So, the big day is here. Your new website, which has been in the works for months, is finally ready to launch. But launching a new website is no small task. It's a complex, high profile event with a lot of moving parts – without careful planning, a lot could go wrong. How does the team at 70kft orchestrate site launches that go off without a hitch? It all starts with a plan.
People often refer to websites as your “home on the Internet,” so let's think of the process of launching your new website in terms moving into a new house.
Build the new website
First of course, you need architects and construction workers (designers and developers…that's us!) to design and build a house that meets your needs. They'll make sure that the house is pleasing to live in, and that it's built well enough to withstand thunderstorms or the occasional Texas tornado. A new house is a big investment though, so you always make sure to double-check the work. A home inspector (our quality assurance team) makes sure that all utilities work the way they're supposed to and every detail meets local building codes. In the world of websites, we always make sure that our sites pass a validation process that has been established and accepted by everyone in the Web community. Once the house is built, it's time to get ready to move in!
Content Management System
Before you move, you usually spend a few weeks packing your belongings (your site's content) and coordinating a date with a moving company (or some unlucky friends) to help move everything into your new place. We build our clients' websites around industry-leading content managements systems like Craft or ExpressionEngine. The CMS makes adding, arranging and updating your content extremely easy and intuitive, allowing you to keep your site fresh and your visitors engaged.
Analytics and Speed
Just as you wouldn't move into a house without working electricity and water, we would never launch a new website without the essential tools it needs to be successful. Before launching a new website, we make sure to connect it to Google Analytics so you have the tools to know what kind of visitors are using your new website in real time. Also, we optimize new websites to be super-fast, which can improve how your site appears in search results and keep visitors on your site longer. Some people will tell you these things are just "nice-to-haves," but we treat them as essentials.
When you move to a new address, you usually tell people how to
find you. This is important when launching a new website, too. Before launching
a new site, we catalog all the URLs that are going to change and set up
"redirects" that allow search engines and people who have bookmarked
pages on your old site to find their way on your new website. For example, if
you had a page on your old site that was at
http://www.example.com/how-to-weave-baskets.html but that same page is at
http://www.example.com/help/weaving-baskets on your new site, we would create a redirect so that people
and search engines are moved to the new location automatically. This usually
happens so fast that most people aren't even aware of it!
Launching a new website is often a good opportunity to rethink how you're hosting the site. If you're moving to a newer, faster Web server when your site launches, we'll make sure visitors get pointed to the new server without a hitch.
Promoting your new website
With all of these other things to coordinate, it's sometimes easy to forget how exciting launching a new website really is. This is your chance to build up the hype and get your potential visitors excited about your brand. If you have an existing website, you might consider placing some sort of teaser for the new site to build anticipation. And when the site finally does launch, be vocal about it on social media or in your regular email newsletter so the people you care about are the first to know.
Think of it as a housewarming party for your new home on the Internet