Is Your Site Ready to Go Live?
If all your work is done and you are ready to go live, now is the time to review your site just to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. The beauty of a content management system is that you can always fix your mistakes and change things when necessary. But it is also important to make a great first impression.
Below is a list of important items to check before you launch your site.
Is your site structure set?
This may seem remedial, but it is important to survey your sections and make sure that the structure you have created is something you have the resources to keep full with new content on a regular basis. Any sections that are not full of content should be hidden until they are ready for users to see them. If you are unsure, watch this video outlining some basics about site structure.
- Have you checked all your links?
Make sure all the links in your main, header, and footer navigation are working properly and not pointing to dead pages. Click around your site to make sure your readers don't accidentally end up on an empty section or get the dreaded "404 - Page Not Found" error.
Have you filled in all the Site Settings and Meta Data?
An important part of you ongoing success is the relevance of your site to the search engines. Make sure that all the Site Settings and Meta Data are filled out completely.
Is your content uploaded?
You can always add more content at any time, but you should have as much of your content as possible up and ready for your readers to find at the time of your launch. Web users are very fickle. If your site seems empty or unfinished, rarely will new users return to give you a second chance.
Is your Homepage and all your Section/Subsection pages full of content?
Make sure that your Homepages and Section/Subsection pages appear full with content. Web users need to see content to get the impression that your site is relevant and worth visiting. If you are struggling to fill your section pages, you might consider consolidating and simplifying your site structure. At the very least, hide Sections/Subsections that appear less than full.
Are your graphics and images sized properly?
Take a survey of your site and make sure that any graphics you used, especially section headers, headline stories images and such, are sized properly for where they appear. If you are not sure, take a look at this document that explains working with images in Metro Publisher.
Have you removed all the default content and links?
When your Metro Publisher site was first activated, it contained sample content to help you see how your site would look with content. Make sure all that content is not still present on any of the public pages. This includes sample links in the header and footer.
Have you linked your Social Media?
In the upper right of the header on your pages templates you have the option to link to you social media pages at Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Make sure those are set properly.
Have you configured Google Analytics?
If you haven't already done this, do it now. Google Analytics will be a critical part of growing your audience. Read how to set it up.
Are your ads serving properly?
If you plan on selling ads, make sure they are serving properly BEFORE you launch. Clients can be quite humorless when they cannot see the ads they paid to have appear on your site.
- Have you set up your redirects?
If your are migrating from an existing website, you can create redirects for popular URLs on the previous site to the location of that content on the new site. This is an advanced feature: Read how this works.
If you are satisfied that these tasks have been reasonably completed, then the next step is to make your site live.