Many times, when people get ready to launch a site, they’re so excited about going live and calling the product finished, that they don’t do an adequate job of making sure the site is really and truly complete. It’s easy to do. I’m guilty. You’re ready to share what you’ve been working on for weeks, months even. But, skipping these steps doesn’t provide the quality that your clients need.
Over the years, I’ve compiled a launch checklist of items that help guarantee a perfect site launch. This list ensures I’ve dotted the final i and crossed the final t.
- No spelling errors
- Content is consistent (capitalization, tense / sense of writing, reocurring and common phrases)
- Content has been placed consistently
- No test content
- Page and content formatting has been tested
- Print stylesheets exist and tested
- Meta data has been included and is appropriate
- Setup accounts on Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Sitemap.xml created and submitted to Google and Bing.
- For redesigns, make sure old / existing URLs are redirected to relevant new URLs, if the URL scheme is changing.
- Images have appropriate ALT text
- Page titles are appropriate and SEO friendly
- Create metadata descriptions for important pages.
- Favicon has been created and displays correctly
- Footer includes copyright and a link to the site creator
- HTML has passed validation (W3C Validator)
- Check for canonical domain issues (e.g. variations in links to http://site.com http://www.site.com http://www.site.com/index.html should be reduced to a single consistent style)
- CSS has passed validation (W3C CSS Validator)
- No broken links, internal and external (W3C Link Checker
- Check for hard coded links to the staging server
- Displays and functions correctly in various browsers (BrowserShots or Litmus)
- Firefox (Mac + PC)
- Chrome (Mac + PC)
- Safari (Mac + PC)
- Opera (Mac + PC)
- Tested at 1024 x 768 Resolution
- Tested at larger resolutions
- Tested on iPad
- Tested on iPhone
- Forms have been tested and processed correctly
- Required fields have been tested
- Forms send to the correct recipient(s)
- Check internal search functionality (including relevance of results)
- Web statistics package installed and operational (Google Analytics, Clickly, Mint, or StatCounter)
- 404 page exists and informative
- Full web site build documentation (including platform definition, inventory log, and user, operator, systems, and administrative manuals)
- Use robots.txt where necessary
- Site backups scheduled
- Check and implement caching where necessary
- Check download time review and browser compatability: (Google’s Page Speed and Pingdom)
- RSS set up (FeedBurner)
Additional Resources / References
The list that I’ve creaed has come from my own personal experience as well as others:
Have I missed anything? Are there other things that you do before launching a site?