Website launch checklist – step by step guide to launching a new website successfully

Last checked and updated on July 6, 2022

Launching a new website can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider, from the initial planning stages to the final launch. In this article, we will walk you through every step of the process, so that you can launch your new website successfully – our comprehensive website launch checklist.

We’ll start by discussing why it’s important to have a plan, and then we’ll dive into each individual stage of the website launch checklist. By following these steps, you’ll be able to avoid common pitfalls and ensure that your new website is ready for prime time!


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Remember, launching a new website is a big undertaking. But with careful planning and execution, it can be a smooth and successful process. So let’s get started!

Website launch checklist

How to launch a website – website launch checklist

  1. Decide the purpose and objectives of your new website

    The first step in launching a new website is to decide what the purpose and objectives of the site are. What do you want your website to achieve? Who is your target audience?

  2. Consider what your customers or users need from the website

    If you’re not sure where to start, consider what your customers or users need from the website. What information do they need to be able to find? How can you make their experience on the site as seamless as possible?

  3. Review and critique your old website, if you have one

    Take some time to review and critique your old website, if you have one. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? What could be improved? Use these insights to inform the development of your new website.

  4. Design the structure and information architecture

    First, you’ll need to develop the structure and information architecture of your site. This will involve planning out the hierarchy of your pages and deciding how users will navigate through your site.

  5. Design the page templates in a wireframe prototype

    Next, you’ll need to design the page templates in a wireframe prototype. This will give you a blueprint for each page on your site and help you to visualise the user experience.

  6. Design the UI and visuals

    When it comes to website design, the user interface (UI) is the part of the site that users interact with. This includes elements such as buttons, forms, and navigation.

  7. Collect and edit the content, text, images, videos

    Content is one of the most important elements of a successful website. Your content strategy should be based on your business goals. Once you know what your goals are, you can determine the type of content that will help you to achieve them.

  8. Develop the site on a temporary staging URL

    Develop the site on a temporary staging URL. This will allow you to make sure that everything is working correctly before you launch the site to the public.

  9. Thoroughly test the finished development site

    Thoroughly test the finished development site. Test all of the links and functionality on your site to ensure that there are no problems.

  10. Back up the old site, if you have one

    Back up the old site, if you have one. You’ll want to make sure that you have a backup of your old site in case something goes wrong.

  11. Launch the new site on your chosen domain

    Launch the new site on your chosen domain. Make sure to test everything one last time before you launch!

  12. Post-launch activities

    Once you’ve launched your new site, there are a few post-launch activities that you’ll need to do:

    Monitor your site for any problems
    Analyse your traffic and user behaviour
    Update your content regularly

  13. Promote your new website

    Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to let people know that your new site is live.

1. Decide the purpose and objectives of your new website

The first step in launching a new website is to decide what the purpose and objectives of the site are. What do you want your website to achieve? Who is your target audience? Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to develop a plan for your new site.

Examples of objectives could be:

  • To sell products or services online
  • To provide information about your company or organisation
  • To generate leads for your sales team
  • To build brand awareness
  • To drive traffic to your brick and mortar store

If you’re not sure what your objectives should be, take some time to research other websites in your industry. See what they’re doing well, and identify areas where you could improve upon their example.

2. Consider what your customers or users need from the website

If you’re not sure where to start, consider what your customers or users need from the website. What information do they need to be able to find? How can you make their experience on the site as seamless as possible? Answering these questions will help you to develop a clearer vision for your new website.

Important questions
You should try to answer the following questions:

• What is the purpose of my website?
• Who is my target audience?
• What do they need from the website?

By answering these questions, you will have a clearer vision for your new website.

3. Review and critique your old website, if you have one

Take some time to review and critique your old website, if you have one. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? What could be improved? Use these insights to inform the development of your new website.

See also →  6 signs your web design is causing low Google search rankings

Now that we’ve covered the importance of planning, let’s move on to the next stage of our website launch checklist: design!

When it comes to website design, there are a few key elements that you’ll need to consider.

4. Design the structure and information architecture

First, you’ll need to develop the structure and information architecture of your site. This will involve planning out the hierarchy of your pages and deciding how users will navigate through your site. Make sure that your design is user-friendly and easy to understand.

What is information architecture?

Information architecture is the process of organising, labeling, and structuring content in a way that makes it easy to find and use.

See also →  What is website personalisation, and why is it important?

When designing the information architecture for your website, you’ll need to consider:

  • How users will search for content on your site
  • How different types of content will be organized
  • How users will navigate through your site
  • How the architecture will support the goals of your website

Designing a strong information architecture is a critical part of launching a successful website.

5. Design the page templates in a wireframe prototype

Next, you’ll need to design the page templates in a wireframe prototype. This will give you a blueprint for each page on your site and help you to visualise the user experience.

You’ll need to create a wireframe prototype to map out the structure of your pages and determine how they will interact with each other. This will help you to ensure that your website is visually appealing and easy to use.

What is a wireframe?

A wireframe is a low-fidelity prototype of a website or app that is used to determine the layout and structure of the user interface.

Wireframes are typically created using simple shapes and lines to represent the different elements on a page. This makes them easy to create and iterate on, which is essential in the early stages of design.

Creating a wireframe prototype for your website will help you to:

  • Visualise the user experience
  • Determine the layout of your pages
  • Map out the structure of your site
  • Identify any potential problems with your design

Once you’ve created a wireframe prototype, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage of design: creating the UI and visuals.

6. Design the UI and visuals

When it comes to website design, the user interface (UI) is the part of the site that users interact with. This includes elements such as buttons, forms, and navigation. The goal of UI design is to create a user experience that is both visually appealing and easy to use.

To design a strong UI, you’ll need to consider:

  • The colors and typography of your site
  • The layout of your pages
  • The interactivity of your elements
  • The overall aesthetic of your site

Creating a well-designed UI is essential to launching a successful website.

Once you’ve completed the design phase, it’s time to move on to content!

7. Collect and edit the content, text, images, videos

Content is one of the most important elements of a successful website, and mustn’t be rushed in your website launch checklist.

Consider your content marketing strategy

Your content strategy should be based on your business goals. Once you know what your goals are, you can determine the type of content that will help you to achieve them.

Some types of content that you may want to consider include:

  • Blog posts
  • Product descriptions
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Videos

When collecting content for your site, be sure to edit and proofread it thoroughly. This will help to ensure that your site is free of errors and easy to read.

Visual content

This includes elements such as images, videos, and infographics. The goal of visual design is to create a visually appealing website that is consistent with your brand identity.

Image file size

When it comes to website design, one of the most important things to consider is file size.

Images are an essential part of any website, but they can also be one of the biggest sources of slow loading times.

To ensure that your site loads quickly, you’ll need to make sure that your images are optimised for the web. This means keeping the file size as small as possible without compromising on quality.

There are a few different ways to optimize images for the web:

  • Resize your images to the correct dimensions
  • Compress your images to reduce file size
  • Use an image format that is designed for the web (such as JPEG or PNG)
  • Optimise your website’s code to reduce image load times

Once you’ve collected and edited your content, it’s time to move on to development.

8. Develop the site on a temporary staging URL

Develop the site on a temporary staging URL. This will allow you to make sure that everything is working correctly before you launch the site to the public.

What is a development staging site?

A development staging site is a copy of your live site that is used for testing purposes. This is where you can try out new features or make changes to your design without affecting your live site.

Once you’re happy with the changes, you can then push them live to your actual website.

Development staging sites are an essential part of launching a new website successfully.

To set up a development staging site, you’ll need to:

  1. Choose a domain name for your staging site
  2. Set up hosting for your staging site
  3. Install WordPress or your chosen CMS on your staging site
  4. Copy your live site to your staging site

Once you’ve set up your development staging site, you can begin making changes to your website.

Remember to test everything thoroughly before you launch the site to the public.

When you’re happy with the changes, you can then push them live to your actual website.

Pushing changes live

Once you’ve made all of the necessary changes to your staging site, it’s time to push them live to your actual website.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Backup your live site
  2. Update your DNS records
  3. Copy your staging site to your live site
  4. Test your live site thoroughly

Once you’ve launched your new website, be sure to monitor it closely and make any necessary changes.

9. Thoroughly test the finished development site

Thoroughly test the finished development site. Test all of the links and functionality on your site to ensure that there are no problems.

Be sure to thoroughly test the site on all devices and browsers. This will help to ensure that your site is accessible to everyone.

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, you’re ready to launch your new website!

To do this, there are a few things you’ll need to do:

10. Back up the old site, if you have one

Back up the old site, if you have one. You’ll want to make sure that you have a backup of your old site in case something goes wrong.

11. Launch the new site on your chosen domain

Launch the new site on your chosen domain. Make sure to test everything one last time before you launch!

12. Post-launch activities

Once you’ve launched your new site, that isn’t the end of your website launch checklist! There are a few post-launch activities that you’ll need to do:

  • Monitor your site for any problems
  • Analyse your traffic and user behaviour
  • Update your content regularly

By following the above steps, you can be sure that you’re launching your new website successfully.

13. Promote your new website

Promote your new website. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to let people know that your new site is live.

Now that you’ve launched your new website, it’s time to start thinking about how you can keep it up-to-date and relevant. But that’s a topic for another blog post!

We hope that this website launch checklist has been helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. We’re always happy to help!

If you follow the steps in this website launch checklist, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful new website. Just remember to plan carefully, design thoughtfully, and test thoroughly before you go live. And don’t forget to promote your new site once it’s live!

Website launch checklist FAQ

What is a development staging site?

A development staging site is a copy of your live site that is used for testing purposes. This is where you can try out new features or make changes to your design without affecting your live site. Once you’re happy with the changes, you can then push them live to your actual website.

Do I need to launch my new website on a temporary URL?

No, you don’t need to launch your new website on a temporary URL. However, it is recommended that you set up a development staging site so that you can test everything before you launch the site to the public.

What are some post-launch activities?

Post-launch activities include things like monitoring your site for any problems, analysing your traffic and user behaviour, and updating your content regularly. These activities will help to ensure that your new website is successful.

How can I promote my new website?

You can promote your new website by using social media, email marketing, and other channels to let people know that your new site is live. You can also use traditional methods like print ads, TV commercials, and radio ads.

Do I need to backup my old website?

If you have an old website, you should backup the site before you launch your new website. This will ensure that you have a copy of the old site in case something goes wrong.

Do I need to launch a new website?

That depends on your goals and objectives. If you’re not happy with your current website or if it’s not achieving the results you want, then launching a new site may be the right solution.

How much does it cost to launch a new website?

The cost of launching a new website varies depending on your needs. If you’re able to do some of the work yourself, then the cost will be lower.

How long does it take to launch a new website?

That also depends on your needs. If you have all of the content and design elements ready to go, then you can launch a new website relatively quickly.

Do I need a staging site?

Yes, we recommend that you set up a development staging site before launching your new website. This will allow you to test changes and make sure everything is working properly before making them live on your actual website.

How do I launch my new website?

To launch your new website, you’ll need to:

1. Choose a domain name for your staging site
2. Set up hosting for your staging site
3. Install WordPress or your chosen CMS on your staging site
4. Copy your live site to your staging site

Once you’ve set up your development staging site, you can begin making changes to your website. Remember to test everything thoroughly before you launch the site to the public. When you’re happy with the changes, you can then push them live to your actual website.

Do I need to promote my new website?

Yes, we recommend promoting your new website once it’s launched. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to let people know that your new site is live. You can also use paid advertising to reach a wider audience.

How often should I update my website?

It’s important to keep your website up-to-date with fresh content. How often you need to update it will depend on the nature of your website and business. For most websites, we recommend adding new content at least once a week. This could be in the form of blog posts, new products, or even just updated information about your company.

What if I need help launching my website?

If you need help launching your website, we’re here to help! We offer a range of services, from website design and development to SEO and content marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you launch your new website successfully.

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