Creating a Website Checklist
Anyone who has ever had to design and create a website will tell you that there is more that goes into the making of a website than one realizes. There are many intricate details in the design and coding that cannot be over-looked. One small mistake can lead to endless technical glitches and frustration. This is even more of a liability when it is a business website, deterring many would-be customers, who would rather look elsewhere than to deal with a faulty site.
This is why it is a no-brainer to have a comprehensive checklist to go through before your site goes live. Below we listed the essential checks you have to do as well as the main areas of checks to cover.
This is a simple check of all content including fact-checking, grammar, titles. Ensure everything is in the right place and that formatting is consistent throughout site.
Do not over-look the legalities of your website. It is recommended that you seek further legal advice where necessary.
- If any content/coding is sourced from elsewhere it is imperative that you adhere to copyright laws.
- If your website involves monetary transactions, ensure that you are compliant with the relevant authorizing committees.
- Ensure your site includes necessary information and disclaimers concerning privacy policies and cookies.
If your site contains any features, test and validate them all thoroughly. These may include:
- Shopping cart
- Third party tools.
- 404 Redirect pages /(page-not-found.aspx).
- All payment channels.
- Internal links and External links
- Page load times –ensure that these have been tested and optimised.
- Company logo that links to the homepage
- Forms to be submitted and relevant form responses
- Up-to-date Plugins
- Feeds (RSS, social media, news)
- Social media share icons
Security is something that is also imperative to your websites survival and should not be taken lightly. Security features need to be regularly updated. You might want to consider automatic core updates .Some fundamental security measures include:
- Backing up on a regular basis
- Using only plugins from well-known and reputable sources and ensuring they are up-to-date.
- Choosing good usernames and passwords that are not easy to guess.(Do not use “admin” as a username)
- Making use of plugins that scan your site for Malware, regularly, and that will alert you to any unauthorised logins.
- Regularly changing passwords and file permissions
- Ensuring that WordPress is up-to-date
To ensure that anyone can access your website at any time, you need to ensure that it is cross browser compatible, meaning that it will work in all browsers.
It should also be functional across various device types including desktops, tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
All media formats (images, text, and video, audio) should be working properly on all devices, across all browsers.
Social Media Integration
One cannot ignore the power of social media these days for marketing and lead generation.
- Ensure your website is integrated with all your social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube.
- Ensure your social media profiles include links back to your website.
Having an awesome website is pointless if it cannot be found. Having effective Search engine optimization in place is key. SEO is a skill-set on its own and requires constant up-keep, which is why these services can often be outsourced. A plug-in like Yoast can also help you get started. Never-the-less basic SEO essentials include:
- Formatting that is SEO-friendly
- Page URL’s are well-organized to display the information structure of the site
- The site is registered on a search engine indexing platform such as Google Webmaster tools
- The site includes effective: Meta keywords, Image alt tags, unique page titles, Meta descriptions, Robots.txt File, Sitemap, Custom 404(not found), Error pages
Monitoring your website
To be able to track traffic and statistics regularly to your site, install Google Analytics code to all pages on your site.
Some of these may require more help and technical skill sets to complete. It may be worth investing in some expertise. Once you have covered all of these categories of your checklist, you should be ok!