Even expert digital marketers admit that launching a new website is challenging and stressful. A misspelled word, broken links: many things may be overlooked easily.
A few things could go horribly wrong, too. What if you fail to test an effective data capture form and thus miss out on generating a handful of new leads? What if you fail to properly configure site redirects, resulting in valuable search engine visitors getting a “page not found” message?
Worrying about the what-ifs wouldn’t take you anywhere. It will be much more helpful to have a comprehensive website pre-launch checklist to go over before each site launch. You can do it for landing pages, microsites, corporate websites, and everything in between.
Test These before You Launch
We always test everything we work on before launching it, including minor changes to existing websites. Let's go over some of the critical factors that should be tested before you launch your website, shall we?
Proofread everything! Nothing is worse than having your brand-new website go live and inviting people to check it out, only to have someone point out a typo. Take time to go over all of your website content. Ensure that everything is checked and works correctly.
This includes everything from reviewing your page content to ensuring that your images and videos load correctly. It is also a great time to evaluate your content strategy to ensure that you are effectively targeting your keywords through your site. Pay attention to the detail, make sure that:
- You've proofread the site content for spelling and grammar.
- Text is error-free and accurate.
- Generic content has been removed and properly replaced.
Another crucial website pre-launch checklist: make sure your content is simple to read and understand. To make the content short and simple for the reader, you can use consistent font sizes and include headers and bullet points. For headlines, consider making them nice and sharp. Here are additional tips to make your website easy to scan and understand:
- Use appropriate color contrast
- Use simple language
- Use language your customers use
Images and videos are excellent tools for breaking up text and explaining complex topics more digestible. However, ensure that you optimize your images and properly labeled them with alt text and that your video files are fully functional.
When a website designer doesn't have the correct asset during the page creation, they may use a placeholder image. It is your responsibility to ensure that each page is picture-perfect. Make sure all placeholder images and designs are replaced with the final ones.
Another website pre-launch checklist that you need to pay attention to is to work out any design issues to ensure that your site draws the viewer in. It is much more important than ever to ensure that your website is completely responsive and looks the way you design it to on all devices and web browsers.
Doing the test using your own mobile device is the simplest way. You can also use various tools and services to test the site’s mobile responsiveness. The test generates a detailed report that reveals what you're doing correctly, incorrectly, and how to fix it. It's ideal for quickly determining the suitability for small-screen viewing.
In addition, there are lots of web browsers available for testing. Still, it's no secret that most people are using the big five: Firefox, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. They are available to download easily. You can use all of them to test your website manually.
You don't want your website to have a half-baked look. Broken links are another factor that you need to pay attention to. You can ignore a broken outward link or two, but a faulty navigation menu can be a huge deal. If the essential navigation links don't work correctly, you might lose a lot of traffic and affect your bounce rate.
You should also test any other on-site links to ensure that the visitor was directed to the correct location. Make sure your CTAs are direct to the right landing page. Test to see if any broken links need to be fixed. It won't take long. It will help ensure that your website is easy to navigate at any convenience.
Finally, by adequately configuring site security and performing regular backups, you can avoid data loss and protect against malware and other threats. Examine this:
- A backup schedule has been established.
- The backup location has been determined.
- Following the launch, an implementation plan will be put in place.
Now that you do the website pre-launch checklist and everything is in place and completed; you'll want a pristine copy in case of data corruption or loss. Make sure you make a backup copy of the final website. This gives you extra peace of mind knowing that you always have a strategy in place if something happens.