How to launch a new website: 5 live sites and 5 top tips
As a busy web design company in Cardiff, we can sometimes be so immersed in the day-to-day activity of designing and developing websites and web applications that we lose track of just how much we achieve.
Over the last few months, we’ve finalised a number of projects and launched six new websites for our clients.
In a previous blog, we looked at what happens after a website goes live and detailed the processes that we go through but there are also things that a business can do to ensure a successful website launch of NASA-like proportions.
In this blog, we’ll revisit the sites that we’ve launched and also share a few of our tips on how to achieve an effective website launch.
Website 1: Royal Voluntary Service
Royal Voluntary Service asked us to volunteer our web design skills to improve the volunteer journey of the home page and volunteer section of the website.
In this case, it wasn’t a full website redesign. Instead, we were asked to focus on specific sections of the website and help to make the volunteering experience easier for people.
Check out the Royal Voluntary Service website
With this in mind, testing before launch and revising the UX was vital. Which brings us to our first top tip.
Top Tip 1: Check. Double check. Triple check.
Professional testing by our web specialists will be a major part of any pre-launch process but it won’t hurt to proofread your content and get as many people to check the functionality of the site before it goes live.
Our clients have early access to their website via a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) platform, giving them the opportunity to review the site in the run-up to launch.
And don’t forget, the go-live date doesn’t have to be the same as the launch date. When a site goes live you can still have people checking it out, ironing out any small bugs that they might spot before you agree on a date when you can officially launch it on social media, etc.
Website 2: Badminton Wales
Badminton Wales wanted a modern website to match their updated brand identity and offer visitors the latest news about the sport, how they could start playing badminton and where to find their nearest club.
Check out the Badminton Wales website
In order to ensure that the site went live without any hiccups, deadlines were particularly important. Hence our second top tip.
Top Tip 2: Think about the go-live date
It’s crucial to remember that this relates to the go-live date and not necessarily the date that you decide to “launch” it officially through your marketing channels.
All UpriseVSI websites go live between Monday and Wednesday and always before 11am.
This gives us enough time post-go-live to do vital testing and domain propagation without running into the small hours or the weekend.
Our clients often use this first week to ensure that the site is perfect for the “official launch” a week later.
Website 3: Edwards Education & Youth Tours
Having designed and developed the Edwards Coaches website, they asked us to put together a new site for their educational and youth tours.
It needed to follow the same brand guidelines as the parent site and allow schools, youth and sports groups to find ideas for tours and holidays based on different destinations, subjects and tour types.
Check out the Edwards Education & Youth Tours website
It was important that anyone visiting the website would get the same experience whether they were browsing on a smartphone, tablet or desktop device. And so we come to top tip number three.
Top Tip 3: Don’t forget mobile
If you’re lucky enough to have a website built on our own content management system, thinkCMS, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it’s based on a responsive website design that adapts to display perfectly on any device.
It’s worth remembering that you should check what the newly-launched site looks like on multiple devices.
Thankfully, our testing process contains consists of almost 300 different checks, including device testing on a range of platforms and browsers.
Website 4: Rio Architects
Rio Architects needed a modern website that would showcase their impressive body of work as well as their vast wealth of experience and expertise.
Check out the Rio Architects website
Being able to add new blogs, case studies, and images was vital. Which brings us to top tip number four.
Top Tip 4: Content is still king
Content remains one of the most important aspects of a website, not only in relation to SEO and search engine rankings but also because readable online content becomes shareable online content, helping to get your brand in front of more potential clients.
It’s why we advise a content-first approach to web design and why Rio, along with many of our website clients, launch their site with new and updated content in the form of new blogs, case studies and how-to guides.
A new website launch is a great opportunity to refresh your web content and make it more relevant to your target audience.
Website 5: Cardiff Blues
As with all of our websites, an important part of the process is creating an online experience that meets the needs of visitors and provides them with the information they need.
But in order to let them experience this, you have to let them know that things have changed.
The new Cardiff Blues site offered improved navigation so that fans could buy tickets, access fixture details, game results, table positions, player stats and the latest news quickly and easily.
Check out the Cardiff Blues website
After sharing news of its launch, the website received some fantastic feedback from Blues fans on social media, a key aspect of our fifth and final top tip.
Top Tip 5: Shout about it
Once all of the hard work has been done to create an amazing user experience for visitors, make sure that people can see it for themselves.
Promote your new website on all of your social media platforms and encourage your staff to share the announcement from their own social accounts.
Send out an email newsletter to your clients informing of the changes and how it can benefit them.
If you really want to get the message out there, create social media ad campaigns encouraging people to check out your new website and send out a press release to your industry’s main publications.
While these five tips can help to ensure that your website launch is a successful event, it’s worth remembering that launch day isn’t the end.
In fact, the launch of a new website is the start of an ongoing process where the functionality of the site can be adapted and updated to meet the changing needs of visitors.
Our ongoing website support means that future developments can evolve the digital presence of a business, improving its UX and giving visitors an even greater customer experience.
To find out how we can help you deliver a seamless website launch, get in touch today.
Digital Marketing, Website Design & Development