November 21, 2014
5 recommended steps to complete before trying to launch your website.
Website Development
Website Design
Thought Leadership

There are a couple of common steps everyone, no matter the project size, should follow before launching their website. Here are our recommended steps to complete before trying to launch your site:


Step #1: Get The Basics Down First

Before you ever think about launching your website, or even beginning the development process, it’s important to have a few basics down. That doesn’t mean that things won’t change over time, but taking care of a few building blocks of any quality website early in the process with save tons of time and many headaches later on. These basics are:

Before you ever think about launching your website, or even beginning the development process, it’s important to have a few basics down

  • DNS – DNS stands for Domain Name System. It’s like the phonebook of the internet. Your DNS settings tell visitors which computer to connect to load your site when they enter your URL. Typically the organization you bought your domain from (GoDaddy, etc.) hosts your DNS settings. Determine who this is, and get the necessary login information so you can update these settings during your website launch.
  • Hosting – Website hosting is the service that allows your website to live on the web. It may feel like all web hosting is created equal, and a user simply needs to pay based on the amount of space needed. However, this is not the case. There are many different ways to host your website, each with its own rules and intricacies. Consult a web developer before deciding which type of hosting is right for your site.
  • CMS – A CMS (Content Management System) is the system that you and your team will use to add and edit content for your website. CMS’s come a variety of forms, with the most popular being WordPress. A quality CMS should be able to handle everything that your website requires, while also being easy to use. See why we recommend WordPress to business customers.

These days website security should be a top priority.

Step #2: Make Sure It’s Secure

These days website security should be a top priority. Even if your site doesn’t host any sensitive information, an outsider having access to the inner workings of your website can be, at best, embarrassing, and, at worst, a total disaster. Before launching your site:

  • Make sure that all of your passwords are secure, contain a variety of characters, and are case sensitive. A service like LastPass can be helpful in keeping many passwords under control.
  • Whatever CMS you’re using, keep it updated and regularly check to make sure any plugins you are using are up to date.

Step #3: Be SEO Ready

When it comes to SEO, finding perfection is near impossible. Constant changes to Google’s algorithm, along with dozens of other factors means that site managers are constantly in an uphill battle to win the SEO game. However, there are a few things that you can do when launching your site to put your site in position for an SEO victory:

  • Title Tags: Make sure that every single page on the site has a Title Tag that is approximately 55 characters in length
  • Meta Descriptions: Every page should also have a meta description (the description of the page shown to searchers in search results) that contains a brief synopsis of the content along with a call to action.
  • Alt Tags: Alt tags are text descriptions for each image on your site. They allow search engines to understand what your images are and index them as if they were any other type of text content.
  • 301 Redirects: If your new website is a replacement for an older one, 301 redirects allow you to redirect old content to its new home on your new website. This is a very important aspect of launching a replacement site as it allows your new site to maintain the SEO “Juice” from your older content.

When it comes to SEO, finding perfection is near impossible.

Step #4: Share It and Make It Sharable

When launching a new website you should share it everywhere that you can, that’s obvious, but you should also make it easy for others to share as well.

Before launching your website set up a few “share” buttons, and test them out to be sure that they work. At the very least these share buttons should be available on your blog posts, but you can also make them available on site pages as well.

Remember, while share buttons are important, in general less is more. There are more social networking and news sites that we can count. Adding share buttons for all of them will only clutter your site and confuse your users. Pick a few (no more than 5) that are relevant for your industry, and leave it at that.

Before launching your website set up a few “share” buttons, and test them

Step #5: Set Up Analytics and Make Adjustments

Before you launch install a tool like Google Analytics (It’s Free!) onto your site to track and monitor the activity of your website’s users. If you’re using WordPress, there are a few plugins that make adding Google Analytics easy.

While you may want to let the site breath for a bit before making any major adjustments, it’s important to have an analytics tool on your site from the very beginning, before launch day.

This will allow for the tool to fully grasp the way that individuals are interacting with the site and all you as the site manager to have the most amount of usable data possible.

In general it pays to have your ducks in a row

In general it pays to have your ducks in a row and follow the above list so you don’t have a dreaded, “I forgot that” moment. There is nothing worse than checking in on how your site is doing only to find out you forgot to add Analytics code or its running super slowly. Follow the list above and you should be good to launch without substantial stumbles. Good luck!

What’s a Rich Text element?

H1 example

H3 example

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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