Launching a business website is exciting. The anticipation is finally coming to a head and once you launch, it’s a whole new journey to see how things go from there. But before you hit publish on your shiny new site, you need to make sure everything—every little thing—is in place to run smoothly when you launch.
Here’s a quick checklist of 10 important things to check before launching your business site for the first time. Get these right, and you shouldn’t run into any glitches during your launch!
10 Things to Check Before Launching Your Business Site
1. Is It User-Friendly?
We highly recommend getting someone to user-test your website before the big launch. You want to see how it feels to an actual human who isn’t you or one of your team.
Ask your mom, your sibling, your best friend, your hairdresser… Anyone who wants to run through it quickly and give you honest feedback. This is the best way to spot small user issues that you and your team haven’t noticed before!
2. Are All Your Plugins Necessary?
Plugins are easy to accumulate as you test them out before launching. But at the end of the day, not all of them are going to be relevant or even be used going forward. Getting rid of unused plugins will speed up your site and declutter the backend.
3. Did You Set Up Analytics?
If your analytics aren’t properly set up before your site launches, you risk missing out on important data from day one. Make sure your analytics are ready to go on launch day.
It’s as easy as creating a Google Analytics account and setting it up on your website to start monitoring. Quick process, but invaluable!
4. Have You Submitted Your Site To Search Engines?
Whether your business site includes a blog or not, submitting it to search engines is essential. This allows Google (or other search engines) to rank your website so you pop up in search results.
All you need to do here is create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. This simple step will put your site on the map!
5. Is Your Site Secure?
Knowing your site is secure not only gives you peace of mind but it helps your visitors to feel at ease when they land on your website.
Ever seen that little padlock icon next to the URL you’re visiting? That means the site is HTTPS-enabled, which means when data is transferred between a web server and a web browser, it’s secured and safe.
Aside from enabling HTTPS on your website, you should also get an SSL certificate, which enables an encrypted connection once your website has been verified. This adds an extra layer of protection and peace of mind.
6. How’s Your SEO?
If you have a blog, make sure your blog posts are SEO-friendly if you want to be found on Google. But even if you don’t have a blog, make sure your website content is SEO-friendly to attract your target audience.
Once your site has been submitted to search engines, it means it’s now findable when someone searches for a key phrase. If you’re a dentist operating in New York, you want your site to show up when someone Googles “dentist New York”.
But that means SEOing your website with the appropriate keywords so that they actually match what users might be searching for. You may need to consult an SEO specialist for this step or hire an SEO copywriter.
7. Have You Tested Your Forms?
Nothing ruins your excitement after a launch like sitting and waiting for inquiries that never come. And it’s made even worse if you realize… The reason you aren’t receiving communication is that your website’s contact form doesn’t work.
Test, test, and test again before you launch. Send a test message from the site to make sure it comes through. Test every single form, link, and contact detail you have on your website to make sure there are no lost connections.
8. Does Your Site Respond Well to Stress?
Doing a stress test is underrated but can provide some extremely important insight. This tests how well your website responds when it’s under stress; for example, if you had to get an overload of traffic during your launch.
A stress test applies an unrealistic load to your website to test its breaking points. It’s important to know if your site will crack and leak sensitive information, and if it does, you need to fix that before you launch.
9. Have You Customized Your Tagline and Site Icon?
WordPress websites add a generic tagline to every site, and that will stay there unless you add your own. This is a chance to add something unique that also explains what you do to people who land on your site.
At the same time, change your site icon—also known as a favicon—to your logo or something that reflects your business rather than the WordPress logo (or whatever platform you’re using).
10. Does It Fix the Problems On Your Previous Site?
If you’re relaunching a site instead of starting from scratch, make sure that the new site fixes the issues that the previous site had. You shouldn’t be aiming for a copycat website—the new one should be better, more intuitive, and have a smarter design.
Once you’ve gone through these 10 important things to check before launching your business site, you should be good to go for your launch. Your website will be safe, it should be user-friendly, and you should be ready to handle whatever comes your way with your business site launch.
Most of these things only need to be done once before your site goes live. You’ll only need to change them if something changes, like a new logo or tagline, new forms are added to your site, or new content is added.
But implementing these things will give your site the best chance of a successful launch!