Houston...we have a website!
Launching a brand new site, or launching a new version of an existing website is usually a key event in the dairy of any business or organisation. Excitement, anxiety, and a 101 other emotions combine with the nitty gritty tasks of getting the site content in, as well as getting the site looking and feeling right with the assistance of your web designer.
Amongst all of this, what are the key points to bear in mind when the launch of your sparkly new website is imminent?
- Is you’re content ready?
If you are struggling to get all the content produced, its can be better to focus on getting key sections completed well and hiding sections not quite ready for launch. Less, can be more.
- Have you done a final test of all links and pages on the new site?
Going through all menus and pages in a website can be a bit tedious, but it’s the only way to ensure once launched you can have confidence that the site as a whole looks, feels, and works as it should. It’s also great for catching pages that might have been forgotten about and are completely blank! Automated link checkers such as the W3C Link Checker are handy tools for making sure all links are working correctly. Remember also to test all dynamic sections of your site such as forms, tabbed content, or show/hide sections.
- Cross browser testing & mobile
Users of your website may access it in a variety of ways, across different web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox - and using different devices such as PC’s, tablets, and mobile phones. The site may look and work differently in these different environments – your web designers should be able to advise you of how your website will appear in these.
- Are site statistics ready to go?
Using a site statistics tool such as Google Analytics, Clicky or Piwick is essential for measuring the activity and usage of your website once it has been launched. You should confirm with your web designers that this has been set up prior to launch so you are gathering key statistics on your new site from day 1.
- Have you confirmed the launch time with key parties?
Launching a new website may involve switching a web address (‘i.e. www.mynewwebsite.com) to a new location which ‘hosts’ your new website. If this is the case, the switching process can take up to 24 hours to percolate fully through the worldwide internet, during which some visitors will get the old website, and some the new website. Confirm the launch time with your web designer – this should give you reassurance of what is happening and when, which you can also choose to share with key users of your site.
If you have attended to these points, you should be fairly confident of a successful launch of your new website.
For additional things to consider such as social media and search engine optimisation - please read the companion article on further considerations on launching a new website.