Launching a new website can be an exciting but daunting task. From creating a design to developing content and ensuring technical functionality, there are many important steps to take before your site can go live. To help you prepare for a successful website launch, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist of steps to take before and after your site is live.
Gather Your Content.
When it comes to gathering content for your website, there are a few important things to consider. First and foremost, think about your brand’s imagery and tone of voice. Is your brand playful and casual or more serious and professional? This should guide the tone of your content from the content itself to the images you source. Secondly, consider what information your audience needs and wants to see. What sets you apart from your competitors? What are your unique selling points? To gather content effectively, create a content calendar to plan out what content you need, set deadlines for when it needs to be completed, and assign due dates to keep yourself responsible. You don’t have to do this all in one sitting— chunk it out into pieces that feel manageable for you. Don’t forget to also do a content audit of your existing website or social profiles to see what content can be repurposed or updated.
Choose Your Platform
Choosing the right platform for your website is essential. WordPress, Squarespace, Showit, and Shopify are some of the most popular options available. We have a full breakdown of each of the platforms to help simplify the process.
Optimize Your Content
Optimizing images for a website is crucial for a fast-loading website. Large and heavy images can slow down your website’s loading speed, which can lead to a poor user experience. To optimize your images, you can use online tools such as TinyPNG or Bulk Resize Photos to compress the file size of your images without losing quality. Make sure to save images in the correct file format— PNG is best for images with transparency but comes with a larger file size, while JPEG is best for photos. We recommend having the “long side” of your image no longer than 1920px.
This deserves it’s own post but it’s time to get into the design of it all! With your content prepped and ready you can now head into the design phase of the project. Get creative but remember to stay grounded in strategy. We have a blog post diving deep into how to structure your homepage to provide you a helpful launching off point.
Optimize for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. Some ways to optimize for SEO include including meta descriptions, title tags, and alt tags, and making sure your website is mobile-friendly. If you’re using Showit or Wordpress our favorite tool is RankMath to take care of the heavy lifting and SEO set up.
Protect your sh*t
You’ve invested your time, your energy, and your heart into this website— now it’s time to protect your baby. Make sure you have all of the necessary legal disclaimers and pages your website needs to protect yourself and your content.
The Finishing Details
Test Your site
Before launching your website, make sure that everything is working correctly. Check all links, forms, and pages to ensure they are functioning as they should be. Make sure you check your website on multiple screen sizes and devices (ie. desktop, tablet, mobile).
Track your traffic
Set up tracking tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Hotjar to track the traffic coming into your site. Checking in on these analytics can provide you with important insights to continue to optimize and grow your website.
Keep The momentum going
Your website shouldn’t be a set it and forget it situation. Figure out a cadence in your business that makes sense to go in and make updates. This could be once a week, once a month, or once a quarter. But take the time to update images, content, craft blog posts, update portfolios, anything to keep your website fresh.