Before launching a website, it’s important that you balance your desire to do it now with the need to do it right.
After all, releasing your business website into the wild before it’s ready can be an embarrassing and costly mistake. If a visitor notices that your site is riddled with typos, dead links, missing images, or other avoidable mistakes, they probably won’t give you their business.
To avoid making unnecessary mistakes, use this five-point checklist to confirm that your bases are covered before creating a website.
1. Perform a content check
Do your site pages contain unique content? This means:
- You created unique copy rather than leaving your theme’s default language in place.
- You inserted your own logo, pictures, and videos.
- If applicable, you created your own unique blog posts rather than leaving filler posts in place.
Be sure to check each page and blog post for grammar mistakes and typos. If you’re not confident in your skill as a writer or editor, ask a friend or family member to proofread your content.
2. Search engine optimization check
If you’re creating a business website, consider search engine optimization (SEO), or the practice of helping your website rank higher in Google search results, as part of your checklist.
If you’re starting a local plumbing business, you’ll likely receive site traffic when people perform internet searches for “plumber” and the name of your town. Knowing how to show up within those search results is crucial.
To cover the basics of SEO when launching your website, make sure that your pages and posts contain keywords naming the industry you’re in, your location, and other terms that people might use to search for businesses like yours. Then, read about advanced SEO tools to further optimize your site after you launch.
3. Device compatibility check
Preview your website on multiple devices to make sure it looks how you want it to. If it’s unusable or unrecognizable on a mobile device, figure out why and fix it.
Ideally, your website uses a responsive theme, which automatically configures itself for viewing across any type of device: mobile, tablet, or desktop. If you used WordPress.com to create your website, nearly all available themes are responsive.
4. Links and forms check
Links that don’t work, broken contact forms, and social media icons that don’t link to your social media accounts are oversights that can make you and your business look unprofessional. Carefully check to make sure that every link, form, and social media icon on your website works as intended.
5. Security and analytics check
Once your website is live, you’re officially open for business — and your website is officially open to security breaches. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t launch your website; it means that you need to take some basic security precautions.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have some sort of analytics program set up on your website. Use analytics to determine how much traffic your site generates, where it comes from, and other information that can help you determine whether your site is an effective sales tool or not. WordPress.com offers basic site stats, but with the WordPress.com Business plan, you can take this a step further with Google Analytics.
Have you gone through the above checklist to determine whether your website is ready to launch? If so, it’s time to unveil your site. Be sure to let everyone know that you’re open and ready for business.
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