Step 6

Optimization & Launch

Optimization & Launch is the sixth step in my Web Design & Development Process. It consists of optimizing the website for various purposes, integrating it with 3rd-party services and, finally, launching the website.

Website optimization is about ensuring that the website keeps functioning at its best. Rather than simply completing development and handing it over to the client as is, I prioritize optimization from the start. My clients own dynamic, growing businesses that are heavily reliant on their websites to fuel their growth. They cannot afford websites that are slow, poorly ranked on search engines, or out of sync with their marketing communication channels.

Therefore, before I launch the website, I go through the optimization process. This is a very long checklist, so here are just the basics:

  • Security
    • I fortify the website’s security using various methods, including server security, firewall configuration, automatic scan setup, daily off-server backup and uptime monitoring implementation, enforcement of strong passwords, mandatory two-factor authentication, Captcha for logins and forms, IP address blocking, and a thorough cleanup of unused scripts, plugins, and components.
  • Performance
    • I ensure the website loads swiftly on all devices by selecting an appropriate hosting solution, using content delivery networks (CDNs), implementing caching and preloading, managing scripts with conditional loading, minification, and delaying, optimizing images through resizing, compression, and format conversion, and incorporating lazy loading, among other methods.
  • SEO
    • On-site SEO involves checking URL lengths and keyword inclusion, optimizing titles and descriptions, improving image titles and adding alt tags, configuring defaults for search engine results pages (SERP) and social media link displays and previews, checking robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, indexability and redirection checks, setting up instant indexing where applicable, and reviewing other technical SEO factors.
  • Marketing integration
    • I make sure all the marketing communication channels the client owns are properly integrated into the website’s functionality.
  • Analytics
    • I integrate analytics software and configure conversions. That allows the client to evaluate website performance from its launch.
  • Reporting
    • I create a real-time reporting dashboard using Google Looker Studio, featuring crucial data such as conversions and user flow. This allows clients to more easily monitor their marketing campaign performance in one place, in real-time.

Following the comprehensive optimization process, I thoroughly test every aspect of the website. This often reveals minor bugs, which I fix before the launch.

As a final part of this step I move the website from development server to live server and point the clients domain to it. This launches the website – from this point onwards, the website is completed and can be used to achieve the business goals it was built for.

Neglecting website optimization will always lead to complications down the road. On the other hand, proper optimization and testing creates a solid base for all marketing activites that centre around clients website.

Free Guide: Prepare for your New Website

A Guide for Service Business Owners on How to Prepare for Their New Website Projects

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