So your website’s ready for launch? The things to consider before you do

By Shan Balasuriya Posted Date: 2016-04-12

Things to do before launching your website

After all the planning, decisions and hard work is your website finally complete and ready for launch? Having a fancy new website is great but there are still a few things you should look into before going live with it.

A website is usually only as good as its design and content. Once your website is finished and ready for launch it’s very important to first check the content. Proof read text content on every page; this is not just for the paragraphs of information but all links as well. Making sure that all the text on the website uses correct grammar and spelling is very important as it can directly impact the impression people get on your business and brand.  It’s like opening a new restaurant and having misspelled items on the menu, not the best way to start off things is it? – So always proof read content and make sure it is up to scratch.

The second thing to look at would be your basic SEO. By basic SEO, we mean making sure your site structure is ready to accommodate SEO updates in the future. This is also important even if you don’t plan on implementing SEO on your website as Google requires that websites meet a certain standard online, a part of that standard is having a good site structure.  

Once the website structure and content has been reviewed the next thing to look at is the time the website takes to load. Yes, this does depend on the internet speed of a user, but the structure and content of your website can also significantly affect server download times. The best way to check your website page speed is to use the Google page speed insights tool, achieving a higher score in this tool means your website is at the optimum when it comes to load times. Some ways to improve site speed is to minify JavaScript used as well as optimizing images for the web.

After the website speed has been optimized your website is now ready for launch in terms of the actual site structure and content. In some cases, especially with new websites, you may want to do a soft launch or pre-launch to a select few users. This is similar to how restaurants have soft-openings to make sure things are happening as they need to before the grand opening. So your soft-launch can be for a selected few users who can provide you with constructive feedback. This feedback can be used to make any last minute improvements if necessary before your official website launch.

In the case of existing websites it is important to consider the day and time you want to launch the updated version in order to minimize down times. If you are updating an existing older website, it most likely means your existing website has users, it is vital to make sure that you choose a time with the lowest number of users, Friday night is generally ideal since that time usually has the least traffic. If you do decide to update your website on a Friday make sure you check with your web design company that they provide support on weekends just in case something goes wrong.

Its time now to set up your Google Webmaster tools and Analytics accounts. Both webmaster tools and Google Analytics are website management tools that provide insight into your website statistics. You can get useful information about searches, number of visitors, the pages they visit and even demographics. The website does need to be live to verify the accounts, but make sure you set it up beforehand so its active and recording stats as soon as you go live.

Finally once all of the above points have been looked into, you can now find your web hosting provider. Generally in most-cases a good web design agency will also provide you with hosting services. But regardless of who is providing you with hosting it is important to ask them questions about the bandwidth you are allowed per month and even server storage.  If your website is one with a lot of high quality images or content such as animations and video then you may need more bandwidth.

If you have any questions about website design or web hosting please contact us.