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Website launch checklist – my 50 to-do items when launching a brand new website

Launching a new website involves a comprehensive checklist to ensure functionality, usability, and security. Here’s a detailed list of 50 essential tasks and items to check before and during the launch of a new website:

Pre-Launch Preparation

  • Domain Registration: Ensure the domain name is registered and reflects the brand.
  • Hosting Setup: Choose a reliable hosting provider and set up your hosting account.
  • SSL Certificate: Install an SSL certificate to secure your website.
  • CMS Installation: Install and configure your Content Management System (CMS) if applicable.
  • Website Design: Finalize the website design including themes and templates.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure the website is fully responsive on all devices.
  • Browser Compatibility: Check compatibility across all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge).
  • Content Review: Proofread content for grammar, accuracy, and clarity.
  • Image Optimization: Optimize images for faster loading without compromising quality.
  • SEO Basics: Set up basic SEO elements like meta titles, descriptions, and keywords.
  • 404 and Error Pages: Customize 404 and other error pages.
  • Favicon: Create and upload a favicon.
  • Analytics: Integrate Google Analytics or another analytics tool.
  • Social Media Integration: Add social media links and sharing options.
  • Contact Forms: Set up and test all contact forms.
  • Email Configuration: Set up and test website-related email accounts.
  • Database Backup: Implement regular backup procedures for the database.
  • Security Measures: Set up firewalls, security plugins, and other protections.
  • Compliance Checks: Ensure compliance with legal requirements (GDPR, ADA, etc.).
  • Pre-launch SEO Audit: Conduct a full SEO audit and fix issues.

Launch Phase

  • Load Testing: Test the website under high traffic scenarios.
  • Link Validation: Check for and fix any broken links.
  • Functionality Testing: Ensure all features work as intended.
  • Speed Optimization: Check loading speeds and optimize as necessary.
  • Accessibility Audit: Verify that the website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Payment Systems: If applicable, test all payment gateways.
  • User Testing: Conduct user testing for unbiased feedback.
  • Content Management System Training: Train relevant personnel on using the CMS.
  • Marketing Material Prep: Prepare marketing materials and announcements.
  • Press Release: Draft and schedule a press release for the launch.
  • Affiliate/Partner Communication: Inform partners or affiliates about the launch.
  • Final SEO Check: Ensure all SEO elements are in place.
  • Sitemap Submission: Submit the XML sitemap to search engines.
  • Privacy Policy and T&C: Update and publish your privacy policy and terms and conditions.
  • Newsletter Sign-up: Enable and test newsletter sign-up forms.

Post-Launch Monitoring

  • Monitor Website Uptime: Keep an eye on website uptime and address downtimes quickly.
  • Performance Analytics: Analyze traffic and performance analytics.
  • Feedback Collection: Set up mechanisms to collect user feedback.
  • Social Media Monitoring: Monitor social media for mentions and feedback.
  • SEO Performance Tracking: Track SEO performance and adjust strategies as needed.
  • Ad Campaigns: Launch and monitor ad campaigns.
  • Bug Fixes: Address and fix any bugs reported by users.
  • Content Updates: Regularly update the website with fresh content.
  • Security Updates: Apply updates and patches to software and plugins.
  • Regular Backups: Ensure backups are happening as scheduled.
  • Competitor Analysis: Keep an eye on competitor sites for insights and improvements.
  • Continual Learning: Stay updated with web standards and best practices.
  • Customer Support: Establish robust customer support.
  • Review Site Metrics: Regularly review site metrics to gauge success.
  • Iterate Based on Feedback: Continuously improve the website based on user feedback.

Whether you are doing it yourself or with a freelance web designer, this comprehensive list ensures that you cover all critical areas, from technical setup to user experience and ongoing management, for a successful website launch.

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