Website Pre-Launch Checklist

5! 4! 3! 2! 1! LIFT OFF! The most exciting part of launch is always
the count down. But before you hit those last super anticipated last
10 second there are quite a few things that need to be checked and
double checked for a successful launch.

Here are my top 5 things to check and double check
as you count down to a successful website launch.

5! Domain Name

Now if you’ve already decided on a name for your company then what you’re checking for is your name URL availability like www.yourcampanyname.com or some variation of your companies name in a url format. Currently there are lot more option to choose from that just .com, there’s .biz .net .org and .me to name a few and there are also country options. Here in Japan we have .jp So consider 2 or 3 variations of your company’s name and choose your suffix. Don’t forget you can also use hyphens like www.your-campanyname.com in your name to create more variations.

When you actually you get around to purchasing your domain name, the web hosting company will tell you if your name is available and also give you suggestions of other variations that are available.

*But if you don’t have a name yet, then you might want to consider a name that is SEO friendly. For example if your going to sell shoes on your site then consider putting the word shoe or shoes in you domain name. For example if I were selling shoes online I might consider something like, www.shoesbyjames.com or www.lessforshoes.biz the reason I say this is having the word shoe in you domain name really helps search engines connect people who are looking for shoes to your site. If your shoe site is called www.lefeet.com you have work harder at your content to let search engines like Google you’re selling shoes.

4! Web Hosting

I’ve gone over some of this in my other blog —— but choosing the right web hosting company is going to make your launch smooth or misfire. So don’t just look for the lowest price. Look for track record, look at what other’s are saying and of course options. Do you need company email addresses, and how many. Does the web hosting provide SSL is it free? Is it easy to use and how is the customer service. On of my customers uses Domainrightnow and as far as working its doing an ok job, but the company has no online help, none. You have to call them and its not free outside the US, but still no chat option or even email. For me thats a deal breaker. So do some research and see what people are saying. The 2 most popular companies are Blue Host and Host Gator. There are other for sure, but they seem to get most of the top reviews. And Blue Host seems to be a little better and cheaper if you can pay for 36 months at a time. Blue Host’s prices come with a lot of great features that my current hosting at Go Daddy wants to charge me extra for.

bluehost

*One thing I like about Gator Host is that you can pay monthly or every 3 month or 6 or a year… Of course its not discounted but if you have cash flow problems this might an option. Blue Host starts at 12 months, 24 and 36 months. The discounted prices listed on there site are for 36 months.

3! Strategy

You need to have a plan as to how your site will be found or directly accessed. In the movie Field of Dreams there’s the line “If you build it, they will come”. The line in digital marketing would be, “if you build and execute a strategy, they will come”. Definitely not as cool but still quite true. You’re strategy would be the direct marketing mechanisms that will bring people to your site like social media, fliers and paid advertising. Or the SEO strategy that will help you be found by the people looking or your services. These are non negotiable you need one or the other or both, but just having a site won’t make it happen. You need a plan to connect.

2! Content 

My advice would be to come up the initial content of the entire site before you build the site. How many menus or pages will you have. Pages like Our Services, About Us, Blogs, Events, Access and Contact Us are some of the more familiar pages. Come up with the pages and the content on each page. Be thorough. Page are static, they will change over time but not that much. However blogs (also called posts in WordPress) are created weekly or at least monthly. If you are using using a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy to be found online then I would also suggest completing 8 to 10 blogs (think of them as articles) before you launch. Think of this as fuel for the lift off. Some have said to have at least 25 blogs written but let s be real. Blogs should be content rich and answer the questions people are looking for related to your services or products. For example if you sell camping gear writ a blog on “The Top 10 Items to Bring on Your First Camping Trip” or “Best tents for Summer Camping”. Be helpful and thorough. This blog is going to be over 100 words when I finish. But don’t just be long, have good content. Google knows if you’re just writing filler or if your really are trying to reach your target audience with helpful content.

1! After Launch Plan

“Houston we have a problem” What will happen once you successfully launch your site? This is where many fall short. What happens after the launch will really determines the altitudes you’ll be able to reach, and how long you’ll be able to stay in orbit. Websites like rockets need fuel, maintenance and constant attention. I imaging astronauts spend as much time or more with keeping the ship in order as they do with the actual mission. If your site is going to make you money and or bring you customers, you need 2 plans, a Creating Content Plan and a Website Maintenance plan. How often will you blog, or post to social media. Content, as they say is king. So as part of your business plan you also need to allocate time and resource to creating content on your site. And there’s also the actual site itself. Backups, updates, security and staying current with the latest trends in digital marketing are all necessary to keep your site functioning and running smoothly. For that you can learn and do it yourself or higher some else (see —— ) for a deeper dive into website maintenance.

So there is your website launch sequence. If you need to know more or have questions please contact me and I’d be happy to help you have a successful launch.

— CP