Website launch checklist every startup and business owner needs to have
Sep 30, 2020
Let’s be honest, if your company does not have a website, it just doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. To build a website is one part of your journey, the other part is to make sure that it works properly and brings you real value. Here’s a website launch checklist that will help you make sure that you are on the right track for creating an amazing site.
1. Find out the purpose of your website
When launching a website, you have to understand why you need it in the first place. A clear purpose can make it much easier for you to see what kind of things and steps it must include in order to reach your goals. For instance, if you need to generate leads, make sure that you have various lead generation forms, pop-up forms, website questionnaires, and catchy CTA’s so that you can capture necessary data from your site users.
Here are more examples of website purposes:
- Generate more quality leads
- Increase sales
- Increase brand awareness
- Enhance customer satisfaction
- Become an expert resource
- Educate users about your company and products
2. Target audience and content
No website launch checklist is complete without this point as this should be at the cornerstone of any business. First of all, you define your target audience, and then you create a content strategy that will boost your business. Let’s consider these two steps in more detail.
2.1. Define your target audience
Before launching a website you need to ask yourself the following questions: do you know who you need to target? Who will use your online resource? For example, if you are a SaaS provider of, let’s say, sophisticated CRM systems, you’ll probably want your website to attract high-level sales professionals. Or if you’re an email marketing platform provider, then your TA might be marketers or small business owners. Try to figure out who your ideal customers are and build your site to meet the needs and requirements of that person.
2.2. Define your content strategy
When you’ve decided upon your target audience, then you need to attract it with the help of quality content on your website. It’s perfect to have a blog that will highlight your expertise in your domain, which can bring tremendous value to your future and existing customers. You should work on your content plan and know what topics will be interesting for your TA.
3. Tech base: CMS, domain, and hosting
Technical aspects are a part and parcel of any website launch checklist. These things you should choose thoroughly and pick up in advance — content management system or CMS, domain, and hosting.
3.1. Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) helps you create and manage a website without building it from scratch or even with no coding required. Many CMS’s come with outstanding website templates and excellent design. You can check out WordPress , Wix , Joomla , Drupal , just to name a few, and choose the best one that can convert your site needs.
Once you’ve decided on the right CMS for your website, it’s time to choose the domain name. Make sure it is not occupied by another company. Also, you might pay attention to the next important details:
- Use the right domain name extensions such as .com, .net, .org. These are first-level domains, non-tech industries also use second-level domain extensions.
- Make sure it’s easy to pronounce and spell. Be careful with this as sometimes you can make it quite humorous unintentionally.
- You should also avoid double letters and hyphens as it can easily confuse your website visitors.
When you’ve got a CMS and domain name, now it’s time to use a web hosting service, which will help you “publish” your website on the internet. When you use such a service, it means that you are using some physical server to host your online resource. There are many web hosting providers to choose from. You can do research and pick the best option for you.
4. SEO & website structure
You wouldn’t want to overlook SEO when launching a website as it’s one of the key features of any website. It makes it visible for search engines and, as a consequence, users can find it. To create a clear SEO strategy you need to:
- Conduct a thorough keyword search and understand what you need to rank for.
- Use the keywords to create a sophisticated strategy. You can use them to create a solid content plan for your website.
You also need to think about your website structure — think what pages you’ll definitely need and which ones are not necessary. You can also apply SEO for this purpose, like page redirecting, etc.
Website functionality should be next on your website launch checklist. It should be essential for any site owner to know how it performs in terms of functionality. It includes such things as interactivity, dynamic or static content, and how the user interacts with the website overall. The right and user-friendly functionality makes it easier for the visitor to navigate through the website, which immensely contributes to pleasant user experience.
Make sure that it at least has basic functionality, but you can always extend it and add more features:
- Location map
- Search field
- Registration forms
- Contact forms
- Social media tools
Design is another important aspect of your website launch checklist template. It’s up to you and your designers to decide how your website will look like. But you can always follow the best trends or see what your competitors are doing and decide on the best design options.
Website prototyping should take an important role on your website planning list. Prototyping is a simulator of your website. It can be something simple such as a draft or a design sketch. But it also can be more complicated — a clickable prototype. Usually, various development agencies can help you build one so that you know how it’ll look like once it’s launched.
8. Frontend development & mobile devices
No answer on how to launch a website can be answered without a tick in your website questionnaire. Frontend development is at the forefront of any site and, basically, this is what your users see and interact with in his or her browser. All your site ideas and purposes are technically implemented and used during this vital stage of development.
As more and more people are surfing the internet using their mobile devices, you need to have an online site that would be compatible with various mobile devices. You should make their browsing episodes on your website as smooth as possible — make sure it looks and feels good and provides an excellent user experience.
9. Testing & launching
Testing should be the next step on your website planning checklist. Make sure it runs smoothly and is bug-free, your SEO strategy is implemented, nothing is missing, and your website pages can be opened fast. Once it’s ready, you can launch your website and let your users find you.
Last but not least is support of your website as you’ll encounter some issues along the way. It might go down someday or you’ll see that it runs really slowly or that you need to tweak your SEO strategy to meet your goals and objectives. All in all, pay thorough attention to your site even after you’ve launched it.
If you are still not sure about how to launch a website properly, then you can use the services of a web development company that can follow through on all the steps of the checklist for you and create an outstanding online site.
Mentalstack business analysts and engineers will help you prepare a solid ground for the web development process, checking out every aspect from this website launch checklist template.