About to conduct a site launch and need a quick checklist to follow? No problem. This short 9-Point List is a good place to start.
As with any business venture, do your homework. Don’t rely upon blaming someone else if things go wrong. Murphy’s Law says that they will, so deal with it.
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Article by Joserodrig
Launching a new site can be really intense. Preparing your team for the launch and ensuring that you’ve got all angles covered are both tiring and exhilarating.
1. Do Your Homework. Correctly starting a new site is hard work. Prepare your site for the type of people you want to be your visitors. Gather interesting contents based on your niche.
2. Create A Killer Design. A good design is essential for new website, especially if you want to gain loyal visitors and/or readership. Yes, if you are running a blog, your content must be great, but your design is what grabs the visitor attention first – so try to make a lasting, good impression.
3. Gather Enough Quality Content. There is no reason in launching a site with only 1-2 posts. It is advisable to have 10 articles up during a launch and be ready to post new articles every day, for at least one month after the launch. It will let people know that you are serious about running a site.
4. Offer Giveaways For First Readers. A good way to ensure that you are getting quality visitors during the launch day is to offer giveaways. For example, you can give your services for free (if you are a designer, coder, writer, etc…) or give full version of your software and let your readers to post reviews on your site.
5. Set Up Google Services. Set up Gmail, Webmaster tools, Google Analytics, Feedburner, Sitemaps, Adsense etc. Make sure they are all working properly before the launch. It would be annoying if after launching a site, you find out one week later that you have a faulty Feedburner link or the analytics is not properly configured to track your traffic stats.
6. Use Social Media. A couple of months before the launch; you should set up a Facebook group and collect as many fans as possible. Post updates on your upcoming site. Certainly it will help you gather potential visitors long before the official launch date. You can also use Twitter and MySpace simultaneously. Building up enough anticipation among potential readers can ensure a successful launch.
7. Be Ready For Traffic Spike. If you have been successful enough in keeping people curious about your new site, you should be ready for ‘digg effect’ from popular sites, such as Digg, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Make sure that your webhost can handle sharp spikes and has enough resources and experience in handling such occurrences. If you have good preparation and expecting for a serious traffic, stay away from shared hosting plan and get a dedicated server.
8. Perform a Last Minute Checks On Everything. Are your pages, categories and archives in order? Does your 404 page work smoothly? Does your contact form work? Make a complete checklist on everything related to your site. Getting complaints on the launch day that your search feature doesn’t work is pretty much embarrassing.
9. Spread Words on Blogs and Forums In Your Niche. Make hundreds of comments on blogs and posts on forums is essential to build awareness and develop relationships among people in your niche. By commenting on other blogs, visitors and RSS subscribers on those blogs can be more eager in visiting your site during the launch day.
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