Launching a new website is no small feat. It requires a combination of strategy, creativity, design, and web development skills to execute the hundreds of details required for planning and building it. After hours of preparation and collaboration, the last thing you want is to launch your website without making sure it’s ready for an audience. Testing your new website before it goes live is absolutely essential for a smooth website launch.
As a full-service marketing agency, we’ve had the opportunity to help launch dozens of websites over the years. Along the way, we’ve learned certain best practices when it comes to completing the final details and testing a website before it launches.
10 Details to Look for When Testing Your New Website
Here are 10 areas of your new website to test and review prior to going live. Within each of these categories, there might be dozens of specific details (e.g. – forms on multiple pages), so it’s important to create a comprehensive checklist that includes all the pages on your new site:
1. Website Functionality
Making sure your website integrates with your existing systems and third-party websites or plugins is the first priority during a website review. This includes testing all outbound links, internal links, and forms on your website. Making sure your website is fully functional also means checking for HTML and CSS validation to ensure your website is accessible to search engines.
2. Site Navigation and Content
In addition to checking the back-end functionality of your website, you also want to make sure it’s usable for your audience. This includes testing and verifying navigation features that make your pages easy to use and understand. This is also a time to review your content for any final editing or proofing that might be needed.
3. User Experience
Creating a compelling user experience is key to attracting potential clients to your website. Before you launch, you want to make sure there aren’t any issues that might impact the experience people have on your site. When checking user experience, seek feedback from several individuals who haven’t worked on the website project. They’ll be able to see the site with new eyes and identify any issues that might arise when a new visitor first encounters the site.
4. Mobile Responsiveness
Making sure your website is optimized for mobile is essential. Responsive web design is a design that fully meets the needs of users and is displayed without any problems on any type of device or browser. The layout should automatically adapt to different sizes and capabilities of various devices. It should also take into account the way people explore websites on their phone through scrolling, touching, and zooming.
5. Page Loading Speed
Your website must have a fast page load speed if you want to be optimized for search engines. If the site is slow, it won’t get displayed among the top results. The ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds. 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
6. Your CTA Buttons
Your calls-to-action are one of the most important aspects of your website. They help visitors take the next step and inform you that people are interested in your products or services.
It’s important to make sure the CTA buttons on your website integrate with your marketing and sales management systems. In addition, it’s helpful to make sure your CTA buttons are large enough to see, appropriately titled, and optimized to motivate people to take action.
Making sure your website is secure from potential hackers is critical, especially if you have a customer portal that stores any confidential information. Running penetration and vulnerability tests on your website can help you verify that the information system you’ve chosen protects data and maintains functionality as intended.
8. Your Website Backup Strategy
In today’s digital age, you want to have a plan in case your website crashes. Make a concrete plan addressing where you will back up your site, how often you will conduct a backup, and what your implementation plan will look like after launch.
9. Your Website Metadata
Analyzing your metadata before launch is another way to ensure your website is optimized for search. You want to make sure each page has unique meta descriptions and that your metadata is properly in place for any social media sharing content. All spelling and grammar should also be correct in your metadata to make it properly searchable and indexable.
10. Your Website is Linked to Google Analytics
Google Analytics 4 is one of the most helpful tools we have when it comes to managing your website. Before you launch, it’s important to make sure your website analytics codes have been added, funnels and goals have been added, and all your accounts are synced. If you run any digital advertising campaigns, you’ll want to make sure those accounts are synced as well.
Let Our Team Handle the Details
Failing to conduct a final test is one of the most common mistakes businesses make when launching a new website. At Green Apple, we do everything we can to help our clients avoid these pitfalls. If you’re looking for advice or support for designing a new website, our team can help. We’ll work to make sure your website fits within your overall marketing strategy and is built with longevity in mind. Connect with our team today to learn more about our process and share a bit more about what you’re looking for.