Launching your website can be a big task. It’s not just a matter of hitting publish once you’ve finished your website design and hoping for the best. Launching a new website requires careful consideration, time and attention to detail. This post will outline the steps you need to take to launch your website with confidence.
If you’ve spent the last few months designing your website, the last thing you want after you launch your website is to be faced with issues and technical glitches, which could’ve been resolved in the beginning. Your website is one of the most important marketing tools for your business. Therefore, it is vital that you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to attracting your ideal clients. Providing a seamless online experience for your users is a huge part of this.
To reduce overwhelm and confusion when it comes to launching your site, I’ve put together a handy website launch checklist for you to refer to so you can publish your site with confidence and ease. I am going to run through a few points below, but feel free to download the complete Website Launch Checklist at the bottom of this post.
1. Content is in a conversational tone, speaking directly to Ideal Client.
It is important to structure your website content as though you are having a conversation with your ideal client. Rather than focus on the features of your product or service, flip the switch to focus on the benefits – make it less about you and more about the people you are trying to serve.
People generally respond when they feel as though they are understood. If you have a solid understanding of the problem they are experiencing (in relation to your product or service) and can articulate this in a way that connects with their emotions, this consequently encourages a level of trust and confidence in what you have to offer.
What’s more, this simple tweak will provide your business with a much better chance at success and attracting the right type of people.
Before publishing your site, review your website content or even better yet, get a friend or an accountability buddy to do it for you. It is not only important to make sure that the wording of your website content is simple and easy to understand, but written in a conversational tone so it is relatable to your ideal client.
2. Website copywriting has been proofread. Grammar and spelling are correct.
Grammar and spelling issues can potentially affect the credibility of your business. Before launching your site, you want to ensure that your website content has been proofread several times and thoroughly checked for grammar and spelling issues.
Again, it might be beneficial to have a friend read over your content – sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference.
3. Generic sample text has been completely removed and replaced.
“Ice cream halvah carrot cake jelly. Topping apple pie bear claw croissant candy liquorice. Oat cake chupa chups gingerbread tart bonbon cake. Gummi bears tiramisu cake.”
Generic sample content, like the few lines of text above, can also affect the credibility of your business. I often use sample text like this when I am designing a client’s website, as it helps to configure the layout and overall design of the website pages.
If you have purchased a website template, your site may also contain text about cupcakes and gummi bears. It is vital that you go through your entire site and remove or replace these sample text blocks.
I actually came across a website the other day that still contained the sample text and I immediately headed for the exit button! The worst part was that it was displayed in a testimonial section of the site. Although these may seem like minor issues to some, they have the potential to have a major impact on the perception that your audience has about your business.
4. Website pages are compatible across all devices.
In this day and age, your website needs to be mobile responsive. Period. Not only does it need to be compatible across all devices, but it also needs to look good. This is one thing I love about the Showit platform.
The Showit platform allows you to choose which elements you want to appear on each device layout. There’s no need to stress about warped text or overlapping elements, you are in complete control! Your website will look great no matter what!
5. Title, Heading, Subheading and Paragraph text is consistent across all devices.
As a rule of thumb, I suggest sticking to two main fonts to use on your blog/website (one for headings, subheadings and one more for paragraph text). A fourth can be brought in (but only if absolutely necessary) for quotes or standout points. The goal is to create consistency and cohesiveness. This is pretty much impossible to achieve with an overload of different fonts.
Make sure your font choices reflect the overall style and message that you want to convey to your ideal audience. For example, serif fonts generally represent a classic, more traditional style. Whereas, sans-serif is generally thought to be more modern and contemporary.
6. Colour Palette is consistent across all devices.
Too much colour can be off-putting and hard on the eyes. Less is often more when it comes to sleek and professional design. It is best to stick to a main colour palette of about four to five colours.
Your colour palette should also be consistent across your mobile and desktop design. I like to make sure that certain elements are the same colour across all devices as well e.g. announcement bar is the same colour on desktop and mobile design.
You don’t always have to use all colours at once, but in terms of creating a professional brand identity, everything that you display (from headings, images, header bars, buttons and icons etc.) should reflect this colour palette.
The choice of colours and the power of colour psychology is also significant when it comes to high-quality blog design. You want to make sure that the chosen colours succeed at conveying the right message.
For instance, you wouldn’t use red for a lifestyle blog focussing on the importance of healthy living, calmness and well-being. Red is a colour which represents passion, energy and desire. A more appropriate choice would be a soft blue or turquoise, representing calmness and tranquillity.
7. Contact forms are submitting data correctly
Before you launch your website, it is important to check that your contact forms are working as they should. It would be horrible if you weren’t actually receiving the messages that people were sending to you! Do a test run and make sure that everything is working, including the display of a thank you note once the form has been submitted.
Keep it short and sweet. Something like, “Thank you for contacting BUSINESS NAME. We will be in touch within 24-48 hours. Looking forward to speaking with you!”. This not only lets the person know that their message has been received, but it also gives them an idea of when to expect a response, which helps to establish a level of rapport.
8. Internal links are working correctly
Checking internal links throughout your website is a way of ensuring that your potential clients have a seamless user experience. Before you go live, review your main navigation, website pages and anywhere else you have included internal links to make sure they are working correctly.
9. External links are working correctly
External links embedded throughout your site should always open in a new tab. This ensures that your website visitor can stay on your website without clicking the “back” button over and over, just to get back to where they started.
External links are often used when you’re recommending something. Just because the user wants to find out more about this, doesn’t mean they’re ready to leave your site. Opening a new tab for external links makes it easy for them to browse your site for a bit longer.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to tick off when it comes to making sure your website is ready for launch. I am not saying that everything should be perfect with your site before you publish it. In fact, you will most likely notice little errors down the track that were initially looked over.
I still notice things on my own site. As much as it is frustrating and embarrassing, I have to remind myself that it’s all part of being human. Your website will likely be an ongoing process, but the best thing you can do is give it the best chance at success as early on as possible.
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