After the launch of any web development project, stakeholders and web design firms might sit back proudly and call it done. There are, however, a few things that should be cared for after the big launch.
1. Check 404 error logs
Be sure to check your logs after you launch that new site.
A. Missing pages
You wouldn’t move without forwarding your mail, would you? Don’t forget to forward your important (former) page locations, either! Instead of showing the (hopefully customized) 404 error page, make sure you 301 redirect that page to the appropriate new location. You’re not only saving your visitors a click, but you might just preserve the pagerank(and trustrank) Google has given that page.
Were important images being shown on other websites? Perhaps your logo is being shown on a partner’s website. Of course they shouldn’t link directly to images on your site like that. But they did. And if the logo is now missing, it isn’t going to get visitors to click through to your site! You may also have traffic from Google’s image search or other sources. Make sure you know what happens to that traffic when images are suddenly missing.
2. Announce the site launch to vendors and customers
A website launch is an excellent reason to get in touch with old and new partners, vendors and customers. Contact them via email, email newsletter, or a direct mail piece. Who knows – you may have a product they didn’t know you offered!
3. Make adjustments
Luckily, changes can always be made after a website launch. Is something working? Not working? You can always fix it on the web. Everything web is measurable. Measure and adjust.
These steps will help any website design launch go more smoothly. Remember – it isn’t over after the big launch. Sometimes a little more work is needed to put the professional touch on that site.
Looking for a more organized approach to your next web design or redesign project? We HIGHLY recommend Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow that Works.