How to make sure of not having committed errors before launching the website online?

We have arrived in the last part of this guide dedicated to the creation of a website. We started from the first encounter with the client, and step by step, we have accompanied you to the completion of the entire project.

But are we sure we are all set? Have we really paid attention to everything? Let’s discover it together in this last lecture.

What do I have to check before publishing the website online?

In order to avoid the loading online of a website with potential flaws, omissions or something else, it is absolutely recommended to execute verification operations and tests, correcting where necessary eventual negligence.

Let us see in details which are the main aspects to take into consideration.

Content analysis

Great importance should be dedicated to the content analysis because this is the message that will be transmitted to the users, thus make sure that:

The text should be error free; grammar has to be correct and appropriate words used.

  • Punctuation and the use of apostrophes and commas should be correct.
  • Text blocks should not be too long and the pages not too loaded.
  • Eventual special characters are to be substituted with their respective html code (entity name), like for example the use of the commercial “&” or the symbol of the Euro “”, which have to be represented by the codes “&” e “€” respectively.
  • All hypertext links, internal and external, have to be valid and correctly point to the relative destination pages.

Search engine optimization

We have already mentioned in the last two lessons that in order for a website to be ranked well in the search engine indexes it is indispensable to bear in mind some aspects, thus make sure you have:

  • Inserted the titles in an adequate manner (correctly using search keys in which you wish to place the website) on all pages.
  • Inserted the Meta Tag “Description” containing a brief description for each page.
  • Written the content in a semantic way using the hierarchical subdivision of Heading Tags (<h1></h1> for the page title, <h2></h2> for the paragraph titles, etc.)
  • Adding the Google Analytics code on all pages to keep track of access statistics extremely useful in a second moment for the trend analysis and the success of the website.
  • Created a Sitemap of the website using one of the various instruments that are available online.
  • Created the robot.txt file (use it if necessary).

Code validation

Make sure to have written the correct code. You can find several instruments on the web for the validation of code correctness that you have developed:

  • (X)html code validation (use this instrument put at your disposal by W3C to validate single pages or this other instrument to execute the validation of an entire website);
  • CSS code validation (use this instrument) to execute the validation of style sheets used on your website;
  • Javascript code validation.

Accessibility tests

Make sure your website is accessible even to users who use browsers that are different from the standard ones, like for example, a screen-reader.

In a few words, an accessible website has to be:

  • Displayed and surfed even without the loading of style sheets.
  • Easily comprehensible and exploited even without the loading of images (there are users who as a result of different needs might have disabled the loading of images, make sure that for every image there is an alternative text that can replace them).
  • Exploited even without the loading of JavaScript effects (for example, a navigation menu entirely made in javascript would render the website completely unnavigable for a user who makes use of a browser with disabled javascript).

Functionality test on browsers and different Operating Systems

Before putting the website online it would be appropriate to perform some functionality tests in order to verify the correct functioning even on different systems from the one with which it was developed.

Thus make sure the website is correctly displayed and functioning:

  • On all versions of main browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) and main Operating Systems (Windows, OSX, Linux, etc.).
  • Using the main screen resolutions utilized by users (1680×1050, 1600×1200, 1280×1024, 1024×768, etc.).

Functionality test on modules

Moreover, verify also the correct functioning of each eventual module (contacts, book, etc.) currently on the website:

  • Send an e-mail to your e-mail address and verify the reception.
  • Check the text of the received e-mail to make sure it is the same.
  • Verify the correct functioning of the eventual anti-spam control.
  • Make sure the error check set on eventual fields of the module performs correctly.
  • Make sure a message is displayed which indicates to the user the successful delivery of the message.

Analysis of the website performance

Another factor not to be neglected is the loading time for each page of the website: in fact, some statistics demonstrate that the maximal waiting time on the user’s behalf corresponds to approximately tot seconds, after which is inclined to abandon the page. It is thus indispensable for the success of our website make sure that all the pages are loaded in an interval inferior to the tot seconds.

Thus verify:

  • The loading speed and the size of every single page.
  • The size of every image, and if necessary, reduce it with a photo retouch program optimizing it for use on the web.
  • That the CSS are optimized and utilized correctly: try to avoid the redundancy of rules that can be amalgamated between them in particular.
  • The size of Javascript, CSS and (x)HTML files, compressing them when necessary.

Last remarks

Although they are not indispensable prerequisites for the success of a website, I would advise you to take into consideration:

  • The personalization of the error page 404 (file not found) so as to offer to the user the possibility to choose an alternative content or easily turn back into the website’s main page.
  • The creation of a favicon which can easily identify the website.

Conclusions

In this lesson we dealt with the verifications to perform before launching a website online, in order to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Long ago, on an American website, I had found a list with the main remarks to keep in consideration; therefore, I decided to make one myself based on the arguments dealt with in this article and share it with you. They might turn very useful during the final verification phase.

If you think I have left something out notify us through the article’s comments, thus you will help me to keep this list in constant updating.

download
Versione: 1.0
Pubblicato: 30 December 2009
Dimensione: 222.27 KB
Download: Checklist

Final considerations

This lesson marks the end of our complete guide for the creation of a website: together we have coped with the long process which extends from the first encounter with a client to the putting online of the website. It has been such a hard work but we are sure we did our best in each phase.

Even though some arguments – like for example the indexing – as a result of their vastness and complexity have been treated only superficially, no worries: it is in our intention to continue producing more focused articles, with further elaboration of various aspects found on this guide. 

The other articles in this guide:

  1. How to understand the client’s needs on the first encounter?
  2. How to calculate costs and delivery time of a web project?
  3. How to develop and organize the structure of a website?
  4. How to find inspiration and design the layout of a website?
  5. How to present the graphic draft to the client?
  6. How to make the internal pages after the draft’s approval?
  7. How to export a psd into xhtml and css without losing your soul? (part1) (part 2)
  8. How to index a website without being SEO experts? (part 1) (part 2)
  9. How to make sure of not having committed errors before launching the website online?

Master per Web Designer Freelance
In tutti questi anni abbiamo ricevuto centinaia di richieste di approfondimento sulle numerose tematiche del web design vissuto da freelance. Le abbiamo affrontate volta per volta. Ma ci siamo resi conto che era necessario fare qualcosa di più. Ecco perché è nato One Year Together, un vero e proprio master per web designer freelance che apre finalmente le porte al mondo del lavoro.
Scopri One Year Together »
[pdf]Scarica articolo in PDF[/pdf]
Tags: , , ,

The Author

Nando is administrator of Edi Group, a Sicilian web agency founded in 2005. He deals with the development of web applications in php language and the implementation and administration of databases. And besides Microsoft Trainer with years of experience in regional and private training courses as a designer and lecturer.

Author's web site | Other articles written by

Related Posts

You may be interested in the following articles:

10 comments

  1. xxx

Trackback e pingback

  1. How to index a website without being an SEO expert (part 2) | Your Inspiration Web
    [...] How to make sure of not having committed errors before launching the website online? …
  2. How to find inspiration and design the layout of a website? | Your Inspiration Web
    [...] How to make sure of not having committed errors before launching the website online? …

Leave a Reply

Current day month ye@r *