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Web Design \ MAY 1st 2018

20 Things to Do Before Hitting the Publish Button on Your Site

Launching a website and creating a website are not the same thing, though it can be easy to assume as much. Even after you’ve found the best website builder out there, shaped a design you’re happy with, and written all of your text, there are still a lot of details that, if overlooked, could lead to potential mistakes. Mistakes that, if you are equipped with the right information, are easy to avoid.

To avoid the embarrassing moment of you sending your website’s URL to clients or family, and realizing right after that a lot of things were missing, we’ve come up with a helpful solution. From updating your design to improving your user experience, to building your SEO efforts we’ve got the ultimate website launch checklist you’ve been waiting for.

 

DESIGN

01. Don’t go loco with colors

If your website’s color palette isn’t predestined due to the color choices found within your logo, be sure you try out all of your ideas before you go live with your website. Colors have the power to evoke certain emotions so it’s imperative to choose the right ones early on. Need some color palette help? We’ve got you covered.

Launching your website checklist - colors

02. Pick the right fonts

All the text you took the precious time to write on your website should be easy to read for your website visitors, so choosing the right fonts is important. Whether you choose to go modern with Sans Serif fonts or classic with Serif fonts is up to you, just as long as your text content comes across simply to your viewers. Fonts can say much more than the words they’re written in and should match the tone and style of your brand. Family, style, weight and more can all play factors for the fonts you choose, so be sure to check out our helpful guide when it comes to choosing yours.

03. Check the branding elements

Make sure that your website incorporates all of your branding elements. One of the two main places to pay attention to are the headers, where you’ll want to incorporate your business logo and your social media accounts. While you’re on your own when it comes to making social media accounts for your business, we can easily help you create your own stunning business logo.

The second place to pay special attention to is the footer, a customary place to incorporate your business details: phone, address, or even a contact form. You can make your footer as simple or as elaborate as you like, just make sure it has the essential information your site visitors may need (navigation, additional information, and contact details).

04. Change your favicon

A favicon is a small icon that appears on a tab in your browser. Think of the colorful “G” when you’re browsing Google. You can easily upload your own favicon so your logo will appear in the browser tab when visitors open your site. This small element may seem well, small, but adding it in only enhances your brand identity.

05. Link your social media accounts

You want to connect with customers in as many ways as you possibly can, so add your social media accounts to your site so they can follow you and stay up-to-date with all your news, updates or launches.

06. Update your copyright date

Don’t get stuck in the past. Nothing looks more unprofessional than an expired date so make sure the copyright date at the bottom of your website is correct.

 

CONTENT

07. Proofread all your text

Spend that extra time and double, no, triple check your content. Start by proofreading all of your text that you’ve added to your website. If you had the time to write it, you have the time to edit it so make sure you don’t miss this step. Be sure to cover all informational text as well as content from your blog, your page names, etc. This is possibly one of the most simple and basic first steps to ensuring your website is launch-ready.

The proofreading should also focus on the quality of the English (or the language of your site), as customers won’t identify a business as professional if they spot typos in your text. Two things to do here: use apps like Grammarly to help you spot the errors, and always ask a friend/colleague to read over your text. Also, make sure that the generic content, such as lorem ipsum, has been removed and replaced by personalized text.

08. Test out forms

Whether it’s a contact form, subscriber form, or a custom form you’ve embedded on your website, you’ll certainly want to make sure that it’s working properly. Test each form you’ve added to your website so you know that they are all working as they should. It would be a great shame if you were not able to reply to customers because you forgot to add your email to your contact form. Don’t forget your auto-responses. Some forms allow you to write a custom “thank you” note. Take advantage of that and personalize a special note to your interested visitors.

09. Carefully place CTAs

One of the most important elements on your website is how you tell your visitors to perform a desired action. Whether it’s a big “CLICK HERE” button or a more subtle option, you want to make sure your CTAs are appropriately placed throughout your website.

Your CTAs should be attention grabbing, but your visitors don’t want to feel like they’re being yelled at while on your website. An appropriately placed CTA begs to be clicked, it doesn’t force you to click it. Scan your pages with fresh eyes and see if any are too “loud” or need to be moved around a bit.

10. Optimize your photos

When it comes to photos, size is everything. Ensure your pics are the appropriate file type as this will affect the size and quality. Since Wix supports several formats, you shouldn’t run into any issues. If you’re uploading a large photo, only to have it display very small on your website, that’s a waste of storage for you and loading time for your visitors. When you can, resize your photos to the resolution they will display at.

Looking to showcase a gallery of your stunning photos? The Wix Pro Gallery is at your service. With several layouts to choose from and customization options to make it look just right, your photos will gain the exposure they deserve.

Wix Pro Gallery Albums

11. Make use of videos

Videos of any kind are sure to grab your audience’s attention, so make sure they’re in order. If you’re embedding videos from YouTube or Vimeo onto your website, be sure to check the original source link to see that it’s still an active video. Want to make sure your videos are looking their best on your website at all times? Use Wix Video to showcase them all, you can even sync your own YouTube channel.

 

USER EXPERIENCE

12. Lay out your layout

You’ve more than likely spent quite a bit of time getting to know how to navigate your website, so you may not be the best judge on whether it’s easy to navigate or not. This is a good time to get friends and others you know to check out your website and give you some feedback. Write down any and all notes they have to offer and see if you notice a pattern. This will give you a chance to make adjustments and avoid potential navigational pitfalls.

13. Link your logo to your homepage

Website browsers have come to expect that if they click your logo it will direct them back to your homepage. It’s kind of a web convention. This is a good practice and something you should implement. Why? Because following this standard reduces confusion as your visitors navigate through your site.

 

SEO

14. Check your links

When someone clicks a link on your website and it takes them somewhere they didn’t intend to be taken, you can pretty much expect total abandonment from your site. How about you save them some trouble by checking the links you’ve placed on your website to make sure they lead to the intended site? This goes for all links on your pages, menu, blogs, and even your anchors.

15. Do your keyword research

If you’ve already proofread the text on your website, it’s time to do it again in search of SEO keywords. If you’re unable to pick out a few while doing this, you may need to rewrite or add some content so that these keywords can be properly placed. Like all things in life, find the balance between careful placement and keyword-stuffing. Finish off your text edits by making sure your headings are in the correct format according to how Google scans content. This means, you should structure your content in a way that creates hierarchy. For more on this imperative step you can read this helpful guide to heading tags.

16. Add alt text to your photos

With the your text out of the way, it’s time to look to your photos. Adding alt text to your photos

is helpful for SEO, so add short, descriptive keywords to each of them. Does the term “alt text” sound completely foreign and complicated to you? Not to worry, we have a great blog all about SEO friendly alt text for your images.

17. Choose your domain name

Your website will be fully indexed on search engines using the free Wix URL you’re given, but if the website is for your business, it’s advisable to have your own personalized domain name. Choosing your domain name should be fairly simple for you, as it will most likely be your business name. For a deeper look into choosing the best domain name for your site check out this helpful article.

18. Checkoff page SEO settings

If you thought that’s all of SEO, think again. Another important element not to be overlooked is your SEO page settings. This allows you to define the description and title of your pages on search engines. These settings are applicable to every page on your website (remember when I said it takes time), so make sure this is filled out for every single one of your stunning pages.

If you’re a Wix user then you’ve just hit the jackpot! Thanks to the fantastic and intuitive Wix SEO Wiz you can answer a couple of questions and be granted with your very own SEO plan and checklist based on your site.

 

MOBILE

19. Optimize for mobile

With more and more people accessing websites from mobile devices, it would be wise to optimize your site for mobile viewers. The biggest focus for your mobile-friendly site is readability and ease of use. The Wix Mobile Editor allows you to rearrange the look of your page so that it is streamlined for mobile viewing. If you needed any more reasons – unlike the past, where only desktop versions of websites were indexed, now Google can index mobile sites too.

Launching your website checklist - optimize for mobile

20. Include a quick action bar

We all know that browsing a site on a mobile device is an entirely different experience than using a desktop. In order to adjust to the small screen please your users with a quick action bar to ease the navigation process.

Ready to check “launch website” off your list? Create your stunning website today!

By Blake Stimac
Community & Social Media Manager, Wix About The Wix Blog

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