Supposing you have worked so hard to come up with a dazzling design, exceptional content, and an outstanding user interface for your website – the next big step would be to go live. And nothing compares with the excitement that comes with the launching of such a website. However, before you get to this point, you need to prepare a checklist of everything you need for a successful start. Your checklist should cover the following five key areas:
Domain name and hosting considerations
Choosing a good web hosting service is probably one of the best decisions you can make when striving for a successful website launch. In any case, this will go a long way in ensuring that your site is safe, secure, and fast. Besides, you also need a domain name for the website, and this should be easy to remember, preferably short, and relevant to your brand identity.
The best part is that there’s no shortage of excellent hosting services that can meet your hosting needs including WordPress-managed hosting at a cost that suits your budget. A good place to start would be this resource comprising of Australian WordPress hosting on Mangomatter. Check it out and choose one of the listed reputable hosting providers that guarantee fast loading speeds, excellent uptime, and tight security for your site.
From statistics, the number of websites that are hacked each year continues to rise – an indication of failure on the part of webmasters to take web security seriously. Did you know that it’s a lot easier to secure a website before it is launched than it is to deal with the effects of a hacker attack?
You can enhance the security of your website by making sure that the admin’s computer or that of anyone with admin access is free of any malware. You should also avoid weak passwords and ensure that you use updated versions of the software that runs your web infrastructure.
Ensure that all of the website’s URLs are functioning
Most websites are built using special staging platforms which allow for easier testing of multiple functionalities of the site. However, once the content and functionality of the website have been finalised, the next step would be to move it to production. However, this usually involved a change of URLs, which is not guaranteed to go smoothly. If you just have a small website with a few pages, then you can manually check its URLs and links one by one to ensure that they are working properly. However, if it is a large website, then you would need to automate the URL checking process.
Ensure the site is multi-device ready
With a huge number of people across the world acquiring and using mobile devices to access websites, you also need to consider having good mobile layouts for the website. To check whether your site is mobile-friendly, simply open the Website Auditor and click on the Page Audit Module and look at the information in the Page Usability (Mobile) section. Besides, if you want the pages to load faster on mobile devices, you should also consider implementing the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework.
Install Google Analytics
It is also very important to set up the Google Analytics tracking code on your website before going live. Google Analytics will enable you to see the number of people that visited your website, their location, the type of browser and device they used, how long they stayed on the site, and the pages they visited among others.
This is key in helping you gather important data that you could use to improve your overall marketing strategy. Note that the process of adding the tracking code to a site may vary depending on the CMS configuration. That said, it is also advisable to add filters to exclude any traffic coming from IP(s) in your office.
Other crucial tasks that you need to do before going live include; proofreading all the content on the site for grammar and related errors, ensuring that search engine indexing is allowed, adding social share buttons, and confirming browser compatibility. You should also optimise the images on your website for faster loading, update the admin email, check that all forms are fully functional, ensure that you have a backup for your website’s code, and check the performance of your website in general.
Doing the above things will give you a great head start, which will go a long way in ensuring that your website is able to achieve the purpose for which it was intended.