Here’s the short version of our website launch checklist of what you MUST check before you share your new site with the world.
Navigation & Menu Structure
- Check it seems logical; will people understand what each menu option means and be able to find what they’re looking for?
- Click on every menu option to make sure it is correctly linked.
- If you have a search function, check you can successfully find what you’re looking for.
- Check all links in ALL pages and posts go to the expected location.
- Ideally have each link set to open in a new window, particularly for external links – you don’t want your readers navigating AWAY from your site completely.
- Test all social media links go to the right page/application.
- If you have social sharing buttons on posts and pages, make sure they work.
- If you have comments on your blog posts, test they work.
- Test on multiple browsers, even if you don’t use them, others do! Sometimes there can be differences in how things look/function.
Here’s a couple of free sites where you can look at your website to get an idea of how it will look on various mobile devices:
- Test all forms on your site, make sure the relevant fields are mandatory, not much use people contacting you and not leaving a way to get in touch!
- Check the notifications that are sent from these forms, do they look appealing, is all spelling and grammar correct?
- Make sure your opt-in process works (if you have one), test that the email sequence is all working as expected, AGAIN – check spelling and grammar. Make sure that the subscriber is successfully recorded in your mailing list system (e.g. MailChimp).
This is a biggie. It’s SO easy to miss the little things when you’re up to your eyeballs in creating your website. A fresh set of eyes can make all the difference in tweaking and polishing those final elements. So if you can, get someone else to read over your content and check a few things:
- Is the purpose of the site clear, i.e. what you do, what you’re selling/offering?
- Spelling, punctuation, grammar, typos.
Don’t forget your images as well, check for:
- Sizing – if the files you’ve uploaded are massive, it’s going to slow down your website. BAD.
- Attribution – if you’ve used stock images, do you need to attribute to the creator/source?
- Also check if you have any videos uploaded, that they do play as expected.
- Have you set up Google Analytics for your site? If not, read this to help you through it.
- You may have ticked a box to discourage search engines crawling your site while you developed it, make sure you un-tick it now!
- Ensure you have a sitemap generated for search engines to read, most basic SEO plugins will do this for you.
- Speaking of SEO, have you got a plugin installed? We use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, you can watch some videos here to explain how to best use it.
Lastly, don’t let this checklist get you caught up in perfection – you probably WILL still miss something, which some lovely person will later enjoy pointing out to you. But it’s not the end of the world! Your website should always be a slowly evolving, real-time extension of your business, so always keep checking your copy, updating where needed, and reviewing your services and pricing.
How’d you score? Big ticks for everything I hope! Now go and proudly share your new site, and enjoy it.
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