Brace yourself when launching a new website. Things are going to go awry.
Whether it’s a typo, a broken link, or an alien invasion – website launches almost never go off without a hitch—even after the most thorough QA process.
So make your peace with it, assemble a stellar support team, develop contingency plans, and then follow these guidelines for launching a new website.
Arrange a Soft Launch
Your website’s soft launch (sometimes referred to as a beta launch) allows a select or internal audience to review your site before it reaches the general public. This allows you to make any last minute changes and updates and repair any bugs, if necessary.
Assemble a group with a variety of browser and computer types, and ask them to:
- Check all links to ensure they are operable and lead to the correct destinations.
- Review all content for proper location and appearance (get rid of those Latin placeholders). By now you’ve no doubt proofread all copy 800 times for spelling and grammar. Go ahead and give that one more look. Or two.
- Ensure all photos are compressed properly for the web and that videos are loading and playing correctly.
- Review all functionality, including forms, comments, social sharing, and more.
- Equip Google Analytics to track the whereabouts of all those new visitors.
- Set up site security, including an SSL certificate. Ensuring encryption prevents hackers from accessing your data, reassures visitors to your site, and boosts your website’s SEO.
Rally the Troops
Prepare your team for the launch and encourage them to act as advocates for your brand and its new website.
Sufficiently arm them for an influx of calls, emails, and social media posts that could result once you hit the launch button.
Have your sales and marketing teams at the ready to announce the redesign and all updated functionality. Provide your employees with answers to potential customer questions to ensure consistency.
Make a Splash
There’s just one more thing to do before you send your website redesign out into the world.
Let people know it is coming.
First, determine what the best routes will be to reach your target audience. Then announce your website in a big way. Show prospective users that you have something new and exciting to offer them that will be worth their time and effort.
Get the word out via:
- Social Media
- Press Releases
Buckle Up and Go Live
Once all hands are on deck, and all systems are go, there’s only one thing left to do.
Launching a new website is fun, isn’t it?
Now that your website has been unleashed onto the world, don’t rest on your laurels. Test and build on what you’ve created. Continue to add to and refine your creation, and plan for ongoing content. Time the launch of your website to coincide with your new – or revamped – blog.
Launching a website is a stressful endeavor. But you don’t have to go it alone. IMPACT Marketing & PR is a full-service website design firm. We can handle every step of your site’s rebirth, including design, SEO, and post-launch traffic and lead generation. Let us know how we can help.