Here at Blue Digital, there are a lot of behind-the-scene checks that we do prior to launching a website. Testing and go live checks are a vital part of pushing a website live; they can often be missed or not done thoroughly enough, which could potentially cause huge repercussions.
We have a talented team that are absolutely key when it comes to creating a show stopping website, each having a speciality and different responsibilities that all work together. Designers, developers and digital marketers all come together and are integral when it comes to creating, building, snagging, testing and all the final website checks after it has come to life, prior to its launch. Each person’s role in this is detailed below.
The designer is one of the main team members throughout a website project, from their role in the initial design of the website right the way through to checking that the newly developed website matches the original design. Here are a few of the main points that our designers check at the end of development. Usually, the designer will be the first one to snag the website.
- Fonts – checking the fonts are consistent throughout the website.
- Page layout – checking that each page of the website matches the design in terms of padding and spacing.
- Navigation – testing the navigation to breaking point and ensuring there are no wrong pages or incorrect pages.
- Browser compatibility – checking the website pages work and render well on all common browsers including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox Windows, Firefox Mac, Chrome Windows, Chrome Mac and Safari.
- Device compatibility – checking the website works on different devices within mobile, tablet and iPad.
- Google Analytics – checking that Google Analytics is installed and the code is copied across.
- Contact forms – testing that all contact forms work and go to the correct email address. Do you get stuck? Are the correct instructions given?
- Search forms – testing the search forms work and results are listed as expected.
- Responsiveness – checking that the responsive content flows correctly.
- Login forms – testing that the login forms work and return friendly errors if details are incorrect.
- 404 page – checking this is working as expected.
- Images – checking all image are the correct quality and sizes, to ensure they are optimised for the web. This is something that is covered under site speed too.
- Site speed – checking that this is green and as high as it can be in the Google Page Insight tool. As site speed is a ranking factor, this is very important from a digital marketing point of view.
- Mobile usability – checking this is green and as high as it can be in the Google Page Insight tool.
- Favicon – checking that there is a favicon in place.
- Plugins – checking that the correct plugins are installed.
- Emails – testing that any emails from the website are working, are correctly formatted and the reply address is correct.
The digital marketing team work alongside the designer and developer throughout the website build, in order to ensure it is SEO-optimised. They have various checks to do during all phases, as well as key checks at the end, listed below.
- Content – all content is present and has approval of the client/digital marketing team. The content should be appropriate and easily read.
- XML sitemap – they must check this is present and valid.
- Meta titles/descriptions – checking these are present and unique.
- Social media integration – testing that the icons go to the correct pages and the right buttons are used for each channel.
Post Go Live Checks
Once a website has gone live, there are a few tasks that must be completed to end the project, summarised below. These are mostly completed by a developer, with some assistance from digital marketing required.
- 301 redirects – these must be created by the digital marketing team, and added to the website once live.
- SSL certificate – an SSL certificate is added as the website goes live to ensure it is secure.
- Links – testing that all the links work on the website.
- Images – checking that all images have ALT tags.
- Contact forms – these are double checked to ensure they work and go to the correct email address, including checking the reply email address.
- robots.txt – ensuring the development environment has robots.txt to non-indexible content.
- Google Search Console – adding the website to Google Search Console which monitors the website for anything that could go wrong (eg. crawling errors, increase in 404 pages, etc).
These are just a few of our internal checks that we do before making a website live. If you want to know more, get in touch today!