26 things to do for a successful website launch

Preparing and achieving a successful website launch is no small feat, contrary to what many might believe. It's not enough to simply buy a domain name and hosting, install WordPress, and put your content on your website.

Several steps are to be planned before the launch, during the design, and after publishing your website online. Today, we have compiled over twenty actions related to page content, design, various features, SEO, branding, data analysis, security, and more. 

Achieve a successful website launch: the BEFORE phase

To achieve a successful website launch, it's important to thoroughly check its content first. By content, we mean texts, images, videos, audio files, PDFs, downloadable content, etc. Your website will be your online brand image: take care of it to the fullest.

1. Ensure the text is accurate and error-free.

  • The site content has been proofread (spelling and grammar);
  • Your contact information is accurate throughout the site;
  • Filling content, such as lorem ipsum, has been properly removed and replaced with actual content;
  • All high-quality content, such as case studies, e-books, and whitepapers, have been proofread. Spelling and grammar are correct.
  • The copyright date (perhaps in the footer) includes the current year.

2. Replace all "sample" images with final images and illustrations. 

Sometimes, the person in charge of developing your website may use a temporary image because the correct image was not available at the time of page creation. It's up to you to ensure that each page contains the right images.

3. Ensure that your text content aligns with the new brand.

  • Text has been edited for brand voice and style consistency. This is an important point for a successful website launch. 
  • All company slogans and mission statements are up to date.

4. Verify that all stylistic preferences have been considered.

  • Paragraphs, headings, lists, and other formatting are correct.
  • Brand colors have been correctly applied, including link and button colors.

5. Make sure your design is visually appealing.

  • Scripts are optimized on all the web pages.
  • Images are optimized on all web pages.
  • CSS is optimized on all web pages.

6. Ensure rights to images, fonts, and other content are properly licensed or credited.

Even if you outsourced the design to a web designer/developer, it's up to you to ensure there are no copyright licensing issues. Otherwise, you risk fines for copyright infringement.

7. Test the website for user experience (UX).

  • Ensure that the site's pages are compatible with all browsers.
  • Ensure that the site's pages are compatible with all devices.
  • Check that images, videos, and audio files are properly placed, formatted, and functional on all devices.
  • Confirm that all high-quality content, such as case studies, e-books, and whitepapers, are correctly stored and functional.
  • Internal links between web pages are working properly. 
  • Make sure that social media sharing icons are linked to the correct accounts.
  • Company logo is linked to the home page.

8. Validate the proper implementation of conversion paths.

  • Verify the presence of all necessary forms. 
  • Ensure landing and thank you pages have been set up. 
  • Check that the right buttons and calls to action (CTAs) are present in the correct locations. 
  • Confirm that everything is properly connected.

9. Create your site backup strategy. 

You can prevent data loss and protect against malware and other damage by implementing adequate site security and conducting regular backups. Check this:

  • The backup schedule has been created. 
  • The backup location has been identified. 
  • An implementation plan has been established and will be implemented after the launch.
  • 10. Store passwords and credentials in a secure location. 
  • Many people have likely been involved in the website launch up to this point, so make sure to reset the passwords.

10. Check the technical implementation of SEO for errors. 

  • Pages have unique page titles. 
  • Pages have unique meta descriptions. 
  • Each page has a specific purpose, and pages intended for organic ranking are optimized around a single keyword or set of keywords.
Achieve a successful website launch

Achieving a successful website launch: POST Phase

Now, your website is ready. The URL effectively points to your domain name, and everything seems to be working well. You feel like you've made it and can now rest easy. Let us tell you that you still have a lot to do to achieve a successful website launch!

11. Test the website again for user experience (UX). 

  • Ensure that your design is displayed as expected across all browsers. 
  • Ensure that your design is rendered as expected on all devices. 
  • Make sure that the CSS/HTML is properly validated. 
  • CSS styling is rendered correctly.
  • The favicon is in place and rendered correctly. 
  • Internal links between web pages are working properly.
  • External links between web pages work properly and open in a new tab.
  • Social media sharing icons function properly.
  • Feeds work properly (RSS, news, social media).
  • Company logo is linked to the home page.
  • 404 redirect pages are in place.

12. Test the functionality of your conversion path.

  • Take the time to test and validate all the different features of your website. Forms, CRM integration, and any other technology should work seamlessly on your site.
  • Forms submit data correctly.
  • A thank you message or page appears after form submission.
  • Form data is emailed to a recipient and/or stored in the company's database.
  • Autoresponders work properly (if applicable).

13. Verify that integrations with third-party tools are running smoothly.

Integrations such as your CRM, e-commerce software, and/or marketing platform are connected to your site and help you manage your business. Any potential issues that could lead to data loss should be anticipated and proactively addressed.

14. Create a backup of the final site for safekeeping. 

Now that everything is in place and finalized, remember to keep a clean copy in case of corruption or data loss. You can have a successful website launch, but you could start from scratch if you haven't thought to make a backup!

15. Ensure backups are working properly. 

Now is the time to check the implementation of your backup strategy. Verify that copies of the website are created and stored regularly.

16. Ensure your site is secure.

  • An SSL certificate has been installed on the domain.
  • 24/7 monitoring scripts are installed.
  • There is a plan for updating plugins (if applicable). 
  • Make sure all relevant parties are aware of your organization's password policies.

17. Comply with all applicable laws.

Ensure that your website complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Internet law can be difficult to follow, and each industry has its own rules to adhere to. It's best to consult with legal counsel to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. 

Here are some regulations you should be aware of:

  • The website complies with GDPR provisions.
  • Web pages offer accessibility to users with disabilities (WAI-ARIA).
  • Web pages disclose if the site uses cookies (mandatory in some countries).
  • The website complies with usage rights for purchased or borrowed code, images, and fonts.
  • Terms and conditions and privacy policies are visible to website visitors.
  • The website complies with PCI standards (if you store and process credit cards).

18. Browse the site to ensure that no errors occurred during the launch. 

Compare the crawl to the previous crawl and see if you find any inconsistencies that were not intentional. You should also make sure that all pages are properly indexed by search engines.

19. Ensure that the technical components of SEO are error-free.

  • Page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs are all present and aligned with the original technical SEO strategy.
  • The website's page load times are optimized.
  • A dynamic XML sitemap has been created.
  • The sitemap has been submitted to search engines.
  • Page URLs consistently reflect the site's information architecture.
  • 301 redirects are in place for all old URLs (redirecting old pages to new ones).
  • rel="nofollow" tags are in place on relevant links and pages.

20. Optimize your metadata.

  • Metadata is properly in place for any RSS feed content.
  • Metadata is properly in place for any content shared on social media.
  • Spelling and grammar are correct in all metadata.
  • Alt tags have been added to every image.

21. Set up analytics.

  • Ensure that your website is configured to capture web data and analytics. This valuable information will enable you to continuously improve your website in the future.
  • Website analytics codes and tracking scripts have been inserted on the website.
  • Relevant IP addresses have been excluded from analytics tracking.
  • Funnels and goals have been correctly set up in your analytics software (if applicable).
  • Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts have been properly synced.
  • Google Ads accounts have been properly synced (if applicable).

How to announce the launch of a new website?

All the tasks you've carried out so far won't have been a waste of time. All the work done aims to ensure smooth operation and a successful website launch, as well as good visibility with your future customers. 

Your next step is to let the world know about your new site's design. Here's how to do it:

22. Anticipate your communication with teasers before the site goes live. 

Launching a new product, a new movie, and - yes - a new site all need to be marketed before the actual release. Think about the last movie you watched in the theater. Did you see the trailer before deciding to buy those movie tickets and popcorn?

Teasers for a successful website launch can only help generate interest and curiosity and prompt users to wonder what the new experience will look like.

23. Create a social media strategy for the announcement. 

Decide on which channels you want to promote the news, how you'll announce it, and how long the promotion will last. When crafting your message, don't forget to focus on new features and how they benefit your audience. 

24. Identify exciting ways to promote engagement for the new site. 

For users who aren't as engaged with your brand, launching a new site might not seem very important. Your goal is to make it stand out. Offer an exclusive deal to the first users who visit the site. Or create a contest that encourages users to explore the new site features. Whatever you choose, make it fun and engaging.

25. Send an email to your existing database. 

You may want to inform your current customers about the new design, especially if it could cause confusion during their next visit. You can announce the news as a courtesy, but also sneak in a way to emphasize the value you bring. This emailing step will contribute to a successful website launch for your customers.

26. Continue promoting the launch for (at least) a month. 

Simply because you post once on social media doesn't mean your audience will drop everything to visit the site en masse. In short, make your launch a significant event.

If you have already launched your website without completing all of these tasks, know that it's not too late. You can start reviewing your website today using our checklist to get back on track and ensure a successful website launch.

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