19 Checks To Do Before Your Website Goes Live

In a few short weeks, the Formula 1 teams will start to reveal their new cars for the 2018 season (SO excited!). I am pretty sure things are a bit frantic at their factories at the moment trying to get everything completed before their committed launch date.

It will be a disaster if they reveal the cars and parts are missing or the car is not there because it is late. This all can happen when things are a bit crazy and there is just too much to get done before the launch, but it does not have to be like that. Why? Checklists! I love a good checklist.

To prevent that you end up with egg on your face when you launch your website, ensure that you check the following list of items.

1. Web content is proofread and without spelling and grammar mistakes.

You can read through a document 10 times, there will still be mistakes in it, especially if you are proofreading your own content. This is because you know what it is meant to say and your brain tells you what is supposed to be written, not what was actually written.

Get someone else to proofread it as well. If they didn’t find any mistakes, get another person to check it as the first person did not read it properly.

It is also a good idea to not hit publish until the next morning when you have read it again with a fresh mind. It is amazing what a good night’s sleep can do.

2. All titles, headers, lists and other formatting are correct.

Titles should be formatted as Titles, headers should have all the header formatting assigned from H1 through to H4, lists should be lists and not dashes and paragraph text should be just that, paragraph text.

Also, ensure that this is uniform throughout the site. You don’t want to look unprofessional.

3. The copyright date includes the current year.

The past is in the past. Don’t be stuck in the past. This is 2018. Ensure that your copyright date shows 2018.

4. Your contact details are correct throughout the website.

You have a website so that potential customers can easily contact you in order for you to do business with them. It is pretty pointless if the contact details on your website are incorrect. Please give them the correct contact details.

5. Generic content is removed

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…,” what language is that? This is not a language. It is dummy text that can be used in place of content to have websites look better while still in the design process.

The same goes when you install a WordPress theme with generic content in it. Remove it or replace it with your own text before you launch the website.

6. The same fonts are used throughout the website

This goes hand in hand with the text formatting as explained above. Decide on 1 or 2 fonts for your website and use them consistently throughout. It is common to use one font for your headings and another font for the paragraph text. Don’t swap them around from page to page.

7. Images are in the correct places

Because we are in a mobile-first world, when you reduce the size of your browser window, you can see how your website will react and display the content on the smaller screen. As it adapts, the elements of your website are moved around. Make sure that images are still in the right place and close to the content where you want it displayed.

8. Images are compressed and optimised correctly

Using large uncompressed images will make your website slow and will bore your potential customer as they wait for your website to load. If they have to wait too long, they will close your website and move along.

9. Videos are in the correct places

This is the same as for images explained above.

10. Your website is displaying correctly on all devices

When you view your website on your mobile device, ensure that all elements such as headings, videos, images and text scale down correctly to fit the smaller screen. Also, check that text is still large enough to read but not too large that each word starts on a new line.

11. You have a favicon in place

The favicon is the little square icon next to your website name in the browser tab. This is often an overlooked step. Make sure it is there.

12. Forms are submitting data correctly

Together with having the correct contact details, it is pointless having your potential customer fill out a form so that you can provide him with a product or service, just to find out what the customer filled in, was not on the form.

13. After the form is submitted, a thank you message is displayed

Display a message on the screen that the form has actually been sent after your potential customer has clicked on the submit button.

14. Data on form is emailed correctly to recipient

Ensure that the form that is being sent actually arrives in the intended recipient’s email inbox.

15. Social media icons are working correctly

The social media platforms love to change their URL structure. The URL you used to setup the link before launch, might now not be working. Test it one last time before launch to ensure potential customers will be able to find your Facebook Page or any other social media profile you have linked to your website.

16. Company Logo is linked to the home page

It is standard practice to link your logo to your homepage. People rarely ever look for the “Home” option on your navigation bar as they just click on the logo to go to the home page.

17. Website does not load slowly

Slow Website = Unhappy Customer or even worse, No Customer. A lot of things can cause a website to be slow. If you detect this before the website is launched, you can do something about it before it causes any reputational damage.

18. Web analytics code have been inserted into website

You need to track what is happening on your website, how many visitors you are getting, where they are clicking, etc. Not having any form of analytics monitoring on your website is like driving with a blindfold.

19. A copy of the final website has been made for backup purposes

Things go wrong, host servers crash, sites get hacked and people make fat finger errors. You don’t want to redo all the hard work of putting your website together. Make a backup just before launch and store it in a safe place. It does not stop there, though, I would recommend making a backup of your website at least once a week to ensure changes made after the launch is saved as well.

Now What?

If your website is already live and needs some assistance to implement these check, contact me and I will gladly assist.

Johan Gouws

About the Author

Hi, my name is Johan Gouws, founder and website consultant here at TeraWeb Design and I have been building websites for the past 10 years for small businesses to increase their online presence. I would like to talk to you about how we can achieve your business goals.

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