September 5th, 2018

Is My Website Ready To Go Live?

GothEagle: Congratulations, you've finally made the decision to take a quantum leap into the digital world and create an online presence. You've also decided to use the latest and greatest of website building software because you won't settle for anything less than a totally fabulous website.

The excitement is thicker than peanut butter!

Once your fabulous website goes live, it's going be a wake-up call to the whole world, and the closer you get to your completion date, the more exited you get. In fact, your so happy and excited that you're jumping up and down on your sofa like Tom Cruise on the Oprah Winfrey Show!

The Big Day

So the big day has finally arrived, and you're totally convinced that it's time to launch,. right? After all, you've just spent the last half of your adult life with no sleep, your wife has left you, the kids have all graduated from college, and you've drank enough coffee to fill Lake Superior three times.

"BTW, don't bother with that razor, your beard is so long that you're going to need a tree trimer with a Black & Decker chain saw!"

Is my website ready?

Ready for some bad news? Most likely you're website is NOT ready to move into the kingdom of 1's and 0's. At this point in time, it's important to mention the main reason WHY you want to be ready, and WHAT are you actually getting ready for? And the answer is GOOGLE! Yes, GOOGLE is the entity that is going to look at your website and make judgments on your content and code, and consequently decide where to place you in the search results,. if at all.

So before you launch your brand new bright and shiny website for everyone to see, consider a some important steps in getting your website ready to go live.

Ready?..

Deadline - First, create a realistic deadline for yourself. Then begin working as if though you've already accomplished your intended purpose. Don't worry too much about meeting your deadline on the EXACT day because there will always be unforeseen circumstances that change the course of events. The key to remember is to practice good self-discipline, and be honest with yourself.

Make goals,. and then keep your goals a Secret! - Make goals about your website. Your deadline can be one of them. Regardless of what your goals are, don't tell anybody about your goals. Keep your goals a Secret! Psychologists will agree that letting people in on the fact that you've set some goals for yourself will give you a premature feeling of success. With that false sense of accomplishment, it now makes it harder for you to go the rest of the way. The simple act of verbalizing what you've set out to do lessens your motivation to perform the actual work. The chances are now that you'll never take the remaining steps toward accomplishing your goal. So keep your goals a secret!

Title Tags - A very common mistake that is made sometimes is uploading web files with insufficient title tag insertions. The title tag is vitally important to SEO, and fortunately it's also one of the easiest to accomplish. If you're not sure about how to optimize title tags, GothEagle offers a free service to help you formulate good title structures. However, there are some basic steps that you can take on your own that will prove to be effective by following these guidelines:   a.) Insert meaningful keywords. In other words, instead of "Home Page," try something like your company name, or an accurate subject title that's relevant to the main content of that page.   b.) Make sure the character length is somewhere between 40 and 60 characters.   c.) Try to use words that are very similar, or exactly like the page name of the actual page document file. In other words, if the file name of the document is "womens-hats-for-sale," then include the words in your title tags to be "Women's Hats For Sale."   d.) Use title-case when formatting your title structures.   e.) Use unique title tags for all of your pages.

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Meta Tags - Again, you'll want to use relevant keywords and put them in a well-formulated sentence (or two). The characters length allowed on a SERP page before truncation is around 75 - 165 in length, but that was back around 2015. Now, the length seems to have increased to about 230, since the Google algorithms change a lot. Nobody knows what it will be in the near future, but you can keep up with some of the changes by checking in with Moz.

Proofread Your Entire Website - Read over every word in the content of your website to ensure correct spelling. Examine your text carefully to find and correct all typographical errors in grammar and style. Make your final decision on keyword placement and also make sure they are relevant. Create derivatives and synonyms of your main focus keyword and scatter them throughout your paragraphs and sub-headings.

Make a Backup Copy of Your Files - Website files are susceptible to loss, misplacement and corruption. You do not want to experience the non-recoverability of your web files, as this can result in the permanent loss of ALL essential files such as HTML, JavaScript, PHP and CSS. Backing up your files is a fundemental task and will prevent shock and heartache, and also the discouragement of missed deadlines. The monumental task of re-creating a website project from scratch will mean extra time, energy and money. Taking the simple precaution of backing up your files can prevent major setbacks, especially if your project involves a strict deadline with a boss or client.

Testing - Test the performance and appearance of your website.   a.) Validate your files. When the validation process is complete, you might see some errors and/or warnings. In order to fix these issues, you will have to correct and adjust your code to meet the latest HTML5 coding standards. If you don't know how to do this, GothEagle offers a free service that will help you to acheive W3C requirements for code compliance.   b.) Test for responsiveness and mobility by using the Google validator, or do it yourself by observing the appearance of your website on your phone.   c.) Ensure cross-browser compatibility by opening your website in all the most popular Browsers - Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. The appearance of your site should be consistent across all screens and devices.   d.) Take note of download time. If your site takes longer than about 4 seconds to appear in the Browser window, then you've got some down-sizing to do.   e.) Click all active links for positive link destinations. If a link is broken and does not navigate to it's intended destination, then fix any and all broken url's before implementation.

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