Checklist of Items to Consider Before Launching Your Squarespace Website

Squarespace website

Launching a website can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. As someone who has spent over 20 years in the web design industry and has overseen the launch of over 3,000 websites, I know the importance of getting it right, as well as the repercussions when things go wrong!

In today’s digital age, having a website is essential for businesses and individuals alike. Your Squarespace website is often the first point of contact with potential customers, so it’s crucial to make a good first impression. However, creating a website is only half the battle. Before you can launch your website, you need to ensure that it’s working correctly and that it meets certain standards. In this article, we’ll cover a comprehensive final checklist of items to consider before launching your website, including cross-browser and device testing, website load time, broken links, form testing, SSL certificate, SEO page titles and descriptions, and favicon/browser icon.

It is worth noting that this checklist is universal and will work with any website launch, not just Squarespace. We check all of the following steps, named ‘The Preflight Checklist’ before the launch of any website at our web design studio.

Cross-Browser and Device Check:

With so many different devices and browsers available today, it’s essential to ensure that your website works correctly across all of them. What looks good on your computer screen might not work well on a mobile device or a different browser. Therefore, it’s important to test your website on multiple devices and browsers to ensure it’s responsive and works as intended. This includes testing your website on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, as well as different browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

When testing on different devices, it’s important to test in both portrait and landscape modes. This is because the layout of your website might change depending on the device’s orientation. For example, if your website has a fixed-width design, it might not fit correctly on a smartphone in portrait mode. You can use online tools like BrowserStack or Device Mode in Google Chrome Developer Tools to test your website on different devices and browsers.

Website Load Time:

Website load time is critical for user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). Slow-loading websites can negatively impact user experience, leading to high bounce rates (percentage of viewers that simply ‘bounce’ away from your website when visiting) and low conversion rates (percentage of viewers that convert into a sale or lead). Additionally, slow-loading websites can hurt your search engine rankings. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your website’s images, code, and server configuration to improve website load time.

You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to test your website’s load time and identify areas for improvement. These tools provide recommendations on optimizing your website’s performance, such as compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, and enabling browser caching. By optimizing your website’s load time, you can improve user experience and SEO rankings.

Broken Links:

Broken links can be frustrating for users and hurt your website’s credibility. Before launching your website, it’s essential to ensure no broken links in buttons or the menu system. Broken links can occur due to changes in the URL structure or broken image links. You can use tools like Broken Link Checker or Xenu Link Sleuth to identify and fix broken links on your website.

Form Testing:

Forms are an essential part of most websites, allowing users to contact you or complete a transaction. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that all forms on your website are working correctly before launching. You should test all forms on your website, including contact forms, sign-up forms, and checkout forms. Check that the forms are sent to the correct email addresses and you are receiving the submitted form data. Also, test the forms on multiple devices to ensure they work correctly across all devices.

SSL Certificate:

An SSL certificate is essential for website security, protecting sensitive information like login credentials and credit card information. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your SSL certificate is enabled on your domain name before launching your website. This will ensure that your website’s visitors can browse your website securely. You can check whether your SSL certificate is enabled by visiting your website using https:// instead of http://. If you see a padlock icon in the browser address bar, your SSL certificate is enabled.

SEO Page Titles and Descriptions:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for driving traffic to your website. To improve your website’s SEO, you must ensure that you have created suitable SEO page titles and descriptions for all key pages. Use relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions to help search engines understand what your pages are about. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant search queries.

When creating SEO page titles and descriptions, it’s important to keep them concise and descriptive. The page title should be no more than 60 characters, while the description should be no more than 160 characters. Make sure that the page title and description accurately reflect the page’s content, and avoid using generic titles and descriptions that could apply to any page on your website.

Favicon/Browser Icon:

A favicon is a small icon that appears in the browser tab when a user visits your website. It’s a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the user experience. A favicon helps users identify your website easily and makes it look more professional. Therefore, it’s important to create a favicon for your website before launching.

You can create a favicon using free online tools like Favicon Generator or Canva. Alternatively, you can hire a professional designer to create one for you. When creating a favicon, make sure that it’s clear and recognizable, and that it reflects your brand’s identity.

Wrapping Up-

Launching a website, even via website builders such as Squarespace can be a daunting experience, but by following this final checklist of checks, you can ensure your website is ready for visitors. It’s important to test your website on multiple devices, optimize your website’s load time, check for broken links, test all forms on your website, ensure that your SSL certificate is enabled, create suitable SEO page titles and descriptions, and create a favicon for your website. By taking the time to perform these checks, you can ensure that your website is working correctly and that it provides a great user experience for your visitors.

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