Weekly Website Launch Checklist - Week 10

Website Launch Checklist – Week 10 – It’s Go Time

In our tenth and final week of our mini-checklists designed to help website developers and do-it-yourself website-operators, we are going to focus on last minute items.

#05: Design Consistent Throughout

This is when you go through every page in your site and double check that all content is formatted the same, that all headers are the same size and style, and that all images are placed within your content in a consistent manner.

Visitors expect consistency — it makes them feel secure.  Just like it is important to make sure that all your navigation is consistent throughout your site, it is important that your design is the same from page to page.

#04: Analytics Package Installed

If you want to know where your visitors are entering and leaving, how much time they are spending on your pages, and where, you need to have an analytics package installed.

We recommend using Google Analytics or Net Application’s HitsLink Web Analytics.

Both of these analytics providers are easy to install into your website — just a snippet of code is inserted into your web pages.

#03: Caching Set  Up and Tested

If you have the ability to set up a web page caching app, it can speed up the load time of your website.  Typically, these types of apps are available for platforms such as WordPress.

The downside of using a caching plugin app is if you are updating your pages on a regular basis, or your pages are dynamic in nature, the caching app may not serve the most up-to-date or relevant page to your visitor.  In these situations you may need to exclude certain pages from being cached (such as a catalog page) or clear your cache when you update your pages.

#02: Error Messages Hidden

If you’re using any dynamic pages that use scripting languages such as PHP, you should make sure that error messages are suppressed in your production environment.

If you are running .php pages, it is common for PHP error messages to be visible for debugging.  It is a good idea to have those error messages turned off and logged instead to an error file.

#01: Redirect to Chosen Domain

Time to go live!  Take a deep breath and hit the go button.  But, remember that if you are using any domain aliases that they all auto redirect to a primary domain name.

Also, it is important that you use EITHER the www.youdomain.com or yourdomain.com, but not both.

Be sure that both of them resolve to a single domain only.  Some hosting environments do this automatically for you, but if not, then  you need to set up a 301 redirect within your web hosting .htaccess (Apache) or web.config (IIS) file.