Everyone is keen to launch a new or redesigned web site. The design an development team are looking forward to unleashing thier latest creation on the world, the site owner wants to start reaping the benefits and whomever is promoting the site is despereate to have this great new material to work with.
However, if there was every an aspect of a web site project that lived up to the old cliche of 'more haste less speed' it's the final launch. Rushing this part of the porject can cause annoyance, embarrassment and increased work for all concerned. By following a simple (and relatively short) checklist the risks of publishing errors can be minimised.
It might sound like teaching your Grandmother to suck eggs, but it's amazing how many sites go live with some major typos and spelling errors. If you've written the content yourself, get someone else to check it for grammar and spelling. If someone else wrote it, take the time to check through yourself and pick up any errors.
If your project is a major 'mission critical' part of your marketing efforts it may well be worth employing a proof reader (usually around GBP15 - GBP20 per hour).
This should really be a done deal long before the site goes live, but it's worth a last review to make sure that you do have the rights to publish every aspect of your web site. If you've used any free stock images from sites like stockXchange or Morgue File make sure that you have checked the licence terms and followed their requirements for link backs.
Always run both an automated link checker and a human eye through your whole site before making it live.
There are several online tools for checking links along with some offline applications that will do this for you.
Although your developer will have been doing so throughout the project, you should test every piece of functionality within the site manually so that you can check, not only that it works, but also that any screen responses are correct.
It also gives you the opportunity to pretend to be a customer who is not web literate and click things at the wrong time to ensure that the site is robust.
5.Cross Browser Compatibility
Don't just check the site over in your favourite browser. Check it in several.
If you have profiled your customers there may be browsers that should be targeted above others.
6. Inbound Links
This is something that often gets forgotten with web site redesigns.
It's important to go through your inbound links list from Google and your site's traffic statistics and ensure that any link that is present on another site goes somewhere useful. that may be a custom error page that allows people to browse your site, it may be worth creating special pages for certain inbound links or redirecting them to the replacement page.
Whatever solution you choose will be far more effective than leaving the server's default error page.