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Pre Launch Website Checklist For Your Portfolio
Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve finished the portfolio website you’ve been working on and you’re ready to announce it to the world with your .archi domain name. But wait. Don’t hit that publish button yet. You owe it to yourself, your career and your website to check its going to be the best it can be with a pre launch website checklist.
To help you, we’ve created a four part pre launch website checklist you should follow.
1. Checking Your Design
The likelihood of missing something really important in your design is very high when building your website. We’ve all done it, so going back and checking your design with a pre launch website checklist is vital to fix those design mistake. Here are three really easy tests you can do to make sure your website passes the design test.
Images and graphics are extremely important element of any portfolio website. Make sure in your pre launch website checklist they all display properly on different screens and resolutions, especially on all those ultra-high-definition devices. If you are not lucky enough to have multiple screens to test on.
Try using Quirktools Screenfly. It will allow you to test your website in multiple screen sizes and resolutions from the comfort of your browser.
The rule of thumb with images is to upload your image at twice the size it’ll display on your site. In some cases, you can upload two images: an actual-size version for lower-res devices, and another that’s twice the size for high-res devices.
Why is this important? Heavier images mean slower loading pages, and the worse your user experience will be.
Different browsers may display your website in different ways, so it’s important to test your site in different browsers. Take a look at W3’s browser stats to see where you should focus your testing.
During the pre launch website checklist you’ll want to make sure your layouts, typography, navigation, and other design elements are displaying properly. Four things that you must check are fonts,colors/gradients, images and logo.
Testing multiple browsers on multiple platforms isn’t just difficult — it can be virtually impossible without the correct resources. However there are tools that let you comprehensively test your website, and check if it successfully displays across various browsers, platforms and resolutions. Here are three free Cross-Browser compatibility tool you can find online.
Browsershots – Browsershots may be the most exhaustive cross-browser testing tool that exists. It includes all of the most popular browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, along with tons of other browsers that may sound unfamiliar, like Flock, SeaMonkey, and Iceape.
CrossBrowserTesting – CrossBrowserTesting allows users to test their websites with over 100 resolution/browser/OS combinations. It also has support for mobile web browsers, which is important because web traffic is making the shift from primarily desktop computer users to primarily mobile users in the future.
Spoon – Though some cross-browser testing services may allow you to use to test on tons of obscure browsers, this is typically not necessary. Most web developers focus on the most popular browsers. Spoon is a good resource that lets you live test your website using the most popular browsers, including Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
In 2014 the number of mobile usage passed that of desktop. This means that more people are using their smartphones to browse the web than sitting in front of a computer. This growth has led to an explosion of more web-capable devices that come with a staggering array of screen sizes.
This is also where mobile navigation is crucial. Be sure to test out the user’s ability to navigate around the website on a touchscreen device, and make sure nothing gets lost in device transition.
Your site should perform well on any screen size or device, but be sure to double check. You never know where your next employer, clients or customers is coming from. Well actually you can be pretty sure that it’s likely to be from a mobile device.
Browserstack is a great tool for cross-device functionality testing. If does provide a free trial which should be sufficient for a single site launch but it’s worth subscribing if you are going to be launching multiple sites.
2. Functionality Testing
Design and functionality go hand in hand, but when it comes to testing a website design it’s worth isolating them from each other. Being able to do this in isolation means you’ll launch a website that both looks great but also performs well.
Ok so the bigger your website the more complex and lengthy your link testing will be. I guarantee if you do a link test before you launch you’ll find a link or two that goes nowhere or to the wrong page.., and it’s important to find them before your end-users do.
Some of the most important links to test are:
Top navigation links
Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Logo (typically links to the home page)
All buttons on your website
Test web forms or contact me buttons to make sure you actually receive the message
This one is super important, especially if you have a robust website using databases, e commerce or any number of integrations. You should create a list of integrations as you build so you don’t forget when it’s time to test and launch.
3. Content Editing
Content is king, checking and double checking your content may sound boring but think of the alternative. Even one mistake or spelling error puts many web visitors off.
If you built your website content-first, you should have final content already in place, so you can focus on things like, proofing for spelling and grammatical errors.
Remember that managing a website is pretty easy these days and you can make changes really quickly so it’s okay for content to be changed later on. You can always adjust text through your CMS like WordPress or Squarespace. The main goal here is to make sure that your website content makes sense and is for visitors to read.
4. Search Engine Optimization
As we all know, SEO is a very important part of your website. Getting it right makes it easy for search engines to make sure you show up for the right searches and makes sure that the right visitors are coming to your website. It can be really easy to forget SEO before you launch or to think you can do it later.
But as soon as you launch your website the search engines will start indexing and fixing SEO issue gets even more complicated when you forget to do them in the first place!
Here is a quick checklist of things you should do for your websites SEO before you launch.
Critical Things To Do
Targeting – Is a relevant page targeting a specific keyword phrase?
Content – Does each web page contain unique and indexable content targeting the applicable page?
Title Tag – Does the page contain an unique Title Tag that is less than 70 characters long and include the targeted phrase at the beginning?
URL – Is the URL structure semantically clear, short and targeting the appropriate phrase?
Meta Description – Does the website include an unique Meta Description that is less than 155 characters?
Alt Text – Do all of the images on the website include Alt Text? (At least one of them should target the keyword)
Internal links – Do Internal links point at the page with the targeted phrase or keyword
Worth Double Checking Before Launch
Meta Robots – Does the page include or need Meta Robots?
Robots.txt – Is the page blocked by Robots.txt?
Meta Keywords – Does the page contain Meta Keywords? (It shouldn’t)
H1 – Is the keyword included in the H1 titles of your web pages text?
Lastly before you launch your website set up website analytics. Website analytics are another crucial piece to set up before you launch. It’s free to set up a Google Analytics account, and incredibly easy to integrate Google Analytics with your website. Once setup, you’ll be able to track visitors, where they are coming from, browsers and devices they use and how they interact with your website almost instantly!