BenRogers - website launch checklist
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Website launch checklist
make a copy to edit and own
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ItemResponsible partyStatusDue byItem description
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301 redirectsSEO
In progress
8/14/2017Sometimes content is repurposed or gets moved to fit the new navigation structure of a site. If you have an existing site and you are changing the URL structure with your new site, you’ll want to make sure you’ve mapped the old URLs to the new ones.
5
3rd party tool integrationDevelopment
Not started
8/15/2017
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404 pagesDesign
Not started
8/16/2017When a 404 (“page not found”) error occurs, make sure you have a custom page to help your visitor find something else of use, even if it wasn’t what they were looking for. Do you have an HTML sitemap there? Does the 404 page include a site search?
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Accessibility – HTMLDevelopment
Not started
8/17/2017Is every page accessible at least via a single plain HTML link (no JavaScript or Flash link)?
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Alt TextSEO
Not started
8/18/2017Do all of the images on the page include alt text? (At least one of them should target the keyword)
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Analytics – eventsStrategy
Not started
8/19/2017Website event tracking
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Analytics – filteringStrategy
Not started
8/20/2017Relevant IP addresses have been excluded from analytics tracking.
11
Analytics – setupStrategy
Not started
8/21/2017Setup
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Analytics code snippetDevelopment
Not started
8/22/2017
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Backup systemDevelopment
Not started
8/23/2017Have you thought about what happens if the server goes down? Make sure the backup system is configured properly, and the recovery process has been tested so you know it works.
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Browser testingQA
Not started
8/24/2017
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CapitalizationSEO
Not started
8/25/2017Does the page render with capitalization in URLs? (It should redirect to all lowercase)
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CloakingDevelopment
Not started
8/26/2017Is the page cloaking? (It shouldn't be.)
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Code errorsDevelopment
Not started
8/27/2017Are scripts free from errors? Is the website free from server side errors?
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CompatibilityDevelopment
Not started
8/28/2017Multi-browser rendering is the bane of the Internet, but as website creators, we have to live with it. Check to make sure the pages render well in common browsers. Browser share is a moving target so to help prioritize efforts, here’s a site that continually examines it.
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Compliance – validationDevelopment
Not started
8/29/2017W3C-valid code is the one thing you can do prior to launch to have some confidence around a search engine spider being able to crawl your site. It’s pretty simple to know if a page is valid. You just paste the URL in question here, and you’ll get a report almost instantly.
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Configure search consoleSEO
Not started
8/30/2017
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Contact informationStrategy
Not started
8/31/2017Did you include a "Contact us" page with real address, phone number (toll free for businesses) and contact form or email available, basically a clear and easy to use feedback/contact mechanism?
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ContentSEO
Not started
9/1/2017Does the page contain unique and indexable contenttargeting the applicable page?
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Customer data storageDevelopment
Not started
9/2/2017Is customer data stored online? If so, is this database appropriately safeguarded against external access?
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External linksQA
Not started
9/3/2017Do all external links work and perform as expected (open link in a new browser tab, etc.)
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FaviconsDesign
Not started
9/4/2017Favicons are those little iconic images that show up in the address bar and tabs of your browser. How does it help? It’s a small branding opportunity that lends credibility to your site. It’s nice to have one when you launch.
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FontsDesign
Not started
9/5/2017Sometimes font codes get dropped into a page inadvertently and make a letter or a word look funny. Check to see that the formatting is consistent, and look for odd blips in the copy.
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FormsQA
Not started
9/6/2017Does the completed form get sent to the right people or person?
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H1SEO
Not started
9/7/2017Is the keyword included in the H1?
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Image optimizationDesign
Not started
9/8/2017Are all of the images in the optimal file format and web optimized? (Files should be as small as possible) Do links without editorial value include nofollow? (They should)
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ImagesDesign
Not started
9/9/2017Make sure all display text renders on the image when you hover over it (the alt attribute). Make sure the images display correctly. Are they larger than 120 kilobytes? If so, find out of there is a good reason for that. You really only need 72 dots per inch (dpi) for web images in terms of quality.
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Internal linksQA
Not started
9/10/2017Do Internal links work and point at the page with the targeted phrase or keyword
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Live URLsQA
Not started
9/11/2017Often, sites are built at a URL (uniform resource locator) that isn't the website’s final destination. When a site goes live, the URLs are transferred from a staging area to production. All the URLs change at this time, and they need to be tested.
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Meta descriptionSEO
Not started
9/12/2017Does the page include an unique meta description that is less than 155 characters?
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Meta keywordsSEO
Not started
9/13/2017Does the page contain meta keywords? (It shouldn't.)
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Meta robotsSEO
Not started
9/14/2017Does the page include or need meta robots?
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MonitoringDevelopment
Not started
9/15/2017A site monitor checks pages regularly to make sure it is available for visitors. Basic monitors check if the page is working.
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Page:URL, 1:1SEO
Not started
9/16/2017Is every individual page only accessible via a single URL or are several URLs available (and worse, used) to access the same page? Duplicate content issue, canonical URLs.
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PPC setupDevelopment
Not started
9/17/2017Make sure if you are running any PPC campaigns that they're set up and ready to go with the site launch. To avoid a lapse in service, if you have a Google PPC rep, you can set and pause all your campaigns to the new URLs prior to launch, and instead of the ads getting disapproved, your rep can approve them manually.
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Privacy policyDevelopment
Not started
9/18/2017Privacy policy up (especially if you collect data, email, names, and web analytics tracking cookies)?
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Protected pagesDevelopment
Not started
9/19/2017Does your site have pages that require user credentials to view? If so, do the credentials work? From the opposite angle, also check to see that the pages can’t be viewed without proper credentials. Make several attempts to get to those URLs without proper credentials to make sure the security is working as expected.
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Rel canonicalDevelopment
Not started
9/20/2017Does the page utilize rel canonical? (It should be there and it should only point to one canonical version.)
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Robots.txtDevelopment
Not started
9/21/2017Is the page blocked by robots.txt?
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Search engine submissionDevelopment
Not started
9/22/2017It used to be that all new sites needed to submit to be crawled and indexed. Today, the search engines are more sophisticated and will likely find and crawl the new site anyway, but it is helpful to include this in your launch checklist.
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Secure certificateDevelopment
Not started
9/23/2017If your site is ecommerce, or you’re using encrypted pages to protect visitor privacy on a form or elsewhere, you’ll want to check your certificate on launch day.
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SERP displaySEO
Not started
9/24/2017Are the search engines displaying your pages correctly in the search engine results pages? Did you write proper meta descriptions, but they aren’t being used? Are the images you placed on your places page being displayed in the SERP?
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Site speedSEO
Not started
9/25/2017Check the size of your page sizes and their load time.
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Site speed – MinifyDevelopment
Not started
9/26/2017This is a technique that combines and compresses website code into smaller chunks to speed up your site. You can read more about it at Google. Then, look at the website pre-launch to see if the site is using minify where it can.
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Social media integrationDevelopment
Not started
9/27/2017Do the social media icons on the site go to the correct pages? Do you have the right buttons and social plugins installed for what you are trying to accomplish and what you want the user to be able to do? (For example, share a page versus “Like” you on Facebook.)
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Spelling, grammar, punctuationSEO
Not started
9/28/2017Check for proper spelling, typos, and grammar site-wide.
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TargetingSEO
Not started
9/29/2017Is the page targeting a specific keyword phrase?
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Terms of useAccount
Not started
9/30/2017DMCA notice up? Terms of use page available, where you specify what you do and why and what visitors have to agree on if they want to use your site? This is to protect yourself from complains or worse regarding things that you cannot control properly, such as links to third party websites or ads from automated systems such as Google AdSense, etc.
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Title tagSEO
Not started
10/1/2017Does the page contain an unique title tag that is fewer than 70 characters long and includes the targeted phrase at the beginning?
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Traffic loadsDevelopment
Not started
10/2/2017Think about what might happen to your site if it gets an influx of heavy traffic. There are load test software tools that allow you to simulate heavy loads. If you are expecting big crowds, this is a must.
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Trailing slash (URL)SEO
Not started
10/3/2017Does the page render with a backslash and without a trailing slash in the URL? (It should redirect to the non-backslash version.)
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URLSEO
Not started
10/4/2017Is the URL structure semantically clear, short and targeting the appropriate phrase?
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XML sitemaps/HTML sitemapSEO
Not started
10/5/2017Make sure your new website has an accurate site map in both XML and HTML format. Both users and search engines care about this important element as it helps them find the pages they are looking for when other methods fail.
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