A checklist on yellow paper.

Designing, developing, and launching a new website is an exciting process, but keeping track of every little detail can be stressful for even the most seasoned team of professionals. From copy to design assets, navigation to optimization, and everything in between, there are plenty of seemingly minuscule details that can get easily overlooked but can affect the appearance, function, and success of the entire site.

It might just be an unnoticeable typo in an interior page heading, or it could be a misrouted data capture form that costs your company potential leads. Because every element of your website plays a vital role or contributes to the overall success of your site, it is important to make sure that no stone goes unturned and no detail goes unchecked.

This is where a handy, indepth, comprehensive checklist comes into play! Having a list of essential elements and details to check before launching your site can help you catch any potential errors or mishaps (and save you a lot of stress and overthinking).

We’ve broken this list down into the six stages of development. Depending on the scale, scope, and purpose of your site, it may not require every single one of these items, or it may require a very unique feature that isn’t listed here. Keeping this in mind, you can edit this list to your exact needs, but this checklist is a great (and thorough) place to start!

Content.

Before you can outline, design, and finalize the visual elements of your site, you first have to prepare the content your site will be built around. This includes:

  • Writing headings, subheadings, and CTAs
  • Writing content for the home and interior pages
  • Proofreading & editing all copy for spelling, grammar, and accuracy
  • Ensuring that all contact details are correct and accurate
  • Removing or replacing any placeholder copy (lorem ipsum or generic content)

Outline.

Once your content is outlined, you can begin wireframing and designing your website. This includes:

  • Designing & developing the header(s)
  • Designing & developing the footer(s)
  • Designing & developing the homepage
  • Designing & developing any interior pages (including the blog roll, if applicable)
  • Placing & formatting all written content
  • Creating/sourcing, editing, optimizing file sizes, and placing visual content (images, videos, etc.)
  • Creating & placing any data capture forms
  • Writing & placing all confirmation, thank you, or error messages for forms
  • Ecommerce setup (if applicable), including:
    • Products
    • Shopping cart
    • Shipping, taxes, and other fees
    • Customer profiles
    • Payment gateways
    • Order processes

Function

After you have designed & developed your site and placed all of your content, it’s time to test the functionality and make adjustments as necessary. This includes:

  • Testing responsive design on all devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile)
  • Testing all links, including
    • Site navigation
    • Outbound links
    • Telephone and other contact
    • Social media (both social sharing and links to your social profiles)
  • Testing all data capture forms
  • Testing auto-responders (if applicable)
  • Testing all feeds (RSS, social)
  • Testing checkout processes (for ecommerce sites)
  • Testing all third-party integrations (CRMs, e-commerce software, marketing platforms)

Experience.

While testing the function of your site, it’s important to also look at the site from your customer’s perspective. What will their experience be like? What conversion path should they take? This includes:

  • Ensuring that all branding is consistent
  • Testing your site on all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer)
  • Testing your website on all device types (Apple, Android)
  • Testing your site speed
  • Checking the quality & function of all visual content
  • Linking all brand logos to the homepage
  • Ensuring the favicon loads properly & displays properly in all browsers/on all devices
  • Properly validating all CSS and HTML
  • Placing 404 Redirect pages

Optimization.

Once you’ve developed and tested your site, it’s time to make sure it is fully optimized. This includes:

  • Optimizing & proofing page titles & slugs
  • Creating & proofing unique meta descriptions for each page
  • Optimizing content with keywords
  • Setting up your XML sitemap and analytics
  • Placing 301 Redirects for all old URLS
  • Placing rel=”nofollow” tags on applicable links/pages
  • Placing alt tags on all images

Security & Compliance.

Before you finally launch your site, it’s vital to make sure that all data capturing is secure and all content is compliant with any applicable state, country, or international codes/laws. It is best to consult with legal counsel regarding these matters, and this post does not offer legal guidance regarding security, codes, laws, or regulations. But here are a few things you may need to consider:

  • Backing up a final copy of your site
  • Creating and storing copies of your site on a regular basis
  • Storing all passwords and credentials in a secure database
  • Encrypting your site with a TLS (SSL)
  • Announcing the usage of cookies on your site (required in some countries)
  • Ensuring your site is compliant with usage rights for purchased or borrowed code, content, or fonts/typefaces
  • Ensuring privacy policies and terms are displayed/accessible
  • Ensuring your site is PCI compliant (if processing and storing credit cards)

Check, check, and check!

Not sure if your current site meets all of these marks? Ready to get started on a new website for your brand, but worried you might miss a few of these details? Give us a call and lets discuss how we can help make sure your website is fully ready for take off (or how we can design, develop, and launch a brand new one for you)!