Before deploying a website, there are many things that you need to ensure are working. You do not want to end up with a website that would look ninety-ish.
Before deploying your website, ensure that it meets usability, performance, functionality, copyright, SEO, and mobile-friendly standards.
Here are the most important things you need to ensure your website meets industry standards.
Checklist #1: Usability of a website
The usability of a website defines the presentation of the message and information on a website. The organization must be clear and concise—essential site items placed in appropriate areas.
To achieve the excellent usability of a website, ensure you achieve the five usability goals.
Five goals of usability testing
1. The efficiency of the website
Your website must do what it is intended to do. The website should be user-friendly and support users whenever they interact with the website. One way to achieve efficient websites is to deploy sequential and logical processes making the interaction intuitive.
2. Website’s effectiveness
An effective website is easy to use and meets the objectives of its inception.
Other things to consider are evaluating that the website is reliable, well designed, and up to date to avoid downtime issues.
3. How engaging is your website?
An attractive website attracts users on its own.
Before you publish your website, ensure that your site has a simple and consistent layout, whitespaces, visible fonts, and the colors match your brand without mixing too many colors.
A maximum of three colors should be enough for your site design. These three colors should be the main color, secondary color, and accent color. 60% of your website pages should have the main color, 30% for the secondary colors, and 10% for the accent color. For more information about color combinations, check this article.
Ensure that each call to action is clear, concise, and follows a sequential execution order.
Use attractive and readable fonts. Verdana, Roboto, Arial, Open Sans, Helvetica, Georgia, and Oswald are easily readable fonts. At least use these fonts for your website. Merriweather, Helvetica, Montserrat, Open Sans, and Lato are good corporate fonts. Use Roboto, Open Sans, Merriweather, Lobster, Oswald, and Lato fonts for a blog.
4. Your website’s processes must be easy and fast to complete
Each task or process on your website must have a high completion rate. Ever been to a website with so many things to fill in before downloading something or checking out? Most probably, you will abandon the cart or the form.
A good website must deploy processes and tasks that are easy and fast to complete. How long it takes to complete a task affects the usability of your website. Users must be able to find information through searches or alphabetical sorting.
5. Accuracy of the website
Minimize the occurrence of errors on your website. Where errors are likely to occur when filling a form, the user should not repeat the same process. Use autofill for previously filled information. Besides, the number of attempts must be less.
Customize how the error pages appear; add some styling, redirection, and possible causes of errors.
Good user experience makes your website easy to use, memorable, and maintains high success rates with minimal errors and attempts.
Checklist #2: Performance of a website
How fast does your website render when it is loading or processing information? A fast website has optimal performance.
Major factors that affect your website’s performance
- Slow-performing web server or hosting resources. Be sure to choose a good web hosting company that has fast servers.
- Overuse of widgets and plugins on your website. Use plugins sparingly
- Using large files and images that are more than 500 Kb in size. Ensure your images are less than 100 Kb in size.
- Poorly structured code that does not take into consideration of fast algorithms.
- Too many ads on your website affect your website’s readability, white space usage, and load time.
- Loading all the CSS when the page is loading
- Too many redirects
Ways to improve your website performance and speed
Also, load CSS only when it is required. An example is to load CSS as the user scrolls through your website. The CSS should only load upon reaching a viewable portion of a page.
2. Choose a good web hosting provider
3. Use plugins and widgets sparingly
Using too many unnecessary plugins for your website affects the performance of your website. Plugins add additional code to your website that may require rendering before the page loads. An increase in website page load reduces the perceived performance of your website due to lagging.
4. Compress and optimize your images
Compress images used on your website to reduce their size. Small-sized images load faster. Besides, do not use more than five images on single pages because that would increase the total page size. Large-sized pages load slowly.
Use a content delivery network (CDN).
A CDN service distributes and caches your website across different world regions. The service caches the website’s content close to where your users are.
When a user is close to a server, the website loads faster. Besides, these CDN service optimizes images by reducing their size and improving quality. CDN services are Cloudflare, Google Cloud CDN, and Amazon Cloudfront.
5. Implement good code structuring and fast algorithms
When developing your website, be sure to use fast algorithms. Algorithms are procedures and formulae used to solve a problem.
You can take a long route or shortcut to reach a destination like in the real world. Taking a longer and more complicated approach to solving a problem increases the amount of code you would write.
Structuring your code makes debugging and writing code efficient. You will be more productive and quickly identify errors when you organize your code. Use descriptive variables. Write your code in functions and classes to minimize code and reduce repetition.
6. Optimize or reduce ads displayed on your website
Your website’s content must occupy most of the space on a page. Too many ads on a page distract users when reading a page. Also, some ads may block content displayed on your website.
Avoid the use of annoying popups ads on your website.
Never display ads with flashing lights or sounds on your website.
6. Reduce redirection
You can reduce redirection by:
- Avoid linking to a page that has another redirect on it
- Fix broken redirects
- Reduce errors that lead to a 404 page not found redirect. Only redirect to an active and working page or part of a website.
- Delete old redirects that lead to deleted pages
- Avoid using too many plugins as they would probably result in unnecessary redirects.
After deployment, check your site speed on GTmetrix and correct any performance issues.
Checklist #3: Functionality of a website
Here is a list of things you can implement to improve the functionality of your website:
- Ensure you are using a secure connection for your website, especially when your website requires users to fill in personal or sensitive information.
- Ensure your website’s HTTP version always redirects to the HTTPS version.
- Improve page load speed
- Use a responsive design that is attractive for large displays, tablets, and mobile devices.
- Reduce 404 page not found redirects.
- Improve server response time by using a good web hosting service.
- Back up your website to avoid losing all your site’s content. In case of anything happens to your site, you can always restore to the last backup. If you regularly update your website, backup your website daily with a minimum of 8 – 12 backups. Delete old backups.
Checklist #4: Check for copyright issues before publishing your website
Some copyright issues may arise quickly, especially when purchasing a domain name for your website. An example of a violation is cybersquatting. Cybersquatting arises from buying a domain identical to trademarks, company names, or personal names.
To avoid violating copyright rules and regulations, ensure you:
- Avoid purchasing a domain with one of the three English articles (a, an, the). For example, thegoogle.com or thegeeksforgeeks.com would lead to copyright issues.
- Avoid adding hyphens to your domain name. For example, you would be tempted to add hyphens when a domain is taken. Avoid doing that as it can lead to copyright issues.
- Purchase a domain name that does not look similar to trademarks or personal names. Check the trademark database for a list of trademark names that should not be in your domain name. U.S Patent and Trademark Office link.
When buying a domain name, check that you conform to the copyright rules. Do not add English articles such as a, an, and the, or hyphens to your domain name. Use unique words for your domain name.
Checklist #5: Check your website’s mobile-friendliness
Sometimes, a website appears very clear and organized on a desktop or laptop, but when it comes to a mobile device, the information looks non-pleasing.
Before publishing your website, ensure it has a good design, especially for a mobile device.
- It has readable and clear text. Use large font sizes, short sentences, subheadings, and medium line-height.
- It has easy navigation without any buttons or links overlapping each other.
- It is pleasing to look at. The contrast between the text and background colors should be correct and uniform.
- It separates long text using bullet points, subheadings, white space, tables, and images.
- It has left-aligned text that is consistent across all the pages.
Checklist #6: Optimize your website for SEO
A website should support the achievement of the business goals. Among the business goals, a brand must be able to reach an unlimited number of customers.
For a website, the customers come in the form of traffic. Thus, you should optimize your website for SEO to:
- Make your website more discoverable to your target audience
- Increase traffic to your website
- Exploit opportunities by converting your prospects into customers.
Consider these factors if you want your website to rank in SEO
- Ensure you use a secure connection to your website. Redirect HTTP access to HTTPS access.
- Improve your website’s page load speed
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
- Build authority by answering questions and providing engaging content in the form of articles.
- Increase user experience on your website
- Develop content regularly: Content is king.
- Interlink your articles
- Fill out descriptive meta information for every page and article.
Additional steps that you need to take to ensure your website SEO ranking
Configure Google Analytics for your website
A step-by-step approach to configure your website for Google Analytics:
Step 1: Create or sign in to your Google Analytics account
Step 2: Link your website to Google Search Console. More information on how to submit your website here.
Step 3: Submit your website’s sitemap.xml to Google Search Console.
#1: Make a robots.txt
A robots.txt makes your website crawlable by popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, e.t.c. Additionally, you can use the robots.txt file to restrict some search engines from crawling your website.
If you are using Django, you can create a robots.txt by defining a new URL endpoint pointing to a text file, which is your robots.txt file.
In your main urls.py file, add the following lines to create a robots.txt on Django:
from django.urls import path from django.views.generic.base import TemplateView urlpatterns = [ path('robots.txt', TemplateView.as_view(template_name="robots.txt", content_type="text/plain"), ), ]
If you have a WordPress website, you can easily add a robots.txt file using a plugin such as All in One SEO. The plugin helps you improve your WordPress website SEO and create robots.txt or sitemap.xml files.
#2: Design a sitemap.xml
A sitemap.xml file lists all the URLs on your website. It holds important information, such as how your website often changes and the last update that happened to a particular URL. The information provided by sitemap.xml helps search engines understand your website structure and crawl essential pages.
#3: Check your pages or posts have descriptive, unique, and SEO-friendly titles and URLs
A good title provides a user with all the information about a page or post. Therefore, users know what to find when they click on a page or post.
Similarly, descriptive URLs, titles, and meta descriptions help Google and other search engines understand what your website is about.
What is the process of hosting a website?
Hosting a website involves uploading all the local files and folders that make up a website onto a web server that can serve the files to users from any part of the world. The web server contains all the resources (storage, memory, bandwidth, and CPU) needed to run your website, support multiple users, and schedule requests.
Depending on your web hosting company, web server resources may vary. Mostly, you will notice the resources increase based on packages.
Can I host my website on a local machine?
You can set up a new website and host it on your computer. However, you will need to ensure that your computer operates 24/7 and that your internet service provider (ISP) approves it. Other things that you need to consider are:
- Scalability is limited because you may not have enough bandwidth, space, computing power, and memory to support colossal traffic and concurrent operations.
- You will have to set up and maintain the webserver yourself.
- In-house hosting faces severe physical and malware security threats. Hackers may exploit personal files stored on your computer when browsing website files. Besides, your house may be invaded. Probably by aliens and steal all your tech.
- Some internet providers may restrict bandwidth usage to a certain amount of time. You will likely face downtime when the ISP restricts your internet usage.
- A power outage makes your web server unavailable.
Hosting and maintaining your website on a local machine can be tedious, especially in places with prevalent power outages. Besides, it is costly as you will incur an additional cost of buying UPS and power backup such as a diesel generator.
An alternative is to use a web hosting service. A web hosting service is provided by a hosting company that provides server resources on a lease.
Choosing a Good Web Hosting Service: Features to look for in web hosting
- The service is available 24/7 with an uptime guarantee of more than 99%. The server must be operating at all times.
- The price resources are priced right with no additional cost.
- A web hosting plan or package that comes bundled with a free domain registration
- Excellent and fast customer service that is available most of the time
- They provide the required resources needed to set up your website. Some web hosting plans or packages may not support some websites. For example, there are hosting plans that may not support Python applications. Thus, you cannot host a Django website. Be sure to check that the hosting provider supports the technology used to develop your website.
- Has mirrored servers that support backups across multiple server locations.
- The pricing meets the resources that you will get. You should not get overpriced server resources such as disk space and bandwidth.
- They provide free SSL certificate is an added advantage
- They provide technical support. They are available to help you troubleshoot your website
My recommendation for a good web hosting service
Choosing a web hosting service can be challenging. You may not know what you are likely to be offered. You may be in a dilemma about whether you will get the service as advertised.
I got you covered; I have a good recommendation for a good web hosting company, Hostpinnacle.
The company provides the best services that include:
- You can host Python, PHP, and Node.js web application
- Support WordPress websites and web builder
- You get a free cPanel
- Unlimited disk space
- You can host unlimited websites
- RAID configured servers that serve your website across different servers. A good option for a backup plan.
- They use NVMe SSDs that increase a website speed by 900% compared to SATA drives.
- Offer online 24/7 technical support. If you have a problem with your website, Hostpinnacle technical team is always ready to help you.
- No hidden charges
And other juicy services.
If you are ready to host your first or next website, purchase a hosting package with Hostpinnacle and get all the resources a hosting service has to offer at a low price.
Use this link to purchase a new hosting plan or domain name: Hostpinnacle
A good website has a good design, but there is so much you need to configure and set up before deploying your website on a live server.
That’s it for this long article.