Before going live with a website, you typically check three essentials off your list – a quality design that the customer is happy with, functional CMS and content. Most people tend to let some other vital website components fall by the wayside in their eagerness to launch. Smashing Magazine reported on the 15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website, including other small, but equally important details.
1. Favicon – short for favorites icon, this shortcut icon is a file that contains one or more small icons associated with a webpage. Smashing notes, “A favicon brands the tab or window in which your website is open in the user’s browser. It is also saved with the bookmark so that users can easily identify pages from your website.”
2. Titles & Meta Data – The title of your page is the most crucial component for SEO, and also tells the visitor what the page is about. Each page should have its own title that is relevant to its content. While meta tags aren’t quite as important as titles, they should still be included on every page, and should relate to the page’s content.
3. Cross-Browser Checks – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just because your pixel-perfect design works and looks great on Firefox, doesn’t mean certain elements won’t be functional on other browsers. Smashing recommends checking the most popular browsers: Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Firefox 3, Safari 3, Chrome, Opera and the iPhone.
4. Proofread – Re-read every page on the site. Have someone else read it. It’s not only necessary to make sure everything is grammatically correct, you must ensure that content is organized in a way that won’t cause visitors to bounce. Smashing suggests, “See if you can reduce the amount of text by keeping it specific. Break up large text blocks into shorter paragraphs. Add clear headings throughout, and use lists so that users can scan easily. Don’t forget about dynamic text too, such as alert boxes.”
5. Links – Click on each link to make sure it works. Consider how the links work: “Is it obvious to new users that they are links? They should stand out from the other text on the page. Don’t underline text that isn’t a link because it will confuse users,” says Smashing.
Stay tuned for part two of the three-part series. Blue Interactive Agency handles SEO and website design in Fort Lauderdale. Our interactive marketing company offers graphic design, search engine optimization, social media marketing and much more. Before we launch a site, we complete a thorough check to ensure all content, links and all other webpage components are in working order. For more information, call us at 954-779-2801.