15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website

When launching a website, you can often forget a number of things in your eagerness to make it live, so it’s useful to have a checklist to look through as you make your final touches and before you announce your website to the world.

This article reviews some important and necessary checks that web-sites should be checked against before the official launch — little details are often forgotten or ignored, but – if done in time – may sum up to an overall greater user experience and avoid unnecessary costs after the official site release.

1. Favicon – A favicon brands the tab or window in which your website is open in the user’s browser.

2. Titles And Meta Data – Your page title is the most important element for SEO and is also important so that users know what’s on the page. Make sure it changes on every page and relates to that page’s content.

3. Cross-Browser Checks – It’s important that your website works across browsers.

4. Proofread – Read everything. Even if you’ve already read it, read it again.

5. Links – Don’t just assume all your links work. Click on them.

6. Functionality Check – Test everything thoroughly.

7. Graceful Degradation – Your website should work with JavaScript turned off.

8. Validation – You should aim for a 100% valid website.

9. RSS Link – If your website has a blog or newsreel, you should have an RSS feed that users can subscribe to.

10. Analytics – Installing some sort of analytics tool is important for measuring statistics to see how your website performs and how successful your conversion rates are.

11. Sitemap – Adding a sitemap.xml file to your root directory allows the major search engines to easily index your website.

12. Defensive Design – The most commonly overlooked defensive design element is the 404 page.

13. Optimize – You’ll want to configure your website for optimal performance.

14. Back Up – If your website runs off a database, you need a back-up strategy.

15. Print Style Sheet – If a user wants to print a page from your website, chances are she or he wants only the main content and not the navigation or extra design elements.

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