Website Designer  |  Website Design

Once Your Website is Designed, Do These 10 Things Before Launching

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Chad Prinsloo  |  Web Designer  |  Web Developer

May 21 2020

If you are doing business in today’s fast-changing economy, it is essential that you have a website that is designed to attract sales and customer/client interest in your services. As a business owner in South Africa, the last thing you want to do is spend 5 or 6 figures on a website and not launch properly. You want to be able to drive sales and interest from day one without making mistakes or make common website errors which will hamper your launch success and public interest.

Use this checklist to make your website the best it can be, make it more visible to Google, and ensure users stick around long enough to engage and eventually convert. Some of these tasks are quite basic and tech-savvy business owners will be able to do it themselves, while other tasks require more skill which a freelance web designer can do on your behalf.

Connect Your Website to Google Analytics

Once your website is up and running, you’ll need a way to measure how well it performs. Almost every client I work with wants to know how their site is performing and how visitors are engaging with the site’s content over a specific period of time (weekly, important holidays, sales discount periods, etc). Google Analytics not only allows you to see how many people visit your website but also where they are coming from, what pages they visit, how long they stay on your website, what browsers they use, and so on. With this important data, you can then advertise to your audience later on and narrow it down to only the people who are interested in your services.

Check And Improve Your Website Page Speed

There’s no excuse today for pages or content loading in over 8 seconds, it’s one of your top priorities to serve content to users as fast as you can (and your customers expect that). On top of that, page load speed is an official Google ranking factor, which your competitors already know about.

The first thing you want to do to check your website page speed is to head to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and enter in your website address. Google Pagespeed Insights will suggest ways to make your page faster on both mobile and desktop devices. Usually, these are what some of the recommendations will suggest:

Image Compression

100% of the websites I work on I have to compress the images. Why? On Stock websites, the images come out at an average of between 5-15MB (way too big) this will slow down your website pages drastically. Compressed images play a vital role to rank a website on Google search. Without image optimization, your website loading time may load for hours.

Enable Browser Caching

Caching is important because it reduces the load on your WordPress hosting servers and makes your website run faster. You need proper caching set up to improve your WordPress speed and performance. I use and recommend WP Rocket.

Minify CSS & JavaScript files

Minimizing CSS and JavaScript is a popular technique for reducing load time, especially on a website with many pages.

There are many other solutions to improve website page speed and these are just some of the most popular.

Ensure Your Website Has An SSL Certificate.

An SSL certificate will ensure your website is encrypted and a secure connection is exchanged between their browser and your website, so hackers can’t intercept any of your data or your customer’s data. This will help put more trust in your website visitors, but it will also help with your SEO because SSL helps with Google’s search ranking algorithm. Google Chrome and many other browsers are now flagging websites without SSL certificates as insecure.

If you have a good and reliable web host, they usually provide free SSL certificates for 1 year, and thereafter it’s a small annual fee.

Finalize Your Websites Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is a legal notice providing information about how a website visitor’s personal information will be used. This policy spells out exactly how any information (emails, contact information, and more) will be used. When your website gathers such information, a privacy policy is something you should strongly consider. Terms of Service (TOS) statements are not mandatory in most cases, but they can still be valuable. Your TOS states the ground rules for visitors who want to use your site.

Set Your Website to Auto Back Up Regularly

Once your website is completed, the last thing you want is to have to start all over again due to it crashing, files being corrupted or out of date, or being hacked. Creating a backup of your website is a critical part of your post website launch. You might never need the backup, but it’s always best to play it safe. Plugins like UpdraftPlus or BlogVault can be set up for automatic backups.

Scan Your Website Content For Spelling Errors, Link Errors, Typos, and Grammar Mistakes

Too many missing things like word mistakes, missing commas, and full stops, etc can make your website visitors lose trust in your services. This might be something small but can make a big negative impression once it all adds up, which is something you can avoid.

Ensure Your Website Works On Mobile, Tablet And Desktop Devices

Testing all of your website pages for device compatibility is now an essential part of any website launch, given Google’s recent focus on mobile-first indexing. Your website should be easy to read and navigate with a minimum resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktops).

Submit Your Website To Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free resource that can help you better understand how your website is performing. With Search Console, you can see which search terms (key phrases) are driving people to your website, and how many people are clicking on your site in the search results for those different keywords. It can also tell you if there are any issues that are affecting Google’s ability to find content on your site, and notify you to fix it.