Website Launch Checklist: The Step by Step Process
Launching a new website can be a daunting task. And yet, it’s the first step for any online business owner. Here’s a website launch checklist to help you get your site up and running.
So you want to build a website. It’s a critical step for any online shop and it has to be gotten right, but making a site can be a complicated process. It involves lots of steps and details. Choosing a CMS, performance optimization, navigation details, each element is critical for making your online store successful. Here are some tips to show you how to start a website and make it work.
What Do You Need to Make a Website?
A key element in exploring how to launch a website is to think about your goals. Do you want to start a business from the beginning? Maybe you want to expand your current business or to make a brand new site for it? Not only your basement, but it is also important to consider all the steps of making your site alive. You’ve come to the decision, but what’s the next? Look at the key points to consider to build a great site with the example of 3 CMS: Magento, Drupal, and WordPress.
Choose the Right CMS for your site
Magento 2, WordPress, and Drupal are among the best CMS options. Magento 2 offers advanced product browsing and is both cross-browser and mobile compatible. It uses an intuitive interface and has excellent SEO and catalog management features. Drupal is module-based and easy to install, allowing unlimited customization. It is an excellent platform for organizing and categorizing products. WordPress is another common platform and it excels for simple sites. It offers a wide range of features and themes, extensive tutorials, and a dedicated support staff. Why do we consider them? Each solution fit certain business size and type of industry. So, it’s up to you what to choose. Below we will explain what features and benefits are included in each solution.
Make Sure It’s Secure
Site security is a key feature to consider. This protects customers and your site, and it makes the consumer feel safe entering their data for payment. So, use 24/7 monitoring scripts. Also, store all sensitive data, like website credentials, passwords, and customer information, in a secure database. Finally, it’s best to make copies of your site so that it can be recovered if any problems arise. A final copy should be made when the site is launched, and regular copies should be made with each further update.
While security is important regardless of the CMS, know that WordPress sites will require an extra measure of vigilance. Regarding Magento, it is highly secure and you can add more or fewer security features. Drupal also has basic security and advanced security that can be implemented with additional modules.
As customers navigate the site, they will first notice site performance. Once a site is optimized for performance, the web pages will load quickly and information will be cached to make the experience faster for repeat visitors. Decreasing lag time keeps customers engaged and increases conversions. You can test website performance with free online services like GT Metrix. There are also a number of plugins available to optimize web performance. Some popular choices are Autoptimize, WP Rocket, and Swift Performance. WordPress, Drupal, and Magento can be optimized with tools and right build website. However, Magento is the most robust solution, so it needs a bit more optimization work.
SEO Site Optimization
For an online store to be successful, it has to come up in a search. So, it needs SEO. Some tips: use unique page titles and meta descriptions. Keywords are important as well. Include no more than ten keywords in the copy for each page. Set up metadata for social media sharing content and RSS. Your website also needs an XML sitemap listed with search engines. Finally, URLs should be kept current and reflect page information. Online services like Woorank and Google Analytics will help you assess your SEO ranking. Several plugins for SEO are also available to up your site ranking. All of the platforms have basic SEO features to use for website’s visibility.
Ease of use means customers will take more time on the site. It is easier to buy and conversion rates are higher. For the best usability, make the site easy to navigate and use an intuitive interface. Make sure the call-to-action buttons are simple to understand and marked clearly.
An intuitive interface does what your customers expect. It makes sense, so users can go directly where they want on the site without having to spend time figuring out the navigation. To create an intuitive interface, put yourself in the client’s place. If this was your first visit, would it be easy to find and buy the product you’re looking for? Also, it is important to have simple navigation to each category and product, so your customers will find exactly what they want.
It is tempting to get fancy when creating the site. This is good for some things. Themes, embedded videos, a font that reflects your product. Other things, like cart and account icons, should be made how users have come to expect them. Use familiar buttons and icons. This makes it not confusing and time-saving for customers to take actions on your store.
Clear, simple navigation helps out in a couple of ways. First, it helps customers find products and information. Second, it improves the SEO ranking. Strong site navigation means that data can be effectively indexed by search engines. Here are some tips for easy navigation:
- Include a search feature
- Include ALT text with clickable images
- Use accurate navigation titles
- Incorporate clickable links in all navigation elements
- Divide site categories clearly
- Keep navigation consistent throughout the site
Functionality is the key to customer engagement. It’s the interactive aspect of the site. Site functionality of your site depends on your product and desired customers. Keep in mind the purpose of the site, and build the functionality to make that purpose happen. Try to let your customers reach the point of sale with a few clicks as possible. Keep it simple and direct, and treat customers as if they are valued guests. If we will compare Magento, Drupal and WordPress – each of them has different modules and extensions to add all necessary features to the store.
To make your eCommerce site user-friendly, you’ll want to let customers search by price and type of product. Product filtering is a faceted search that lets customers find products with the qualities they want. It incorporates details like size, color, price, and reviews. Keep in mind that your site is performing a service. Design each feature to inform the customers and help them find what they want with a minimum of steps.
It’s a lot easier to develop a relationship with existing clients than to constantly seek out new ones. So, the reorder feature is essential. It helps previous customers place new orders without going through the hassle of entering payment information all over again. Remember, the fewer steps mean more conversions.
Availability and Out-of-Stock Features
This comes back to the choice of CMS. Each includes with different stock features and plugins. Consider the functionality and qualities your site needs. Then, check into the CMS to find out if they come standard with it. Remember that there is a difference between and feature bloat. It isn’t necessary to get every feature on the planet. Look for the ones that improve the customer’s experience.
Analytics is a measurement of how customers work with the website. In-demand keywords, click-through rates, bounce rates, and conversions. Watching the analytics lets you refine your website based on what your customers want. Google offers free online services like Analytics, AdWords, and Webmaster to monitor site activity. Make sure to set up and sync them. Arrange funnels and goals in the analytic software, and make sure the website includes analytics codes.
It is essential to protect clients’ information. GDPR establishes guidelines and laws to give people more control over personal information. Remember PCI compliance if your site processes credit cards. Make service terms, privacy policies, and cookie usage visible and clear. Consider clients with disabilities and make the site accessible for them. Several GDPR plugins and extensions are available to get your site GDPR compliant.
The success of an online shop is all about building relationships with clients. In providing them a chance to give feedback, you give them a voice. This lets your clients know you value them. Plus, the reviews, testimonials, and other information your clients provide give you valuable tips to refine your site.
In the end, we want to provide you the overall table of comparison of all the main characteristics to consider before the website launch. As it was mentioned earlier, we choose 3 well-known CMS: Magento, Drupal and WordPress and you can see their benefits by key parameters.
|Usability||Average. You need a developer to set up all the features and customizations. However, the basic admin settings and admin panel usage are quite intuitive.||Average. It requires a developer help.||Simple. You will find everything on the admin panel.|
|Security||High-level of security, including reCaptcha, Signifyd fraud protection tool and password management.||High. Frequently update of modules and patches.||Basic. You can use password management to protect your login.|
|Website Performance||Average. However, you can optimize it with Varnish page caching and admin rendering and other optimization techniques.||Hight. Drupal is less resource intensive and it’s easy to support thousands of pages.||Average. If you optimize your store promptly, you will have high-speed loading pages.|
|SEO||High. You can add all the necessary information, Alt-text, meta tags, descriptions and use the full power of keywords and other SEO tools.||High. There are all of the SEO features available with the additional modules and plenty of responsive themes for the sites.||Basic. It offers several SEO tools to implement them for the store.|
|Analytics||High. Magento has advanced reporting and also daily reports on a dashboard.||Average. You can install Google Analytics for your site.||Average. You can choose among various analytics tools on the plugins market.|
|GDPR Compliance||High, i.e., there are lots of GDPR extensions and also it is easy to make all the pop-ups and website sections to make your store compliant.||Average. Drupal offers software tools for the GDPR regulation to implement them for the site. However, the most important documentation part is the responsibility of the store owner.||High. Self-hosted WordPress.org sites have a built-in policy generator. Also, you can use various plugins to add some information if needed.|
|Customization||High-level of scalability gives an ability to extend and add any different useful features for the store.||High. It has a lot of extensive features and customizations.||High. There are many templates and plugins available for free. That is why customization is easy.|