Anyone can build and launch a web site these days, what with all the tutorials and tools available for free (and for a price, for those who are willing to pay). Of course, you can always pay someone to do the job for you, but if you’re going into blogging anyway, why not learn everything you can and do things yourself?
If you’re planning on launching your site, you probably have already done your research; but we’re here to give you a little more help just to make sure that you get things right. Here are five things to do before launching your site.
1. Choose the right tool/s.
From the get go, you need to get this right. You need to decide what platform you’re going for, what website creator tools you want to use, and other similar technical details. While we use WordPress for The Blog Herald, there are many other options that you can choose from, depending on your needs. Just make sure you choose what’s most appropriate for you to reach your goals – enlist the help of pros if you need to.
2. Establish your site map.
One of the things that put visitors to a site off is when there is no sense of order. Where do they go from the homepage? What other pages can they visit within the site? From a blog post, where else can they go that is relevant to them? If they want to get in touch with you, or find out more about you, how can they do so?
All this should be part of your plan from the start. You need to create a site map that will give you the overall picture of what you want your website to be in terms of the flow.
3. Create a content plan.
What’s your website going to be about? You can slap content here and there, and hope that something sticks, but that’s not really a good way to go about things, is it?
A better way to do it is to know exactly what you want to present to your audience. With your site map, you have a pretty clear idea of what pages you will have, and that’s a very good starting point for creating a content plan.
Additionally, if you’re going to launch a blog, you need to have an idea of what topics you will be covering – and when. This is where an editorial calendar will also help.
Initially, though, it will be much better to have content up – the more content, the better – before you launch. That way, you present a website that has something to offer from the start, and not a mere “more coming soon” sign.
4. Test, test, and test more.
Before you actually launch, test your site. Check each and every page using different browsers. Check the site on mobile devices. Click on the links and see if they direct where they are supposed to. Proofread your copy.
Do not launch until you are satisfied that you have at least a decent site to show to the world.
5. Build some hype.
Even before you’re ready to launch, it is a good idea to let people know you’re working on something. This is where going social plays a huge role. Post teasers on Facebook. Do the same on Twitter and Google+.
Just make sure you do not overshare or over promise. A little goes a long way.