It’s tempting to run before you can walk when launching a website. Planning a launch is a lot of hard work, and if you’re tired of the setup process, you might be tempted to just press “go live” and deal with issues later. In addition to impatience, excitement might have caused you to speed past some simple but essential tasks that help make your website the best it can be.
Either way, review our infographic — a pre-website launch checklist — to make sure you’ve taken care of the essential details before clicking the publish button.
1. Check your content
Continuously staring at your own text and images can lead to content blindness — that feeling when the words just start blurring together. You’re more likely to miss problems in this state, so try to get a second pair of eyes to check over your site. You’ll want to have them look for:
Filler or dummy text that’s been left in
Duplicate pages or large slabs of duplicate text
Grammar, spelling, and syntax issues
Misplaced images — including your logo!
Problems displaying on different screen sizes, especially smartphones and tablets
It’s a good idea to have a forward plan for your blog, too, so you know your content will be covered and scheduled out for the coming months.
2. Check your search engine optimization (SEO)
After the actual content, there’s perhaps nothing more important for your pre-website launch checklist than to take a closer look at your SEO. SEO broadly refers to how you optimize your site to ensure it can be found by search engines and your target audience. Using an SEO plugin such as Yoast can help you to understand optimization for your WordPress.com website, but there are a few small things you can do that don’t require any plugins:
Make sure all meta descriptions are filled in
Use custom title formats to improve your search page ranking
Consult the “Search & Social” option in your preview menu to see how the page or post will look on search engines and social media
3. Check your security
After spending precious time and energy getting your website just right, the last thing you want is for it to be compromised. A strong security profile is essential for the modern website, so make sure you choose a strong password and turn on two-factor authentication to make sure no one else can access your admin panel. If you have other contributors publishing to the site, make sure you keep an eye on user roles to control site access. If you have any specific security concerns — especially for eCommerce websites — investigate potential security plugins to add more peace of mind.
4. Check your links and forms
The final step in your pre-website launch checklist is to make sure page navigation is working properly, and that means checking all of the places your users will interact with on the site. Click on all the links to make sure they go to the right places and don’t display a 404 error. In addition, make sure your contact and other forms are easy to use and send details to the right places — an especially important consideration in this age of data protection legislation.
Ticked off everything on your pre-website launch checklist? Congratulations! It’s time to go live with WordPress.com.
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