Before Launching Your Website, Add These to Your Checklist, Pt.2

Last week, we brought you an extended list of necessary checks before going live with a website based on Smashing Magazine’s 15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website. Today, we continue with Part II, a more detailed to-do list designed to test proper functionality, script language compatibility and accurate and effective analytics.

6. Functionality Check – Forms, search functions, log-ins and shopping baskets; test everything as if you were the user. Test it one more time. Get others to test it, particularly those that fall into your target market. It’s your baby, so it’s important to get an objective set of eyes to navigate your site in order to receive the best possible feedback.

7. Graceful Degradation – Make sure your site works without JavaScript, as standard security settings automatically turn JavaScript off. This is easy to do in Firefox. Smashing elaborates, “Test your forms to make sure they still perform server-side validation checks, and test any cool AJAX stuff you have going on.”

8.  Validation – While it shouldn’t be at the very top of your priority list, you should aim to have a completely valid website. If it isn’t, you need to find out why so that you can correct the errors. Smashing recommends checking for “no “alt” tags, no closing tags and using “&” instead of “&” for ampersands.”

9. RSS Link – RSS streamlines the communication of content (i.e. blog/newsreel) between a website and its readers. As a webmaster, you should offer an RSS feed to which users can subscribe, and one that is easy to find. Most do this by adding a small RSS icon in the address bar of the browser.

10.  Analytics – Analytics are essential for measuring your website’s overall performance. With these tools, you can track conversion rates, monthly page views, browser statistics, daily unique hits and more. Installing analytics from the day of launch forward will provide the best, most accurate information. Google Analytics is free, and one of the most popular choices for webmasters.

This concludes Part II. Be sure to check for the last installment of the series next week! At Blue Interactive Agency, an interactive marketing company in Fort Lauderdale, we offer web design, graphic design, search engine marketing and every other aspect of online marketing. We also offer web analytics that track traffic, keywords, page ranking, visitor performance, search engine marketing performance, content optimization and more. To learn about how Blue can help your company’s online marketing efforts, contact us today at 954-779-2801.