Today I’m talking about launching your website. If you’ve been tuning in over the past size weeks, I’ve talked about designing a strategic website including your navigation, home page, about page, portfolio, sales page, and contact page to cover everything you need to build a website that helps your business to thrive. Now it’s time to talk about launching that website you’ve built. This is the way that I help my clients prepare for a launch and get their website into the world. This episode will be helpful if you’re working with a designer or designing a website yourself and you’re ready to launch in a way that helps your business to grow.
- Building excitement for your website launch
- Finding cheerleaders to help promote your new design
- Finalizing the design of your website
- Why you need to test your website before launch and what to look at
- Preparing for your website launch
- What you should do after your website launches
- Make a list of potential cheerleaders
- Create graphics to share when you launch your website
- Collect information about your current domain and host, including username and password, so it’s in one place.
1. Build excitement
Let your audience in
Build excitement for your upcoming launch a month in advance by letting you audience know what's going on. Give them a behind-the-scenes look into what you’re doing including why you’re updating your website and what to expect before and after you launch. One fun way to do this is to create a countdown that you share on social media.
Find cheerleaders to help promote your launch
Email friends, business associates, collaborators to let them know what you’re working on and ask for their help in promoting your launch. Then, make it easy for them to share by providing images, copy, and important dates.
Share the process
Share sneak peeks of what the website will look like (a partial screen shot, color palette, mood board) to get them excited and build suspense. A great way to do this is to use social media to talk about what you’re learning and why you’re updating your website, focusing on the heart behind your brand and how you can better serve your clients.
Finalize Your Website
This step comes after the design of your website is finished, when you're just making sure that everything is ready to go.
Make sure your website is SEO ready by adding site and page descriptions, updating image metadata, and submiting your sitemap to google.
Test everything (twice)
This includes forms, links, and what your website looks like on mobile, tablet and desktop views across browers.
There are a few steps you'll need to take before your website can officially launch.
- Back-up your old website if you want to keep it
- Pay for your new platform is necessary
- Connect your domain If you are changing platforms, you will need to redirect your domain to point to the new website. For Squarespace, you can follow their tutorials. If you're using Showit, you need to submit everything to Showit and they will connect it for you.
- Set up your email. The email you are currently using will remain active as long as your hosting is active. If you choose to cancel your hosting, you will need to host your email elsewhere. If you are now hosting your website with Squarespace, you have the option of creating a G Suite account, which will allow you to send and receive email through Gmail. If you choose to move your email hosting to G Suite, you will need to redirect it to G Suite before canceling your current hosting.
- Do a soft launch. Test everything again once the website is live and allow enough time for everything to switch over (at least 3 days) before your official launch.
- If you are starting a new website, have a few blog posts ready to post the day you launch to give visitors something to engage with
Now it's time to share your new website and celebrate. I love sharing on Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live.
After You Launch
You aren't done after your launch. Check your analytics after a month to see if you’re meeting your website goals and make tweaks based on visitor feedback and analytics data. Also, continue promoting your content and website design and keep a list of updates you want to make down the road.