When you’re putting together a puzzle, there is no feeling more glorious than the triumph of adding the final piece. This bodes true for web development projects as well. The last bit of design, coding, and content all come together to make a complete whole. It’s exciting to finally reach that moment. At the finish line, executives are often anxious to see their new pages go online as soon as possible. However, there are a few details to take care of first, even with a finished website.
We let our clients know about these steps before we even start creating mockups or designs. That’s partly because they’re so important. And because they’re so important, we want to set the right expectations from the outset. Executives need to know these extra steps are part of the plan. This helps to avoid a lot of understandable frustration. If they had to wait extra days or weeks to start seeing returns from their web design investments, without knowing why, that wouldn’t be fun for anyone.
What would be so important that we would hold up the launch of a new website we were proud of creating? Here are four vital steps to follow before your new website can go on to the Internet.
#1 Final Review
It doesn’t matter if you’ve edited the visuals and content of your website 50 times over. It’s always a good idea to look at everything one more time.
You never know what you may have overlooked as multiple parts come rushing together. It’s possible that certain elements combined won’t fit as well as predicted. A piece of code may work fine in the beginning, but then fall apart after adding other components. It’s painfully easy to forget important details. An extra glance will help you catch these potential errors. Even the savviest contributors can miss both hiccups and glaring issues. This is a classic “forest for the tress” situation. Stepping back for a final review can help stave off big mistakes.
#2 Website Testing
You should always test a new website extensively before going live. Projects are often very different on paper than they are in reality. You need to take the time to look at your website from the user’s point of view. Improving their experience has been a driving force for change. Now is the time to ensure that it has all come together accordingly.
Automated tools on testing servers can measure a great deal of activity. Page loading speeds, mobile browser compatibility, and plug-in performance are all covered. Run the tests more than once, if possible, to be thorough. This is a last chance to identify any coding errors or conflicts that wouldn’t be visible to the naked eye.
#3 Software QA
Software quality assurance could technically fall under the umbrella of website testing. However, it deserves special attention. Your QA team is a vital component of a successful launch. They look into every nook and cranny to make sure each part is working correctly.
Any custom programming on your site should be thoroughly evaluated by your development team. They’ll want to know that the results are quick and clean. They’ll also ensure that the underlying code hasn’t introduced any security concerns for your new website.
#4 Launch Playbook
The second your new website goes live, you should begin executing a plan for promoting it. You didn’t do all this hard work only to see the site get lost in the ether. You want your customers and users to know about the updates. Even employees or members will benefit from your new layout and capabilities. It’s time to share the news with everyone!
A launch playbook should be complete and ready to go well in advance of the big day. This document should include search, social, and email strategies, at a minimum. Crafting a promotional plan ahead of time gets the entire team on the same page. It also reduces any last minute scrambling to gain the attention and momentum you want your new website to receive.
Complex Web Design is About Precision
A creative team that can manage details, logistics, and deadlines can be your greatest asset. Especially so when you’re facing a large web design and development project. The larger the project, the more important it is to have an experienced team on your side. At Atlantic BT, you can be sure that your pages and apps will look and perform the way you expect them to. Call our experts today. We’re ready to get to work for you.