You want to have a presence on the web. That’s no surprise as online visibility is critical for raising awareness of causes and for customers to interact with businesses. But you may not know how to launch a new website as there are several steps and it can be confusing. This guide is aimed at illustrating a simple way to launch a website successfully.
1. Secure a Domain Name and Web Hosting
You may have already done this, but if not, this is a critical first step. A domain name is what people type into the browser to get to your site. You’ll want to try to keep your domain name short. There are plenty of free domain checkers online that will let you know if a domain has already been reserved.
Web hosting is essentially having a company that stores your website and makes it available to the internet. There are many free options such as WordPress. There are also numerous popular companies with easy interfaces such as Squarespace, Bluehost, and GoDaddy. Once you’ve selected a web hosting service, you’re ready to move forward.
2. Create Content
Again, this may be a step you’ve already done. In general, a new website should have a minimum of three to five pages of high-quality content. This includes things like information about a business, product offerings, and blog posts or articles. Engaging content is important for not only retaining visitors but also for improving your ranking in search engines.
Additionally, you will also want to create some interactive content. For example, if you have a mailing list, be sure to provide a link for visitors to sign up. If you have social media accounts, you’ll want to link them to the site as well. You may also want to create a pre-launch site, which is a single page you can load while you develop your whole site. You can use the pre-launch site for marketing in advance of your launch. This is optional, but maybe something you’d like to do depending on the purpose.
3. Test, Test, and Test Again
One of the most critical aspects of how to launch a website successfully involves testing. This may seem boring but is important for ensuring the website functions well. First, test your user interface. A website should be easily navigable by visitors both on web browsers and on mobile. During testing, you’ll likely find things to change to make it more user-friendly.
Additionally, be sure to test your website on various popular browsers. This is important because different people will come to your site with different technology, and you want to make sure that your site is optimized to give a good experience to every visitor.
4. Upload a Site Map
Site maps are useful because they allow search engines to better index your website, which is critical for getting visitors. When learning how to launch a website, the goal is ultimately to do it in a way that gets visitors. Site maps are collections of all the URLs that exist on your website. With this, search bots can find the pages of your website and index them.
If you are going to launch a WordPress website, you can install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. With other hosting platforms, there are XML sitemap generators that you can upload to your website’s directory to create a sitemap. This sounds like a technical task but is relatively easy.
5. Backup Your Files
This may sound like common sense, but it is one of the most common oversights when launching a new website. Many people simply keep their files on their web hosting service. This is probably fine but if something were to go wrong, you would risk losing your work. Having this data backed up on a hard drive allows you to protect your content as well as being able to seamlessly edit pages.
6. Work on Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, is a way of strategically creating a website in a manner to help it more effectively be shown by search engines to people who are looking for your site’s type of content. It involves integrating keywords and phrases that people would type into a search engine to try to find your content on your site’s web pages.
Doing this increases the odds that a search engine will return your website higher up in the options. Learning to integrate SEO is something you’ll continually improve upon. It includes things like adding original content, using words instead of numbers and symbols in URLs, creating links to your site, and using important keywords in headers, post titles, and image tags. Take some time to learn about some basic ways to enhance SEO and incorporate these things.
7. Install Analytics and Register with Google Search Console
Analytics are tools that will show you how your website is performing. These include things like the number of people who visit your website, how long they stay, and the average number of pages they visit. Countless categories can help you better understand how your website performs and who your visitors are. Google Analytics is considered the leader in this area.
Additionally, you’ll want to sign up for Google Search Console. This is a tool that will help Google inform you of the health of your website. It will include information such as if it is considered mobile-friendly, any issues with accessibility, and a list of links Google has indexed.
8. Transfer your Website Files to your Host
Now, you are ready to finish the launching process. Simply transfer your website to your web host. Now, your website is live. Go ahead and navigate through your links to make sure everything is uploaded correctly and that the site is functional.
People can now find your website and Google will index it. Congratulations! You have launched your website.
Learning how to launch a website successfully is a relatively easy process even if the steps will take a bit of time to complete. However, it is important to go through these steps to ensure that your website launch is as effective as possible. If you end up running into trouble at any step, there is a wealth of information and resources online to help you troubleshoot.
Another common question many people have is how to launch a website for free. There are sites like WordPress that have free hosting options. For those who want a more customized experience, you can have a highly functional website with a hosting plan for as little as $10 per month depending on the amount of traffic you get. Websites are very inexpensive to manage these days. Contact Carefree Consulting for a new website.