Lanching a Website

The TO DO List When Launching A New Website:

it’s important to know the reasons why it doesn’t so that you can fix any nasty errors.

1). Meaningful Page names and folder structures
– page name = relevant to the content they contain
– hyphen vs. underscore = hyphens are more effective in search engines
– don’t be spammy with keyword after keyword
– don’t have a lengthy page name
– folder names should be meaningful and organized = images for images, css for css

2) ALT Tags on all images
– make sure your alt tags have meaningful names that helps with the SEO
– put a break out of frames script = google images use frames to show images in context ex:

<script language=”JavaScript”>
{
if (top.location != location) {
top.location.href = document.location.href;
}
}
</script>
3) Page Titles always set [ no ‘untitled document’]
– to avoid poor search engine results
– Dreamweaver normally sets to Untitled Document
– leave the title tag off = Firefox will show “Mozilla Firefox”; IE will show the user the path to the file

4) CSS and XHTML valid
– check documents for validity = check XHTML and CSS compliance
– good code is good business and ensures forward compatibility

5) Server side includes for Navigation / header / footer
– make sure to separate codes into files = to ensure an easier way to tweak a logo, copyright date, etc.

6) Footer copyright date and text

– you can do the same thing with Javascript on static websites = one less thing to worry on maintaining ex:

Copyright © 2008
<script language=”JavaScript”>
var d=new Date();
yr=d.getFullYear();
if (yr!=2008)
document.write(“- “+yr);
</script>
7) Title and Meta Data on all pages
– Google uses to show a site description in the SERPs
– if you want click-through’s write for a unique meta description for each page, make it appealing to visitors
– don’t write them solely for search engines, natural language is critical
– your page title is the most important element for SEO and also for users to know what’s on the page = make sure it changes on every page to relate to each page content

<title> 10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Perfect CMS | How-To | Smashing Magazine </title>

<meta name=”description” content=”By Paul Boag Choosing a content management system can be tricky. Without a clearly defined set of requirements, you will be seduced by fancy functionality that you will never use. What then should you look” />
8 ) All javascript externalized; Graceful Degradation
– get all you javascript code into an external file
– Adobe/Macromedia legacy code for image swaps and preloading = unreadable code
– your website should work with JavaScript turned off = users often have it turned off for security

9) Site meets Accessibility Guidelines
– separate style from presentation = use CSS layouts so the site degrades gracefully

10) Footer links back to your site
– when creating websites for other people, ask politely if they would like to be linked back to your site
– the link text should be relevant to your site at the same time your chosen keyword phrase that you wish to rank for in the SERPs = additional way to get traffic to your site, to improve your search engine position
– don’t bother using company name as link text, since you probably rank for it

11) Text size – able to make larger and smaller
– fixed pixel will constrain text size
– some designs use pixel size for text in the CSS stylesheet to prevent from being broken, but try not to use it
– use % ems sizing = you will be able to resize in all browsers

12) Proofread/Spelling
– avoid spelling mistakes = it will prevent you from looking unprofessional
– get someone else to read it = see if you can make the content more specific
– break up large text blocks into shorter paragraphs
– add clear headings throughout, use lists so users can scan easily, don’t forget about dynamic text such as alert boxes

13) Alignment, Check it Cross-Browser
– different websites can render content differently = get yourself over to browsershots.org to see how your sites look in different operating system and browsers
– it’s important that your website works across browsers, it doesn’t have to be pixel perfect, but everything should work
– check IE 6,7 and 8; Firefox 3; Safari 3; Chrome; Opera and the iPhone

14) Links
– don’t assume all your links work, add http:// to external links then click on them
– is it obvious that they are links? They should stand out from the other text on the page

15) RSS Link

If your website. Users should be able to easily find your RSS feed: the common convention is to put a small RSS icon in the browser’s address bar.

Put this code between your.

– if your website has a blog or newsreel, you should have an RSS feed that users can subscribe to
– put a small RSS icon in the browser’s address bar so users can easily find it. Put this code between your tags:

<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Site or RSS title” href=”link-to-feed” />
16) Images Quality
– images are a key opportunity to wow the visitor, with the uptake of broadband it’s not something to worry much though
– higher quality will slower download time but don’t over-compress it for a few kilobytes
– make sure your image’s dimensions are not constrained via HTML which will warp the image, resize it using a photo editor not with HTML

17) Forms testing/Functionality Check and validation
– almost all websites have forms to collect data, provide feedback, send email; or contact forms, search functions, shopping baskets, log-in areas = always check that these work, because the setup of your testing and live server almost always differs
– forms should always have both the server validation and the client side javascript to validate input
– get others to test your website, not just family and friends but the website’s target market
– watch how a user uses the website don’t assume
– test the AJAX stuff you have going on
– if it doesn’t work check if their might be no “alt” tags, no closing tags and using “&” instead of “&” for ampersands

18) Register your content rating
– register your website at the Internet Content Rating Association which makes your site easier for the filtering software to distinguish as “in a good neighborhood” and not pornography or other objectionable content
– simply fill in the questionnaire, they will give you a file to upload to your website, and some code to add to your meta tags

19) Analytics
– analytics tool is for measuring statistics and see how your website performs
– track daily hits, monthly page views, and browser statistics which are all useful data
– try: Google Analytics, Clicky, Kissmetrics, Mint, and StatCounter

20) Sitemap.
– every website should provide a sitemap for the search engines to crawl
– it is easy to generate, either dynamically for database driven website or manually for static sites
– xml-sitemaps.com = you can style the sitemap using XSLT
– to look for an existence of a sitemap look for sitemap.xml file= this file points crawlers to all pages on your website, after creating the file, upload it to your root directory so that its location is www.mydomain.com/sitemap.xml.
– adding this allows major search engines to easily index your website
– for WordPress = install Google XML Sitemaps plug-in, it automatically updates the sitemap when you write new posts
– add your website and sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools = this tells google you have a sitemap and it provides useful statistics on how and when your website was last indexed

21) Favicon
– everyone loves icons
– add the following to your site:

<link rel=’shortcut icon’ href=’mypage.ico’ />

OR

<link rel=”icon” type=”image/x-icon” href=”/favicon.ico” />

And if you have an iPhone favicon:

<link rel=”apple-touch-icon” href=”/favicon.png” />
– it will appear when you add the icon to your browsers favorites
– it brands the tab or window in which your website is open in the user’s browser = when it is bookmarked it can easily identify pages from your website
– to be sure it’s picked up all the time, include it in your head

22) Defensive Design
– most commonly overlooked defensive design = 404 page
– if a user requests a page that doesn’t exist, your 404 page is displayed = a website linking to a page that doesn’t exist
– get your users back on track by providing a 404 page that does work like the homepage or other pages they may be interested instead
– another defensive design technique = check your forms for validation, try submitting unusual information in your form fields, if there’s an error make sure the user is provided with enough feedback to be able to fix the problem

23) Optimize
– for optimal performance, configure your website = do it on an ongoing basis after website launching
– before launch to help load pages more quickly: reduce HTTP requests by using CSS sprites whenever possible; optimize images; compress JavaScript and CSS files
– it depends on the publishing engine that you use
– for WordPress consider the useful caching techniques to speed up performance

24) Back Up
– if your website runs off a database = use back-up strategy
– for WordPress use WordPress Database Backup = you can set it up to automatically email you backups

25) Print Style Sheet
– it’s a good idea to create a print-specific style sheet = to avoid users from printing the entire page site and just specifically the content he or she is after
– to print a special CSS style sheet that that computers automatically use when users print a page, include this code:
– To point to a special CSS style sheet, simply include the following code between your

<head> tags.
26) Privacy policy in place
– the data protection act law states that you have to do it if you are collecting data of any kind
– in addition to an applicable privacy policy, you should also have your registered company details available from your website

shecommerceLanching a Website