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Best Website Launch Checklist of 2021 — A Guaranteed Success

Your website is almost ready — it’s designed, tested, and waiting for the “Publish” button. Or is it? Let’s go through the website launch checklist together.

We’ll take a step back to see if you skipped something that might cost you a lot.

The Essentials of Launching a Website 

Launching your website with a bang will help grow your business and attract new leads. 

Before we start checking if you’re ready, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Don’t rush the launching if you haven’t checked that everything’s working. 
  2. Don’t be discouraged if it needs last-minute changes. Your website is an organic product that constantly develops to fit the latest trends.
  3. Double-check for efficiency, even after your page goes live. 
  4. The longer your website is live, the more Google trusts you. If you have a big project that will take months to develop, get a landing page up. That way, the search engine will at least have something to index.
a person writing on  a piece of paper

Website Pre-Launch Checklist

Do you love the adrenaline rush of your favourite TV show coming back for a new season? Well, you can achieve the same with your website. Here’s our effortless yet strategic checklist.

Analyze the Former Website

When you’re redesigning an existing website, it’s crucial to make an association with the pages from your previous one. That’s a process called htaccess redirect, meaning all URLs will now be transferred to the new website.

You can manually redirect the URLs before you launch a website on your WordPress account. If it seems complicated, we recommend installing a Simple 301 Redirect plug-in. It’s a simple and efficient solution with a user-friendly interface and service applicable to every website.

Install a Backup Solution 

Every single post, comment, and link on your site is stored in your WordPress database. Unfortunately, you could accidentally delete or damage all files for reasons that might not be under your control. 

There are paid WordPress backup solutions, like Jetpack, which copies every update instantly in real-time. If you have a smaller website or hate paying subscription fees, we recommend UpdraftPlus. Don’t store your backup on the same server as your website. Instead, opt for storage services like DropBox or Google Drive.

Domain & Hosting 

As part of your website planning checklist, you need to choose a reputable host. We like two services:

  • Cloudways — Budget-friendly and easy to set up hosting web service
  • Inmotion Hosting — Award-winning technical support and 99.9% uptime

By using these services, you’ll have a guarantee that your website is safe, secure, and loads quickly.

You’ll also need to pick a domain name for your site launch checklist. Choose one that’s easy to remember and matches your brand, or try the Domain Name Generator to get some ideas. 

Secure WordPress Admin Area

Before your new website launches, ensure your data isn’t an open field for hackers. One of the easiest ways to protect your page is to set up a Sucuri Firewall System. It’s like having a security guard for your page. Other solutions include iThemes Security or MalCare

Also, we recommend installing a plug-in that will protect your page from scams. We like the Antispam Bee because it’s highly effective and 100% free. 

Check for 404 Errors

There are five reasons why a 404 error might occur: 

  1. Wrongly written address
  2. A deleted page
  3. Non-existing domain name
  4. Improperly redirected URL
  5. Server malfunctions

Your website launch plan could include installing a service that will notify you of such errors. The AIOSEO or Redirection Plugin are excellent tools for this process. We recommend the second to more advanced users as it’s somewhat complicated to set up.

Check the Contact Forms

There’s nothing worse than setting up a new site with a “Contact Us” page that doesn’t work. To prevent that, double-check all your emails are written correctly and fully functional. Also, ensure that your social network links work and point to the correct profile for your site. Website builders make this easier than ever before. 

Check Images, Videos & Sliders

Taking a quick peek at the license agreement of third-party resources is a smart way to avoid copyright issues. Another preventable mistake is checking your videos and images to see if they’re too large, which might slow the loading process.

That’s why plug-ins for load optimizing are pivotal when doing a new website checklist. ShortPixel and EWWW Image Optimizer both have free plans that will do the job just fine.

Proofreading, Grammar & Spell Check 

Writing mistakes happen to the best of us. Since they’re so common, you should thoroughly check if anything sounds out of order. Consider using tools that ensure everything is correct, such as Webpage Spell-Check or Grammarly.

Once you’re done with that, take time to see if your sentences are accurate, concise, and on-point. We recommend using the Proofreading or Stilus Plug-in for WordPress. 

SSL Certificate 

If you don’t have an SSL certificate before you launch a website, there’s a high chance that Google will flag it as insecure. But what does an SSL certificate do? Secure Socket Layer or SSL is a data file stored on the origin server of a website. It encrypts sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords. Plus, it ensures that all the data will be safe when it’s transferred between servers. Website builder reviews show Site123 uses an SSL secure protocol, ensuring all sites are protected – for free. 

Favicon

Favicon is a tiny icon you can find next to the address bar or tabs, and it serves as a visual reminder of the website’s identity. The best way to do a favicon is to use a simplified version of your logo. For the best results, build a square icon and convert it using the Favicon Icon Generator

Cross Browser & Device Compatibility

The next step of your website design checklist is making sure that your website works with various browsers and devices. That’s why you need tools to help you see how your hard work will look for the rest of the world. 

Luckily, you can choose one of the many free tools. The best ones include:

  • Browsershots — It takes screenshots of your website from different operators and browsers.
  • Browserling — It provides live interactive sessions and full access to the latest browsers.
  • CrossBrowserTesting — A subscription-based program with live, visual, and automated testing on 2050+ real browsers and mobile devices. 

Remove Redundant Data

Our website launch checklist includes getting rid of the following: 

  • Unwanted plug-ins
  • Useless pictures
  • Sample pages & posts
  • Revisions 

To ease your work process, we advise you to install WordPress cleaners such as WP Sweep or the Advanced Database Cleaner. Both services have a five-star rating and are 100% free.

Do Performance Test

UX statistics reveal that around 53% of mobile device users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. That’s why performance tests should become a daily habit for managing your website. 

Sites like GT Metrix or Website Speed Tests will reveal your site’s approximate speed level as well as the areas that require a boost. To optimize the performance, look at caching plug-ins like W3 Total Cache or Swift Performance to speed up your page. 

SEO Check

An SEO plug-in helps you make the most out of your site. We recommend Yoast Plugin as the best SEO tool to launch a website with. It comes with features like: 

  • Analyzing paragraph structure
  • Notifying you of keyword overuse
  • Ensuring easy-to-read content
  • Optimizing meta descriptions
  • Monitoring links 
  • Modifying permalinks
  • Social media sharing
  • Notifying of previously used keywords

It’s a relief not to keep track of everything yourself.

Ready, Set, Launch! 

Congrats on making it this far. 

Your website is live. Now, you can use it to reach your goals and grow your business. This stage focuses more on adding quality content, using helpful third-party tools, generating leads, and advertising. 

Post Website Launch Checklist 

Surely, by now you’re eager to share your creation with the world. And you will, after you tick all the boxes from our post-launch checklist.

Search Engine Visibility

The first thing you should do is allow Google to index your site

Log into your WordPress account and go to “Reading” under the Settings tab. Make sure that the checkbox “Discourage search engine from indexing this site” remains unchecked.

Install CDN 

CDN takes the content from your site and stores it onto a network of servers worldwide. When a visitor comes to your website, they will be served from the nearest location. Hence, they’ll get to your site much quicker. Some of the most popular CDNs to consider for your website setup checklist include MaxCDN and Amazon CloudFront

Configure Google Search Console

Google Search Console will help you with SEO and point out some of the issues regarding the structure of your site. 

More specifically, with GSC, you can learn information like:

  • The health of the internal link structure
  • External links pointing to your site
  • Sitemap problems
  • Popular keywords
  • Indexing Status
  • Crawl stats & errors
  • Security Issues

Install Google Analytics 

It’s not difficult to add Google Analytics to WordPress. First, you’ll have to set it up by creating an analytics profile. When you’re done, get the MonsterInsights plug-in, as that’s the easiest way to add Google Analytics correctly with no help from others.

Analytics is vital as the most popular service for tracking, so it’s a big part of every website checklist template. You’ll use it to get insights into your site’s data and learn more about your visitors, how many pages they visit, their time on your page, and their bounce rate.

Later, you can use all that data to make changes to your website for even better results. 

Remodel Your Logins

The easiest way to break into your WordPress site is to guess your login and password. That’s why you need to make them strong enough to resist all kinds of hacker tricks.

Here’s what you can do as a part of your website build checklist:

Sitemap XML File

It’s a file that lists all your website’s URLs. Google uses it to understand your site’s organization and what sort of information you give. As a result, it’ll be easier for the search engine to index the pages. To create a sitemap, install the Google XML Sitemaps plug-in. It’s a five-star WordPress service that supports custom URLs and all kinds of pages. 

The Big Reveal — Announcing Your New Website Launch 

Who wants to launch a business and not get any sales? That’s right, nobody.

While you can find many ways to get traffic to your blog, none of them matter without proper website promotion. That’s why this takes a big part of our website launch checklist. 

The number one rule for announcing a new website is to make it all about your audience — highlight the values and benefits the new site will give them. And we have more helpful tips and tricks waiting for you. 

Create a Launch Alert on Your Current Website 

That’s an excellent way to give your fans a heads up and let them anticipate the change. We recommend placing the message on your homepage. Don’t create a temporary landing page because you don’t want it gaining SEO value, as that will serve no purpose when you go live. 

Announce the New Website Via Newsletter

The next step of your blog launch checklist is to share a few website features that will be valuable and helpful to your audience. You need to create a little interest in momentum.  Make sure to mention the new site and provide a link to it after the launch.

Ask People to Spread the Word 

Share your big moments with your team members, friends, and relatives. Whether through social media, email, or a walk in the park, it’ll undoubtedly help you gain some popularity.

Create an Incentive for Visiting the New Website

The next trick on how to launch a website lies in creating an incentive or a stimulus that will lure visitors into using your services. The content on its own should be incentive enough, but a bonus offer will do wonders. You can do a special coupon code or a discount for your services and reward your audience in the name of the new launch.

Paid Advertising

Ads offer a chance to grow your business in a matter of seconds. The reason why people can’t make money in a business isn’t that they aren’t smart or don’t have a good hosting service. It’s simply because they don’t get enough “eyeballs” on their offer.

Paying for ads as a part of your website test checklist certainly costs more than organic traffic. But it’s a good “teaser moment” that helps the rest of the world see your business. 

Wrap up 

Launching a website can be sweaty, daunting, and sometimes overwhelming. But now you know exactly how to make the process effortless and rewarding. 

You want your website to generate leads and income. And even though there’s no silver bullet to a launch, our different strategies will surely fit your purpose. 

So congrats on finishing the website launch checklist. We truly hope it was helpful to you and your site. Good luck, and may you have a successful launch.

About the author

Avatar for Emma Miles

Emma Miles

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