Web Development

20 Things to Do Before Hitting the Publish Button on Your Site

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20 Things to Do Before Hitting the Publish Button on Your Site
  • Cross Your T’s & Dot Your I’s: While this may sound basic, it is incredibly important to proofread and spell check your content. Finding unflattering typos can repel people from your brand and its messaging. If you’re a small business that cannot afford to hire a content manager for your site, you’ll probably have to deal with the leg work. But thank god for Grammarly. If you need well-crafted content, you may seek out a freelance writer on one of the several writers for hire boards all over the internet.
  • Check On Your Favicons - At the top of your search bar, by each tab, you’ll notice the tiny icons that are usually logos or images about that website. They’re quite essential but they’re also one of the finer details that most people can sometimes overlook. Having fun seasonal, on-brand favicons is a great little detail to make your website stand out.
  • Design A Custom 404 Page - A 404 error page shouldn’t be an inconvenience when it’s got the potential to be an awesome navigation tool. Encourage your viewers to stick around by having useful navigation buttons. It can make or break user experience so stop what you’re doing and get that done pronto if you haven’t!
  • Design A Custom Mobile Menu - Mobile design is a BIG deal. Read our article about responsive design and nose dive into the wonderful world of breakpoints. Long story short, a great menu can be a massive asset. If your viewer can’t navigate between.
  • Custom Social Media Previews - Your website is an essential part of your company’s digital trail and if a viewer wants to share your work, make that possible by all means. Ensure you create custom Facebook and Twitter previews as well. Oh, and don’t forget social images that are inviting and appealing.
  • Create a Good Privacy Policy - If you’re offering newsletters or asking people for data to sign up for services, it is advised to have a well-rounded policy. While most people don’t read through T&C’s, people who know anything about GDPR will know that your site is just a gutsy DIY. While there’s nothing wrong with that either, it’s best to cover your bases and avoid setbacks.
  • Ensure Your Footer Has A Copyright Declaration: While rules vary around the world, generally in Canada, the work you’ve created is automatically protected by copyright. But you can also register your work at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office where you will receive a certificate proving your intellectual property ownership. The copyright declaration usually consists of three parts: The symbol ©, or the word "Copyright" or "Copr."; The year of first publication of the website; and the name of the owner of the copyright.
  • Don’t Forget Contact Info: While most websites have a contact us tab, its best to have a quick mention at the footer of your website. Don’t make contacting you a chore.
  • Set Up Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a great free resource that can give you valuable insights on your website’s performance. You’ll be able to track the growth of your website and its online traction. While WordPress has a handy plug-in that sets up analytics, Squarespace has integrated analytics tools that can come in very handy.
  • Check your links and CTA’s: Leave no stone unturned and leave no links broken. Ironing out your website before it goes live is crucial as it greatly affects user experience and search engines are quick to notice when users have a hard time on a certain website.
  • Double-check your images: Test out webpages and see to it that your images translate well on all the platforms you’ve designed for. Optimize images on your website by avoiding BMP or TIFF images and stick to JPEGs. Make sure your images aren’t too bulky since that also affects load time. And we all know what happens when a page takes too long to load, you leave it to watch videos of cats on Instagram.
  • Ensure You Have Alt-Texts In Place: Alt text lets a search engine know what your images are all about. This helps your site’s SEO massively. So gather your images and have it ready to go with alt texts that include relevant keywords. PS. You don’t have to write alt text for images that serve a design’s purpose. Pictures of your products or blog post images can benefit from alt text.
  • Review Your Widgets: With all the crazy widgets you can add to your website on WordPress, Squarespace, etc, it's easy to get carried away. Remember that they take up a fair amount of real estate on your website. So you might want to reconsider having your twitter feed on your website when you only really tweet once a month. Get rid of random widgets and always make sure the ones you stick with serve a purpose.
  • Leave Out The Fluff: People want clear, honest messaging. Nobody has the time for meandering content that serves no purpose. Place all your cards on the table and let them know from the get-go what your services and products are without it being gimmicky. Don’t bother sounding salesy. If you’re making claims about your product, nail down the facts, and provide relevant statistics or reinforcing proof to back it up. Your brand is loved by the locals? Add testimonials that stand out.
  • Check Your Homepage’s Relevance: Your Homepage is the online face of your brand. First impressions are everything. Hence, you have to see to it that the content on your homepage is relevant and not stuffed with too many sections that overwhelm your visitor.
  • Keep Your Contact Forms Simple: Nobody likes filling out lengthy forms especially when you’re on an unfamiliar website. Keep it minimal because with more information you ask for, the more you repel your visitor. They don’t trust you well enough to hand you that info. So don’t expect them to. Allow them to have a hassle-free experience with very few, nonthreatening fields to fill out.
  • Formulate Your Unique Selling Point and Put It On Display: When people land on your website, they need to know instantly what makes you different from other companies before they scurry off into the internet’s abyss full of competition.
  • Plan Your Outreach Before Launch: You have to get the word out there once your website launches. Grab hold of your friends and family to check out your website. If there’s something wrong, mother dearest would point it out instead of a ticked off customer/viewer. Additionally, look up bloggers and writers and organize pre-launch interviews. They can help you create great backlinks and buzz about your website.
  • Set Up An Advertising Budget: Lay down these fundamental digital marketing practices and organize your ad schedules and budgets. Will you be doing pay-per-click campaigns? Paid Reviews? Youtube Ads? It’s best to make sure you have all of that planned out for when you launch.
  • Set Up Your Marketing Arsenal: Ensure you have handy tools like Hootsuite, Mailchimp, or equivalent. Keeping track of your leads and ensuring timely communication is key in customer relationship management. MAnaging your brand does not stop at launching your website. This is only just the beginning.

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