10 Things We Checked When Re-launching Our Website
Posted on 2014-04-04 | Source:The GGB
Now that the Lumiere 2.0 is here, I would like to share some tips on what we did and how we prepared for the relaunch of the website. Sorry, this article may be mostly suitable for the geeks around you, however, we will find time to rewrite it in lay-man's lingo soon.
Here are 10 things to acknowledge and evaluate as the programmer and consultant:
1. Build Your Home Page Last - The site map always changes before the project ends, so in order to avoid building and re-building the home page, why not build it last?
2. Get your requirements right for the CMS - Content Management System will be used by the web admins and not you the programmer, so it is good you consult with them before going ahead with hardcoded scripting! That is why you are also a consultant.
3. Add analytics code to every page - A simple trick I use is that I add the code in my footer or header... I know one of these two will repeat through out the site, so I add the analytics code there in the header or footer and call it into every page with a php script like this "<?php include ('header.php'); ?>"
4. Plan for SEO from the beginning - SEO considerations need to be an integral part of the site design process. You either pay to have it done, or use some other programming tips I will blog about later on.
5. Enable sharing - Ensure it is really easy to share, like, tweet etc. every page of your website. Some tools you can use include Addthis, Social Share etc.
6. Use a Page redirect or Coming soon page - Just make sure while testing or uploading content, you are not visible to the world. You can have the test site up, but not visible to public, since you have not made it a landing page.
7. Avoid 'Meta-stuff' in your Live test site - Meta name = Keywords, description and the likes are magnets for crawlers from search engines. It is good you remain invisible to the search engines until you have launched in order to avoid complications from duplicate data.
8. Full end to end test - It will do you good to do a live test before going live. Something may have changed since you last uploaded the last set of ftp file on to the server. It could be as little as the DNS servers, PHP version of your database and so on. Also check for cross browser compatibility, and then mobile compatibility too.
9. Think of a Launch marketing and messaging - Keep it short, engaging and creative so it can go viral
10. Finally, you or your client wants to let the world know about the relaunched website, so go ahead and use your blackberry phones, android BBMs and Whatsapp, press portals, social media, your corporate blogs and newsletters to direct attention to your new site.
I know what I have outlined here is not absolute as lot of still depends on other factors like the objectives of your site, structure of the site and so on, so if you think there are some important points missing then please add them in the comments below!
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