secure when they use your business site is for your site to have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This allows you to re-route all your website’s traffic through HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) which ensures the security of all the data going back and forth from your site.

Since 2020 having an SSL certificate has become a must for all websites. If your website is not configure to use HTTPS, visitors will be given a security warning when they try to access it. This is something you really don’t want to happen as it is terrible for business and your website traffic. The simple way to avoid this is to ensure that your website is configured to use HTTPS.

One of the problems with SSL certificates is that they are very costly. The average cost is $60 per year. But, it could be as high as $1,000 per year depending on your site’s security needs. For example, here’s a single domain SSL certificate price comparison table from clickssl.net.

SSL certificate price comparison table

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re using webhosting services like BlueHost.com, Hostinger.com and DreamHost.com you can get a free SSL certificate for your website. Though this certificate comes with basic security features, it is just enough to have HTTPS configured on your site thereby boosting its credibility.

Beyond having HTTPS configured on your site, another important step for boosting the credibility of your business site is that you make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in contact with you. You can do this by adding your contact details at the top of the page and on a dedicated page so that people can contact you via either email or phone, or even both.

Before you launch you will need to ensure that:

  • SSL Certificate is installed.
  • Secure areas are locked down and not accessible by search engines.
  • Contact forms have logical layout and are working as expected. You can send an email to yourself to check this.
  • Test the website using Chrome browser to validate that your site is secure.

Conclusion

There you have it, my website launch checklist. Of course, there are hundred and one other things you can do, e.g. reading each page content to ensure that you cross the “t’s” and dot the “i’s” but the above are the basic necessities before you launch. Going forward you will need to focus on things like creating useful content, generating traffic to your site, marketing to get your visitors and customers interested in your content or the services provide and keeping your website visible in search results.

I hope this website launch checklist is useful for your business needs. Let’s have your thoughts on this checklist.

Is there anything you think should be added to this website launch checklist? Share with us in the comments below.

1 Comment
  1. Very nice good blogs thanks you so much!

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