Working on a website is exciting. You have worked hard on creating that amazing design, crafting high-quality content, and excellent user-interface. Now, you are ready to launch and you can’t wait to share it with the rest of the world.
But do you still need to test your site before launching it? Well, the answer is a resounding yes!
There are also essential things that you need to keep in mind before launching your website. Here is a helpful checklist before you go live:
1. Check site usability
When you make a website, we always advise at Sytian Productions and Web Design Philippines to see if all the functional aspects of your site are working as you intended. Usability is vital for conversions, as well as for your site’s overall SEO. You need to look at each element of your site as would any visitor would.
- Make sure that your site is optimized for speed.
- Test your call-to-action and contact forms.
- Check log-in roles, procedures, and credentials.
- Check your site’s overall experience through the perspective of the user that’s consuming your site’s content.
- If autoresponders are in place, ensure that they respond as intended.
- If your site is accepting payments, test every step of the purchase and payment process. This includes sign-ups, downloads, processing of payments, functions of your shopping cart, buttons, links, email notification, and more.
2. Check the security
Another priority when preparing for your site launch is your security. So, when creating a site, you must secure an SSL certificate.
This security socket layer will create a safe connection within users’ browsers and servers. If you already have one, a green lock icon will appear on the address row before the URL, and your URL will start with an HTTPS and not an HTTP.
You can get a free SSL certificate on Let’s Encrypt. Moreover, you have the option to purchase one on websites like GeoTrust or NameCheap.
A secure site is one that has an SSL properly set-up and is working fine. Meanwhile, a website without an SSL will look different, warning users that the resource that they’ve come across isn’t credible or safe.
3. Check site speed
You can utilize the PageSpeed tools of Google to check your website’s loading speed. There’s not really much sense of launching a site that takes more than two seconds to load.
Furthermore, data shows that pages that load more than five seconds experience 38% bounce rates.
So, spend some time on the development of your site and optimize its speed. Also, check for your site speed for both desktop and mobile versions via GTmetrix.
4. Link your social media
Social media is here to stay. So, it is high time that you decide which popular platforms you want your site to link to. You need to have a strong presence with these social media platforms as if you want your business to thrive.
There are a lot of great plugins online that you can use to stay connected, so do your research and see which ones work best for you.
5. Check the title tags and meta descriptions
For the title tags ensure:
- That it is unique on every page.
- It should contain no more than 55 characters including spaces.
- It should start with a target keyphrase followed by the company name.
- There should be a target keyphrase for every page.
- It should be unique on every page.
- It should have around 120 characters including spaces.
6. Check content quality
Your content should be unique, relevant, and high-quality.
If you want to create content merely for SEO purposes, then you risk having high bounce rates because of low-quality stuffing. But if you want to monetize your website, then you have to check your content quality.
After checking that all the elements are in place and nothing has changed, run it on Grammarly to ensure what you wrote is free from plagiarism. You can also check with the Hemmingway App to check for your content’s readability score.
Finally, add a clear call-to-action on every page to encourage users to interact and take action on your page.
7. Check mobile-friendliness
Of course, having a responsive design is important, but you should not also forget about tablet and smartphone users. Testing your site’s compatibility with mobile devices is an absolute requirement.
Before you launch, ensure that it runs smoothly with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and so on. Also, see if your webpages are compatible with any kind of device ‒ be it on desktop, tablet, or smartphones.
8. Check contact page
Having a contact page will let your readers get in touch with you. You can also add your working phone number, email address, or even your mailing address for old school site viewers.
Apart from getting feedback on your site, a contact page will give users a chance to let you know if something comes up or if there’s a glitch. It also boosts the credibility of your site.
9. Check legal pages
10. Check the links
SEO can be challenging to achieve especially in you’re new to the concept. Your links to other resources and websites should be working if you want to take full advantage of the benefits of SEO.
If there are links in your site and they’re no longer active, then you need to take them off, or better yet, update them with current ones. It’s highly likely that search engines will penalize your site, so ensure that everything is linked and working perfectly well.
There you have it. Those are the things that you need to check before launching your site. Once you go live, be on the lookout for bugs as well. Good luck with your launch!