15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website

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Your website is designed, the CMS works, content has been added and the client is happy. It’s time to take the website live. Or is it? When launching a website, you can often forget a number of things in your eagerness to make it live, so it’s useful to have a checklist to look through as you make your final touches and before you announce your website to the world.

This article reviews some important and necessary checks that web-sites should be checked against before the official launch — little details are often forgotten or ignored, but – if done in time – may sum up to an overall greater user experience and avoid unnecessary costs after the official site release.

Favicon

A favicon brands the tab or window in which your website is open in the user’s browser. It is also saved with the bookmark so that users can easily identify pages from your website. Some browsers pick up the favicon if you save it in your root directory as favicon.ico, but to be sure it’s picked up all the time, include the following in your head.

<link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="http://media.mediatemple.netdna-cdn.com/favicon.ico" />

And if you have an iPhone favicon:

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/favicon.png" />

Description1

Titles And Meta Data

Your page title is the most important element for SEO and is also important so that users know what’s on the page. Make sure it changes on every page and relates to that page’s content.

<title>10 Things To Consider When Choosing The Perfect CMS | How-To | Smashing Magazine</title>

Meta description and keyword tags aren’t as important for SEO (at least for the major search engines anyway), but it’s still a good idea to include them. Change the description on each page to make it relate to that page’s content, because this is often what Google displays in its search result description.

<meta name="description" content="By Paul Boag Choosing a content management system can be tricky. Without a clearly defined set of requirements, you will be seduced by fancy functionality that you will never use. What then should you look" />

Description2

Cross-Browser Checks

Just when you think your design looks great, pixel perfect, you check it in IE and see that everything is broken. It’s important that your website works across browsers. It doesn’t have to be pixel perfect, but everything should work, and the user shouldn’t see any problems. The most popular browsers to check are Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Firefox 3, Safari 3, Chrome, Opera and the iPhone.

Description3

Proofread

Read everything. Even if you’ve already read it, read it again. Get someone else to read it. There’s always something you’ll pick up on and have to change. See if you can reduce the amount of text by keeping it specific. Break up large text blocks into shorter paragraphs. Add clear headings throughout, and use lists so that users can scan easily. Don’t forget about dynamic text too, such as alert boxes.

Links

Don’t just assume all your links work. Click on them. You may often forget to add “http://” to links to external websites. Make sure your logo links to the home page, a common convention.

Also, think about how your links work. Is it obvious to new users that they are links? They should stand out from the other text on the page. Don’t underline text that isn’t a link because it will confuse users. And what happens to visited links?

Links7

Functionality Check

Test everything thoroughly. If you have a contact form, test it and copy yourself so that you can see what comes through. Get others to test your website, and not just family and friends but the website’s target market. Sit back and watch how a user uses the website. It’s amazing what you’ll pick up on when others use your website differently than how you assume they’d use it. Common things to check for are contact forms, search functions, shopping baskets and log-in areas.

Graceful Degradation

Your website should work with JavaScript turned off. Users often have JavaScript turned off for security, so you should be prepared for this. You can easily turn off JavaScript in Firefox. Test your forms to make sure they still perform server-side validation checks, and test any cool AJAX stuff you have going on.

Javascript10

Validation

You should aim for a 100% valid website. That said, it isn’t the end of the world if your website doesn’t validate11, but it’s important to know the reasons why it doesn’t so that you can fix any nasty errors. Common gotchas include no “alt” tags, no closing tags and using “&” instead of “&amp;” for ampersands.

Valid12

RSS Link

If your website has a blog or newsreel, you should have an RSS feed that users can subscribe to. Users should be able to easily find your RSS feed: the common convention is to put a small RSS icon in the browser’s address bar.

Put this code between your <head> tags.

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Site or RSS title" href="link-to-feed" />

RSS15

Analytics

Installing some sort of analytics tool is important for measuring statistics to see how your website performs and how successful your conversion rates are. Track daily unique hits, monthly page views and browser statistics, all useful data to start tracking from day 1. Google Analytics16 is a free favorite among website owners. Others to consider are Clicky17, Kissmetrics18 (still in closed beta yet), Mint19 and StatCounter20.

Analytics21

Sitemap

Adding a sitemap.xml file to your root directory allows the major search engines to easily index your website. The file points crawlers to all the pages on your website. XML-Sitemaps22 automatically creates a sitemap.xml file for you. After creating the file, upload it to your root directory so that its location is www.mydomain.com/sitemap.xml.

If you use WordPress, install the Google XML Sitemaps plug-in23, which automatically updates the sitemap when you write new posts. Also, add your website and sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools24. This tells Google that you have a sitemap, and the service provides useful statistics on how and when your website was last indexed.

Analytics25

Defensive Design

The most commonly overlooked defensive design element is the 404 page. If a user requests a page that doesn’t exist, your 404 page is displayed. This may happen for a variety of reasons, including another website linking to a page that doesn’t exist. Get your users back on track by providing a useful 404 page that directs them to the home page or suggests other pages they may be interested in.

Another defensive design technique is checking your forms for validation. Try submitting unusual information in your form fields (e.g. lots of characters, letters in number fields, etc.) and make sure that if there is an error, the user is provided with enough feedback to be able to fix it.

40426

Optimize

You’ll want to configure your website for optimal performance. You should do this on an ongoing basis after launch, but you can take a few simple steps before launch, too. Reducing HTTP requests, using CSS sprites wherever possible, optimizing images for the Web, compressing JavaScript and CSS files and so on can all help load your pages more quickly and use less server resources.

Besides, depending on the publishing engine that you are using, you may need to consider taking more specific measures – for instance, if you are using WordPress, you may need to consider useful caching techniques to speed up the performance28.

Yahoo Best Practices29

Back Up

If your website runs off a database, you need a back-up strategy. Or else, the day will come when you regret not having one. If you use WordPress, install WordPress Database Backup32, which you can set up to automatically email you backups.

Print Style Sheet

If a user wants to print a page from your website, chances are she or he wants only the main content and not the navigation or extra design elements. That’s why it is a good idea to create a print-specific style sheet. Also, certain CSS elements, such as floats, don’t come out well when printed.

To point to a special CSS style sheet that computers automatically use when users print a page, simply include the following code between your <head> tags.

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="print.css" media="print" />

Download the Ultimate Website Launch Checklist!

Just recently Dan Zambonini has published a very detailed checklist that covers both the pre-launch and the post-launch phase of the web site life cycle. Among other things his Ultimate Website Launch Checklist35 contains checks related to content and style, standards and validation, search engine visibility, functional testing, security/risk, performance and marketing.

Ultimate Check List36

The pdf-version37 is available as well. The checklist is a very useful reference that may help you in your daily projects and will help you to prevent errors and mistake once the site is released.

You may also want to consider the Quick Usability Check List38 by David Leggett that highlight some of the more common problems designers should address on their own sites in a Usability checklist of sorts. Not all of these items will apply to every website, these are just suggested things to look for in your own site design.

Quick Usability Check List39

What other checks would you list?

Make yourself a to-do list and keep it handy to check over before making any website live. Are there any other points you would add? Share them in the comments!

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.9rules.com
  2. 2 http://www.google.de/search?rlz=1C1GGLS_deDE291DE303&ie=UTF-8&q=10+things+to+consider+when+choosing
  3. 3 http://freelancefolder.com/7-fresh-and-simple-ways-to-test-cross-browser-compatibility/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/10/02/browser-tests-services-and-compatibility-test-suites/
  5. 5 http://freelancefolder.com/7-fresh-and-simple-ways-to-test-cross-browser-compatibility/
  6. 6 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9703b.html
  7. 7 http://www.komodomedia.com/
  8. 8 http://validator.w3.org/checklink
  9. 9 http://silverbackapp.com/
  10. 10 http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
  11. 11 http://www.leemunroe.com/how-important-is-valid-html-web-standards/
  12. 12 http://www.webstandardistas.com/
  13. 13 http://net.tutsplus.com/articles/web-roundups/10-reasons-why-your-code-wont-validate-and-how-to-fix-it/
  14. 14 http://validator.w3.org/
  15. 15 http://www.problogger.net/
  16. 16 http://www.google.com/analytics/
  17. 17 http://getclicky.com/
  18. 18 http://kissmetrics.com/
  19. 19 http://haveamint.com/
  20. 20 http://statcounter.com/
  21. 21 http://getclicky.com/
  22. 22 http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
  23. 23 http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/
  24. 24 https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
  25. 25 http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/
  26. 26 http://productplanner.com/
  27. 27 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/17/404-error-pages-reloaded/
  28. 28 http://www.arnebrachhold.de/2007/02/16/four-plus-one-ways-to-speed-up-the-performance-of-wordpress-with-caching/
  29. 29 http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html
  30. 30 http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html
  31. 31 http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/
  32. 32 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/
  33. 33 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/02/21/printing-the-web-solutions-and-techniques/
  34. 34 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/goingtoprint/
  35. 35 http://www.boxuk.com/blog/the-ultimate-website-launch-checklist
  36. 36 http://www.boxuk.com/blog/the-ultimate-website-launch-checklist
  37. 37 http://www.boxuk.com/upload/website_launch_checklist_v1.pdf
  38. 38 http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/quick-usability-checklist/
  39. 39 http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/quick-usability-checklist/

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Lee Munroe is a freelance web designer from Belfast. You can see his other writings on web design on his blog.

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  1. 1

    “Your website should work with JavaScript turned off ” – please!!!
    how many users have turned it off or browsing web from linux console? none?

    -1
  2. 52

    Vishnuvardhan Reddy

    April 8, 2009 1:59 am

    Nice article, thank you.

    0
  3. 103

    Over 30 million people have downloaded the NoScript extension for Firefox, people working in government buildings or secure corporate offices often have javascript disabled by default, most search engine spiders are analogous to users browsing without javascript, etc.

    You can’t simply say something as baseless as “it’s 2009! who doesn’t have javascript enabled” if you are serious about making your site accessible to as many people as possible using different technologies.

    3
  4. 154

    I don’t know whether to start with the article or the proceeding comments.
    I guess starting with the article makes more sense.

    1. Many of the things mentioned here, while important tasks, are not the kind of things you should be doing pre-launch – they should be occuring much earlier in your development cycle than that. In some cases (how to handle no-script issues) should be handled all the way back in the wireframing stage. Defensive design and validation is certainly something you don’t want to be first thinking about towards the end of a project.

    2. The article lacks a lot of advice on what you should have checked during this crucial time. Things like
    i) Making sure you have a the required details needed to go live: does your client allow ftp to their server or only sftp? Do you have the details to login? Do you know how their file structure is configured?
    ii) Does their server/scripting language/database have all the appropriate addons/configurations you might have used in development? For that matter are you developing and hosting on indentical environments? (You should be, and you should have a definitive answer to that question before you even start a project).
    iii) Do you know when the client wants the go-live to happen? Have you cleared enough time from your schedule to do the job properly? (If in doubt or the project is remotely complex, schedule a full day).
    iv) Have you backed up the live site and data? (This is mentioned in the article but you can never remind people to backup enough)
    v) Are all your internal links appropriate? No linking a sneaky css file from the testing server? No including that debugging javascript file by accident? No hardcoded links to the development or client display server? No forgotten # in the footer that should link to a privacy policy?
    vi) No lorem ipsum content anywhere? This includes making sure that previous placeholders like ads or blockquotes have been replaced with the correct content.
    vii) SQL files created for making the appropriate databases and also for adding any required data? Do you know how those sql files are going to get run? Does the client have a user panel for doing this or do you have to ssh into their server and run it by command line or do you have to send it to a third party system admin to execute? (If it’s an external System Admin, have you scheduled enough time to get the job done? Have you? Really? I don’t think you’ve dealt with enough Sys Admins, triple that timeframe).
    viii) Is your data clean? No test data lurking in the database that might result in ‘test user’, ‘testuser1′ being seen on the live site?
    ix) Did you re-clean the database after running the tests you should have run when the site is live for testing that signup form?

    3. Graceful degradation is dead, killed by progressive enhancement. Please don’t publish articles promoting the use of a dead methodology.

    As for the comments.
    1. Yes, you design and build with the possibility of javascript being turned off in mind. No, shut up, don’t argue, don’t even open your mouth. The fact you’re even opening your mouth to say something tells me you’re utterly clueless and you shouldn’t be entering the conversation. Be quiet and let the adults talk.
    You design and build with no-script in mind because that’s the whole point of progressive enhancement. Make sure that everyone can make use of or at the very least comprehend the service you are offering. If you’re using the canvas tag, you provide a fall back notification for browsers that don’t support it. Every other javascript interaction should be detailed/wireframed/documented in terms of progressive enhancement. This is a bigger issue than you thinking ‘Oh man, this is just bullshit.’ This is an accessibility issue and if you don’t understand it you should just shutup, walk quietly away and go and study until you’re capable of holding a conversation about it.

    Ok, apparently this got a bit long. I’ll stop now.

    0
    • 205

      You are talking about Lee’s idea in more detail. It’s not your idea. It’s not your initiative. If you are clever enough, why not start writing your own article?

      Lee has written it for a general audience, like me and everything makes total sense.

      To me, Graceful Degradatoin is simpler to understand and easy to start from as compared to your PROGRESSIVE ENHANCEMENT.

      What a pity to people like you who have no respect for other people’s work and spotting a few arguable points to make yourself look smarter.

      0
  5. 256

    Brilliant. Thanks for putting this together.

    0
  6. 307

    Nice article! I agree with most of the stuff, but I think numbering the points was a mistake. Made me first believe that favicons was the most important thing on the site.

    One thing I noticed was that the first images points has a faulty link to http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/05/10-things-to-consider-when-choosing-the-perfect-cms/

    0
  7. 358

    Nice subject !!!
    great collection
    Link [www.samacreation.com]

    0
  8. 409

    I wonder why my reply is awaiting administration approval all day…

    0
  9. 460

    Just to clarify, this isn’t a list in order of importance, it’s simply a quick checklist as a reminder.

    Agreed all of these things should be checked throughout the process (along with a lot of other checks) and not left to ‘5min before going live’. This is just a useful final reminder checklist to make sure everything has been covered in case there is something you overlooked.

    To back up gareth hunt’s point, unfortunately there are users who do have JS turned off even in this day and age. Usually coming from government buildings where they have it turned off to stop pop-ups and the likes. Other platforms, e.g. some mobile phone browsers, may not support JS also so it’s important to make sure you have these scenarios covered.

    @Elijah: You’re right, well spotted. The favicon for iPhone should be favicon.png

    Thanks for all the comments.

    1
  10. 511

    All this talk about functions disabled in the browser. How about checks for human users with disabilities? Color blind testing, vision impaired users?

    2
  11. 562

    Just a small thing, but if you are spending time and money launching and promoting the site/URL, it helps to set yourself up to catch the inevitable mistakes people make, so:
    – set up DNS so that domain.com, w.domain.com, ww.domain.com etc work as well, preferably using 302s to correct them gently.
    -If you have a server that is case sensitive, be consistent in how you use case, and work out what happens when people type things in the ‘wrong case’.
    – On larger sites, if the budget allows, register similar or common typo domains and use 302s as well. This not only helps get users who mistyped, but forestalls competitors or unrelated sites from getting your traffic by accident.

    1
  12. 613

    Great article! Will be sure to refer back to this when I finish the redesign of my site.

    0
  13. 664

    Andrew Turnbull

    April 8, 2009 4:36 am

    great stuff, im currently on 2 web projects one for work and 1 for client. I not sure what the person way above was talking about in his essay, its just a guide mate. Love the check list link will be using it soon.

    0
  14. 715

    spectecular. thanks!

    0
  15. 766

    Matt Pramschufer

    April 8, 2009 5:03 am

    This is a pretty good list. I wrote an article a month or so ago titled 13 Steps to a Successful Website Launch (Link). We had a couple items in common, but it seems like your list concentrates more on SEO and non critical items of a launch.

    0
  16. 817

    Smashing Editorial

    April 8, 2009 5:34 am

    Thank you for your feedback, the numbers in the headings of the article sections were removed.

    0
  17. 868

    Very Useful. Thanks. I am not sure I agree with the RSS Feed suggestion, regardless, this checklist has great suggestions for those who don’t have a solidified checklist.

    0
  18. 919

    Very informative! Thank you!! :-)

    0
  19. 970

    Incredible how some people cannot see past their ignorance.

    Sites should work without Javascript. Maybe not every little feature, but main content of the site should be accessible without Javascript. Main menu that relies on JS is fail. Search that relies on JS is fail. Etc.

    Why?

    Because most mobile phones today do not support JS, or at least complex JS. There are TONS of users, at least in Europe, that check some small info on website via mobile phone. I book tickets for cinema via mobile phone. I do not BROWSE that website, because it is impossible, but i just manage somehow to click through to book tickets. If at any point JS is required, i would not be able to do so.

    Also, on multiple occasions, i used mobile phone to visit website of some company to check their contact phone number / call center. I did not BROWSE website with mobile phone, rather i just checked something really fast.

    So stop that nonsense complaining about good point SmashMag made, and realize that if you can reach 3% more of people with your website – that’s 3% more of potential revenue for site’s owner at the end of the year.

    3
  20. 1021

    Does anyone know why some feeds have a favicon and some don’t? Smashing Magazine’s feed for instance has a favicon so all the visited pages have a favicon and the new ones don’t which makes it really easy to find updates. Other feeds on the other hand only have the default icon. I’m using Firefox’s built-in feed service.

    0
  21. 1072

    nice article!

    0
  22. 1123

    I agree – graceful degradation is dead. I use the mighty noscript addon myself but when something doesn’t work – I turn it on. 95% are using JS by default, the 5% that doesn’t are most likely doing that in a similar aware fashion. Still.. Basic stuff like registration and navigation should be working anyway but not because of the end-user, but because of the site’s best interest, that’s correct. It’s the same rule we apply to the IE6-compatibility right now – “let them know it’s not worth using it”. And of course Steerpike is right: that’s an early development stage, not final. Same with optimization, etc. I agree with you t in most cases except using lorem-ipsum (not the idea behind it), which should rather be replaced with some real text likely to appear in particular areas (which – yeah – is a must-do).

    Daemon: should we really care about the mobile phone users? NO – UNLESS they’re an important part of your target. In most cases they are not. In addition, soon all mobile phones will have webkit-based browsers or some IE and then what? You’ll be rewriting your sites, adding tons of new stuff you suddenly realized could or should be there from the beginning? Creating mobile versions, if you really care, is way better. You make them download much lighter, faster, minimalistic version with the most important stuff while not limiting the whole projects because of your naive idealism. “Equal to everyone” – we’ve seen countries falling because of this idea. It’s impossible to make everyone comfortable and usually it’s not best to. There is no general rule like that – it’s about every project individual needs. Will you throw out all your graphics because I’m gonna watch your site in some text-based phone? You get the point. Everything progresses. If you watched the mobile phones market closely, you’d see soon it won’t really matter. 0,5ghz cpus are standard for PDAs now, next year it’s gonna be 1ghz. And as for normal phones – again, mobile versions are best the solution. And if you wanna use your phone for web most often, you’re more likely to have an iPhone, HTC, or whatever PDA already. If not, then you’re an idiot. You don’t buy acoustic guitar to play heavy metal.

    1
  23. 1174

    love the ultimate website checklist, awesome

    0
  24. 1225

    Awesome list! I was doing pretty good, but some of these I was missing, they will be in place for my next launch. Thanks.

    0
  25. 1276

    If you don’t want to find yourself in court, ensure that you properly cited copyrighted and trademarked products! And if you think that you can use the little icon–that really well-known icon–to indicate the flavor of the document that the user is about to open, you’d better read the fine print on the owner’s website. If you can’t find it on their site, shame on them, but CALL their legal department to get a very clear directive.

    And you’d better be darn sure that your company either created their own images or appropriately paid for images from a stock shop…. Or be prepared to receive a bill from them–and yes, they do that.

    Keep all of this documented so that if anyone from your legal department comes knocking on your door, you’ll have that CYA you deserve.

    1
  26. 1327

    I agree with most things in this article. I wont mention the issue of javascript since plenty of others have posted about how silly it is to worry about the 1 or 2 people in the world who have javascript disabled.

    The only other thing worth mentioning is regarding the browser compliance. As a general rule, I test in IE6, IE7, IE8 and Firefox. Sorry Safari and Opera but for a combined 5% of users, its just not worth it unless the client absolutely demands compliance in these browsers (but that should be a little extra for the time needed). IE8 is the exception. Currently, according to w3school.com browser stats, IE8 only commands around 1.4% but this is IE we are talking about and its use will dramatically increase as IE5 and IE6 get closer to the exit. In an ideal world, every website works in every browser, with or without javascript but the reality for many web designers and developers is that time is of the essence. Clients are more and more demanding for shorter turnarounds and we have to pick our battles.

    0
    • 1378

      Hey Xavier: Safari represents the webkit rendering engine, which is also used in Google Chrome and Konqueror (the second most popular browser on Linux after Firefox). So adding one of these three browsers to your test suite can help you cover more user base than you might think!

      Browsers I test with upon every layout change:
      IE6, Firefox 3.5, Safari or Chrome depending on what OS I’m on.

      0
    • 1429

      Aww. I use Chrome. I may be tech-savvy, but so are many. One site I happen to use lately is David’s Bridal ( ;-) ) and it doesn’t work well from Chrome (in several important ways). It’s annoying; I HAVE to open Firefox most of the time on that site in order to perform certain actions, like saving an item to favorites.

      It’s a good example, though, because perhaps one wouldn’t think of geeky people using such a site (at least the people within the business, for some reason), but there are geeky fashionable girls, but far more importantly than that: most people get married (and girls are web-savvy too!), and techy people aren’t priced above that store, haha.

      Anyway, yes, occasionally things don’t work in Chrome that work in Firefox; so it’s quite different even though display-wise it’s similar.

      I’d like to add that I think a lot of Facebook gamers use it because it is much faster, and often works better with the games (sometimes it doesn’t). Facebook “gamers” are common!!!

      Just some things to think about.

      0
  27. 1480

    Great check list. As a web designer / developer the lines of distinction are constantly blurred so a check list like this is essential before a site goes live. Thanks!

    0
  28. 1531

    Why your site should work with javascript turned off:
    Because javascript is the bas-relief of a website – there’s nothing wrong with adding beautiful carvings into the side of a building, but if it’s been build on a crumbling foundation then all your hard work wont survive.
    The fact that functionality fails without javascript is an indication that the developer doesn’t understand functionality. AJAX enhancements require the server side functionality exists anyway so why are you not first creating the functional version before enhancing the experience with a smooth javascript UI? What exactly are you doing with your website that’s more complex than what google maps does? Yet they can provide a functional experience when the user turns off javascript.

    They can do that because the system has been written properly from the foundations upwards. Not slapped together and had a glossy layer of paint thrown over it to make it look exciting.

    Do your job properly, it’s embarassing listening to you arguing against it.

    0
  29. 1582

    Great list! But I really don’t think validation is necessary. If it works in all the browsers (IE6 – 8, FF, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc) then you’re fine. Using Strict doctype has its quirks, like you can use _target in links. What’s the deal with that? Screw validation. And, I’d add a focus on security. Preventing XSS, injection, overflows, etc.

    1
  30. 1684

    This is a great list for small business owners. Simple yet equally important to do everything on this list.

    Great work!

    Sincerely,

    Ilya Bodner
    Small Business Owner
    Initial Underwriting Group

    0
  31. 1735

    excelent article, added to my favorites

    0
  32. 1786

    Nice article. I already have a check list to check all the things before the launch of a website.
    I do xhtml validation, but no css! I am already much into css3 and I use hacks as well!
    W3C doesn’t seems to be liking my habit.
    and one more thing ~~Screw IE6~~ I never waste time to fix things for IE6. If clients insist, I usually handover that part to my colleagues :P

    0
  33. 1837

    Disposable_Hero

    April 8, 2009 7:55 am

    @Johny:
    1. According to my company’s last web stats check, the number of people who use IE6 is about the same as the people who use Firefox. Would you consider Firefox one of the most popular browsers? Also more and more people are using iPhones or similar devices, so if you want to make sure your market is as wide as possible, its probably a good idea to check it.

    2. I don’t remember the article saying that validation had to do with Google indexing. With that said, even if it has nothing to do with SEO, it is related to success of your site, because if you don’t have things coded correctly, they often don’t show up correctly when people view the site. Bad site = less success.

    3. I agree with the JS thing….sort of. I think I saw another comment on here about how the main content of your site should be accessible without JS, but that doesn’t mean your entire site needs to be JS-free.

    4. Yes, the favicon is *one* of the points to check. Just because it was listed first doesn’t mean it’s the most important.

    It seems these days people just want to complain about everything, no matter how useful. I always find it hilarious when you see a string of 20-30 people saying “nice post!” etc… then you have 1 guy saying “This article is horrible!” or something similar, as if it was a personal attack against them. If you don’t like the article, leave it for the rest of us that aren’t on a personal mission to hate everything posted on this site.

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  34. 1888

    Great article

    Honestly though, people dont browse the web with Javascript disabled unless they manually disable it.
    If you use javascript for things like form validation make sure you have server-side validation too.

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  35. 1939

    bruce bielawski

    April 8, 2009 8:05 am

    I would love the job of reviewing web sites before launch. It would seem that a ‘web site’ company would have a review person, or even group. I’m hereby starting a new service for anybody with a web design that’s about to go to launch, contact me to review, and see if it’s ready. twitter me @brucebski and we’ll get the source that connects us in on the new company too. I just have to thing of a name. Anyways, this is a wonderful checklist that comes from the school of hard knocks. College education material, seriously, Let’s print it and I’ll sell this to some University…

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  36. 1990

    This is one of the best “tips” posting I have seen in a long time. Very practical. I know I am guilty sometimes of rushing to get a site or an update up and running and forget some of the basics…….. they always come back to haunt you……. thanks for the info

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  37. 2041

    Great!

    This should be included:
    Check if your website works with Adblock Plus (firefox extension) with all filter lists enabled.

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  38. 2092

    Wow–I have just learned so much by reading this article and the posts and by following the links.

    I am not a developer, but I am responsible for our site. My web developer is just getting started on building a new site from the ground up. This information helps me to understand how to monitor the process.

    Thanks to everyone!

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  39. 2143

    Great article. Though I have already launched my site, I can still benefit from this list.

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  40. 2194

    These things are very essential. I also loved the “Ultimate Website Launch Checklist”…

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  41. 2245

    great great list! thank you! (to Lee Munroe)

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  42. 2296

    One part is missing from this article —
    Create an easy way to get feedback from users & thrive off that feedback. Nothing will build your reputation faster then showing users that you’re listening and building for them!

    1
  43. 2347

    Nice, thanks. Two I might add:

    1. Designed to fit 1024×768 – still the predominate browsing resolution
    2. Optimized for facebook/digg sharing link and medium tags

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  44. 2398

    Great article! I will recommend this to anyone who is starting their first site or blog.

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  45. 2449

    Patricia Davidson

    April 8, 2009 12:04 pm

    Nice checklist – thanks so much!

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  46. 2500

    Masterclass stuff Lee, well done! Great resource.

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  47. 2551

    In regards to browser compatibility, I believe Chrome has more market share than Opera now…

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  48. 2602

    You guys keep knocking out these great articles!

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  49. 2653

    Excellent article, a great list indeed. One thing that I feel might be overlooked is using Delicious to tag important pages on a website or blog. I’ve noticed that some of the savvy people I follow tag their articles, blog posts and pages. Seems like it might be a good way to help people find and save your work.

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  50. 2704

    swetha ganjipally

    April 8, 2009 1:30 pm

    This is an excellent list. If every site did these things first, the Internet would be a much happier place.

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