5 Point Website Launch Checklist | Free Tools Everyone Can Use

Launching a new website is exciting! All the hard work is done, right? Not quite .. but almost!

Whether you're launching a redesign/update of an older outdated site or developing a website designed from the ground up, these 5 points will help you make sure your site is ready to be found and functions properly for your visitors!

Here are the first 5 things we do after the launch of every website developed by us: 

1. Manual Inspections

  • Funny things can happen during the launch of a new website that can cause pages to not render as they did in development. The first step of every new website launch is to manually visit every page on a desktop device and mobile browser. Ask a friend or family member to help. If you find any errors, bring them to your developer to fix it immediately. Usually, it's a quick fix.
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  • Look for text that doesn't wrap to the following line properly or is too large for the page, pages that span wider than the screen, a navigation bar that isn't aligned properly, or, most importantly, typos. Everyone is human and as many times as we check our work, typos and grammatical errors happen. 

2. Image Checks

  • Look through the images on your pages to make sure they're sized appropriately on both mobile and desktop. Are they bleeding over the borders? Do you have to scroll left and right to see the full image from a mobile browser? These are all common issues that work great in development but sometimes get a little whacky after launch.

SEO TIP: In Google Chrome, right-click on an image and click Inspect. If you're not a developer, it's going to look like gibberish. The img tag represents the image. Inside the img tag should be an "alt" tag with a description of the image. If it's blank or missing, ask your developer to add it in. Search engines cannot see your image so they look at the alt tags to determine if the image is relevant to the search query.

inspect image alt tag screenshot

3. Google Page Speed Insights

google page speed insights screenshot

  • Google Page Speed Insights is a tool built for developers to test the speeds of their websites on mobile and desktop. Type in the URL of the website you want to inspect and click analyze.
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  • After a few minutes, Google will rank your page 0 - 100 for both mobile and desktop. You want to make sure you are above 50 for mobile and above 70 for desktop. If your scores are low, you will be shown opportunities to improve page load speeds for both mobile and desktop.
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  • Some things you can do on your own and others you may need help from your developer. Google uses page speed as a criteria for determining your page rank!

4. Google Search Console

  • Your page is live and it's running fast - great! Now you want to make sure Google knows it exists. Head over to Google Search Console to create an account or log in to your existing.
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  • If you are setting up a new website or your first time using Google Search Console you will need to verify ownership of your domain. It's an easy process. Google will provide you a verification code that you can copy and paste as a TXT record to your Domain Name Servers.
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  • Now that you're all set up, these are your goals :
    1. Request indexing of your new site
    2. Submit your sitemap
    3. Request removal of any old pages that are no longer active. 

SEO TIP: If any of the pages that are no longer active have decent traffic, make sure you 301 redirect them to a new relevant page to keep that organic traffic!

5. Run a Site Audit with Ubersuggest

ubbersuggest site audit screenshot

  • SEO guru Neil Patel, has developed an incredible tool for running basic SEO site audits and allows uses for FREE! Using the Site Audit tool from Ubersuggest input your domain and in a few minutes, you will have a list of possible improvements.
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  • The tool will inform you of title tags that are too long or duplicated, missing meta descriptions, broken links, and so much more.
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  • It really is one of the most valuable tools I have in my arsenal when launching new websites. 

BONUS TIP: Facebook Sharing Debugger

facebook sharing debugger screenshot

  • Aside from developers, most people don’t know that the beautiful image that show up when you share an image on Facebook or iMessage is actually something that your website developer needs to include in their code. It's created using Facebook's og meta tags. I won't bore you with the details but you can head over to the Facebook Sharing Debugger tool and type in your domain name. It will show you what people will see when sharing your URL on Facebook or iMessage.

 

Conclusion

  • It may seem like a lot of work to put in after a new website has "gone live" but in the long run, it is worth it. Your visitor's first impression of you is your website and you don't want to ruin that with a sloppy slow experience.
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  • Recent data has shown you have 3 seconds to capture a visitors attention until they click the back button. That includes page load time!!
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  • If you'd like us to help you with your project, you can request a free consultation from the button below and we would be happy to evaluate your site and give you some ideas for improvement.
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  • And as always, if you think others would find this information valuable, please like and share to your social channels!

 

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