13 Things to Check Before Your New Website Launch

Website Launch Checklist

 

You just made your new website launch announcement. Yay! But are you really ready to launch? Before you hit LIVE, make sure you have these basic things checked off the list!

 

1. Add favicon

It’s super easy! Make sure you have a square logo ready to go. Simply go to your Squarespace Dashboard > Design > Browser Icon to add it and it will appear on the browser tab.

 

2. Quality of Images

Use only images that are high quality and not pixelated. It is worth it to hire a professional photographer to take care of your brand and/or product images. If you really cannot afford a professional photographer when you’re starting out, you can learn how to take better product pictures on YouTube. For certain businesses, it is also suitable to use stock photos. There are some free images available or you can purchase stock photos. It’s definitely worth the investment to have high quality photos on your website.

 

3. Optimize Image Sizes

Make sure all your images are sized down and compressed so that your website can load faster. It is great for user experience which decreases your website bounce rate, and which means google would love it. I use compressjpeg.com to compress all my JPGs.

 

4. Add Image Alt Text

In Squarespace, image alt text are actually the captions that shows up below the images. Go to the bottom of the image and insert your image alt text.

 

If you don’t see the caption field, hover over your image and click on the pencil icon in the top left > Design > Caption Below in the drop down menu.

 

Once you have inserted your image alt text, if you don’t want it to be showing, go to IMAGE > DESIGN > DO NOT DISPLAY CAPTION

 

5. Turn on Pinterest Save Buttons

You can make it easier for your customers to pin your product photos, quote images or infographics by enabling the Pinterest Save Buttons. You can do that easily in Squarespace by going to Marketing > Pinterest Save Buttons. From that menu, you can configure how you like the pin buttons to be on your website images. WordPress also has great Pinterest Pin plugins too.

 

 

 

6. Check Potential Copyright Issues

Check all your images, files and text to make sure there are no copyright issues. Some professions, like me who was in the events industry, we save a lot of pictures as inspirations. We end up with many images and files on our devices not remembering where they came from. Make sure you have not accidentally used those files on your website without permission. Better be safe to double check!

 

7. Have a 404 Page Setup

Oops, somethings we’ve a broken link. Having a 404 page setup is important because you need to direct your potential clients back to where they wanted to go. Help them find where they had originally wanted to go or redirect them to other website content. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simple insert a search bar on the page and links to your main menus. If you have blog posts, you might want to add some popular ones to the page as well. Here’s a very simple 404 Page I wiped up, take a look. And yes google likes that you have a 404 Page too!

 

8. Have a Terms & Privacy Page

You think no one reads this page? I know a VIP who reads this page! Google! When you have a Terms & Privacy page on your website, it tells google that your website can be trusted. Also, it’s probably a legal requirement since most governments are placing heavy emphasis on the privacy of site visitors information now a days.

 

9. Enable General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR

If you’re doing business in the EU or you have clients from there. It is also a legal requirement that you have that (annoying) pop up on your website. To enable that on your website, go to your Squarespace Dashboard > Cookies & Visitor Data > Check off Enable Cookie Banner and configure it.

 

 

10. Ensure your SSL Certificate is Turned On

It is a type of digital certificate that provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. Without SSL, your website visitors are at higher risk of having their data stolen. Your site security is also at risk without encryption. Search engines favors websites with an active SSL certificate. Some browsers will give that dreaded warning to your potential site visits if you don’t have it activated which will cause your visitor to leave your site.

 

With Squarespace, an SSL certificate is included with your subscription while other sites may not. To ensure that you SSL certificate is turned on, go to your Squarespace Dashboard > SETTINGS > ADVANCE > SSL. Make sure it’s activated.

 

 

11. Enable Accelerated Mobile Page AMP for Your Squarespace Blog

This feature creates lightweight version of your blog so that it loads faster on mobile devices. While AMP is not officially a ranking factor for Google, it does help with your page load speed. When your website loads faster, it will rank higher. Only blog posts on your Squarespace website can display AMP formatting, it isn’t available for other pages. To turn this on, go to SETTINGS > BLOGGING > ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES

 

12. Connect Your Social Media Accounts

To do that, simply go to your Squarespace Dashboard > Settings > Social Links and add all your social media links. You can then enable the social media icons and links it in your header and/or footer or other areas of your website.

 

13. Test Test TEST!

Ok so everything is setup, now set aside time to test your website. Test it inside out, test every single link! The most important is to test your Contact Form! The worst thing is to have a potential dream couple contact you through your form but it actually doesn’t work! Here are a list of things to test:

  • test your contact form

  • test your newsletter signup form

  • test every single link

  • test on desktop

  • test on mobile

  • test on tablet

  • test on different browsers

 

I’ve created a website launch checklist for you below so you can pin this for later. After you’ve checked off all the items, you’re ready to launch! Congratulations on your new website! Wishing you an amazing business journey. If you find this too overwhelming for you, I can surely help off load these tasks from you. I would love to hear what your struggles are when it comes to your new website launch, so I lend a hand. Let’s chat!

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13 things to check before you launch your squarespace website

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