Blog

Website Launch Checklist

April 29, 2014  /  by  Michael Westafer

Lift Off: A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHING A WEBSITE

We’ve launched a lot of websites here at Roger West – and in fact, we just launched our new website this week. Through our experiences, we’ve compiled a website launch checklist that we follow before going live with a new website.

The list is not meant to be 100% comprehensive – we learn new things after each launch and keep adding to it. But this should act as a guide to help you successfully launch a website, and you can modify it or add to it in order to make it your own.

Content

Get out your magnifying glass and examine every sentence, word, and letter.

  • Spelling & grammar is correct
  • Paragraphs, headers, lists, and other formatting is correct
  • Copyright date is current
  • Accurate contact details
  • All dummy “lorem ipsum” content is removed
  • Rich content is correct and working – images, videos, audio, etc.

Design

Take the necessary steps to ensure that the site is pixel perfect.

  • Cross-browser compatibility (IE 7 8, 9 and 10, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc)
  • Cross-device compatibility (Android, iPhone, tablets, etc.)
  • CSS/HTML Validation
  • Page Optimization: scripts, images, and CSS
  • Favicon

Functionality

Test and validate that everything on the website is working properly.

  • Forms are submitting
  • Thank you message displays after the form is submitted
  • Form data is being emailed to a recipient and/or stored in a database
  • Auto-responders are working properly (if applicable)
  • All internal links work properly
  • All external links work properly and open in a new tab
  • All social media share icons work properly
  • All feeds work properly (RSS, News, Twitter, etc.)
  • Company logo links to index page
  • Check load time for site pages
  • Page accessibility for users with disabilities (WAI-ARIA)
  • 404 Redirect pages are in place (page-not-found.aspx)

SEO

Make sure that your website has a solid foundation for SEO success.

  • Redirect non “www” traffic to “www” site
  • Create a dynamic XML sitemap
  • Submit XML sitemap to search engines
  • Verify page URLs consistently reflect site information architecture
  • Add alt tags to every image
  • Pages have title tags (less than 70 characters, includes keywords)
  • Pages have descriptions (less than 156 characters, includes keywords)
  • Pages have keywords (less than 10 – all words appear in page copy)
  • Spelling and grammar is correct in all metadata
  • 301 redirects are in place for all old URLs (redirect old to new pages)
  • Smart URLs are in place
  • rel=”nofollow” are in place on applicable links and pages
  • Add RSS feed to header meta data
  • Add social media meta data to the header (image and page description)

Analytics

Collect valuable analytics that will allow you to continually improve the website going forward.

  • Embed analytics code on the page
  • Set up a filter to exclude IP addresses for web company and client
  • Set up goals (if applicable)

Security & Backups

Prevent the loss of data and protect against malware or other damages with site security and regular backups.

  • Setup secure FTP accounts
  • Install 24/7 monitoring scripts
  • Create daily backups
  • Test client CMS access

Did we forget anything? Is there something you do that we don’t? Let's Talk.