5 Questions You Need Answered Before Launching a New Website
The launch of a new website is always filled with excitement. The hours you spent toiling over content, design, the infrastructure, and all the important choices and decisions you had to make are finally going to pay off. Of course, you know that the launch is just the beginning of a much longer process of growing the website. But it’s a milestone, still, and a big one at that.
The only problem is that, at any given time, plenty of people are nearing that milestone as well. Some of them are building the website for the same reasons as you. There are also plenty of people who have already done it —the internet is full of websites. If you want to ensure yours is not one of those that exist without anyone noticing them, you need to know the website is ready to go live. These five questions will help you do that.
Are the Platform and the Hosting Right?
Migrating your website days before the launch is not ideal. Still, it’s better to postpone the launch a couple of days than to suffer the consequences of using a bad host or an inappropriate platform. You’ll probably experience more problems with the hosting than the platform, however. If you’re choosing to go with WordPress, for example, you can easily repurpose any website without having to switch platforms.
It’s a different story with the hosting provider, however. If your provider is not able to follow the growth of your website, you’ll find yourself in trouble sooner or later. Plan ahead and make the switch before it becomes obvious that your original choice of hosts was wrong.
Is It Fast Enough?
When people come to your website, they will expect to access its full version in a reasonable amount of time. Actually, they’ll want it to load within seconds. The longer it takes your website to load, the less likely your visitors will stick around.
Speed is a very important factor for the success of your website. It’s also influenced by a whole lot of things, including the hosting, the content, the plugins you use, and the code. Luckily enough, you have ways to remove a lot of the things that will slow down your website. Choose a good host. Use a content delivery network. Take it easy with the plugins. Minify the codes.
Is It Completed?
People will sometimes launch websites before they are completed. Usually, it’s because someone missed a deadline and the website is missing some non-vital parts. In that case, it might make sense to launch as planned and add the missing piece later.
The one thing you have to do if launching a website without an “about us” section, for example, is to make sure that the customers don’t notice it’s missing. If an “under construction” page comes up while they are browsing your website, they won’t be happy about it and they might leave. It’s best, in that case, to avoid any links that might lead to the missing pages or pages with missing elements.
Will Google Like It?
You cannot skip Google when building a website. The world’s most used search engine wants your website to be a certain way if you want it to rank well in the results. Luckily, Google gives plenty of advice and even some free tools that will help you optimize the website.
Low-quality content, bad anchor texts, overuse of linking are only some of the things that will cause your website to underperform, or even get penalized. So, if you want your website to actually appear on people’s screens, make sure that you’ve implemented the best practices from Google before launch.
Is There a Plan to Spread the Word About It?
Ensuring your website plays in accordance with Google’s rules is one thing. Making sure it catches a lot of eyeballs right from the start is another. You wouldn’t build a website without a goal, and you cannot achieve that goal if people don’t hear about your website.
You don’t have to roll out an overly complicated hype campaign months before the launch. It’s certainly too late to start one a couple ofdays before your website goes live. But you will, at least, need to know how you’ll attract people to come to your website after the launch. Will you use social media? Will you create great content you’ll host on the website? Do you plan to use email marketing? You should have a decent marketing plan ready if you want your website to be successful.
It’s very easy to create a website these days, and many people do it because websites are a great tool. Your website will experience some snafus at the beginning, and that’s perfectly normal. You’ll probably have to make some adjustments and repairs in the weeks following the launch. But the more you do before the launch, the easier it will be to get up to full speed quickly.