Wonderful, the development of the website has been completed and it’s ready to go live. While it may be tempting to click on the “Post” button, there are literally dozens of things that one has to check before doing it.
These checks range from aesthetic, content and style checks to operating, security, performance, and search engine optimization (SEO) checks. Any reliable developer will automatically do most of them for you, which is great, as many of the checklist items are technical enough.
But there are also some things that, as the owner of a new website, you have to verify that you are satisfied with the final product.
Here are five such things that are good to watch out for.
1. 301 Redirects
If you redesigned your site, you would most likely want to set up the 301 redirects. The reason is because the current pages of your website are classified by the search engines and have some value you probably want to keep. When you update your site, these pages may either no longer exist or have been moved.
For example, say that on your current website, you have a page about your company at www.domain.com/about/, and on the new website, this page has been changed to www.domain.com/company-profile/, then you will want to update the search engines for this change.
301 essentially redirects the search engines into the corresponding new pages of the old site. This way page sorting can be moved from one to the other and not vanish into the ether. Be sure to ask your developer to set this up for you.
Your new website is definitely fine, but it will be even better when you have the analytics installed. Analytics provide useful information such as where your site visitors come from, which pages they visit, when they are leaving your site, and so on.
The analyzer may not be installed automatically by the programmer, so you should check it yourself. Google provides a free analytics tool, which is very simple for everyone to install.
It is recommended that you at least use this tool if you do not want to work with a digital marketing company, such as Lithos Digital, which can answer your questions about how it works.
3. Browsers and Devices
This work would normally have been done by your developer, but it is not a bad idea to also check it out by yourself as the owner of the site. Consider that, for example, you use Google Chrome as your default browser and your phone is a Samsung Galaxy S. This does not mean that everyone else does the same. Your customers will use all kinds of browsers and devices, so it’s important that the new website works on everything.
For browsers, you’ll want to check your site in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. To see which browsers you will focus on, check the details of your current site to see what most users are using when they visit your website.
You’ll also want to check your site on some phones and tablets. Of course, it would be almost impossible to check everything, but there are some easy-to-use browser tools you can use.
Make sure you’ve checked them all. For example, fill in any forms you have on your new website and make sure it works. Does validating the form work? Did you get the answer via email? Do a search, use the map, download the press release, etc. In short, be sure to check the interactive features as well as the style and presentation.
Speed is very important these days. It can determine the difference between a high and low abandon rate. Even the ranking of your page is affected by the speed of your site.
It may be difficult to check this before your site is live, because before that, the site is most likely on a development server, so the results may not be accurate. You can check it as soon as the site starts working, and there are many tools available for it.
5. Make the publication at the right time
Finally, even if your site is ready, checked and verified to make it live by the end of the week, it is not advisable to go live, say on Thursday. Computers may be somewhat unpredictable sometimes and things may go wrong. Whether the server is not fully compatible with the site, or data is lost during the upload. Whatever it is, publishing before the weekend is dangerous, because you could end up with a site that ‘sits’ without the world seeing it for a few days. It’s much safer to go live from the beginning to the middle of the week, so if something goes wrong, your developer can fix it right away.