From Design to Function: Step by Step to Launching a Website

When you’ve developed an idea for a small business and done all the financial and other research to get things up and running, you have to make sure you don’t forget your most important marketing tool – your website. If web design is something you’re happy to do then go for it, but even if you can get a good design you may be a little uncertain about how to get it up and running on a web server.

The good thing is that there are hosting services out there that can work with you to provide the hosting and get your domain name organized, as well as offering a range of options that can start very cheaply. Take, as an example, GoDaddy, the company that Bob Parsons set up. The company offers you a range of options for hosting a WordPress site. At a basic level, you can get a free domain, a website, good storage and an agreed number of monthly visitors before you incur any other charges.

At the top end, you can get five websites and much more storage and permitted number of monthly visitors.

Preparing your launch

Once you have your basic design for your website and have your domain name and web hosting organized, you need to consider a number of further steps before you launch – here are a few initial ideas:

Visitor analytics

Ensure a program is installed so you can track numbers of visitors, page views, time on site and new visits. Without this on every page of your site, you’ll have no information and nothing to go on to make improvements.

Do a crawl test

It’s rare that a launch goes perfectly, despite the amount of work you’ve put in. A crawl test will check your site’s accessibility, ensuring visitors and search engines are able to reach pages successfully, the way you want them to.

Test with browser emulators

Check that your design works with a number of browsers (in particular Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari) so it looks good in all of them.

Get email signup organized

Building lists of potential customers can be very useful for the future, so offer the option and perhaps some incentives for people to sign up.

Planning is the key

You need to think through all the options for making your website’s launch a success. Take advice, plan carefully, and then get yourself into the stratosphere!