12 Critical Things to Do Before Making Your Website Live

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Making a new website is a very exciting thing. You have to work on different aspects of the website such as designing, creating content, adding functionalities, etc. Once you have completed your website, it’s time to launch it on the internet. Wait! are you really sure your site is perfect and everything will function properly after it is live? One thing is certain – you never want to let your site go live before you’ve checked some critical items off the list. In this article, I am going to share with you some critical things you should check before putting your website online.

This checklist will help you to ensure everything is done and nothing is unchecked. If you forgot something and launch your site, it is going to create problems for you in the future. It is essential to have a checklist, so you don’t forget anything and successfully launch your website. All of the necessary and important checks for your website launch are mentioned in this article that you must go through before officially launching your site.

Here are the things you should do before making your website live

Make A List Before Digging In

Before you get too involved in your website design, you should have a list of things you need to do. The excitement of the new site can very easily overshadow all of the details you need to do that aren’t quite as exciting. Make a list of all things you need to be done before launching a website.

Make a list of items that are necessary to be successful with your new business ranging from registering the domain name to ordering the champagne for the launch party. Then start crossing things off the list, using your plans to guide your attention and focus.  If everything is listed done there is no chance of forgetting anything and your site will be live without any deficiencies.

Focus on Content

As we all know that content is king. The content is everything that a website hold such as data, information, images or videos. While making a website you have to keep in mind different aspects , and some are definitely more fun than others. Designing a logo and letterhead is absolutely worthwhile, but you should spend as much time – if not more – working on the words and images on your website as you do the design and the name of it.

Often the coding, colours and designs take centre stage in the \site design process and the copy gets pushed farther down the list of priorities. While the content may be one of the last things developed, it should be one of the highest quality things on your site – not something you slapped together to fill a page you spend a bit of time and money developing. The content plays a main part in improving the SEO of your site and it should not be ignored if you really care about the search engine ranking of your site.

Prepare for Worst Case

What is your plan if your website is so popular and you get millions of visitors in a short amount of time? What happens if it crashes? Who is in charge of monitoring the traffic and checking for errors and concerns? You should have a plan in place before the site goes live, to deal with any issues that arise. In the digital world, things are very uncertain, so you should be ready for any situation.

Think of this as a sort of fire drill. Who grabs the fire extinguisher and who calls the police? Your team should have responsibilities in case of an emergency with your site to ensure it is off-line for the least amount of time possible. While emergencies happen at bad times, they can happen at the best of times as well if your site buckles under the sheer weight of the traffic arriving or maybe your internet Webhosting is not effective enough. Plan for that contingency as well. You should be prepared for all the possible risks and issues that can happen to your website and have a plan B in your mind to deal with those issues. Don’t overthink it because who knows your website top rank in a few months or get maximum customers, hope for the best!

Use A Staging Site for Planning

As you are building the different components of the website, it shouldn’t be live until everything is done. When you make your site live for the first time it should be absolutely perfect. All tests should be finished, all content created and all images quality-controlled. Many businesses launch their site once they finish one part of the site, it is not a wise thing and can create many problems and uncertainties for you from the beginning.

You can do all of this testing in a staging site that exactly mimics your own site. This allows your team to place things, move things and test things in a risk-free environment. Setting up a staging site is easy on a private server. One major benefit of using the staging site is that you can do experiments on it without any business risk and it also allows you to see things in a practical environment. Using a staging site would allow you to have an idea about what will work best for your site and what should be avoided in the official website. When you’re ready to make it live, you’ll simply push the final product you’ve created onto your new domain name registration hosting and you’ll be ready to go. There are many DNS domain name providers available in the market, from where you can get your domain name.

Compress Your Images

Use of visuals and illustrations have a lot of significance to your site. Customers like to see images and they enjoy being able to add their own to certain websites. The visuals on your website also make your content look attractive and it attracts more customers. Somethings the excessive use of images on your site can increase the page load and your website may take longer to load that is not good for your SEO.

Many of the business owners make their websites heavy by adding more images and when someone tells that their images are heavy, they remove them from the content. Removing the images from the content is not an option because they are important for customers engagement with the content. The best thing you can do to avoid heavy pages is to compress all images that you are using in website. Images are easily one of the heaviest things on a website, but that doesn’t mean you should cut them all out of the site. People like looking at them, so you just need to compress the images to make them as small as possible. You don’t need absolute clarity on a site image – unless you’re selling images. Instead, compress all of your images to take up as little space as possible and help those sites load quickly. There are a lot of online tools available that you can use to optimize the images for the web content.

Check Your Load Speed

On the internet, load speed is one of the big anchors that can hold you back or even sink you. If you have experience in SEO marketing, you must know that the slow loading speed of your website will never let your website rank on Google. Slow loading is also very annoying for the customers and they would never wait longer for your website to load. If you have a beautiful site that takes forever to load, nobody is going to stick around to see what you’re trying to say. Focus on reducing your loading times and use as many tricks as you can to improve them – powerful servers, smaller images, whatever it takes. Try not to use a lot of heavy content on your site and optimizes your web images using some online tools before using it on the web page.

There are many factors that can cause your website to load slow. May be your web content is loaded with images and videos, you may have a slow server or there can be some issues in the JavaScript files. Whatever the reason is, you have to fix it before launching your site on the internet.

If everything is good from your side, then it is also possible that there are some issues in your web hosting providers’ services.  You should immediately find another affordable web hosting package with best web servers that ensure zero downtime. Try to find the best web hosting solutions to make your site properly work for you.

Optimize for Mobile

Google has clearly announced that the responsive and mobile-friendly websites will be rank on the search engine. In simple words, non-responsive websites are not acceptable for Google anymore. Mobiles have become an essential part of everyone’s life and people are more likely to use their mobiles for internet browsing than PCs. Roughly, half of all internet browsing is done through mobile devices. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing customers. Mobile optimization is essential to make your site accessible on all devices.

You might have seen some sites when opened on mobile, the content became too small and everything seems messed up, even navigation bars are very small to click by figures. Make sure your website is not optimized on mobile, it will have a devastating impact on your customers experience and in future it can badly fail your business. Fortunately finding designs that are both desktop and mobile popular isn’t hard at all, and it’s often simply a matter of starting with the right design idea when you first begin your website build.

If you’ve managed to make a website without accounting for mobile users, it is a mistake that will need to be corrected as quickly as possible to maximize your profits.

Check Your XML Sitemap Is on Server

Your XML sitemap is created as a copy of your site code. It lives on the server and lists all of the URLs that are relevant to your shiny new site. This sitemap is a significant feature for site optimization because it allows web crawlers to find and determine the structure of your website. Once they have found the XML sitemap, the crawlers can find all of the relevant parts of your website, crawl it correctly and rank those pages appropriately.

The XML Sitemaps are also very significant for the SEO of your website because it allows the Google to easily find site pages. It is also important because Google rank not just the sites but web PAGES also. There is no disadvantage of taking an XML Sitemap, I will highly recommend this because it has a positive impact on your website SEO ranking.

Some CMSs of the site allow making an XML sitemap automatically.  If you are using an auto-XML Sitemap generator or other programs, verify that your output data is inserted correctly and the format is error-free. When you have formed the XML Sitemap and uploaded it to web server, the search engines can be used to verify it. Google Webmaster Tools make it easy for you. You just ensure that your Sitemap is in the right format and uploaded properly to your web server before verification.

Check Your Links

Sometimes developing a website takes a few days. Sometimes it takes months. Regardless of how long it takes for your team to put the site together, it takes only a moment for a link to stop working. If you have outbound links on your site (and who doesn’t) you need to be sure to check those links periodically.

Before launching your site, spend a few minutes clicking on all of the links, noting where they are going and if they are still valid. This is particularly important if you have rearranged pages and repurposed old content on the new site. While you’re focusing on links, you’ll also want to be sure that you have a 404 Error page set up in case you do run into a linking issue in the future. Idle links on your website are bad for your SEO and they also have a bad impression on the audiences. So, you have to make sure that all links are working properly.

Become a Customer

Your website should not go live until you’ve properly tested its functions and to do this you have to act like the customer of your own website. Being a customer of your website allows you to have an idea of online customers’ experience on your site. Log onto your site in the test environment and go through the steps to order whatever it is you’re ordering. Check whether the website is functioning properly as it supposed to do, that the order forms are in good shape and that the item ordered is registered correctly in the back office.

You aren’t completed with this process until you’ve ordered the item, checked to see that the item ships correctly, the payment is recorded appropriately and the item is delivered as expected. If there are any hiccups in the process, it is certainly not the time for launch. This is the most critical part of the site, after all.

You can also take a sample of real customers and test your site on them. Asked them to order something from your site and then give fair feedback of their online experience on the website. You can later make some modifications in your site base on the feedback received from the customers.

Proofread

When you think you’re finished with the website, close it up and go to bed. Then, in the morning with fresh eyes, start reading. Look for misspellings, typos, awkward sentences and phrases and unbalanced phrasing. When you finish looking through the site, have others do the same.

Ask your friends and family to read your site content and give feedback. The more eyes read the content, the more likely you are to catch the mistakes that can be a huge turn off for your customers when they notice the typo or the punctuation error. You do not need professional writers and editors to read your content and edit it. Your best editors are those who have not had any hand in creating the content itself – they are unbiased.

A well-written content on your site is an indicator that you are a professional, trustful and authentic source and the customers rely on.

Confirm your SSL Certificate

Something that may have escaped your attention, but definitely shouldn’t, is your SSL certificate. The SSL certificate ensures your site is secured and protected from hackers and gives your visitors that extra level of security.

The SSL certificate is also now a part of Google’s SEO algorithm, so there is an even greater incentive to go those few extra steps to be sure that your site includes an SSL certification. If your site does not, purchase one and install it correctly. This process can take up to two weeks, so be sure that you take care of this task well in advance of your launch date.

SSL certificates offer a specific encryption method for safely transfer the data over the internet. They guarantee that the information going from the computer of the user to the site stays unreadable and secure to any spiteful interlopers like identity thieves, hackers and other third parties. Thus, all the data and information are protected and secured, if you are using the SSL. The main cause of using the SSL on your site is to keep sensitive data sent crossways the Internet encoded so that just the authorized receiver can access it. This is significant since the data you transfer on the Internet is passed from one system to other, in order to get the destination server.

Your site is at the least an extension of your business and at the most the business in its entirety. Why jeopardize your livelihood and reputation by rushing such a critical process?

Conclusion

In this article, I have shared with you some most important things to check before launching your website on the internet. This checklist will help you to guarantee everything is done and nothing is ignored. All of the important checks for your website launch are stated in this article that you must do before launching your site. Make a list of things that are essential to be successful with your new business from registering the domain to ordering the cake for the launch party. The content plays a major part in improving the SEO of your website and it must not be ignored if you really care about the search engine ranking of your website. Try not to use heavy content on your website and compress your web images using some tools before using it on your page. Your website should not go live until you’ve properly tested its functions and to do this you have to act by the customer of your own website.

I hope the information shared in this article was helpful. Do share your throughs about this article in the comments section, also share this article in your circle, if you find it helpful.

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Oleg Kaluger

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Comments

48 Comments on “12 Critical Things to Do Before Making Your Website Live”

  1. Also make sure you double-check your robots.txt file in case it was preventing the bots from spidering your site!

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Martin,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      Surely, Robots.txt and .htaccess should be monitored from time to time, make sure everything is all right,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  2. Avatar Varun says:

    Great tips. Another important piece is using webmaster tools of search engines like Google and Bing to ensure that they can read your content properly. I have faced issues where because of a faulty WordPress theme, the search engines weren’t able to read and index my site properly.

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hey Varun,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      Yes, the webmaster sections of various search engines offers plenty of features that are important for our site.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  3. Hey Amar,

    One question regardin SSL- what if my website is just informational website…and i am not asking for customer information or anything…do we still need SSL?

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hey Promil,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      SSL helps in SEO, if you have the SSL configured for your entire site that covers your content pages then it will help you to rank higher. That in itself is a very important reason why you should go for the SSL.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  4. Hi Oleg,

    The content note is huge! Build your new site on content. Before you go live have helpful, relevant content lined up and ready to go to make a positive impact from Day 1.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Ryan,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      Yeah, always good to have some content – that way, whoever visits the site has plenty to consume from the first visit.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  5. Avatar Joy Healey says:

    Hi Oleg,

    That’s a really helpful list. I especially like the idea of being a customer on your site – or even better getting someone who doesn’t know it to be a customer.

    Another important thing that I missed doing was making sure I had a backup. I made the mistake of assuming the hosting company was making backups (this was a WordPress site). They weren’t. As I found out when my site got hacked. Oops.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Joy,

      thank you for the comment,

      Yeah, being a customer and going through the check-out route yourself is a great way to find out customer experience issues.

      About the backups, yes – I totally agree with you. Having a backup locally can help a lot. Even better if you make regular backups because you will never know if your last backup files are valid and in usable condition.

      Thanks,
      – Oleg

  6. Hello Oleg
    Great post! It was insightful and very informative. And I most definitely agree with you as far as having plenty of that engaging content ready for your audience. Thanks for this short but value-packed post that will definitely enhance any bloggers launch.

  7. Avatar Ugyen Dorji says:

    Hi Oleg,
    Many newbie bloggers including me, never consider those things that you have mentioned. Instead, we directly make it live for overcoming our patience. But seriously blogging is a test for our patience.
    I found out very useful, a powerful checklist and must 12 critical things to do before making our website live. Google keeps on changing, and you have mentioned about the latest google algorithm, which is a great idea……
    Thanks for this great information….

    Have a nice day…..

    Ugyen

  8. Avatar Mark says:

    Thank you for sharing your 12 excellent tips and advice Oleg!

    Your excellent post, has reminded us, we it definitely takes a team,
    in order to create, true long term success.

    You’ve raised several meaningful and extremely points and issues, we not only
    have to stay mindful of, but constantly pay attention to.

    As it relates to successfully launching a website.Thanks!

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Mark,

      thank you for the comment,

      Launch is always critical, if done properly – a new site won’t remain new anymore and it will have all the activity of an established site.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  9. Good Morning! What an awesome list, All 12 tips are all spot on, I do believe in making lists for everything and was happy to see this as #1.. For me!! Without a list… Nothing gets done..

    Great share
    Thanks
    Chery :))

  10. Avatar Umesh Singh says:

    Hi Oleg,

    Awesome post! You have mentioned almost everything which everyone should consider while designing a new website. We should make a perfect plan that covers almost everything that required and should re-read two to tree times before you start working.

    Thanks,
    Umesh Singh

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hey Umesh,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Glad to know that you liked the post,

      Yeah, planning is important, that is how you know exactly what to do and how to implement it,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  11. Hi Oleg,

    Thanks for sharing the detailed information about website creation. I am a new blogger and i have not read all tips you provided before.
    I will keep in mind all the tips while creating my blog or website.

    Again A big thanks.

    Regards
    Mona

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Mona,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Glad to know that you liked the tips, everyone starts new and some day you will be a popular blogger too,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  12. Hi Oleg, great Post. I’m just hosting with mocha, but this blog offers a lot of tutorials and guides that I haven’t see there. Keep like this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi,

      Welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Please do let us know your name so that we can attribute you better,

      Glad to know that you liked the post,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  13. Avatar Osho says:

    Hi Oleg,

    You’ve done a great job by compiling great check-list before making a website/blog live. I’ve bookmarked this page so that I could refer it later.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Osho,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,
      Glad to know that you liked the list, it is always better to have a check-list – that way you know exactly what you need to do.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  14. Avatar Ugyen Dorji says:

    Hi Oleg,
    Seriously I wished I have read this post before publishing my Blogs. I didn’t think of anything like that and moreover didn’t know it is important. Well, you got me now…. Thanks for this wonderful share…..
    Have a nice day.
    Ugyen

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Ugyen,

      welcome to Temok and thank you for the comment,

      You can always plan more when starting the next blog and use the experience that you gained from this one to create an even better blog,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  15. […] So that I won’t digress into teaching you what I taught my new students yesterday “Introduction to WordPress”, I will just delve straight into the topic – Top 7 Must Have WordPress Plugins, and I am sure they will indeed transform your blog into a rockstar. […]

  16. Avatar Santanu says:

    As a beginner we were always in a hurry to hit the publish button. I have also learned things gradually. This is really an awesome article for beginners to learn the basics and then only hit the launch button. Many thanks for this article.

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Santanu,

      Thank you for the comment, glad to know that you liked the articles.

      Yes, those early excitement years are always amazing – less planning, quick to jump in and expecting results even quicker!
      In time we all learn the gradual process,

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  17. Hi, Oleg

    Nice post ! Well, I was searching about https roles in the security of websites and I got your site . After reading your post, my question is that if you want to convert your old site from HTTP to HTTPS then what points should I keep in mind before doing this. Do you think it will affect any setting in the back end ?

  18. Avatar Austin Hill says:

    Hi Jessica Thompson:
    Converting from http to https only requires to purchase SSL certificate. It does not affect any setting in the back end of your website. It’s easy to enable SSL on your domain. It won’t impact on back end functionality. However you would require to apply some changes.
    To force all web traffic to use HTTPS insert the following lines of code in the .htaccess file under your website’s root folder,

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com [NC]
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example.com/$1 [R,L]

    Make sure to replace example\.com with the domain name you’re trying force to https. Also you need to replace http://www.example.com with your actual domain name. If you are using CMS / blogging system like word press or Joomla you need to update URL in your CMS settings. See below for details.

    How to Setup WordPress to Use SSL and HTTPS
    =============================================
    If you are starting a new site and/or want to use HTTPS everywhere on your site, then you need to update your site URL with https:// in wordpress settings.
    Logon to wordpress admin area >> Go to Settings >> General updating your WordPress and site URL address fields.
    For detail please view this knowledgebase article: https://clients.temok.com/knowledgebase.php?action=displayarticle&id=521

    Enable Force SSL in your Joomla site
    ============================================
    Step 1: configure your configuration.php file

    Open your configuration.php file
    Find the following line and replace with: Replace with: var $live_site = ‘https://www.your-domain.com’;
    var $live_site =”;

    Next, open .htaccess file then add the following code to the bottom of the file.
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} OFF
    RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

    Step 2: enable Force SSL in your Joomla site
    In the Admin Panel, navigate through System >> Global Configuration or simply click the Global Configuration button.
    Within the Server tab, in the Server Settings section, there are 3 Force SSL alternatives that you can select, namely:
    None: SSL will not be enabled in your Joomla site.
    Administrator Only: connections to your administrator will be on HTTPS.
    Entire Site: connections all over your website will be on HTTPS.
    Choose the last one “Entire Site” and Hit the Apply/Save button. You are done now! So let’s check your site now.

    Note: Don’t forget to replace your-domain.com with the name of your website domain.

  19. Avatar Mark Stephan says:

    The most beneficial thing should be to make your website compatible with all diverse nature devices available in market.

  20. […] This is not really supposed to be a choice, it’s something you have to do in order to succeed at your blogging and internet marketing career. […]

  21. Avatar AbelPardo says:

    Hi Oleg,

    https is step by step more than an option a must. When next year google will identify as not secure websites without SSL those who don’t have https will have less confidence at the visitor’s eyes.

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hi Abel,

      thank you for the comment,
      Yeah, HTTPs isn’t just an option, it is a requirement. Google isn’t the sole reason for doing the SSL, it is your visitor’s interest you should protect – even if Google does not care about it.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  22. Avatar Rajesh says:

    Nice article Olex!
    Beginners just want to make their website live as soon as possible. But you rightly said that there should be at least few contents to keep them engaged on your website.

    Appreciate your time and effort in creating this post to help beginners.

  23. […] Your small business sure needs growth, and everything humanly and legitimately possible has to be done to encourage it. You still don’t get what I am trying to say? Well, what I am saying is that there are ways you can use email marketing to maximize your small business potential in 5 easy steps. Here are the steps you need to take: […]

  24. […] are many essential things to consider before publishing a new blog post like Mobile optimization, Security checks, Keyword checks etc. but post-publishing […]

  25. […] would make huge sense to check out Oleg’s wonderful post where he extensively shared the 12 Critical Things to Do Before making Your Website Live. This is one article I have recently been pointing my clients to when I want them to get the whole […]

  26. […] Another thing you would like to do after launching your site is to change the site basic information. Under this, you need to customize the site’s title, time zone, tagline, and favicon. […]

  27. […] would make huge sense to check out Oleg’s wonderful post where he extensively shared the 12 Critical Things to Do Before making Your Website Live. This is one article I have recently been pointing my clients to when I want them to get the whole […]

  28. I guess images compression is really important task. I had faced issues of big size images and it lead to some errors.

    Thanks for share.

    • Avatar Oleg says:

      Hey RajKumar,

      thank you for the comment,
      Yes, auto-resizing large images on the browser of the end user isn’t a good idea – that might cause loading issues too. Best to re-size and compress it to a reasonable size off line.

      thanks,
      – Oleg

  29. Avatar Wallpaper DP says:

    I think Optimize for mobile is better for user experience. Btw thanks Oleg

  30. Thank you very much. will definitely put them into practice.

  31. Avatar Kirtika saha says:

    I liked your article and I hope you will have many entries or more. Thanks for sharing your information.

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