ThemeXpert Blog

Website Launching Checklist - 2019: How Can You Avoid 10 Terrible Mistakes that Beginner Developers Make?

Pre-Post-Checklist
Shams Sumon


13 mins

We always prefer a checklist to shop, travel, or prepare for any event so that we don't miss any significant point. But why don't we make a checklist before we start a website?

Websites are very complicated. You can easily overlook so many things, such as a broken link or a misspelled word. From proofreading to testing results, we will cover everything in this article. 

And while some of these tips may seem somewhat fundamental, that's the point! We want to assist you in making sure you have not accidentally overlooked some of your website's tiny but significant element.

To assist you to prevent these errors that we have learned from over the years, we are giving away the precise checklist that we follow when we launch a new website. 

We hope some of that pain will be saved for you. If you know someone who works on a website, by sharing this with them, you can likely save them some grief.

So let's explore it.

Step 01: Check Your Website Content

Spelling Errors

Many of us ignore errors in spelling content as we placed less importance on content. Nowadays, however, Google punishes if your content is broken or wrong. 

Before starting your website, make sure that your content is appropriate and without spelling mistakes. Aside from Google, when your user visits your website, if they observe any misspelled word or phrase, they will lose interest in buying an item from your website or sometimes remain on your website.

Therefore, don't ignore your spelling mistake and verify it with your trusted individuals.

Page and Content Formatting

It would be best if you recheck all of the pages of your website whether your page and content formatting is correct or not.

Make sure that the page and content formatting is similar to all your website's existing pages. Otherwise, it will lose the ability to attract visitors.

Placeholder Text

You can set dummy text on the different sections of your website. However, before deploying your website, make sure all of the text placeholders are removed. Otherwise, the visitor will doubt your professionalism and expertise.

All Pages Have Content

It is a horrible practice to not putting content on all the pages. If your website contains some page with content and some page without content that means you are a less dedicated developer and it can't fulfill your user crave as well.

Privacy Policy

Every website must contain a privacy policy. Without a privacy policy, asking any information from your users is a kind of crime. So don't forget to integrate a privacy policy on your website before launching it.

Print Stylesheet Exists

Even today, there are still some people who want to print out the entire website. 

The reason behind this could be a team seeks to discuss an article's content in a meeting, or somebody wants to read your article in such a place where they don't have an internet connection. 

Each website should contain a CSS file for printing to satisfy these kinds of demands.

Favicon

Favicon is a little logo or icon before your website address in the address bar of the browser. It is an excellent opportunity to expand your branding. 

To set a favicon is a tiny work, so recheck your favicon whether it is correctly created and displayed or not.

Footer with Copyright Statement

Without the copyright section, a footer is not well decorated. Footer is a perfect position to keep a copyright section. Copyright carries information about legal ownership. So be sure you have a well-written copyright and privacy policy.

404 Page

Imagine a visitor coming to your website and making a misprint in a page URL, or clicking on a broken link on your website. Make sure you set up a custom 404 page on your website to show him a good response.

Real Author

Make sure every post of your pages has its proper author acknowledgment. Don't copy others post and paste that on your website.

Step 02: Configure SEO Settings 

Page Titles

​Every page should contain its title and make sure your title is descriptive enough to make your user understood. ​Consider your page titles in a way that make your page titles different from each other. Try not to copy others page name and paste it on yours.

Using H1 style in the page title is a good practice to attract visitors, and don't make multiple H1 styles in a page. It creates an unattractive view of a page.

Work hard until your page title is enough SEO friendly; otherwise, Google won't rank your page.

Metadata

The Metadata plays a vital role in the search engines. Not only do they associate the title with what people are searching for, but also define the main topic of the page, and normally specific keywords that are used to attract users.

XML Sitemap

Before launching your new website, it is crucial to create a new XML map and upload it to the Google search console. 

The XML sitemap is needed as it let Google knows that the structure has changed and can crawl your site again. Without XML sitemap, the links in Google will take much more time to be updated.

Robots.txt 

Robots.txt file is used to tell the search engine spiders to not crawl certain pages (unimportant) or sections of a website. Most major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo recognize and honor robots.txt requests. 

301 Redirect

A redirect works in a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. It's mandatory to set a 301 redirect on your website.

So, set up a 301 redirect between the https:// and https://www versions of your domains​.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics or tracking tools allow you not only to see how many people visit your website but also where they are coming from, what pages they visit, how long they stay on your website, what browsers they use, and so on. So track your user to understand how your website is performing. 

Step 03: Integrate Social Accounts 

Open Graph Tags

An open graph is important to allow any of your pages being shared across social media. 

Open Graph Tags usually include a title, description, and an image to have a good "look" on pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which ultimately attracts more traffics. 

So don't forget to include the open graph tags on your website.

Social Accounts Integration 

Without marketing, you won't be capable of making a hype about your website. To let people know about your website, social media play a vital role. Therefore, social accounts integration is an important part before launching a website.

Step 04: Ensure Markup Validation

HTML & CSS Validation

Usually, Google says, minor HTML / CSS errors won't harm the results of your site. However, our recommendation is to check how clean your code is. 

You can scan pages for errors using some online tools, such as W3C Markup Validator and W3C CSS Validator.

Site Links

Before publishing your website, recheck your internal pages are connected with each other. It is an awkward situation when you click on a button, and it takes you on an irrelevant page. 

So make sure your site links have been tested, and it works properly.

Error Free​ JavaScript 

JavaScript errors may resist users from properly viewing your pages and help to create an adverse impact on their user experience. Sites with poor user experience tend to rank down in search engine results. 

Make sure your website is JavaScript error-free.

Step 05: Make Sure of Accessibility

WCAG Compliance

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is a set of guidelines that are necessary for improving web accessibility. WCAG is the best way to make sure that your website is accessible to all of your users.

ARIA Landmark Roles

ARIA stands for "Accessible Rich Internet Applications." It forms of markup that can be added to HTML so that, it can clearly communicate the status, roles, and properties of user interface elements.

ARIA landmark can help screen readers and other technologies to better understand the elements on a web page and provide a user interface that allows users to interact effectively with those elements.

Semantic Headings

Make sure of your every website heading contains similar heading style and meaningful heading name with description. Make it in a way so that from the beginner to expert, everybody can get it easily.

Images With Appropriate ALT Text

Use an alternative text against every image so that when your image will fail to load, your user can get a sense about the image.

Alternatives for Disable JavaScript

You should ensure an alternative for your users when the JavaScript of your website is disabled.

Color Contrast

Test your website's color contrast over and over again. Though it's a minor issue to panic, sometimes user lost attraction just because of irrelevant color contrast. Get the reviews and customize them accurately from trusted people.

Step 06: Ensure Rendering

Have you ever checked how your website looks except than your computer or performs on other devices and browsers? It is an important task to check your website in multiple web browsers from an external source. 

Your website might look excellent in Chrome; however, it may look disastrous in Microsoft Edge or other browsers and vice-versa. It happens because each web browser has different ways to interprets CSS, HTML, and various plug-ins.

You have no control over which browser your visitors are going to choose when visiting your website.
So before launching your website, make sure your website is compatible with all the different browsers

I have listed some of the most used browsers below; you should check your website with every browser before publishing it finally.

  • Displays & Functions Correctly in IE- IE9, IE10, IE11
  • Displays & Functions Correctly in Firefox- Windows, Mac
  • Displays & Functions Correctly in Chrome- Windows, Mac. iOS- mobile, iOS- pad, android- mobile, android - tablet.
  • Displays & Functions Correctly in Safari - Mac, iOS- mobile, iOS- pad.
  • Displays & Functions Correctly in Microsoft Edge

Step 07: Check Website Functionality 

Testing & Processing of Forms 

After launching your website, if any of the forms won't work appropriately, it will create an awkward situation for the users. Therefore, check your every form, whether it is processing correctly or not.

Input Validation

Review every input field. Check it by trying minimum and maximum length of data. You should check the character limit as well.

Forms Processing for Disable JavaScript

When the JavaScript of your website is disabled, make sure the forms of your website is processing correctly. However, when the JavaScript is enabled, the form will process through it.

Website Search

If your website contains a search functionality, check it, and ensure the output is correct. Otherwise, your website will lose its traffic.

Step 08: Ensure Optimization

Image Optimization 

Optimized images play a vital role to rank a website on Google search result. Without image optimization, your website loading time may increase. Therefore, every image of a website should be optimized.

Minify CSS & JavaScript

Minimizing CSS and JavaScript is a proper technique for reducing load time. Reduce it as much as possible. The minifying tool can help you to minify your CSS and JavaScript code.

Enable Compression

It would help if you zipped large pages so that you can reduce the bandwidth. Compression tool like gzip will help you to compress your file indeed.

Fonts Installation

To make a website fast, ensure only necessary fonts, weights, and character sets are installed. You need to avoid using unnecessary and redundant fonts, weights, and characters.

You need to know, which font is better for your website before installing it on your website. 

Optimize Page Speed Test

A fast and responsive page always attract visitors. You can check your page speed on PageSpeed Insights. It will suggest ways to make your page faster. Then you will be able to optimize your page according to the suggestions.

Incorporate CDN

The Internet was not invented to do all of the amazing things that it does today. It simply wasn't built to handle the demands of a massive amount of data, flash sales, live high definition video, and large downloads that people expect today. However, you aware of what the Internet can do nowadays.

CDNs were planned to develop to help the Internet work better, to enable all of the connected experiences, and deliver media at the scale that you can expect.

So CDN corporation is a must for a website to increase the compatibility of your website.

Step 09: Check Your Website Security

Lock Secure Areas

Usually, every website contains some area that should not be accessed by search engines. You can lock down an area for a certain period if you consider that particular area is unimportant having some issue.

Change Default CMS Login URL

If you build a content management system website, you must change the default URL and username for security purpose. 

Otherwise, the hacker will easily snatch your website. Eventually, don't forget to change the default URL and username of a CMS based website.

SSL Certificate

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details such as a domain name, server name, or host-name, organizational identity, and location. 

Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and browsing of social media sites.

Step 10: Check Post Launch Points

Site Is Visible to Search Engines

After launching the website, the main concern is to check the visibility of that website on the search engines. Try to rank your website on the first page of the search engine result.

SSL Certificates Successfully Installed

SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer," a globally used security technology that helps to encrypt communication between a web browser and a web server. 

It is used by millions of online businesses and individuals to decrease the risk of sensitive information from being stolen by hackers. Therefore, make sure the installation of the SSL certificate.

Web Fonts Integrated on Live Site

Without the perfect combination of the web fonts, you can not expect a stunning visualization of your website. So recheck the status of your web fonts.

301 Redirects Are Working Correctly

A 301 redirect means the permanent moving of a web page from one location to another. A 301 redirect tells the browser: "This page has moved permanently. Here is the new location and we don't intend on moving it back." 

The browser response be like "Sure! I'll send the user there right now!" Therefore, check your 301 redirects are working or not.

Website URL Has Been Submitted to Google

Ensure the submission of your website URL to Google and check the result.

Generate a New sitemap.xml and Upload to Root

It is important to create a new XML map and upload it to the Google search console. It will let Google knows that the structure has changed and can crawl your site again and add your website to Google webmaster tool.

Analytics Is Working 

Google Analytics allows you to see how many people visit your website and where they are coming from. It will also let you know how long they stay on your website. So check the status of your Google analytic integration again.

Uptime Monito​r

Once your website is live, don't forget to set up an uptime motoring service. Uptime monitors will keep a watch on your website and send a notification via email or SMS if your website goes down.

Final Words 

This checklist contains almost everything that could help you to launch your website. By following these lists, I'm sure; you will be able to launch a complete website. 

I guess many of you will agree on the checklist I have narrated above. Do you have a checklist of your own? Please feel free to share it in the comment box below and don't forget to review our checklist.

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