The final days before the launch of a new website can be as exciting & intense as the final quarter of a high-profile basketball game: the stakes just keep getting higher.
For weeks or even months, the client and the web design team work towards launching a beautiful new website design. If there was a crowd, it would be restless with palpable excitement as the clock starts to run out.
Working with a skilled web team can definitely help the process go smoothly. In addition to that, preparing your internal team for the change and knowing what to expect can reduce the overall stress.
5 Questions to Help You Prepare for a Website Launch
1. Do You Have All the Correct Logins?
There are a lot of moving parts to get a brand new website or a website redesign up on the web. Every website needs a domain name and a hosting server. These 2 elements are often set up on different platforms. You’ll also have to consider email management settings if they are tied to the website.
Before you can even schedule the date the site goes live, you’ll typically need to gather logins for the hosting server and domain registrar and share these with your web team.
Your website team can help you determine what login information will be needed. Once you’ve gathered this information, always check the logins and make sure everything works well.
2. Who is Launching the New Site?
For the majority of website projects, your website team will handle launching the new website for you and you’ll just be responsible for providing the proper logins and access.
However, there are situations in which your IT manager or team will need to handle the final steps in the process and work with the web design team. Sometimes, a collaboration is required, with the website team putting the new website set up on the hosting server and the IT manager completing the final step of updating the DNS, pointing the domain to the new site.
Before your site goes live, figure out who will be involved in the process and what everyone’s responsibilities are. It’s likely to be a team effort, and if so, set up a specific timeline for each step. The last thing you want is for a miscommunication to cause a delay in the process.
3. What Are Your Post-Launch Marketing Campaigns?
A new website can be a wonderful marketing opportunity for businesses. However, you want to plan any marketing campaigns very carefully.
Avoid sending out any major marketing campaigns on the same day the new website goes live. While everything should go smoothly, you never know if a hiccup will occur. As a best practice, plan your marketing campaigns for a few days or even a week after the launch date.
This gives your team plenty of time to fix any final quality control issues and to make sure the site is 100% ready for a high volume of traffic.
Many businesses will try to launch a new website prior to a big conference or company event. If this is the case for you, be sure to alert your web design team as early as possible, so you can hit that target date.
4. Is Your Team Trained & Ready to Manage the New Site?
Even if your new website is built on the same platform as your previous site, you will need to get familiar with the new one.
First, figure out who on your company team will be managing the site in terms of editing and posting content. While you may have a couple of team members working on the site, it’s helpful to pick a point person who is set up with full administrative access.
Your website design team will typically provide one or two training sessions on the new website. Before the site launches, you should know how to make basic content edits, add new users, post articles and adjust small things. If the website is built on a popular platform, such as WordPress, you can also take advantage of the numerous tutorials and training videos available online.
5. Do You Have Post-Launch Support?
A lot of businesses will make the mistake of assuming that the developer or web team who builds the site will be available forever for site changes and support. This isn’t always the case.
When you are searching for a website partner for the project, evaluate the support provided after the site launches. Any website team or developer will typically provide at least 30 days of guaranteed support and changes after the site goes live.
However, most website platforms like WordPress require maintenance and security for the website to run smoothly.
Before you launch the new website, evaluate the support package with your existing website team. If you don’t feel comfortable with the options, you may want to create and put the new website up online and then search for a new long-term partner once the launch is completed.