Over the last couple of months, we have had the opportunity to work closely with Harpoon Brewery as we designed their new website. We had the best time working on this project and learning more about Harpoon’s long history in New England. We couldn’t be happier with the final product, so to celebrate, we’ve dedicated this blog post to the five steps we follow to ensure a successful website launch.
Timing is everything. We hear it all the time so it must be true. When launching a website, it’s important that everyone involved is on the same page. This includes when the site is actually going live. To determine the right time to go-live, dive into your analytics to get your site’s traffic. This will help you determine when your target audience is most active on your website. This could also influence you to launch when traffic is low. That way you have the opportunity to work out any kinks you may find.
One of the first things you want to do in this area is to backup your old website. This is good practice in case you should ever have to revert back to the original. Next, we recommend setting up 301 redirects. You want all of your website visitors to be able to easily transition from the old site to the new. Once this is complete, make sure tracking scripts are installed. This way Google Analytics can properly track traffic on your new site. Last but not least, configure the DNS to point to the correct hosting provider, update all URLs to lead to the new domain name, and reprint old materials with the new domain name.
Before officially launching a new website, you need to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. This doesn’t have to be a solo job. Have other employees test the functionality of the site on different browsers to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Promoting a new site is key. To make the most of a site launch; make sure you switch all marketing campaign URLs to the new site. It’s also beneficial to team up with marketing to create special campaigns to announce when the new website is active. This could include social media posts and giveaways. Allow yourself to get creative.