60 Things to Check Before Launching Your Site


designing a website

From a sleek design to functional navigation, a lot goes into crafting a visually appealing, user-friendly website. The work doesn’t finish there, either. The site needs to rank high on search engines, engage users and entice a reaction – whether through conversations or sales.
With so many aspects to consider, the pressure is on to deliver a high-quality website. Fortunately for you, this checklist highlights 60 of the most important things to check before the site’s launch.

page content

Page Content

1. Remove generic content

Website templates usually come pre-packaged with lorem ipsum-type content. Ensure this is removed completely before launch.

2. Proofread the content

Spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar hurt the professionalism of a website. Check all text and correct any errors.

3. All text formatting is correct

From paragraphs to lists, all text should be correctly formatted.

4. Optimise your images

Image optimisation on all devices is an important step, as is making certain all pictures are inserted in the correct areas of the website.

5. Engaging video setup

Video content has to be placed in the right area of the website, while other aspects to consider include setting up a playlist or an auto play function.

6. Audio accessibility and functionality

If your website utilises audio, make sure it’s at the correct volume, plays in the right place and works on all devices.

7. All premium content is stored in the correct places

When premium content like eBooks and case studies are offered, these items need to be stored in the right databases/libraries to work properly.

8. Provide contact information

If users want to get in touch, all company contact details should be up-to-date and present throughout the website.

9. Provide an author’s page

When running a news website, it is essential to supply transparent author information for inclusion onto the Google News Publisher platform.

10. Ensure fonts are user-friendly

Choose fonts which are familiar, easy to read and seamlessly blend together with the rest of the website’s design.

11. Integrate social media accounts

If your website has any associated social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, integrate them within the site.

12. Feature up-to-date copyright

The copyright date, which is often found in the footer, should always display the current year.

13. All rights are property attributed

Using any fonts, images or other content which needs to be attributed or licensed from the owner? Make sure you have the rights to use such assets.

14. Logo is in place

The logo should be clear, optimised and easy to recognise for all screen sizes.

SEO

SEO

15. Use unique page titles

Eye-catching page titles, which incorporate keywords and have fewer than 70 characters, will grab the attention of users (and the search engines).

16. Implement keywords whenever possible

All pages should boast relevant keywords, and each targeted word should appear in the page copy.

17. Don’t forget meta descriptions

For added SEO effectiveness, include a meta description with every page. This description should feature keywords and fewer than 156 characters.

18. Optimise every image title

When uploading any image, its title shouldn’t be wasted. Use keywords to describe the image.

19. Use alt tags for each image

For additional image optimisation and visibility, alt tags should be used. This provides an additional text alternative for the likes of Google, guaranteeing more chance of showing up prominently in search results.

20. Optimise every URL

Webpage URL’s are a key area for SEO. Instead of a URL which includes the date or a generic collection of numbers, it needs to boast the page title – and its keywords – clearly.

21. Have the URL’s display site architecture

URL’s should also display the website’s information architecture. This produces a greater level of organisation, which ultimately improves the crawl efficiency of search engines.

22. Create an XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is essentially a roadmap to all of your website’s important pages. It can be used to incorporate additional information for each URL, which also ultimately helps with SEO.

23. Submit the XML sitemap

The XML sitemap needs to be submitted to search engines like Google and Bing.

24. Have the metadata in place

When content goes through an RSS feed, the metadata needs to be in place. This should display compelling copy, effective keywords and be succinct in character length. Regarding the latter, page titles should sit at less than 65 characters, whereas page descriptions typically fall between 150-170 characters.

25. Metadata is setup for social media

The metadata should also be in place properly for sharing content on any social media.

26. All metadata is grammatically correct

As with all other content on the website, the metadata should always supply correct grammar and spelling.

27. Use rel=”nofollow” tags

These need to be used if your website displays any untrusted content, paid links, or any other pages with content you don’t want search engines to crawl.

28. Utilise 301 redirects

If your website has any old URL’s, these should navigate to new pages via 301 redirects.

design

Design

29. Make the webpages compatible across every browser

Whether it’s Google Chrome, Firefox or any other web browser, your website needs to work across all platforms.

30. Compatibility on all devices

Whether it’s a desktop or mobile, the website has to work on every device.

31. Optimised scripts

To assist with site speeds, optimise the scripts across all web pages.

32. Validate CSS and HTML

This ensures the validity of your web content, and helps towards freeing it of any errors.

33. CSS is optimised

The CSS should be optimised on every web page. This can be done via methods such as using image sprites, reducing unnecessary code and splitting CSS files.

34. Have functional paragraph styles

Lists, block quotes, headers – these styles need to work properly across the site.

35. Apply a favicon icon

The favicon, which is a small image which represents your website, needs to be in place and rendering correctly. The more distinctive, the better it stands out among other bookmarked websites.

functionality

Functionality

36. Have fully-functioning forms

If your website makes use of forms, these need to be formatted and correctly submit data.

37. Say thank you

When a form is submitted, a ‘thank you’ message should be displayed. Every courtesy counts!

38. Have autoresponders in place

If your website needs to provide programmed responses to users, any applicable autoresponders need to work properly.

39. Make use of form data

All form data needs to be correctly stored in a database and/or emailed to a recipient.

40. Working internal links

If these are hyperlinks embedded within page content or links via the navigation menu, these all need to work across the website.

41. Working external links

Have any external links going to other websites? These also need to work and preferably open in a new tab.

42. Check all feeds are functioning

News, RSS and social media feeds need to function correctly.

43. Check all social media functionality

When using social media share icons on your web pages, it’s important to ensure these are functioning as expected.

44. Link the logo

Instead of being a simple static image, the logo should link to the website’s homepage.

45. Implement redirect pages

404 redirect pages are needed for users that turn down the wrong road on your website.

46. Integrate third-party tools

If using e-commerce software, CRM and other third-party tools, these need to be integrated and running smoothly.

47. Optimising page speed

It goes without saying that website load speeds need to be as fast as possible. Optimising can cover everything from minimising HTTP requests to deferring JavaScript loading.

security and compliance

Security and compliance

48. Enable 24/7 monitoring

To ensure round-the-clock surveillance, install monitoring scripts which work 24/7.

49. Get a backup copy

Once the final website is complete, make a copy. This is for backup purposes in case the site encounters any significant issues.

50. Get regular copies made

Due to the continuous threat of malicious activity, copies of the website should be created and stored on an ongoing basis.

51. Have secure password storage

Website credentials and passwords need to be stored in a protected database.

52. Announce those cookies

When websites use cookies – aka those harmless files that track a user’s preferences – it has to be announced publicly to visitors.

53. Comply with usage rights

If code, images or other assets are borrowed/purchased, ensure this is compliant with any usage rights.

54. Have visible terms and privacy policies

Any applicable terms and privacy policies should be easily visible to visitors.

55. Be PCI compliant

If the website is processing and storing credit card details, it needs to be PCI compliant.

56. Consider disabilities

The website should be easily accessible and useable for those with disabilities.

analytics

Analytics

57. Insert analytics codes

To get analytic figures, the relevant codes need to be properly inserted in the right area of your website.

58. Excluding IP addresses

In some cases, certain IP addresses should be omitted from analytics tracking.

59. Using funnels and goals

When using analytics, funnels and goals should be setup. These provide greater visualisation of analytic results.

60. Sync accounts

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster accounts need to be synced, as do Google Analytics and Google Adwords (if applicable).

--- Note: All images were downloaded from Pixabay.com. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

 

Itamar is a digital marketer who specialises in SEO and video optimisation, and has experience in running various social media channels.


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