Your digital agency’s web developers have spent an incredible amount of time and effort designing and building a beautiful, optimised website. It’s been populated with content and images; and it’s undergone rigorous testing to iron out any bugs. But how do you know when your website has the green light to go live?
Launching a new site can be overwhelming, but if you want it to be a success, there are various steps your web development agency should take to ensure the process goes without a hitch. Here are five feats your digital experts must do and if they don’t, ask yourself why...
1. Do you understand the process?
Has your agency explained what will take place on the Go Live day? Have they explained what steps you need to take to ensure a successful Go Live? A word of warning - no site should really be launched on a Friday.
Why? No matter how much testing is carried out, it’s extremely common for a few small bugs to occur and if there is no out of office support, you’ll be left with a broken site over the whole weekend.
2. System tests
As aforementioned, the site should be fully tested before and after go live. As well as testing the user journeys, the system should also be tested across all modern browsers and devices, as well as any integration with third party sites, online forms and payments.
Speed tests should be carried out to ensure that all pages load in browsers quickly. Your site should score at least 70/100.
3. Fully Optimised
Before we put a site live we will always check that the site is fully optimised in terms of Title Tag & Meta Descriptions and that Google Analytics is set up along with any conversion and E-commerce tracking.
If Google Analytics hasn’t been set up, you won’t be able to measure the site’s performance in terms of traffic levels, user behaviour and whether any conversions have taken place.
By now you should have been fully trained on how to use your Content Management System and confident that you can continue to update your site after the Go Live date.
Do you know how to add, change and upload content? Are you aware of where your contact form submissions go? These are common questions which your current provider should be educating you on, so you can control and manage the website in-house.
5. Error messages and redirects
Ensure that 404 messages have been set up so that broken URLs and other errors can be dealt with correctly by search engines. These should be written in a user-friendly way, with a useful link for the user so they are not left at a dead end.
If you already have an established site, 301 redirects should be set up so that users do not get lost if they find an old link. If your old website was getting regular traffic to indexed landing pages, ensure a 301 redirect has been put in place to a relatable/similar page.
So now you know the five steps your digital agency must take to ensure a successful Go Live. Of course, there are various aspects which you - the client - also need to complete to ensure things go without a hitch.
Head on over to Bethany's recent article ‘Preparing for Launch: 7 Steps To Success’ for more valuable information to help you on your way.
Bespoke’s team of web specialists can help plan, launch and optimise your new website to excel your company’s growth plans; whilst working in partnership with you every step of the way to ultimately increase enquiries or sales online.