What happens when a website goes live?
The launch day of a new website is an exciting day for everyone involved. Your new website is finally ready and waiting for your clients and customers to marvel at. Even though we've worked on lots of website design projects, every launch day is still just as exciting for us. Finally, our weeks of hard work will be released into the wilds of the Internet for all to see! But we don’t just send a newborn website off into the wilderness of the web without lots of preparation. On launch day, our team carry out a whole raft of checks and tests to ensure the website truly shines during its time in the spotlight. Here are just a few of the processes we have in place to ensure launch day goes without a hitch:
Check it out
The launch day of your website is the goal we keep in mind throughout the whole development process, and our preparations for the big day are clear throughout each step of the design and development process. After crafting and implementing the perfect design, we want to ensure that it works perfectly too. That's why your website is rigorously tested and goes through almost 300 different checks.
The final countdown
After some vigorous internal testing, we’ll release the website to you for review. At this point, we’ll eagerly await your feedback on how things look and work. We’ll listen to all of this feedback in order to ensure your site is exactly the way you want it before the official launch.
Once we have your go ahead, we'll update your domain so your new website can be found. This can sometimes take a little time to officially change over, so we like to schedule website launches for first thing in the morning. This gives us as much time as possible to carry out a range of post-launch tests and checks.
Following the launch of the website, we carry out yet another batch of testing. First, we check to ensure the website displays properly on desktops, mobiles, and tablet devices; our offices often look like a mission control department due to the amount of devices and screens in use! We check that your fonts, icons, and images are all loading correctly and that nothing has gotten lost or displaced during the launch. We also carry out tests on user accounts, thinkCMS, and all of your admin tools (again on desktops, mobiles, and tablets) to ensure your site is fully functional following the launch. With all that testing to get through, you can see why we want to get started as early as possible!
Leave no man behind
To ensure none of the visitors to your old website get lost, we also create redirects from your old website to the equivalent pages on your new website. These redirects include all of the pages on the old site, any pages listed in search results, and even any document links you may have had. We also check all of the links on the new website to ensure they all point to live pages.
For those who don't know, search engines use robots to crawl and index websites. When your site is in development, we have a file in place that prevents robots from indexing the website before it's ready. When the website is ready for launch, we remove this file to let the robots start indexing the site. We also add your website to Google’s Webmaster Tools which allows us to review and improve how the search engines see your website. Lastly, we submit a sitemap file which signposts all of the pages on your website in a robot-friendly format, allowing them to quickly find and index all of the pages on your shiny, new website.
Speaking of Google, we also install a Google Analytics tracking code, allowing you to monitor and analyse the traffic and visitors to your website. Furthermore, if you’ve appointed us as your SEO agency, Google Analytics will give us a key insight into how your visitors are browsing and using your site. We’ll also transfer any other tracking systems you may have been using on your old website to ensure there’s no disruption to your reporting.
Make some noise
Once the website is fully tested, and we've made any last minute amendments, it’s finally ready for its close-up. We tend to proudly announce new websites on our Twitter and Facebook pages, which always helps to drive even more traffic to your new website.
Back it up
We carry out a launch day back-up of the website, giving us a neat restore point for the website should any disasters occur. We’ve never needed to use any of these backups yet but it’s always good to have a safety net!
But wait, there’s more...
Just because your site is finished doesn’t mean it’s the end of the journey, in fact, it’s only the beginning! Following the launch, we’re on hand for support or to answer any queries, we’re also actively monitoring the website through Google Analytics and using development tools to ensure no issues arise.
Websites aren’t set in stone either, it could be a few weeks or months down the line that you think of some additional features or functions you’d like to add to your website. We’re always happy to talk about new ideas; just take a look at our case studies to see how we’ve helped other companies take their websites to the next level.
If you'd like to get the ball rolling on your website project, get in touch with our team today.