At Devstars, we’ve guided clients through the critical final stages before launching hundreds of websites. It’s a pivotal moment filled with excitement and anticipation that requires meticulous attention to detail. In this blog post, we share our website launch checklist and 20 essential steps to ensure your successful website launch. These steps are informed by our extensive experience in web design and development at Devstars.
We’ve also included a link to download our website launch checklist to help ensure your next website launch runs smoothly.
Before anything else, ensure all your website content is error-free. This includes checking for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Also, ensure that all information is current and accurate.
This process should be done by a human, but it helps to have some support, so here are a few of our favourite tools.
Your website must look great and function well on all devices. Test it on various screen sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Test your website on browsers (like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge) to ensure consistent performance and appearance.
Try Browserstack for devices you don’t have access to. It will allow you to try most combinations via a virtual machine but there is a limited time (4 mins) for free.
Click every link on your website to confirm they all lead to the correct pages or external sources. For this we use Semrush’s site audit function as it will run a report and tell us any dead links or broken images. It will also help find where broken off-site links.
Slow websites lose visitors. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyse and improve your site’s loading time.
Ensure your site is SEO-friendly with optimised titles, meta descriptions, alt tags for images, and proper URL structures. Refer to our detailed SEO guidelines for comprehensive insights.
Again, we use various services here to scan the site and provide a list of issues and suggestions.
Implement security measures such as SSL certificates to ensure safe browsing for your users. Just Encrypt provide free certificates, and your hosting company should allow you to add these.
Test all forms on your website, including contact, subscription, and feedback forms, to ensure they work correctly and notifications are sent to the correct email addresses.
We often use Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) for reliable delivery of emails. Adding SPF Records, DKIM & Dmarc records on your domains is also a good idea.
Set up tools like Google Analytics 4 to track visitor behaviour and gain insights after launch.
Ensure all social media buttons are correctly linked and functional, promoting easy sharing and engagement.
Make sure you have OpenGraph code in place so your shares look their best on social. You can check how a page will look using Facebook’s tool here
Ensure your website complies with legal requirements, including GDPR, cookie policies, and accessibility standards.
Implement a robust backup solution to protect your website data. Your web hosting company can help with this.
Customise 404 and other error pages to guide users back to relevant sections of your site.
Ensure all images are optimised for web use – this helps in reducing load time without compromising on quality. Things have moved on from GIFs and JPGs, and formats like WebP and SVG will look better and load faster.
Double-check that your contact information is accurate and easily accessible. Tap in the numbers, make a call, and make sure it goes through.
Add a favicon – this small branding element makes your site look professional in browser tabs.
Ensure the tone of your website copy aligns with your brand voice – professional yet approachable, as per our ethos at Devstars.
Review and test the effectiveness of CTAs across your website to ensure they are engaging and clear. It’s worth returning to these and refining them via A/B testing once the website has been up to see if you can increase conversions.
Conduct a final review of the overall user experience, including navigation ease, readability, and intuitive layout. Can you get feedback from a small group of the target market? If not, try friends and family.
It’s easy to be too close to see the problems sometimes.
Have a team meeting to review this checklist and confirm that every aspect is covered.
Launching a website is like unveiling a digital masterpiece – the culmination of creativity, strategy, and meticulous development. By following these 20 steps, you can ensure your website resonates with your audience and is a testament to your brand’s professionalism and attention to detail.
Remember, a successful launch is just the beginning. Ongoing development, analysis and content marketing will be required to ensure the site and its traffic grows.
Download our Website Launch Checklist Template (Word and PDF).
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