Step 1. A thorough briefing
Working on a new website starts with the concept and design. If you already have a website, the first step is to get it up and running on a new domain. If not, the first step will be coming up with your concept and idea. Today we'll be giving you a step-by-step new website launch checklist to help you launch a great new website in 2023! Before we get started, we want to give you a heads up; when searching for "new website checklist" or "checklist website launch" be careful that you get the right results. If you're looking for a more custom built website that's tailored to your business and needs, these checklists might not suffice.
A web design agency or web development company will help you make sure that your site looks professional and appealing to your customers, but most importantly is well thought out and actually converts visitors into paying customers. There are various types of web agencies. Some specialize in one specific area like SEO or web marketing, while others offer more diverse services such as web design and development. The important thing to consider is what services you need before choosing a web agency so that they can tailor their service package for you.
The most important thing is to be clear about the questions you ask before you ever approach or decide on a developer. Get what you want down on paper. This will help the web developer or designer to understand and quote for the job properly. It will also ensure both of you are on the same page, avoiding misunderstandings at a later, crucial stage.
Let's get started and go through everything we've combined when we asked ourselves; what makes a good website checklist. We usually don't share this information with anyone but our customers, so make sure to keep reading!
Step 2. Research your audience
Researching your audience is crucial to how well your website will perform. If you don't know who you're targeting, it's hard to give them what they want. Plus, if you research extensively before launching and make sure to include demographics as well as psychographics, marketing can be much more effective in the future. Some ways of researching your audience are by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter (to find out what customers mention about your brand or competitors) and conducting customer surveys with built-in demographics questions.
Most web agencies can help conduct research on customer behaviors so that the website design and overall usability reflects their needs. A custom website should have been designed based off of research conducted and then developed by professionals with sufficient web development experience. In order to ensure success, a detailed launch checklist should be followed which includes tasks such as brainstorming headlines and descriptions; deciding on colors and fonts; designing logos; setting up domain name registration, Google Analytics account; choosing appropriate software programs, hosting providers etc.; updating code on existing websites; creating a content plan; completing QA checklists etc.
Step 3. Create wireframes
It's important to have a wireframe because it can speed up the process of designing and developing your website. Having a wireframe is like being able to see the skeleton of your website before you build it. This will allow you to save time and money in the long run. It also helps to clarify what content should be included on each page and how it should be formatted. Wireframes can come in different shapes and sizes depending on your preference, but they are typically just lines and boxes that represent design elements such as text, buttons, images, menus, headers, etc.
A professional website created with the Storyblok Headless CMS is usually easy to set up thanks to the platform’s easy-to-use interface (or user interface). If you work with Bakklog, we will implement your design in a set of components (blocks) that you can use to build custom pages at a later stage yourself, which gives you the flexibility to add new pages without needing any development time. Components such as buttons, headers and other design elements can therefore be re-used on other pages in a matter of seconds.
Step 4. Design the website
Learning how to make a website requires a bit of knowledge gathering, patience, and that strong never ending drive that's essential when learning a new skill. If you’re new to website design, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you design a good website.
1. Decide what your site needs to do, or what you want it to do. What is your goal with the website? Is it about selling products, telling people about yourself, or showcasing your work? What do you want to showcase to your website visitors?
2. Determine how much time you can dedicate to designing and building the website before launch. How big of an undertaking is this project for you? Are you working on it by yourself or with others? Do you have a deadline? Do you want to outsource the process to professionals?
3. Choose from one of many themes that suit your needs and style—or start from scratch with no theme in mind and build something unique! Most platforms allow you to import content such as text and photos into the design; if not, it's easy to add them manually. You may find inspiration online from sites like Themeforest, Creative Market, and Adobe Spark.
4. Add functionality: The last step is adding functionality such as making sure your content is SEO friendly (Search Engine Optimization) so that people will be able to find you when they search online. Make sure to ask yourself the following: what do you want your site pages to be able to do? Should there be a way to schedule appointments or do you want to have a full blown client dashboard?
Step 5. Test your website on all devices
It's important to make sure your website looks good and functions properly across multiple devices and browsers. There are many websites that are only tested on one browser, and the difference between the experience on one device or another can be drastic. It's worth spending some time upfront in order to catch any technical issues before they're visible to your customers. One way to ensure your website works seamlessly on all browsers is by using a cloud service like BrowserStack (or another similar service). With this type of web development tool, you'll be able to open up your website in different browsers from within your account, test it out, and detect any performance issues before they become public knowledge. Go through your entire site and ensure that all pages work as intended. When you're working with a professional web design agency they'll take care of this for you.
Step 6. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Having a responsive website is becoming increasingly important as mobile devices continue to become more popular. If your website isn't fully responsive, or if it has some mobile usability issues, you should make sure to fix these before the launch of your new site. A mobile friendly website can increase traffic and conversion rates by providing a good user experience for visitors who are on the go.
To ensure that your site will work well on all types of devices, be sure to test it on different browsers and operating systems before the big day. You'll also want to think about how users might view your site on their smartphones. Responsive websites have small screen sizes in mind which allows them to load quickly, contain only necessary content and maintain the same user interface across desktop, tablets and phones.
Step 7. Don’t forget about videos
Videos are an easy way to boost your SEO, and increase the likelihood of getting high rankings on Google. Plus, they're great at capturing an audience that may not have time to read through your entire website. If you don't already have videos on your site, now is the time to add them before you launch so that they can be indexed properly in the search engines.
Take these three steps before uploading your video:
1) title it with keywords relevant to your site;
2) attach a transcript of the video to ensure all content is searchable;
3) upload it onto YouTube and link back to it from anywhere on your site where appropriate.
Step 8. Create relevant links to your social profiles
It's important to get your website up and running before you start marketing it. Once your site is live, you'll want to make sure that people know about it so they can visit and make purchases. One way to do this is by adding links to your social media profiles on all of the pages of your website. This will allow potential customers who come across your website to easily share it with their friends through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, which will help generate more traffic for you website. From each of your relevant website pages, add a link to your social media profiles in for example the footer of the website.
If you want to go the extra mile, start working on link building. Learn more about link building and read our link building strategy guide with the best tips to get your website ranked higher in 2023.
Last but not least, another important thing to consider is accessibility. When launching a new website, web accessibility should be one of your top priorities. By following web accessibility guidelines and standards, your website can be made usable by everyone regardless of disability or situation. Web accessibility ensures that those with physical or psychological impairments can use the web just as easily as everyone else. Moreover, web accessibility means visitors with old technology or slow internet connections will still have an enjoyable experience on your site. Allowing people to use and interact with your web content without challenges translates into an increase in satisfied users who are more likely to stay longer and visit more often. Web accessibility is a fantastic way to demonstrate that you value every user and encourage them to engage with your content no matter what their circumstances may be.
Ready to learn more? Get started by reading our ultimate web accessibility guide.
Bonus: Optimize your website for SEO and conversions
SEO is constantly changing, and what worked last year may not work this year. That's why it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends. Here are four SEO trends that you should be aware of in 2023:
1. Voice search will become more important than ever. With the growth of smart speakers, more and more people are using voice search to find information online. As a result, businesses need to optimize their website for voice search. This means using natural language and long-tail keywords to make it easier for voice assistants to find your content.
2. Visual search will also become more important. With the rise of Pinterest and other image-based social media platforms, users are becoming more accustomed to searching for information by image. As a result, businesses need to make sure their website is optimized for visual search. This means including high-quality images with relevant keywords and captions.
3. Mobile optimization will become even more critical. More than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, so it's essential that your website is designed for mobile users. This means having a responsive design that can adjust to different screen sizes, as well as ensuring that your content loads quickly on mobile connections.
4. The role of content will continue to evolve. In the past, SEO was all about cramming as many keywords into your content as possible. However, Google's algorithms have become much more sophisticated, and they now focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity of keywords. As a result, businesses need to create well-written and informative content that provides value to readers.
By keeping these SEO trends in mind, you can ensure that your website is well-optimized for both SEO and conversions in 2023. If you want to learn more, continue reading our blog post on the top SEO trends for 2023 or if you're more of a beginner make sure to check out our Ultimate SEO Beginners Guide for 2023.