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Launching Your First Website: A Guide

From the heady days of that first design meeting with your agency to the back and forth with the copywriters getting every word checked and double-checked and through the endless meetings about how best to architect the content and arrange the navigation, you find yourself almost ready to push the button; on the brink of launching your website to the world, or more importantly, to your potential customers.

Are you really ready to let your baby go?

In this short guide we’ll run through some of the important pre-launch activities you should definitely consider before you cut the ribbon.

Double checking that design

When you’ve stared at something for too long, it’s really easy to miss the little things; the brain has a tendency to fill in the gaps without you noticing. Make sure you get your team to double-check everything from spelling, grammar, line spacing, color, font sizes and typefaces for the tiniest little error that might make you stand out as sloppy or lazy. First impressions count, remember?

You should also ensure that your website is responsive and looks great on all devices, from desktops to smartphones. Additionally, it’s crucial to set up analytics to monitor the performance of your new site. For a comprehensive understanding of how to track your visitors effectively, look for a website visitor tracking guide for businesses online and use the insights gained to continually improve your website. The design of your website is not a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing process.

Cross browser and device compatibility check

Everything looking good? Great, but does it look that good on every device? Don’t forget that there is a very strong chance that most of your visitors will be seeing your site on a mobile device. Does your website look good, no matter the screen size or browser preference? Make sure it’s responsive and just as easy to read, understand and navigate. Given that people love to buy things on their mobile phones, what does your mobile shopping basket experience feel like? Ensure that doing all the things you want your target audience to do is incredibly easy to do, no matter how they attempt to do them.

Usability and accessibility testing

No doubt you have a plethora of integrated systems going on; autoresponders, contact forms, email capture, shopping baskets, CRM platforms, to name but a few. All of these integrations must be tested robustly to make sure everything performs just as it should. This can be time-consuming and hard to rectify if things are amiss, so if in doubt, defer to the experts, like the team at Digivante, for example.

It’s really important that everything works just as well as it looks; you have to deliver on the promise that your marketing jive and your beautiful design infer. Check all those links for dead ends because any embarrassing miss-steps need to be picked up by you before a judgmental audience notice them. Don’t forget just how many links you’re likely to have from the top navigation to your footer and everything in-between; dead links are easy to miss but great at generating bounces.

Plan your digital marketing

You know this already but the launch is only half the battle, don’t leave your digital marketing and SEO as an afterthought; make sure you plan a cohesive strategy that includes your onsite optimization, your social media marketing plan and your content strategy so that you are not leaving your success to chance.

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