Are you about to launch a new website or have you redesigned your old one? The deadlines are shorter than you think and the site should be live in a few days? The colour scheme is exactly as you want it and everything looks just fine to the last pixel, but there are lots of small details you shouldn’t forget to check. Below is a checklist with 11 essential things to make sure you didn’t miss before launching your site.
You’d probably have a QA team or person or at least you should get one of your most trusted employees to check it, but it’s not only the functionalities of your new website that should be tested. There are loads of other things you need to make sure you got right before going live.
- Favicon A favicon is a small image in the left angle of the tab or window. When someone bookmarks a page from your website it will appear so that user can easily identify the page. Most commonly it’s 16x16 pixels and it should be linked like that: "<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="faviconlinkhere.ico" />"
- META Elements We are sure you know how important META title and description are for SEO, but here we will discuss how important they are for the CTR. Make sure they are unique on every page and relate to the content of the page. Make sure they are appealing so when people see your result in the SERP they click on it.
- Contact Form It is of great importance that you test everything thoroughly. Your contact form is one of the main functionalities you need to double and triple-check. Check for exceptions - what happens if you don’t add e-mail, phone or other required fields. Send an e-mail to test how it looks, copy yourself so that you can see what comes through and what the automated message is.
- Webmaster Tools
- Google Analytics Google Analytics is another powerful tool. You can track your current keyword rankings and other metrics to compare your website performance. Once the site is ready to launch, analytics tracking code needs to be added to the site in order to track traffic and usage.
- Sitemap Sitemap is an xml file in your root directory which allows search engines to easily index your website. You can use a sitemap about specific types of content on your pages, for example, Image, Video, and Mobile Content. The file directs crawlers to all the pages on your website with information about URL, Priority, Change Frequency and LastChange.
- Custom 404 Page When a user requests a page that doesn’t exist, a 404 page is displayed. Each website needs one to get users to stay on the website. There are lots of funny, cool and inspiring 404 pages, you can browse the web and get some ideas. We suggest you add a link to the main page and some witty content.
- Page Speed In modern times speed matters. You’ll want to configure your website for optimal performance. We suggest you to use a Google tool - PageSpeed Insights.
- Mobile Friendly Mobile usage grows exponentially. It’s important to check how your website looks on different mobile devices. Test it before launching, there are lots of tools online. We recommend checking it with Google Mobile-Friendly Tools.
- Back Up
Since iPhones are so widely spread, it is also of importance to have a special Apple favicon: "<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="152x152" href="linktoimagehere">"
If you want to test the technical performance of your brand new website, you definitely need to verify your webmaster tools profile. It’s a simple 2 step verification of ownership, with different type of verification methods. The tool is invaluable as it lets you track metrics based on the performance of your site.