Website launch checklist: Launching your new website (part 3 of 3)
If you’re following along with our website launch checklist, we’ve now reached step 20 – getting everything set up so you can go ahead and show off your hard work.
Stage Three: Going live
20. Point your domain
Follow the instructions given by your domain provider, hosting company and CMS to ensure you point your domain to your new site correctly. This process can differ between different providers, but they usually have a step-by-step guide to help you through.
21. Implement redirects
When designing your site, you may have come across pages on your old site that you didn’t want to carry over, or you may have changed the names of your pages slightly. To make sure none of your visitors are met with a 404 error when trying to access a page, implement redirects to the relevant page on your new site.
22. Add an SSL certificate
This may come as part of a package with either your domain name or your hosting, but it’s something that can’t be overlooked. It’s essential to have a valid SSL certificate for your site, to give users and search engines the confidence that the information on your site is protected.
23. Submit sitemap to Google
Search engines will eventually get round to crawling your new website but, in the meantime, they might still show old pages in the search results. To speed this process up, you can submit your new sitemap on Google Search Console and ask Google to index your new site.
Stage Four: Testing, testing!
24 – 26. Run a site crawl, test site & check tracking codes
Now your new site is up and running, you want to make sure everything’s looking perfect before you start shouting about it. Test all pages again, using multiple devices. Click every link and submit every form – and fix any issues you come across before you announce a launch.
You can also run a site crawl to make sure your technical SEO planning paid off – if there’s anything you missed, now’s the time to fix it. Lastly, make sure that all the tracking codes you implemented are firing and collecting data.
27. Announce launch!
After weeks of hard work, your new site is finally ready! Announce your new site to your customers on social media, by email, in person – however you usually reach out to your audience. Make sure everyone knows how great your shiny new site is, and how it’ll benefit them.
28 – 29. Keep your content up to date, and back up regularly
The work doesn’t stop once you’ve gone live – a website should be constantly changing and evolving, much like your business. Updating a website is quick and easy if you keep on top of it, so make sure to keep adding new and engaging content for your audience.
Finally, you’ll also need to keep on top of any technical maintenance such as site back-ups and plugin updates – or you can get your web build agency to take that stress off your hands!
We hope you’ve found our website launch checklist useful. If you’re looking to build a new website for your business and you’re still not sure where to start, chat to us! We have a wide range of experience in building and optimising different types of websites here at Whitewall. Take a look at our work to find out more!