Hitting the Launch button
The “launch” is what a website project is all about. It’s our common goal: the whole project team, the client, third party contributors—everyone!—strives towards making it a reality every day. But for many people, what actually goes into making a website live is a great mystery…
There’s no secret “launch” button.
BoxUK.com have written an amazingly comprehensive “Launch Checklist“. With 58 boxes to tick off between getting approval and moving into the maintenance phase, it’s no wonder this part of the project always seems to take longer than expected.
Here at Bluewire Media, we’re just in the early phases of incorporating a checklist like this into our deployment processes to ensure everything we launch has a tick of quality.
Here are some of the steps we would go through to put a typical website live:
- Proofread the copy, check images & links, and make sure no test content has been left in.
- Set up a Google Analytics account, confirm the account and put the “tracking code” into the website.
- Check that domains have been purchased and the right hosting accounts are set up.
- If we have to point your domain to our server, we now have to wait up to 72hrs for computers all over the world to recognise its new address.
- Create databases and update configuration files.
- Upload data to the live database.
- Upload all website files to the live hosting account.
- Test, test, TEST!!!
- Turn on “friendly URLs” (that’s “contact.html” instead of “index.php?id=383“, for example)
- Test, test, test again!
- Submit the site to search engines, awards and galleries.
- Call the site live… finally!
As you can see, there are lots of things going on to get your site “out there”, which is why it’s important to allocate at least a week to deploy any project. Launching a website is definitely not like pressing a big, red button!