11* things you should check during your next site launch.
- Search Engines are not being blocked – be sure to check basic authentication, robots.txt, and meta tags.
- There are no broken links – you should run broken link scans before launch as well but sometimes broken links are difficult to identify during final pre-launch QA due to the fact that your current site (likely with a different IA) is still up and working and you may have links that point there.
- Favicon is in place and correct – if you rebranded you may have to update it
- Local site search reindexed, working, and branded – if you have a local site search you need to be sure that your search results are returning content from the new site and that it’s branded to match your site.
- Site update process documented – a new site sometimes means that there’s a new process for updating it. Make sure all of your content contributors know how to add/edit content on the new site.
- Analytics tracking code is in place and working – since this often isn’t visible or reviewed during development, it can be missed.
- Forms are working – test your forms to be sure that they are working with appropriate “thank you” messaging and that your CRM system is integrated properly.
- Metadata is accurate and in place – developing a good title and meta description should be a part of any re-contenting exercise but they can be missed since they’re less visible.
- The sitemap.xml is updated and submitted to search engines – another activity that is easy to overlook but should be executed to maximize your SEO efforts.
- Development debugging disabled – any testing or debugging code you had from development should be disabled to maximize server performance
- Compression is enabled in the web server – for optimal user experience, your web server should be compressing HTML/CSS/JS resources.
* Yes, our list goes to 11.