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Ultimate Website Launch Checklist

Internet Marketing August 6th, 2014

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Best-practices-for-launching-new-website

You’ve worked months for this, maybe even years. Launch day is fast approaching, but be careful, it’s easy to forget a few critical items when your finger is itching to hit to “go” button.

Best-practices-for-launching-new-website
 
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It’s important that you complete this checklist before your site says to the world!

A website launch can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t have a process and plan to follow.

To avoid an SEO disaster, you need a well-defined plan for every stage of the GO LIVE process.

Note: This checklist contains items that should be applied to your site on its your staging server or test environment.

1. URL Redirection

If you’ve changed the URL structure of the website then you need to make proper direction a high priority. There are several type of redirection types possible, make sure you advise your programmer to do permanent 301 redirect.

Make sure whenever you redirect an old page to new page, the new page should be matching the old page and thus providing the best and most predictable user experience.

Once the redirects are set, make sure all older indexed pages are redirecting to new pages. Do a site search in Google to list all indexed pages and click on each indexed URL and check whether all those pages are directing to the new pages.

site-search-in-google-Best Practice For Launching New a Website

Once the redirection is done, make sure that you check the server response code.

server-header-check

2. Run Xenu

Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a FREE download that runs on all versions of Windows. It’s a site crawler and once you add a URL it will crawl around the site and spit out a report at the end.

You can see some really useful data:

  • Status code of all pages
  • Type of page crawled
  • All external links
  • Title tag and meta description

When you see any broken link in Xenu i.e. with status as “not found”, right click on that link and select URL properties. You will be able to see all those pages from where the broken url is linked.

xenu-broken-link-checker

3. Check your site for dummy content

There’s always a you may unknowingly left dummy content on your site. This gives users poor experience and can make you look unprofessional. You have two options: manually check pages or pages or you can use our Lorem Ispum Scanner dummy text checker.

This tool will scan your website for popular placeholder text such as:

“Lorem ipsum, sunt in culpa, coming soon, under construction, asdf, qwert, etaoin shrdlu, now is the time for all good men, the quick brown fox, test image, test description, for placement only”

The tool can be embed in your site and can be accessed any time.

Tool Provided by TechWyse Internet Marketing

4. Submit XML Sitemap

Once the site is live, you need to create a xml sitemap which contains all URLs of your site. Upload the xml sitemap to the root of the site and submit the link to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex Webmaster, etc.

This helps Googlebot (and other bots) to identify the new URLs in your site. This gives them a high chance being indexed sooner.

Before submitting sitemap, you can use “Fetch as Google” option in Google Webmaster Tools and you can confirm whether Google bot can access your site.

5. Test and Optimize Your Site Speed

You can use Google PageSpeed Insights tool for checking the site load speed. This tool will show you the issues and by resolving these issues the site loading speed can be decreased. Website speed is a factor which affects user experience and also a factor for ranking in Google.

If you are bit more techie, you can install install PageSpeed module on Apache or Nginx in your server. This will help you decrease your website load speed.

site-speed-google-tool

6. Ensure Tracking that Codes are Working

This is a very common issue that many people have when launching a new site. There may be several tracking codes on the site, such as:

  • Google Analytics Code
  • Google Adwords Conversion Code
  • Google Remarketing Code
  • Other codes which were implemented in the old site

For example, If you forget to add Google Analytics code, you may see no visits after the site is launched. Similarly, if there is no conversion code, there will be no conversions reported in, say, AdWords.

Google provides a free tool called Tag Assistant which can help you to detect various Google related tags. The tool will show you any errors or suggestion for the detected tags.

google-tag-assistant-google

7. Security & Law

Any time a new site gets launched there is always a chance for security loopholes to become evident. Most often times developers forget to change username/passwords which were used during development stage or there may be other ways a site can be easily hacked, the use of an outdate WordPress plugin for example.. Below are the few ways can ensure your site is secure.

  • Ensure to use strong Username/Password
  • Install security plugin to avoid DB injects, hacking, etc.
  • Ensure CMS, plugins, modules are the latest version
  • Ensure site complies with regional anti-spam laws
  • Limit the number of time someone can attempt to log in
  • Monitor for malware
  • Ensure regular automatic backups

8. General

Below I’ve included a list of general items which can guide you for ensuring a perfect site launch.

 

  • Ensure the contact address, phone numbers on the site are correct.
  • Ensure captchas are functioning properly
  • Ensure Favicon is added
  • Ensure social media icons link to the right page.
  • Ensure cross browser checks
  • Ensure validating site using W3C validator
  • If site is responsive, check how your site look in different screen sizes. Use Screenfly to test this.
  • Ensure no duplicate content by using CopyScape.
  • Ensure that the site is not blocked with robots.txt
  • If your site is WordPress, ensure to uncheck “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”

 

search-engine-visibility-wordpress-option
After your new website has been launched, there is a chance your traffic may decrease for few days. If you correctly follow tips mentioned in this blog, you’ll avoid major issues which could result in complete loss of visits/conversions, i.e. your worst case scenario when launching a new site!

Remember that your website is an extension of your brand and your business. A poor user experience may result in losing potential customers and may create negative feeling towards your brand.

Hopefully this checklist will have you well on your way to a successful launch!

Post By Christy (32 Posts)

With years of experience in the internet marketing industry, Christy prefers to focus on; Analytics, CRO, SMM, Local SEO and Link Earning. With search becoming more focused on local and personalization, Christy believes companies that capitalize on these changes will eventually emerge on top.

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With years of experience in the internet marketing industry, Christy prefers to focus on; Analytics, CRO, SMM, Local SEO and Link Earning. With search becoming more focused on local and personalization, Christy believes companies that capitalize on these changes will eventually emerge on top.

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TechWyse Internet Marketing

Ultimate Website Launch Checklist

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