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Having a website is a necessity for any business today - especially in the post-pandemic world where everyone and everything is online.
Building a website is no child’s play either. Marketers often make the mistake of thinking all they have to do is build one, launch it, and be done with it.
There are some crucial checks that ensure a website's smooth functionality once it goes live. What are they?
If you are building your own website, look out for the markers given below to ensure its comprehensive functioning before you sit back and relax.
A website design process is primarily divided into three major parts: planning beforehand, execution, and review upon going live. The first two steps deal with all the brainstorming and making things work.
The last step feels lighter compared to them. However, it is just as crucial. It ensures that the site fulfils its ultimate purpose to its fullest potential, which is engaging with users.
Therefore, this last step is more than just a cursory glance — it is thorough testing of the site in all aspects to ensure smooth sailing for everyone.
Given below are the eight key checks that help you ensure 360-degree functionality after launching your new business website.
The most important aspect you need to check once you go live is the legal compliance of your site. You don’t want to land in any legal trouble overcrossing boundaries or undermining any guidelines.
The California Privacy Rights Act details all the compliance guidelines regarding profiling users, data sharing, and data retention limits to help you map out what to look out for. Moreover, every industry has its own rules and regulations that you need to keep in mind.
This includes you being transparent with your users. You should announce the usage of cookies. Make sure you are compliant with the usage rights of fonts and images along with the code you use.
We advise that you consult with your legal team to make sure you are well within your guidelines. They will see that you don’t miss anything. In any case, you shouldn’t compromise with legal things. The consequences can be dire.
If you are based in the UK or Europe then you need to check the ICO GDPR website. The legal compliance is different for each country so do a proper check for your business location.
The second most important aspect to look into once you go live is the safety of your website in all facets.
There are many ways to keep your data and website secure, but it's crucial to recheck your security protocols as soon as you go live.
This way, you can know of any fallacy then and there and correct it. To do this, make sure you have monitoring scripts in place at all times. If you use plugins, you should check how you will update them as well.
Only a select group that works on the website should know about the password. See that the password doesn’t get misplaced. Alternatively, make sure the relevant people have it with them at all times.
If you change the password, inform everyone discreetly. The same goes for etiquette policies. Everyone working on the site should be aware of them. Lastly, make sure that your website is SSL-encrypted to prevent it from getting hacked.
An SSL certificate is one of the helpful security protocols that secure data between the server and the browser.
A site owner can choose any low-priced SSL certificate for a website, for example, a single domain, cheap wildcard SSL, discounted multi-domain SSL, etc. Without security, customers will not trust your website and move away to another website.
Not sure how to install an SSL certificate, view your SSL install tutorial for siteGround.
It can be argued that delivering a smooth user experience is one of the most crucial jobs of a website. It is quite natural that it is something that is tested time and again in the process of the website being made.
But once the site is launched, you should conduct one last thorough check of the user experience on your site.
All you have to do is visit the website as any user would. Do it using different browsers and on different devices.
See if the design and layout along with images and font are rendered as per expectations or not. Any discrepancy across any device or browser can be caught here and rectified. Other than that, check that all the internal and external links work properly.
The ideal way to check them would be to open them in a separate tab. Feeds, on the other hand, are ingrained in the website itself. See that your RSS, social media, and news (if applicable) feeds work smoothly.
The objective function of any website is to engage users in performing desired actions.
There are many such actions on a website. They can be getting a person to fill out a membership form, consent to be a part of your mailing list or straight-up purchase.
Thus, you should walk the conversion path yourself as an outsider to make sure that it works seamlessly.
Any error at any step is going to turn a lead away and lose you an opportunity. Filling forms and performing other desired actions will help you see that everything is in place.
Make sure the forms are submitting inputs and processing data correctly and securely. Auto-responders, if applicable on your site, should also be working. Lastly, ‘thank you’ messages should be displayed correctly post completion of an action.
Many features on your site will require reliance on third-party providers, especially ones that involve monetary transactions. To check their compatibility, go through an entire transaction as an outsider.
Transactions should be seamless and pages should not take too long to load. Speen of navigating, in general, should be checked on its own, but it becomes especially important in transactions.
The feeds that were talked about in an earlier point also fall into the third-party category. Not only is their functionality important, but you should also make sure that they cause any data loss to you.
CRM, marketing, and e-commerce software are something that is usually not under your control. Compatibility with them is important to keep your website smoothly functioning. Always be in contact with their operators to rectify errors.
Search Engine Optimization is the backbone of the online world. There are many ways to perfect the SEO of your website and whatever strategy you choose to go with, make sure it is up and running once you go live.
This is important because SEO is what helps people find your site. If the SEO technicalities of your site are broken, no one will be able to reach it. Therefore, make sure key components like the URL, page titles, and meta descriptions are in place.
A sitemap needs to be created and submitted to the various search engines. The load time of the site should be properly optimized. A tip here would be to compress images to help with the load time.
Lastly, see that appropriate tags such as ‘nofollow’ and redirects such as ‘301’ are in place. They help make sure that the users don’t get lost and are safely directed to wherever you want them on your site.
You should want to capture any and all data about the performance of your website. This helps with detailed analytics which in turn helps with improving the performance of the website. Firstly, exclude relevant IP addresses from the analytics tracking.
They can negatively influence the data you collect and should be excluded. Next, sync up your account to Google Webmaster, Google Analytics, and Google Ads to receive detailed insights about your performance.
See that your website is inserted with scripts and codes and is gathering the correct information. Also, take a cursory glance at your tracking software to know it is storing and collecting the data right away.
Any discrepancy in any of these facets should be immediately looked into. You don’t want to lose out on precious data that forms the backbone of your future performances as well as the basis of improvement.
Once the website is up and running, and you have fixed any and all discrepancies that may have arisen, now is the time to store a copy of the site for backup purposes.
Ideally, your backups should be running consistently. You can keep creating copies to use when you need them, but you should always have the first copy of your site to revert to in case of a major blunder. This is unlikely to happen with an up and running business. But you can never be too careful.
It doesn’t hurt to have copies of the last, latest, and the very first version of your webpage to refer back to and use whenever the need arises. They are also helpful in case of data loss or corruption.
Checking your site’s functionality post going live is a no-brainer. Every company should be doing it once it creates the website of its dreams.
However, you should also leave room for expansion in the future. Remember that the site will not be staying this way forever and make plans accordingly.
Additionally, you should also make sure to check the site from time to time to see if it continues to work well.
Let us know in the comments what you think is the most important aspect to recheck on once you go live with your business website.
Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Web Design London
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