There comes a time in every website's life where it starts to look dated or tired and in need of a facelift to breathe new life into the business it represents. Here at The Newland Group, this is what we do - from redesigns to updating pages or creating fresh new applications. So, when it came time to update our own website, we found ourselves working on a very personal project.
Here are The Newland Group's top ten tips for launching a new website:
1. Have a kick off meeting with your team to brainstorm ideas.
Involving everyone who may not be directly working on the actual creation of the site is imperative to building a site that is well-rounded. Have everyone on your team come prepared to the brainstorming session with a wish list of things they would like to see on the new site and discuss all the possibilities as a group. Allow a fair amount of time and aim to walk away from the meeting with some clear and established objectives for the website.
2. Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation.
Your website is too important to have any aspect of it left to chance. Have a heuristic evaluation of your website to ensure that all updates have a purpose and will improve the overall quality of your website.
3. Hire a professional Web Artist.
Don't leave the look and feel of your site to an amateur. Much like meeting someone for the first time, it only takes 30 seconds to make a first impression. Hiring a pro will allow your site to create a positive, lasting impression in your visitor's mind.
4. Hire a professional content writer.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but seeking your internal pool of writers or outsourcing will greatly improve the quality of your site. Recruit the specialists of your company to provide their expertise to sections of your site and then have your content writer translate this information into well composed content for your site.
5. Get all your ducks in a row.
Once you have nailed down the look of your website, your audience and the sections you would like to include, start thinking about the set up and long term use of your site.
6. Establish the website structure.
Developing all your ideas into a an organizational structure for your website is key. Keep in mind your audience and your central message.
7. Test! Test! Test!
So, you've crossed all your t's and dotted your i's and your website looks great, right? Think again. At a first glance, there are many functional glitches that can be missed without a thorough test of your entire site.
8. Cross Browser Compatibility.
Don't assume that because your website looks flawless in one browser, this is how it will appear in all the other most popular browsers. Establish a standard of which browsers your website will be compatible with and then ensure that your development and testing phases include this as an item to be checked off your list. Which browsers do you choose to be compatible with? Analytics is a great way to identify which browsers your visitors use the most to access your website.
9. Content Proofreading.
Never underestimate the power of a keen editor. Small things like spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or misplaced content can skew the impression you leave behind on your audience. It may seem like a minor detail however, it is all the small details combined that have a really big impact.
10. Know when to triage smaller issues or details until after launch.
During the life of your project, there may be details that arise that may not be in scope or can be included as part of a second release of updates for your site. If you have a hard launch date, this is particularly important to manage.
Today, we are incredibly proud to announce the launch of the all new newland.com
. Take a moment to have a look and let us know what you think!