10 Essential tips for launching a website

A brand new website with latest design, excellent content is ready to launch and your almost ready to take your website live. Before launching your website (physically uploading the website files to the hosting server), you need to check your website thoroughly for these basic mistakes. You waited so long to get the website ready, now why hurry to launch it without double checking it?

Let us have a look at the check list before your take it live.

Webdesign tips

#1 Title and Meta Tags

We often miss to give unique title to each of the web pages, as we concentrate on the website body, media and other visible elements. Title and Meta tags are very much important for the search engine visibility of your website. Each of your web page must be given unique title and meta description so that it can have better chance in search results. When we say unique, the title should be related to the page content and clear to the readers because this is what Google displays in the search results for your website. Your page’s title and meta description is what people see first in the search results and it should impressive enough to make the visitor click on your website for further reading.

#2 Format your content

Make your content attractive with the right usage of header tags, bold, italics etc. Always maximize the use of H1, H2 header tags in your page content. These tags are useful for the readers to understand what the coming paragraph is about. They are also helpful in SEO, search engines include these header tags while ranking the websites.

#3 URL structure

Keep your website’s URL structure as simple as possible which is logical and search engine friendly. The url should be informative and must be descriptive of the page content. I have seen many website designers naming their URLs like ‘default1.html’, ‘default2.html’ etc. Can you understand what this stands for? No one can understand what these pages are about. If your page is about ‘ISO Certification process’, name it as ‘iso-certification.html’. Look at the hyphen used in the example. Hypenated urls are SEO friendly where as underscores “_” in urls are not. Use hyphens “-” between the words while naming the url.

#4 Image/File Paths

We often make this mistake of not checking the image and file paths. Your website may be working fine in your local system, but when uploaded to hosting server, some images or files may not display. This is because you used physical path or absolute path while developing it, and the image refers to a physical location in your computer. Always use relative path for all files. If your images folder is inside your main folder, use “images/filename.jpg” . If it is outside of your main folder, use “../images/filename.jpg”.

#5 Optimize images

Images of bigger bytes will load faster in your system, but don’t expect the same with hosted server. Use images of smaller sizes so that it take less time to display in your web page. When I say smaller size, I mean reducing the size of the image without reducing its dimensions (width and height).

#6 Broken Links

Check your entire website for broken links. Broken links can cause negative effect in your seo rankings and annoy the visitors. If there are links with no pages, please remove them immediately. There are free tools available to check the broken links. These tools will be helpful to check broken links for bigger websites. Try Brokenlinkcheck and Deadlinkchecker

#7 W3C Validation

Before launcing the website, validate your website html, css and javascript using the online free validation service w3 validator. Validating your webpages is an important step to ensure the quality of your website. Before checking this tool, don’t forget the set your website’s DOCTYPE and language.

#8 Browser compatability check

Check your website is different browsers. Websites may not look the same way in all browsers. You need some tweaking to make your website look the same in all browsers. You should check the compatability of your website in these popular browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

#9 Sitemap

Add a sitemap to your website without fail. An XML sitemap with all your website urls will be helpful for search engines to crawl all your web pages.

#10 Database Connections

This is very important step if your website is completely a database driven website. While developing the website you must have used a database name, username of your choice, but when you upload to server, especially to a shared hosting server, your code no longer works, if the database name created in server is different. In the shared environment, most of the time the database name must be prefixed with either server name or your hosting account username. Verify the code before your upload.