Chapter 5: Post-Launch

More QA, More Testing

Website Checklist

Measuring, Analyzing and Optimizing

You’ve heard the truism that a website is a fluid, “living” entity that is constantly evolving. With anything that is prone to frequent change, completing any quality assurance is a moving target. While this can seem discouraging, making it feel like the project is never truly complete, it also means that whatever is not working or meeting expectations can be addressed and changed. Barring any major limitations in your content management system, lack of in-house skills, or your design agency relocating to another planet, any issue can be fixed.

More QA, More Testing

Even the most thorough and determined group of QA testers is likely to miss a few small things here and there. That’s the nature of any project with many interactive pieces. To further reduce the likelihood of any errors going live, a soft launch is a great option. What we mean is going live for your internal organizational network, so stakeholders and all your other colleagues can visit the new site and admire the result of everyone’s hard work. They can also interact with the site in a pattern typical of a first-time visitor, and catch whatever may have been missed.

Split Usability Testing

Launching the site internally is also a great opportunity to build enthusiasm and excitement for the public launch within your organization, using that sneak peek to help everyone build a sense of pride and ownership in the website that’s about to go live.

Project Post-Mortem

The day you launch your new website is a day for two things: catching the little things you can’t believe you missed during your extensive QA period, and exuberant celebration. A project postmortem should take place when you’ve had the opportunity to collect enough data to do an informative comparison of your website effectiveness before and after launch.

In the first month following launch, you’re likely to be so busy continuing QA and catching up on all the work that was set aside during the project, that you won’t have much time to spend reviewing site performance. Ideally, you will see some early signals of success, but resist the temptation to capture outcomes too quickly.

Two to three months after the launch, you should have enough data to take to the original project stakeholders and explain just how successful your website redesign has been. Ideally, you will have captured at least one quarter’s worth of data prior to the launch, and after, so you can do a worthwhile comparison and see whether you are on track to meet your goals. This is the ideal time to call project stakeholders back together and review your website’s performance, how it compares to your expectations, and whether the goals first set in the project plan are being met.

Taking the time to analyze your website performance not only identifies the strengths of your new digital presence, but points out any shortcomings and associated opportunities for improvement. It’s an opportunity for improvement and making the appropriate modifications to increase conversions and optimize your overall web presence.

The cycle of measuring, analyzing and optimizing a website doesn’t stop after one round but should continue as an ongoing part of your digital marketing strategy. A website requires the proper management and attention to deliver a user experience that consistently drives towards your business goals. So while the launch of your new website is certainly a great accomplishment and something to celebrate, it truly is just the beginning.

Download free PDF website redesign checklist

If you feel a little overwhelmed and unsure of how to best approach your new project? Our Website Redesign Project Checklist includes everything you need to launch your own successful website. Download our free PDF and start your website redesign project.

Download Website Redesign Project Checklist

Website Audit

Essential components of website success: Design, Content & Navigation. Download our FREE website audit checklist and score your website.

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