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Your website is ready to go live, take a deep breath…and check again!

In this month’s guest blog post, website designer Veronica Agabs offers a great “check list” before launching a new website:

So, you worked hard and everything is ready but there still things to go over. I am not asking you to be a perfectionist but few simple things can make a big difference. So be sure to check one more time. Here is the list you should go over before you turn the ‘switch’ on.

1. Is the navigation where you’d expect it to be?
2. Is the navigation terminology clear (i.e. “Contact” versus “Reach Out”)?
3 Are there any broken navigation links?
4. Is there excess clutter in the form of graphics or text?
5. Are the colors pleasing to the eye or do they give you a headache?
6. Is the text on the homepage clean and simple?
7. Is it clear what the website is about? When considering the ten-second rule, this is one of those areas where there should be no doubt in the visitor’s mind.
8. As a visitor, are your most important questions answered quickly?
9. A simple About page is fine. In almost all cases, this includes a photo and a brief bio. It’s always nice to know who you’re doing business with, wouldn’t you agree?
10. Optimization for conversions means making sure your website serves a purpose – it doesn’t necessarily mean a big red “BUY NOW” button.
11. Do a basic SEO audit. Here are a few other things to look for:
– Does the website have an appropriate site title and meta description?
– Are the major pages of the site optimized with an appropriate title, meta description, and content?
– Is permalink structure set-up properly?
– Is there address and contact information in the footer of each page?
– Is their NAP (name, address and phone number) consistent across all their profiles (website, social & business listings)?
– Make sure all pages are verified by Google

Beyond the obvious navigation, general layout and color selection, does the site feel intuitive? Are things where you’d expect them to be? More specifically, is the existing design trying too hard to be creative at the expense of simplicity? Put yourself in the shoes of a real visitor, because this is who the website should be built for.

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Veronica Agabs is a a freelance web developer, a WordPress fan, dog and coffee lover, and mother of three.  She is passionate about helping businesses and individuals to build their visibility online. No project is too big or too small. Rather than being just a designer or developer, she sees herself as a business partner. Her specialties include branding, design, user experience, development, integration, and maintenance.