ConversationsA solid styled icon from Orion Icon Library.
Search
Close this search box.

Essential Checklist: All the Checks Before Going Online with a New Website

Essential Checklist: All the Checks Before Going Online with a New Website

Essential Checklist: All the Checks Before Going Online with a New Website

When you make a new website, the part where you put it on the internet is really crucial. This is especially true when the website is a newer version of one that already exists. When you’re getting the new site online, there are lots of things to check because they can affect how easy it is to use, how well it works, and importantly, how easily people can find it on Google. Sometimes, when you switch to a new website, it can make your site show up lower on Google and be harder for people to see.

 

What checks to do when putting it online

 

Before you launch your website, there are several types of checks you should perform:

 

  • Content controls
  • SEO checks
  • Usability checks ( UX and UI )
  • Regulatory compliance checks
  • Web marketing controls
  • Integration and continuity checks with previous infrastructures
    and many others…

 

As you can tell, there are lots of things to look into, and making sure everything is good to go before launching a new website can be quite tricky. Each website is unique, which adds to the complexity. In this article, we’ll give you a list of 8 essential checks that, based on experience, have proven really important when getting a website online. Doing these checks well can often help avoid a major problem.

 

Why these checks are important

 

If you’re a pro at making websites, you probably have a routine and know the whole process really well. But because some tasks can be dull and repeat a lot, you might skip a few checks towards the end.

 

For those who develop websites casually, this list can be handy to make sure you don’t forget important things that are sometimes ignored.

 

That’s why we believe having a checklist that covers all the things that can impact the final outcome is a good idea to avoid potential mistakes, even for the experts.

 

1. Content controls

 

This is the starting point, and it’s the easiest step. It requires a bunch of patience and teamwork from your whole crew – the writers, the visual team, and the client.

 

At this point, it’s a good idea to check some important things like:

 

  • Making sure the client has approved all the texts.
  • Checking for grammar mistakes.
  • Confirming that internal links are working and leading to the right places.
  • Ensuring images are there, approved, and don’t break any copyright rules.
  • Verifying that translations are available for each piece of content and that language switches work.
  • Keeping image sizes as small as possible.

 

2. Responsive and mobile controls

 

This is super crucial nowadays! In 2023, more than half of people (55.9%) visited websites on their computers, while 40.1% used mobile devices.

 

Google is also giving a lot of importance to how easy it is to use websites on mobile, and it affects how high up your site shows in search results. So, it’s a good idea to always check:

 

  • How easy it is to use your site on mobile phones (whether you’re holding your phone straight or sideways) and on the most common tablet sizes.
  • Making sure contact forms work well on mobile.
  • Checking how fast your site is on mobile.
  • Seeing if buttons, links, and other interactive things on your site are big enough and not too close together for people using mobile.

 

Pro tip

 

For mobile speed recommendations use:  https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/

 

To check how your graphics look on different devices, you can use Chrome DevTools. Just press F12 or Control+Shift+I if you’re on Windows or Linux to open the console. It will show up at the bottom. If you’re on a Mac, press Command+Option+I.

 

3. Usability checks

 

These checks can be really detailed, and it all depends on what kind of website it is and how people use it.

 

For usability, we suggest looking into:

 

  • Checking if the font size and colors make text easy to read.
  • Adding a little icon that shows up in your browser tabs (that’s called a favicon).
  • Making sure the main logo is a clickable link.
  • Testing how forms on your site work.
  • Checking that people can navigate around your site easily, no matter what device they’re using.
  • Making sure any documents you have for download work properly.

 

Pro tip

 

Google Search Console now has a handy usability report specifically for mobile devices. It’s a really useful tool that’s definitely worth checking out.

 

1682749870652 hi2ezn

 

4. Site speed checks

 

How fast a website loads is crucial for how users experience it.

 

We’ve talked about this before, and we’ve also recently explored how Google’s Core Vitals connect usability and speed signals.

 

To make sure your website loads quickly, consider:

 

  • Turn on a server-side caching system.
  • Use a client-side caching system.
  • If you can, make the CSS and Javascript code smaller.
  • If possible, install a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

 

Pro Tips

 

To check how fast your site is, you can use tools like Google Page Speed and GTmetrix online. However, keep in mind that a website’s speed depends on various things, like how busy the internet is, the time of day, the type of internet connection, the specific page you’re looking at, and the overall network traffic. Also, these tools give you speed information for one page, not the whole site. So, it’s crucial to test the speed of the most important pages, like the ones where people first land and the ones meant for getting conversions.

 

1682749870652 d1432q

 

 

5. Site security checks

 

People often forget about security, especially when launching a new website.

 

It’s important to note that popular website creation platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Prestashop are secure, but only if you regularly update them and use the right components and plugins. That’s why we made a tool to check for vulnerabilities in WordPress. You can find our free tools here.

 

For keeping your website secure, consider:

 

  • Change your admin passwords and pick a username and password that’s not too easy (avoid using “admin”).
  • Add a firewall and a system that keeps track of any attempts to access your site unlawfully.
  • If you can, use a different address for the admin page, not the default one.
  • Put in Recaptcha systems for your forms.
  • Have a backup system and always save a copy of your site’s previous version.
  • Set up SSL/HTTPS and SSL Certificates for added security.

 

Pro tip

 

If a website is flagged as unsafe, it might be due to something called Mixed Content on the page. When an HTTPS page includes stuff fetched through regular, unencrypted HTTP requests, the connection isn’t fully secure. To see what content is coming from HTTP (without the ‘S’), you can use the developer tools in Google Chrome or Firefox.

 

6. SEO checks on the new site

 

When you launch a new website, it’s often to boost your online presence and business opportunities. But, it’s crucial to know that this phase can seriously affect how well your site shows up on search engines.

 

Also, optimizing a website for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the trickiest part. It involves technical stuff, making sure the site is easy to use, creating good content, and organizing information in a smart way. We strongly suggest getting help from an SEO expert during this stage, especially if you want to avoid any penalties.

 

Before launching a new website, it’s a good idea to do these SEO checks:

 

  • Make sure search engines can find your site (remove any “noindex” and “disallow” in the robots.txt file).
  • Avoid having the same content in multiple places.
  • Check the status codes to make sure everything’s working.
  • Make sure your pages are marked up correctly with things like headings.
  • Create a sitemap and let Google know about it through the Search Console.
  • Write meta descriptions for your pages.
  • Set up structured data using schema.org.
  • If you’ve changed your site’s URLs, make sure the old ones redirect to the new ones.

 

Pro tip

 

Before launching the new website, be sure to keep a record of the sitemap from the old site. Also, run a thorough scan to check if the redirects are working as they should. Take a snapshot of the old site, too. A tool like Screaming Frog can help you with these checks and make sure all the SEO elements are in good shape.

 

7. Checks on legal aspects

 

These may not sound exciting, but they’re super important to avoid big fines!

 

Here’s what you need to remember:

 

  • Add a cookie notice and block cookies until the user agrees.
  • Have clear policies on how data is handled and who’s responsible.
  • Make sure your VAT number is on the site.
  • Protect your content with copyright.
  • Get permission for using data on forms and link to your company policies.
  • Provide contacts for removing data if someone wants to withdraw their consent.
  • For e-commerce, have clear terms and conditions for sale and withdrawal.

 

Pro tip

 

8. Checks on eCommerce sites

 

E-commerce websites have their own special considerations and need their own checklist. Here are the main things to check before launching, often overlooked:

 

  • Make sure payment methods are set up for real transactions, not just test environments.
  • Verify shipping prices for different places and countries.
  • Confirm that taxes and VAT are applied correctly.
  • Double-check customer care details like addresses and emails.
  • Review the wording in notification emails (confirmation, order status changes, shipping, tracking, etc.).
  • Confirm your refund and return policies.
  • Check who receives the notification emails.

 

Conclusions

 

As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist that you can download and use to go through all these aspects when checking your website.

 

Implementing these things requires various skills, so it’s always a good idea to seek help from professionals during the critical stages of launching your website.

Search For

Recent Posts

Free e-book

× How can I help you?