We’re getting ready to launch the new website for Rocky Grove Sun Company. The new site is visible in the screen shot on the left, and the old on is on the right below.
The guys at Rocky Grove had a site put together by a friend a long time ago, and they knew they needed an update. The new site shows their work more clearly, makes it clear that they are a highly qualified and professional outfit, and will be something they can refer potential clients to with confidence.
We’re going through our final process, and I’d like to share it with you. If you’re getting ready to launch a site of your own, you might want to do the same.
We met with the site owners and talked with them about their goals back when we first began.They provided the photos they wanted us to use.
I wrote up the content and sent it along for approval, and designer Tom Hapgood made a mock up for the design and sent that for approval as well.
Getting approval at these points along the way helps us all avoid unpleasant surprises.
Tom built the site, I made text changes as needed, and the site owners checked it and made sure everything was as it should be.
Now it’s time for the final checklist:
- Install Google Analytics so the site owners can keep an eye on their site’s traffic and so on. Since I know that the guys at Rocky Grove don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, I installed the Web Ninja plug-in for them. It’ll show them a quick view of their traffic on their dashboard.
- Hook up the social media. We find the company’s social media and add the icons to the homepage. We may also add “share” buttons at this point; it depends on the site. If a company doesn’t have their social media profiles set up, we may do that now as well.
- Final proofread. Rosie does this for us; Tom and I have both spent enough time with the site that we can miss things by now (think of it as your brain caching a perfect copy and failing to see issues). In this case, we needed to add the Rocky Grove installers’ NABCEP certification numbers. This is also a good time to check links and validate the code.
- Hosting arrangements. Exactly what needs to be done at this point varies depending on the hosting arrangements the client has chosen; whatever it is, we assist them in whatever way we can. Sometimes there are redirects to take care of or domain ownership issues to straighten out, and sometimes we just put the files into place and we’re set.
- Make the site live.
- Submit to search engines. We submit sites to the major search engines immediately.
- Training. Depending on the project, site owners may need training to use their content management system, to keep up their linkbuilding, or to use their analytics effectively. If you’re looking after your own website, it makes sense to become familiar with these things before you have trouble with them.
- Linkbuilding. We usually conduct a linkbuilding campaign to give the new site a good start.
- Two week checkup. We watch the analytics for a couple of weeks to make sure that the site is working as it should. Analytics tell you if your visitors are finding their way around, if the people arriving at the site were looking for the things you’re selling, and lots more useful information. If any changes need to be made, we make them and keep an eye out to make sure that they do what they’re supposed to do.
That’s what we do for a website during the launch process. What should you do, as a site owner? Read When Your New Site Launches for specific advice on getting your new website seen.