So the time has finally arrived to launch your new website. All the hours, weeks and months you have spent planning, coordinating, designing and developing are finally finishes and it’s time to unveil your shiny new website… Well, don’t quite hit the launch button just yet…
With all the work going into creating your new website, sometimes it can be easy to overlook the easiest and most obvious things. If you are about to launch a new website or perhaps relaunch your existing website, we may just have the thing for you…
Join our Cheshire web design agency as we provide a full launch checklist in easy, detailed stages covering from functionality to contract forms to make sure everything is perfect ahead of launch day.
Website Functionality Check
Although it may seem a little strange to say, the purpose of the website functionality check is to try and purposely break your website when running through every page so we have broken this down into responsive, browsers and general website functionality.
First things first, the most important step here it to check that your website MUST be fully responsive. Here you will need to test that your website resizes to the desired screen size on any mobile, tablet or desktop device you can find. Scan through every functionality on your website and look to see if anything may not look right. Alternatively, you can use a free Mobile Friendly too just to double check that Google acknowledges the website as mobile friendly.
Next, you will need to check that the website looks consistently brilliant across all website browsers. With Google, Firefox, Bing, Safari and Microsoft Edge to name just a few, each browser is made up entirely of different components such as creators, software and most recent versions so not all browsers may be 100% compatible with your website functionality.
The last stage of your website functionality check before moving on will be running through to test that all website links send you to the correct place you intended. Larger websites can have hundreds of links so while it may be a tedious task, search engines that crawl through your website will penalize any websites who have broken links.
Overall Design Check
Following closely in the footsteps of the Functionality check, the design check process is looking through the website to make sure the Font, Size, Colour and Typography remain consistent across every individual page. For those of you who are aware of back-up fonts, it’s also worth checking on older browsers if possible to double check the back-up font works correctly when the first font isn’t supported on a browser.
Next, you will need to make sure you have a Fav Icon in place, which is usually a small 16 x 16 image that appears in the left-hand corner of the URL address bar. If you have access to the logo, you can use websites such as the Real Fav Icon Generator where you can auto generate icons for apps.
301 Redirect Check
In its simplest technical explanation, a 301 redirect informs search engines of your intensions to point a certain URL from one destination to another. Now this check point will only really apply to you if you are re-launching you website on a new domain or if you are consolidating existing pages to a different section within your website.
Let’s say for example you have decided to rename your ‘News’ page as a ‘Blog’ page on your website, in theory you want to point www.example/news/ to www.example/blog, sounds simple right?
By either manually recording your URL’s through searching on Google or by using online website ranking software, you will need to record all the URL’s associated with your website. By placing these URL’s in one column, in the next, you will need to record where the URL’s are going to be redirected to then upload to your website. If you are using WordPress, there are many free 301 plugins you can use to upload your redirects and we firmly recommend the Simple 301 Upload plugin.
If you are moving to a new domain, you will need to head over to Webmaster Tools and having clicked on the website you verified earlier, in the settings you will need to follow the simple ‘Change Address’ instructions.
We know this can become a complicated procedure so get in touch with your Cheshire web design agency if you acquire any assistance.
Google Analytics Check
As you probably already know, Google Analytics is a completely free service that tracks and offers report statistics on your website traffic performance. To add Google Analytics to your website, you will need to log into your account then after clicking on ‘Admin’ select the drop down menu ‘ACCOUNT’, here you simply add the name of the website and the URL and click on ‘Create New Account’. Here you can easily grant what levels of access any number of email addresses have.
Webmaster Tools Check
Webmaster Tools (Now known as Google Search Console) is another free service that allows you to submit and monitor how search engines crawl through and index your website. To add your website to Webmaster Tools, if you are already logged into your Gmail, simply head over to webmaster tools and click on the ‘Add a Property’ button. Add the URL and hit submit. Next, you will need to verify it’s your website. Click on the ‘Alternative Methods’ option and click on HTML Tag. Take the line of code and paste it into the header section of your website. Alternatively, for WordPress users, there are free plug-ins you can download where you simply paste the code and click the button to activate it.
Contact Form Check
If you have one or several contact forms integrated on your website, we always highly recommend you test the contact forms to double and even triple check they are working correctly. I’m sure you will have access to the contact form so by changing the form to your email address. Test the functionality in as many different ways as possible and send it to your inbox. Don’t forget, once testing has been complete, change the email address back to its intended user.
Email Marketing Check
For websites of certain industries, getting visitors to sign up for your newsletter is a major goal of your website. Following in the footsteps of your contact form check, sign-up to the newsletter and follow the procedures. Log into your online marketing website and look to see if your email address has been added to the intended distribution list.
If you are interested in a new website for your business or are perhaps looking for a redesign ahead of a re-launch, you may have just found the perfect Cheshire web design agency. With every client, we ensure every website undergoes a very through launch checklist process. Why not give the professionals a call on 01565 653616 for a free, no-obligation quote.