This is part 3 of a 3 part web series entitled “The Complete Web Site Development Process in a Nutshell”. If you wish to read the other articles in the series, the links are below:
8. Quality Assessment and Pre-Site-Launch Checklists
Now we have arrived at the point where the big picture is coming together. In this step, many different things can occur (content implementation, minor browser compatibility fixes, etc…).
Here is a checklist you can use for this part of the process:
- Fix any remaining browser compatibility issues.
- Make sure content is in proper places & check for typographical errors.
- Skim the web site for any functionality that may be broken or forgotten
- Make sure forms are sending information to the right locations & setup tracking on them via Google Analytics Event Tracking
- Make sure all SEO points are present site wide (if applicable)
- Check the web site for broken links internally. (Checkout Xenu)
- Perform a “site:” on the current domain name to see what pages are indexed. Make sure that the old pages’ links will still work when pushed live (301 redirects are helpful here).
These should all be self-explanatory and are absolutely necessary before getting final client approval for site launch.
9. Final Client Approval to Launch Live
Yet again, this is a very simple step in the web site development process that is equally as important. NEVER push a project live without the client’s approval. I have seen it done and it’s not pretty. People get upset when it all could have been avoided with a simple phone call or email.
10. Point Z. Launch it Live!
Site launches always differ in terms of what steps need to be taken depending on the server environment and what kind of application it is. Some general things to keep in mind before, during and after a site launch are:
- Backup all of the site’s old files just in case of a disaster. (Better safe than sorry!)
- Send an email to the client letting them know the site may be down for a short time during the launch.
- If using WordPress, be sure to run these SQL commands on the database to overwrite the staging domain name in all the links.
- Make sure that the links on the site are all working. (Run Xenu)
- Install the Google Analytics code into your site’s header.
- Make sure that your site’s robots.txt file is allowing robots to index your site.
- Submit HTML and XML sitemaps to Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Make sure all site functionality is present and working.
Voilà! Sit Back and See the Big Picture!
You have successfully taken a web concept and directed it through a complete web site development process! There are a lot of in-depth specifics that were not touched on, however they are so often on a per project basis that describing them would not make sense here.
If you would like to know more about the complete web site development process feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help your company from point A to Z.