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The new website launch checklist

It’s finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for – your new website is almost ready to go live. You’re excited and eager to get the word out, but there are a few things that need to be done first before you do.

Using our website launch checklist will help ensure that all the bases are covered and that you won’t leave anything behind in the process.

The importance of a website launch checklist

A successful website launch is dependent on it being delivered without any errors. A checklist will ensure that you cover all the main points and quickly identify any mistakes before they become significant issues.

While no one wants to delay their launch, using a comprehensive website launch checklist helps make sure nothing falls through the cracks or gets missed, saving you time and money in the long run. This step-by-step guide will help keep everything organized and on track.

Who can benefit from a website launch checklist?

Bloggers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will all benefit from having a list of tasks that need to be completed before going live. In reality, anyone looking for a project roadmap, developing their priorities, or wanting to work in an organized manner can take advantage of one.

Explore the website launch checklist

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The new website launch checklist

When looking at your launch checklist, it’s essential to think about what you would like to get out of your website and how you will achieve those aims. For this process to be effective, you need a clear vision of where you are headed so that each task is linked directly with your final goal. Setting objectives early on will help you make better decisions and clarify what you need to focus on.

LiveAgent header

It’s essential to take some time to think about who this site is for. Who will read the articles? Who will we reach with our products or services?
These questions need answers so that you can craft a message and design a one-size-fits-all. Without an audience, there isn’t a website.

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Now you know who your target client is and what they are looking for, it’s time to create actual pieces of content for the website. From blog posts to selling pages, write down everything you can think about creating to cover each task. This will help you stay on track with your content and avoid any gaps that could harm the success of your site.

customer service duties - create knowledge base articles

It’s time to build the pages that will be viewed most often, such as “about us”, “contact”, and “services”. It’s easier to break this down into a sitemap so that you know exactly where everything will go, including what information will be provided on each page (like product descriptions) and how it relates to the site’s primary goal.

LiveAgent About us page

The content you provide on your site will largely influence which platform is best suited for it. Based on our research, WordPress continues to be one of the most popular options among users because it’s easy-to-use and has a large community of developers. The CMS you choose will help determine the look, layout, and functionality of your site, so it’s essential to take some time before deciding.

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LiveAgent’s CMS integrations

Creating social media profiles will help you increase website traffic and get more eyes on the content you are producing. However, it’s important to ensure that each platform matches up with your brand.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

Based on our experience, you should allow yourself at least 2 months to get everything set up and ready for the big day. From then, it will take a few weeks or so to push content live and start getting eyes on your site (social media posts typically need this long to drive increased traffic).

How about a design process checkup? Don’t forget to choose your logo and brand color scheme. Having a professional design is an integral part of creating a site that people trust, so it’s best not to rush this step or cut corners by using stock images. Plus, make sure that your site’s design is consistent with the overall branding of your business.

LiveAgent's logo with shadow

This means how you speak to your audience and the desired tone on each page of your site, so make sure everything matches up with expectations. See if it aligns with your brand voice and make changes as necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask for other opinions if needed.

Do you want your website to be highly minimalistic with lots of white space, or do you prefer multiple colors, images, and designs? Pick fonts that are easy on the eyes for reading. If possible, ask someone else which color schemes they find most appealing, so that you can make a visual decision based on what seems more eye-catching.

LiveAgent's tour page - ticketing

Do you include photographs, videos, or music on your website? If so, be sure you have the appropriate licenses. Some images may be free from copyright under the Creative Commons Attribution license, but others require fees. State clearly on each page if there are any restrictions for using copyrighted content and how permission can be obtained.

LiveAgent ticketing video

Many smart devices can access your website nowadays, meaning that it must be responsive to fit different screen sizes. You might need to modify it for smartphones and tablets if the layout doesn’t look quite right. If you’re not sure how your website is supposed to look on different devices, don’t panic. There are plenty of responsive design tools available online.

LiveAgent's mobile homepage
LiveAgent’s mobile homepage

Make sure all of the content on your website is accurate and original. If there are any sources for statistics, make them easy to find so that readers will know where they came from.

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To get the most out of your website and be sure that your conversion rates will be high, you need a clear journey that’s easy for customers to follow. For example, do you want them to contact sales directly or fill in an email form? Having clear instructions can help keep visitors engaged and give them more control over their path through your site.

LiveAgent's support portal - online help
Online help on LiveAgent

Test each page on a range of visitors to ensure their experience is smooth and concise across the whole site. For the sake of your budget, effort, and nerves, make any necessary changes before going live.

Ensuring images are compressed can help speed up the time it takes for your website to load. This is particularly important if you have an ecommerce site, since potential customers will expect quick loading times to finalize payments in particular.

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Make sure your contact form works as it should. This will help prevent lost leads and ensure that visitors can get in touch with you whenever they need to. Check all form fields and the submission process as well.

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It can be devastating if, after the launch, your site ends up displaying 404 pages or empty spaces where content should be. Because of the possibility that Google may already be indexing some old versions of your page (if they’re still live somewhere), you’ll need to let Google know that they no longer exist and provide a proper 404 page (don’t forget about its design).

The new ^website launch^ checklist

There might be instances when small pieces of deleted information are still visible to visitors (e.g. a “this product has now been discontinued” message). To avoid negative feedback from visitors, make sure this never happens.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

It’s essential to test the way your visitors will navigate around your site when it goes live. This means testing how well internal links work and checking out where the link comes from to ensure a smooth experience (you don’t want any broken links).

Liveagent internal link example

To avoid any embarrassing mistakes when your site goes live, make sure you proofread all content before launch. It’s a good idea to run this past other people in the team too, as they may spot something that you’ve missed during testing (but still check for typos yourself too).

The new ^website launch^ checklist

Your site design should match your business brand and mission statement. In addition, make sure your site is consistent with any other marketing materials you might have, such as social media pages or printed material (leaflets or business cards, for example).

LiveAgent's LinkedIn page
LiveAgent’s LinkedIn page

It’s essential to check that your favicon (the icon for your site displayed at the top of a web browser, in the address bar) is working as it should. It can be easy for this to get lost amongst all other design changes, so always double-check that this has been updated too if necessary.

LiveAgent favicon

Make sure you check that all cookies and the relevant consent boxes work as they should. This is particularly important if you’re using third-party services such as Google Analytics software or marketing platforms that will store your website data (e.g. Mailchimp). You should also verify that the cookie information is displayed correctly upon visiting your website.

LiveAgent cookies

Make sure each online tool and every integration you use on your website work as they should. This includes elements like forms, live chat or social media integration (Facebook, for example).

Live chat connections
Create live chat with LiveAgent

Check whether your payment integration providers (e.g. Stripe) are up and running as they should be. For example, if you’re using Shopify, check that all data is being pulled through correctly to ensure that no customers have issues with their order after launch day.

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Check the loading speed of your website. If you have a lot of images or video files, use something like GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights to see where improvements can be made. This is especially important if you anticipate having a lot of traffic to your site. Ensure that all images are optimized and that any videos or animations play as they should when the page loads (not before).

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source: analytics.google.com

Verify that the RSS link works properly. This will be crucial if you have a blog and want people to subscribe for updates or share your content with their audiences (on Twitter, for example).

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If you have any tracking codes, scripts, or third-party marketing tools installed on your website, make sure that no errors prevent them from running. It’s a good idea to check these things during the final few days before launch so you can catch any problems before they cause significant issues.

Chat embedded tracking feature in Customer support software - LiveAgent
LiveAgent’s Tracking plugin

If you don’t have one already, then now is the time to integrate an analytics tool (we recommend Google Analytics) with your website. This will help you measure things like where visitors are coming from and how they’re finding their way to your site. It’s also vital for improving search engine rankings.

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source: analytics.google.com

If you want to ensure that you don’t overlook anything important about search engine optimization, here is our SEO for New Website Checklist.

If your site is mobile-friendly, then consider implementing the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. This new initiative from Google will give you a massive boost in visibility and SEO ranking for mobile devices. It’s imperative if your site is heavily dependent on mobile traffic.

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source: amp.dev

Make sure that you’re able to maintain control over your site content. You need to be able to make changes as and when they’re needed. This is crucial for preventing your site from being hacked. If you don’t have the technical skills to do this yourself, then consider hiring a web development company with the expertise to deliver this for you.

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Do make sure that you save your website login details and passwords, etc., all in one place where they’ll be easily accessible for future use. If you lose them or don’t record these details, it will be tough to rebuild the site from scratch. Do be mindful of security concerns, though.

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If you’re not the original author of specific sections on your site, ensure you have copyright permission to reproduce them. This is particularly important if they contain images or other media content (it’s also worth noting that this will affect how search engines index your website).

Copyright claim on typer

Don’t forget to include a terms and conditions page, as well as a privacy policy. This will help you protect your site from any legal issues in the future, especially if they involve third parties.

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If you’re using Google Analytics, for example, then make sure that internal IP addresses (i.e. those originating from your office) don’t get included in analytics reports for your website traffic. This should be relatively straightforward if you’ve set up a separate profile for each of your sites, otherwise, internal hits could skew the results and any data may not reflect real website traffic and visitors.

Analytics overview feature in Customer service software - LiveAgent

If you want to take things one step further for online security, consider investing in an SSL certificate. This will give you a little more credibility, and your visitors can be confident that they’re on a secure website too. Check whether HTTPS appears in your website URL – if yes, it means is secured.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

If you’re not using an automatic backup solution, then now is the time to set one up. You must back up your site regularly, which means ideally once a week or more frequently if significant changes are made (e.g. new pages added). These simple steps will help to give you peace of mind and minimize any potential damage to your website.

Wordpress backup

It’s also worth checking that your website is compliant when it comes to any potential legal issues, such as data protection and privacy. If you don’t have the expertise or time to do this yourself, consider outsourcing this aspect of setting up your new site to a legal expert.

Law and order statue

It’s also essential to make sure that you’re able to monitor your site. For example, a service like Pingdom will send alerts if there are any problems with the site or hosting, so you can get them resolved quickly and minimize any downtime for visitors.

Website visitor tracking feature in Help desk software - LiveAgent

If your website content is managed via a Content Management System (WordPress, for example), then make sure that you update it to the latest version whenever possible. This will help to prevent any future security issues and keep everything running smoothly for visitors too.

Update

It’s also important to think about how your site will be accessed. For example, is it mobile-friendly? If not, then you should address this before you launch.

mobile phone all iphone liveagent

Take the time to test your new site for any issues with the most common browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari). Browser tests will ensure that any problems are identified before the site goes live.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

Don’t forget to double-check that all of your internal links are working correctly too and there are no broken links. This means going through every page and manually checking that all URLs link to the right place, or you could use a broken link checker tool to do this job for you.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

You should also include relevant calls to action (CTAs) on every page of your new site. For example, if you’re selling a product, it makes sense to offer visitors the option to buy straight away, not just at the end of blog posts or pages (unless they want more information first). If you want to boost your conversions, then use this opportunity to add relevant CTAs.

LiveAgent's CTA buttons
Examples of LiveAgent’s CTAs

Similarly, if you’re using social media in any way, then make sure that each feed is working correctly after your new site goes live. For example, if you’re sharing your blog posts on social media, visitors must be able to see these updates once they land back on your site. If this isn’t the case, then people may not stick around for long looking for that content.

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LiveAgent’s blog

On launch day, you ought to be completely ready to go. There shouldn’t be any missing pages or tweaks required, so double-check that everything you need to go live is in place before launching.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

Also, make sure you have a launch promotion planned to get the ball rolling. This could be in the form of an email campaign, Facebook post, or even just by letting others know that your new site is up and running.

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LiveAgent Facebook promo

Finally, one of the best ways to boost your traffic and get more visitors is by investing in Google Ads. The great thing about these ads is that they’re highly targeted, so you can rest assured that you will always have a relevant audience for each campaign.

The new ^website launch^ checklist

If you have time, consider writing a press release too. This can be a great way to get your new site in front of the right people, and it may even help you to land some backlinks for SEO purposes too.

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Summary of website launch checklist

  • Set the goals for your new site
  • Identify your target audience
  • Create a content plan
  • Build the site structure
  • Choose a suitable CMS for your website
  • Create social media profiles
  • Estimate time to launch
  • Website branding
  • Brand voice
  • Style preferences
  • Licensed multimedia content
  • Responsive design
  • Source content info
  • Conversion path
  • UX testing
  • Compressed images
  • Check forms
  • 404 pages
  • Deleted content
  • Navigation and internal links
  • Proofreading
  • Cohesive site design
  • Favicon
  • Cookies
  • Integration with tools
  • Payment integrations
  • Loading time
  • RSS link
  • Tracking codes, scripts, and plugins
  • Analytics solution integration
  • AMP integration
  • Copy expertise control
  • Save logins and passwords
  • Verify HTTPS
  • Do a copyright check
  • Include T&Cs and privacy policy
  • Exclude internal IP addresses from analytics
  • Make sure your SSL certificate works
  • Set up a backup solution
  • Make sure your website is legally compliant
  • Invest in a monitoring service
  • Update your CMS to the latest version
  • Ensure your website is accessible
  • Test for problems with different browsers
  • Double-check all URLs are correct
  • Include relevant CTAs
  • Make sure all social media feeds are working
  • Check pages
  • Launch promotion
  • Google Ads
  • Press release

Website launch checklist FAQs

How to announce a new website launch?

It's all about the promotion. Create a buzz and convey a compelling message by finding ways to communicate with your audience and tell your story well. Make an offer that you’re customers can’t refuse. This could be a discount on your existing services or special deals for new customers. You can also offer free samples of products, exclusive content, and even limited-time offers to boost traffic.

What is a website called before it goes live?

It's called a 'private' website, meaning only people with authorized access can view its contents. On launch day, your new site becomes 'public,' and everyone can see it in all of its glory.

How do I promote my new website?

There are many ways to promote your new website. You can use social media, email marketing, or even a press release - just think about what will work best for your target audience and then go with it.

What if my website goes down after launching?

If your site does go down, it's essential to fix the problem as quickly as possible. This is especially true if you're relying on visitors to find your services or products online. If this doesn't happen, they may not stick around for long, so make sure everything is working as expected.

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