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Six Checklists For Your Website Redesign

Six Checklists For Your Website Redesign
[lead]Website redesign, or migration, can be a complicated, unintuitive process.We have put together a list of site redesign best practices to help ease this potentially stressful process. It is a much easier to prevent site migration problems, than to fix site migration problems.[/lead]

Snag these checklists and utilize them as you begin the process of launching a newly redesigned or migrated website.

Visual Checklist

  • Check for working responsive images and videos
  • Optimize large images on mobile (consider the HTML5 picture tag)
  • 404 Page Design
  • Add favicon and Apple i-touch icons
  • Ensure forms validate and send to correct email addresses
  • Thank you page / message is written and displays appropriately
  • Stress test the content (make sure the site design can’t be broken by nonuniform copy or missing fields)
  • Browser test your website in all needed platforms / devices
  • Thoroughly test your site in all needed browsers
  • Oh, and don’t forget to browser test (talking to you Internet Explorer…)

Code Checklist

  • Place and update appropriate robots.txt and .htaccess files
  • Validate CSS
  • Validate HTML
  • Validate JavaScript
  • Enable appropriate CSS and JS minimization and aggregation

SEO Checklist

  • Setup Analytics / Webmaster Tools and ensure tracking
  • Ensure site name / slogan / email are established and appropriate
  • Ensure page title and meta descriptions are populating and unique
  • All images should have alt tags
  • Ensure readability by search and robot crawlers
  • 404 and 410 redirects written
  • Create sitemap XML files

Pre-Launch Development Server Checklist

  • Proofread for grammar and spelling errors. Remove any greeking or placeholder copy/images.
  • Ensure site contact and social links are valid
  • Establish social sharing opengraph meta data
  • Programmatically set copyright date to current year
  • Remove any development files and scripts
  • Set external links open in a new window

Pre-Launch Production Server Checklist

Once your new files and database are set up on the new server, run through these items before the site is pushed live.

  • Run broken link checker
  • Test the speed of the site (yslow.org is a good starting point)
  • Font streaming from services are mapped to the correct domain
  • Ensure correct timezone setting on backend
  • Establish SSL certificate, if required
  • Enable routine backups of site

Post-Launch Production Server Checklist

  • Clear all caches
  • Submit sitemap to search engines
  • Ensure administrators and contributors have credentials built and distributed
  • Check error log and resolve issues

Every site migration and redesign is unique, so these checklists will not encompass all of your site’s needs. Educate yourself and view multiple lists to ensure nothing is missed. Or, better yet, have a expert in the field help you through the process.

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