Website launch checklist
With over 200 million active websites running, having an online presence for your business is now more crucial as ever. While a new website can seem like a daunting task, there are so many tools available that can make the process more efficient. Liniar’s Simone Sangha explains.
This month, I’ve put together a checklist highlighting some areas to focus on to help you plan out your next launch, including a few of the tools I like to use.
Domain name. This is your website address and how people will find you online.
Ensure it’s easy to type – long website names are hard to remember and tend not to perform as well as something short and snappy – and make sure it’s something that represents your brand.
If your site is UK based, choose a ‘.co.uk’ domain extension, but if you’re a worldwide company (or have plans to be) then opt for ‘.com’.
Website spec. A website specification outlines everything you’d like from your website. Not just how it looks (the layout, navigation for visitors, the products and services you offer, the design, and colour scheme) but also the management of content and the timeline you’d like to work towards.
The spec can be simple or in-depth, but getting something down on paper will not only help rationalise your own thoughts, it will make both the quoting and delivery process more efficient.
Platform or CMS. There are many platforms or content management systems you can use to manage your website, ranging from bespoke to free access platforms.
Your provider can advise on the various platforms available; it’s important that you and your team are able to update the content on your site yourself. I recommend WordPress due to its ease of use and access to support if you run into any problems.
Website developer. Thorough research needs to be undertaken to find the right expert to build your website. There are pros and cons to choosing a freelance developer or a marketing agency, so you need to find what’s best for you.
I will discuss this in more depth in a future column, but for now recommendations are key.
Images and content. Create a spreadsheet with a list of the products or services to be included on your website. You can then create a grid to check off whether you have images, videos and text content for each as you go along, saving them all in a folder to send to your developer.
Tools and plug-ins. The main tool I would recommend for any site is Analytics: it’s vital for monitoring performance. Make sure your developer adds Google Analytics tracking code to your website and you’ll be able to see key statistics such as how many visitors your site is getting, where they are coming from and what they do while on your site.
This will enable you to tailor the site content as you progress.
Additionally, I would recommend SEO tools such as Yoast, which helps you ensure your site is found on search engines, and Search Console for data on your best-performing web pages, keywords and any issues to do with your links.
Although this article just scratches the surface, it’s a great starting point to help manage a smooth build.
Bonus tip. Think of ways to drive traffic to your website once it’s launched. At Liniar we use email campaigns, mailshots, social media and press releases to send visitors to our site, which can all be tracked through Analytics.