10 essentials checks to carry out before making a site live!

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We are always eager to make a website live and see the end result of all the hours of designing and coding ! However a few small things can get overlooked, so its important to have a checklist on the final touches.

Our 10 essential checklist will make sure your site is really ready to go live, avoiding time and money after the deadline of a project!

1. Favicon

Favicon is the little icon that appears on a browser tab or window and easily identifies the site.

It can be created easily on http://www.favicon.co.uk/. Browsers will pick it up if the favicon.ico is saved in the root directory, but to make sure they always do add the following lines of code in the header section:

<link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico" />

2. Titles and meta data

Title is very important for SEO, make sure it is correct.

<title>Digital Broadcasters | Web Design London</title>

Meta data is displayed on search results.

<meta name="description" content="Design and build your website with us" />

3. Cross browser checks

The most popular browsers to check are Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9  and 10, Firefox , Safari , Chrome, Opera and the iPhone. Most old browsers are not in use much but you will be surprised how many businesses still use them! They don’t have to be pixel perfect but the user should be able to use it.

4. Proof Read

Read everything. Even if you’ve already read it, read it again. Get someone else to read it. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be embarrassing!

5. Links

Check all links by clicking on them to make sure they are working and point to the correct destination.

6. Functionality checks

Make sure all forms and other functionalities are working properly. Get it tested by a few people and see if they can use it.

7. Analytics

Installing analytics such as free Google analytics is important to measure the performance of the site.  It will provide details of daily unique hits, monthly page views and browser statistics, all useful data to start tracking from day 1!

www.google.co.uk/analytic

8. Sitemap

Adding a sitemap.xml file to the root directory allows the major search engines to easily index a website.

You can create the sitemap.xml file on http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and then upload this to the root directory of the site.

If it’s a wordpress site make sure the Google XML sitemap plugin is installed.

9. Custom error page

If a user lands a page that doesn’t exist, either by misspelling or from an old link, they will be shown a generic 404 error page. This should be edited to direct the user to the homepage or some other part of the website which exists!

10. Back up

It’s important to keep a regular backup of a site if it contains a database.  Make sure all content and images are backed up and available if some error occurs on hosting.

For wordpress sites – install wordpress database backup plugin, which can be set up to automatically email you with update.

For a more extensive checklist to cover everything , from checks related to content and style, standards and validation, search engine visibility, functional testing, security/risk, performance and marketing.

Visit http://www.boxuk.com/blog/the-ultimate-website-launch-checklist

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