Launch checklist for your SiteNow site
As you get ready to launch your newly designed site, we've included a checklist to help guide you during the pre and post launch process.
Before launching your site, you will want to test your site on multiple browsers, ensure you have quality content, update all links and optimize for accessibility. We've included more information on each of these topics below.
- You will want to test your site experience on multiple devices and browsers.
- You will also want to view your site from a desktop experience and a mobile experience to ensure responsiveness.
- Have a final editorial check by an outside editor.
- Complete a SiteImprove or Screamingfrog scan for typos and misspellings.
- Revise any unclear, vague, or inaccurate text on your button links.
- Check for HTML code fragments in text (e.g. ).
- Update your site name to reflect the desired name, not your site URL.
- Scan your site for any placeholder content including: imagery, text and design layouts.
- Address accessibility concerns surfaced by a SiteImprove scan.
- If you have content from your current site that you want to be archived University of Iowa Libraries can assist. Additionally you can also reach out to Daniel Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), digital preservation librarian.
- Review all content and un-publish example content pages, such as:
- Test your pages on:
- Major mobile devices (Android, iOS)
- Most common web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)
- Check images for file size. Below 1MB is recommended. You can also sort images by size through Siteimprove.
- Address any slow page load times. This can be found in a Siteimprove scan.
- Review page-heading structure for proper <h1>, <h2>, etc. tag use. Use these tools and extensions to keep your website in compliance with accessibility guidelines.
- Ensure all images have appropriate alt text.
- Review Siteimprove accessibility reports pre-launch (or early post-launch).
- Implement analytic tracking for your site via:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Tag Manager (if applicable)
- Please note: Make sure Drupal is set to capture analytics on 404 and 403 pages.
- Review page titles (or have SiteNow default page titles are appropriate).
- Add goal and event tracking for your site in Google Analytics.
Add meta-descriptions for every content page.
- Make sure your page breadcrumbs reflect your site menu structure.
After launching your site, you will want to ensure your site content is optimized for SEO, connect your site with Siteimprove, communicate your site launch and dedicate an individual for ongoing governance. We've included more information on each of these topics below.
- Submit a sitemap.xml file to search engines for indexing your site pages. You can find this at: url.uiowa.edu/sitemap.xml.
- A guide of how to do this can be found here.
- If you use profile directories, also submit the people directory sitemap. You can find this at: /directory-root/sitemap.txt.
- Confirm tracking in Google Analytics is working properly, which means:
- Visits to your site are registering.
- Tracked events are functioning (if applicable) and wired up to GA Goals.
- Monitor Google Analytics for 404 and 403 pages (may be high value backlinks that are now broken, links you broke on your redesign, or URLs that escaped your redirect audit).
- Check the uiowa.edu site on the A-Z list page and make sure existing links to your pages still work.
- If something needs updated, please reach out to the OSC web team.
- Make sure custom tags (for paid campaigns, remarketing, retargeting, etc.) are added to your site (easy to miss in the case of a redesign).
- Once your site has launched, plan for a promotion or communication of your site launch which is developed and ready to execute.
- Add your site launch to the UI Web Announcements listserv.
Governance and ongoing site maintenance
After you have launched your site, you will want to identify someone to help maintain content on your site.
You will also want to make sure that your site is on Siteimprove and that you have access to it (as well as any site editors). Your team will want to define your commitment to maintaining your quality assurance (QA) score in Siteimprove and identifying an individual responsible for resolving Siteimprove issues that arise.