Website Launch Checklist: A Comprehensive Guide to Launching Your Website
Launching a website can be a daunting task, but with a comprehensive checklist in hand, you can ensure that your website launch is a success. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you launch your website with ease.
1. Domain Name and Hosting
Register your domain name: Your domain name is the address of your website, and it’s important to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and relevant to your business.
Choose a hosting provider: A hosting provider is a company that stores your website on their servers, making it accessible to the public. Choose a provider that offers reliable uptime, good customer service, and the ability to scale as your website grows.
2. Ensure your website SSL certificate is working
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts the connection between a visitor’s browser and your website, ensuring that any sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, is kept secure. Make sure to install a valid SSL certificate on your website before launch and ensure it is properly set up to avoid any security breaches and ensure that your website is accessible via https.
3. Design and Development
Design your website: Your website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices. Consider hiring a professional designer or using a website builder to create a professional-looking website.
- Define the overall style of the website and brand identity;
- Select an appealing color palette;
- Create a well-planned and user-friendly layout;
- Select easy to read fonts;
- Ensure that website is mobile responsive
Develop your website: Once your website is designed, it’s time to develop it. This includes adding content, creating pages, and configuring any necessary features. Consider hiring a professional developer or using a website builder to make the process easier.
- Define the website’s functionality and features
- Create a development plan and timeline
- Develop the website using best practices and industry standards
- Test the website for bugs and compatibility across different browsers and devices
- Implement security measures to protect the website from potential threats
4. Optimize Website for Mobile
With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, it is essential to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile. This means that your website should be responsive, meaning that it adapts to the screen size of the device that it’s being viewed on. Additionally, your website should be designed with a mobile-first approach, which prioritizes the needs of mobile users over desktop users.
5. Check and Ensure Your Website Has Excellent Load Speed
A fast-loading website is essential for good user experience and search engine optimization. Optimize your images, minify your code, and make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve your website’s speed. Test your website’s load speed using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify areas you can improve and ensure that your website loads quickly for all visitors. The page speed results that you may see on your website:
- Under 1 second (Perfect result, no need for improvements)
- 1-2 seconds (Excellent result, but consider improvements)
- 2-3 seconds (Good results, improvements are needed but)
- 4-5 seconds (Not a good result, improvements are necessary)
- 5-10 seconds (Awful result, improvements and fixes must be done ASAP)
Here are 6 steps that you can make to improve your website load speed:
- Use a lightweight theme
- Optimize images
- Lazy load images and video
- Minify resources
- Enable caching
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
To read more about each steps you can read our article called “6 Steps for Improving WordPress Performance”
6. Add contact information to your website
Make it easy for visitors to contact you by including contact information on your website, such as a phone number, email address, and contact form. This will help you build trust with your visitors and make it easy for them to reach out to you with questions or concerns.
7. Optimize Content
Create high-quality content: Your website should be filled with valuable, informative, and unique content. This will help your website rank well in search engines and attract visitors.
Optimize your content for SEO: Make sure your website is optimized for search engines by including keywords in your content, meta tags, and image alt tags. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Develop a content strategy and editorial calendar
- Create high-quality, relevant, and engaging content
- Optimize content for search engines using keywords
- Include calls-to-action to encourage user engagement
8. Proofread your website content and copy
It’s important to review all the text on your website for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. This not only improves the readability of your website but also makes a good impression on your visitors. Consider using proofreading tools or hiring a professional proofreader to ensure that your website content is error-free.
9. Add metadata to all website pages
Make sure to add relevant and unique metadata to all pages of your website, including the homepage, blog posts, and product pages, and services pages. This not only helps search engines understand the content of your website but also makes it more likely to appear in relevant search results. Adding title tags, meta descriptions, URL slugs, and structured data are the first things that you should address when its comes to website metadata.
10. Make sure you website has relevant CTAs
In addition to creating high-quality and SEO-optimized content, it’s important to include relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your website. CTAs will help you turn visitors into leads with clear, prominent, and relevant to the content on the page, message that encourages a specific action. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about a new product, it’s important to include a CTA that encourages visitors to learn more about the product or make a purchase.
11. Add a Custom 404 Page
A custom 404 page is displayed when a visitor tries to access a page that does not exist on your website. By creating a custom 404 page with a helpful message, search bar or navigation links, you can guide the user to find what they are looking for and keep them on your website. This can help reduce the bounce rate and improve the user experience.
12. Set up Legal Pages
13. Generate robots.txt file for your website
The robots.txt file is used to give instructions to web crawlers on which pages or sections of your website should not be processed or indexed. Generating a robots.txt file allows you to exclude pages that are not important for SEO such as admin pages, development pages or duplicate pages. This helps search engines to focus on the most important pages of your website, improving your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.
14. Submit your website sitemap and request Google Indexing
A sitemap lists all the pages on your website and makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your website. Submitting your sitemap to Google, Bing and other search engines can help your website rank higher in search results and improve your visibility. Additionally, requesting indexing for your new website can also help search engines find your new website faster.
15. Use Google Search Console
Search Console provides data and tools to help you understand how Google crawls and indexes your website, identify potential issues and track your website’s search engine rankings. Using Search Console can help you improve your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.
16. Use Google Analytics
Analytics are essential for understanding how your website is working and identifying areas for improvement. Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to measure the number of visits to your website, as well as the bounce rate and other vital information. This information can assist you in determining which pages are popular, which pages want work, and how your website’s performance compares to your competitors.
17. Test your website
Before launching your website, make sure to test it thoroughly. Test all the links, forms, and functionality to ensure that everything is working as it should.
- Test the website’s UI on popular desktop and laptop screen sizes (1920px, 1600px, 1366px, 1280px)l
- Test the website’s UI on popular tables screen sizes (768px, 1024px, 1366px)l
- Test the website’s UI on popular mobile screen sizes (375px, 414px);
- Test your website for mobile and tablet in both portrait and landscape orientations;
- Test your website navigation and internal links;
- Test sliders, hover effects, verify that your website has no overlaps or broken image sizes.
Optimize your website for speed: A fast-loading website is essential for good user experience and search engine optimization. Optimize your images and code to improve your website’s speed.
Submit your website to search engines: Submit your website to Google, Bing, and other search engines to help it rank well in search results.
Promote your website: Promote your website through social media, email marketing, and advertising to attract visitors and drive traffic to your website.
Keep your website up to date: Your website should be updated regularly to ensure that it’s secure and running smoothly. Keep your software and plugins up to date and make sure to back up your website regularly.
- Create a small list of test cases that will be carried out every month (URL/Link checks, brief responsiveness checks, error log checks, ect)
- Create a backup schedule to create website backups before key changes ( before design changes, before adding new functionality, before CMS/Plugin updates, before adding new pages)
20. Improve Conversion Rate
The idea behind increasing website conversion rate is to optimize the website’s design, content, and call-to-action in order to convert a higher percentage of visitors into customers. Regardless of what business your are in, your website should work at its best and generate as many leads as possible. Especially when you are running paid ads or do social media marketing, when you pay for each website visitor. This can be achieved through a combination of steps:
- Analyzing Your Audience
- Work on the Value Proposition
- Write Strong CTAs
- Remove Risks
- Address Clients’s Objections
To get a full guide on how to improve website conversion rate read our article “14 Expert Tips to Improve Website Conversion“
Launching a website is a big step for any business, and it’s essential to get it right. By following the checklist and best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website launch is a success. From choosing the right domain name and hosting provider, to designing and developing a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate website, to creating high-quality and SEO-optimized content, to testing and promoting your website, every step of the process is important.
It’s also essential to remember the importance of ongoing maintenance and updates. Keeping your website up-to-date with the latest software and security patches, as well as regularly adding fresh content, will help ensure that your website remains relevant and continues to rank well in search engines.
Overall, launching a website is an ongoing process that requires attention, effort and time. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website launch is a success and that your website continues to perform well in the long term.