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10 Point Website Launch Checklist

It’s 2018, and this year is already flying by. You might be a fellow web designer or web developer – or you may be someone looking to launch a website yourself. Either way, I’ve compiled a list of essential pre-launch tasks you really should undertake.

If you have employed a web designer to work with, make sure you ask him or her about this list and ensure everything is done – you don’t want your site to let you down within weeks of launch.

1. Make sure all of the links work

It can be easy if you’re not careful, to hardcode links – especially within a CMS (Content Management System) page editor. So make sure that all of your links are able to be switched easily to point at your new and live URL.

2. Check your site speed

There is nothing worse for your users than finding your site, and it takes 6, 7, 8 seconds to fully load. You’ll lose users before you even begin. Site speed is such an important factor in launching a new site. Did you know that Google experienced a 20% drop in traffic a few years back down to a 0.5s delay? That’s crazy, but there is no reason your site should be slow.

Site speed can be check via Google’s own Insights tool ( – and you should be aiming for 75 and above on the scale. Mobile is usually more important for a high score, due to people browsing on 3G or 4G connections, but don’t ignore your desktop rating. Your server can play a massive part in your site speed, so make sure you host your site with a reputable host. It’s easy to get swayed by price. But remember, you do get what you pay for! You wouldn’t launch a new shop, and run it out of a rickety old wooden hut, so don’t do the same with your hosting. Your site speed and security depend on great hosting – my personal recommendation is Nimbus Hosting – but I don’t make a penny from recommendations, so do make your own mind up!

3. Ensure your 404 page is set up properly

A quick fire way to lose users is to have a dead page on your site – a 404 page should be instructive and helpful in getting you back to where you wanted to be. It happens, sometimes content gets moved – and if you’re launching a replacement website, then your URL structure may have changed. You need to make sure if someone lands on your site and can’t find the page they’re looking for, they have options. Ask your developer to show you the design for the 404 error page in advance of launch.

4. Set up any 301 redirects you might need

Similar to above – if you launch a new site, your URL structure might have changed. It’s a good idea to get a list of your old URLs and ensure you set up a 301 redirect to the new URL where that page content now lives.

For example, you may have had a site where your structure was and your new site is – you don’t want to lose users this way – so a 301 redirect takes them to the new page on your site.

5. Check your site works on all browsers and devices

It sounds odd, in this day and age to have to think twice about making sure your site works on mobile. But it’s important to ask the question. Does the site work on my desktop, how about in Safari – and what about on a PC in Edge? How about on an iPad in landscape mode – you need to be sure your site doesn’t fall over in any viewport.

Google take a very dim view on sites not being mobile optimised, so it’s worth doing your checks nice and early.

6. Install Google Analytics

You want to know what traffic you’re getting, where it’s coming from and what they’re doing on your site when they get there. Analytics will give you all of that information. Getting the script in place is the first port of call, but then actually use it too. You can take courses on how to get the most out of your data, or watch a few YouTube videos on the subject.

7. Optimise your Meta Data

Page titles and meta descriptions are very important to your SEO. If you get those right, and there’s substantial content on your page, then you have a good chance of ranking highly. If you’re not sure about these, get your web developer to talk them through with you. I recommend Yoast as a plugin for WordPress sites, which allows you to easily manage the meta data of each page or post within the editor.

8. Create social media accounts for your brand

Pick the channels that best suit your needs. There’s nothing worse than a twitter account with 2 tweets from a year ago. It stinks of a company that isn’t active. You should only pick channels that you can keep up to date regularly. Tweet daily, Post on Instagram a few times a week – know the subscribers and make sure you keep them up to date, with relevant content and posts.

9. Create and Schedule Backups

Good hosts will sort this out – but your web developer might be able to help too. You need backups of your site. What if you make loads of edits and 3 days later you get hacked, or the server dies – you lose all of that data. You need daily backups and the importance of these cannot be overstated. Get your host or web designed to sort backups before you go live. It’s a life saver!

10. Monitor Up-Time

You need to know if your site ever goes down. The last thing you want is a customer calling to tell you your site is down. There are loads of great tools, one of which is Uptime Robot, that can help track if your site goes down. But you need to be on top of it – your site goes down, your business goes down.

Good luck with your new site!

Rob Fenech - Freelance Web Designer 5.0
Matthew Weatherill

Thank you so much for all your hard work. You made it easy to take my business online and I love the way my site looks! Everyone who has seen it says its great. I’ve been telling everyone about you!

Neil Payne

The first time I met Robert was when I first started my business. He was able to give me some great advice on how to get things started and he was very helpful throughout the process. When it came time to build our website, I knew right away who I was going to go with.

Sebastien Thatcher

Robert is a true professional who puts 110% into his work. He did a great job for me and I will use him again in the future

Christopher Verdant

The service was top class. Robert went out of his way to make sure that I was 100% happy with the end result. He went above and beyond what was expected and for that I can’t thank him enough.

Rafferty Bamburgh

The site is absolutely brilliant and I am more than happy with the outcome. The process was smooth and seamless and Robert became more than just a web designer, but a good friend and business associate. Rob has managed to create a stunning website for my company in record time, which is exactly what I was looking for. Everything about the website is perfect, the way it looks, the professional feel it gives off and most importantly, it works! The site has not only given my business credibility but has also gained me lots of new clients.

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I have known Robert for over 5 years and working with Robert has been a pleasure. He is very professional, his work is of the highest quality and he always delivers on time. I have no hesitation in recommending Robert to anyone looking for excellent web design services.

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I was very impressed by the quality of work, professionalism and dedication to this project shown by Robert. I would highly recommend Robert’s services to anyone who wants their website to look professional and modern.

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I would like to thank Robert for his work on my website, he was very easy to deal with and is extremely talented. I will be using his services in the future and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a website at a very affordable price.

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From the outset Robert was extremely helpful and accommodating. He provided excellent advice and made sure that I was happy with the design of my website at every stage.

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Emma Mason

Rob was first on the list when I searched for a freelance web designer in London, and his skill immediately shone through. He completed a very unique website project for me with minimal fuss. He was patient and happy to explain things to me multiple times if I didn’t understand something. He is a fantastic web designer, and I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Vicki Anstey

Rob designed and built a superb website for our business. Slick, simple, eye-catching and very easy to navigate. He was a joy to work with, from start to finish, leading the process and understanding the brand inside out. We were able to input at every stage and the CMS system is easy to update to suit all our changing needs. Rob has continued to offer support and is very responsive to ad-hoc requests. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Rob Fenech to anyone looking to re-design their website.

Optrix Media

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McLellands London

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Rob produced an excellent design and build for our new website. I’m very happy with the result and would definitely recommend him for professional and cost effective website design.

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I worked with Rob on my new website, and the process was quick, easy and painless. I would highly recommend Rob, he’s honest and transparent and delivers a great end result within budget.

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Thomas Lyons

Rob is brilliant – highly professional, detailed, responsive and patient. Was great to work with – would highly recommend!

Dan Hyde

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Amy Bowers

To date, I have worked with Rob on three projects and have been highly impressed. He is experienced, efficient and responds to queries within a matter of hours.

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Rob Pratt

Rob is a fantastic developer. He has created countless websites for me over the years, from small quick turn around projects through to full scale sites for the likes of Lenovo, LG and Intel (to name a few).

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Rob first designed and developed our website in 2013, and apart from a few tweaks/upgrades, it has stood the test of time! We are really proud of the website and receive lots of compliments about how easy it is to use and how great it looks from our customers. Rob has been great to deal with over the years, and goes above and beyond for his clients. We would highly recommend Rob to anyone looking for a new website or wanting to improve what they have already.

Laura Oakley

I needed to find a web developer to help rebuild a small charity website. Rob was great to work with and did a superb job. As a small charity, we had a tricky list of needs and limitations but Rob helped us build something that ticked every box. He kept the work in scope, worked with us collaboratively and was very responsive. What’s more, he was always willing to talk us through anything we didn’t quite understand and was never patronising. With regards to the end product, it was exactly what we needed. We’ve had so much positive feedback about the site from our members and it’s helping us deliver what we need to with our limited resources. Thanks so much for all your help Rob!

Jane Fulcher

I’ve worked with Rob on many varied projects over the years. He’s always our first choice for development projects due to his willingness to really collaborate and go the extra mile. And because of the fantastic results that keep our clients happy! Rob has been a great partner for the agency I work for, Show, and is someone we always know we can turn to for professional and wise advice. Highly recommended.