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Your new website is finally complete after hours of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, hopefully not!) and you just can’t wait to launch it to the world. Congratulations on hitting this major milestone in your business! But not so fast. If you have a solid launch strategy in place, whether that’s an email or social media blast, you’re going to get a lot of eyes on your new website. Let’s make that first impression as strong as possible. I put together this website launch checklist to help you prepare for a smooth and successful launch. Make sure to bookmark this page so that when the time comes to present your new website to the world, you’ll know exactly what to do!

Website Launch Checklist

1. Test every link

Broken links are a major no-no for both user experience and search engine rankings. When you check your links, you’ll want to look out for two things. One, that the link works. And two, that the link takes you to the right place. To help speed this process along, you can use a handy, free link checker like this one.

2. Proofread your content

Grammar and spelling errors have no place on your website. These errors are easily fixable and can be a major turnoff to your visitors. Ask a teammate, friend or family member to review your content before you hit publish. A fresh pair of eyes is often all it takes to help weed out any mistakes. If English isn’t your native language, consider hiring a proofreader to review your copy.

3. Optimize your images

Large image files will majorly slow down your site. Use a tool like TinyPNG to compress images before uploading them to your site. Additionally, make sure each image contains an “alt” description that accurately describes the context of the image. This is important for accessibility reasons, but it’s also a good way to boost SEO with relevant keywords.

4. Preview the site on mobile

Before you launch your website, you’ll definitely want to double check that your site looks as awesome on your phone as it does on your computer. Mobile web browsing is slowly but surely superseding Desktop browsing. One of the reasons I love working with Divi is that I can easily preview the mobile and tablet versions of each page as I’m working on them. Whatever platform or theme you’re using, you’ll likely need to make some design tweaks to optimize your website for smartphones and tablets.

5. Test your contact form(s)

This one is a biggie. Send a test submission through each contact form to make sure they’re working and relaying the messages to the right place.

6. Add social media links

I don’t need to tell you the importance of having a social media presence for your small business. Make it easy for people to click through to your channels from your website so they can learn more about your brand. At minimum, have social media links in either your footer or header. Also, if you have a blog or other shareable content, don’t forget to add share buttons to your content as well. I like to use the Sassy Social Share plugin for WordPress.

7. Debug your Facebook preview link

What the heck does that mean and why does it matter? If you’ve ever shared a link on Facebook, you’ll know that Facebook pulls up a preview image for the website. This can sometimes look wonky for new sites. To prevent ugly link previews, go to the Facebook Debugger Tool, enter your URL, and hit Debug.

Have more questions about website best practices? Send me a note or sign up for my newsletter to receive regular tips and tricks on branding and web design.

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