Developing a website can be a complex and tedious project. There are so many steps involved in determining the proper navigation, programming needs, content development, etc. So when the much anticipated day comes where the client says “it’s approved, make it live,” they typically ask that it be launched that same day or very soon after. Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but there is no magic “ON” switch. It is important that everyone involved, knows the final steps necessary to launch their site and the time required to take these steps.
Final launch steps should include:
- Setup website hosting and/or obtain login access – with a new site, it is recommended that website hosting and server requirements are determined well before the site is ready to launch. But in cases where a site is being replaced with an updated version, confirm that the client provides proper login access in order to launch the new site.
- Setup Google Analytics and apply HTML code to the website to track site performance.
- Map prior site links to new site links – This is important in that search engines have indexed site links from your previous site making your site more robust within the search engines. To ensure that the new site maintains its search engine strength, it is recommended that all links that existed on the previous site be redirected to links that have been established on the new site.
- Retest all forms upon site launch – while the forms function properly on the test server, configurations may be slightly different when launched to the final hosting server. It is important to retest all forms to confirm that forms are being retrieved for the proper contacts.
- Perform Initial SEO – during the content development phase of the site’s development, it is important to weave in keywords and keyword phrases into your site that are relevant to the product; however, it is equally important to include page titles, meta tags and meta tag descriptions within each page of the site.
- Live Site Testing – And lastly, once the site is launched, thoroughly navigate through all pages to ensure that the entire site has launched properly.