A handy checklist of things to do when launching a new website
6 Months Ago in Advice for Startups
So your new website is ready to go up and live!
But before we launch, we go through the following checklist to make sure that your site is working beautifully and up to scratch in a competitive market place.
We want to brand the client consistently throughout social media, Google and other website integrations. To do this we typically need:
A selection of graphics:
A selection of texts for the "tagline" and "about" profile sections:
The longer statement should highlight the company's selling points and the products / services offered.
The 160 character version fits within the limits of most social media platforms. It's also a nice "one liner" that is easy for any viewers to read, digest and remember.
Where possible, these should list the services / products that the company provides so that viewers can identify if this company is providing what they're looking for.
We'll set up a Google account for the client if they don't have one. We can use this for a Google Analytics account and a Google My Business profile. It can also be useful if we're using Google Maps, AdWords, or other Google services for the website.
Because we set the account up in the client's name, we need to make sure they add us as Admin Users on the accounts.
Analytical information about the site an usage will be vital going forward.
Google Analytics provides us with some pretty detailed info about our visitors, what pages they visit, how they found us, how long they spend on each page, etc.
Crazy Egg generates heatmaps - a graphical representation of how visitors are interacting with your pages. For example you can see how often users scroll down the bottom of your page, and how often they click on each of the links.
Does the website require a live chat feature? If so we need to set up a ZenDesk Chat account.
We also set up appropriate branding on the Live Chat Widget - customising the colours, adding the company name, etc.
If we already know what social media accounts are required, we go ahead and set them up.
If we're not sure, here's what we do:
To brand the SM accounts we typically need:
Once the accounts are set up, to get the ball rolling we:
We may need to set up company and personal accounts on LinkedIn and Facebook.
If it's suitable for the client and they're active on social media, we may also set up groups on both of these platforms.
Each of the above will also require graphics / icons and a little bit of branding work.
When setting up the email accounts initially we will have made sure that they all have secure passwords. We don't want any accounts getting compromised and used for sending spam.
Then, before launching, we add an "SPF" record to the DNS, to help with deliverability. This reduces the likelihood of our own emails getting caught up in a spam filter.
How the SPF record is set up may vary slightly from host to host. But here is a general guide:
There are so many other points to consider when launching a site, that this one can be easy to overlook.
We double check that all the contact forms work properly, along with any phone number links, email links, live chat links etc.
We also double check that there aren't any mistakes or typos in contact information - phone numbers, addresses, emails, company numbers, etc!
We always store contact information for the website in a single file, so we only have one place to check, and we can be sure that the information is displayed consistently throughout the site.
We go through each page to make sure that it has the correct:
We also check that the right information / images show when sharing on social media (see below).
Do pages have the correct images / information when shared on social media?
Most platforms provide a tool to inspect how your page will look when people share it. For example, you can check your pages using these tools:
If a MailChimp account is required, we set one up here:
If the clients wants to segment contacts we'll create "groups" for this purpose. If creating groups, make sure to not down the "group code" as this will be used when setting up MailChimp on your site.
With all of the above in place, we're ready to don our web-gear and enter the internet jungle.
My name is Martin and I've been your host for this article.
I am by no means a strong writer, but I hope you found it of value.
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