Publishing or installing a website is for many webmaster a routine job and smaller sites are often online within minutes. That’s the theory, but there are a lot of mistakes you can do. Sure many of them are harmless and most of you would name them “unimportant”. Sure a website will not break if the meta description is missing, but how is this for your (possible) visitor and Google? Like this “stupid” mistake there are many more, here is my checklist, you should check for all your new sites and also existing websites where bigger updates are done.
If your new website is an update on your existing site you need to redirect old pages to the new URLs. It might be possible that you website has got a complete new site structure where it’s almost impossible to match your site URLs. If this is the case redirect at least the pages with incoming links and pages with a lot of search traffic to new pages from the same subject. Do this for as many pages as possible, link old expired pages to the responding section or category. If your website is build in WordPress, the Redirection Plugin is very helpful. For most other sites you need to add these redirection rules into a .ht access file. Use 301 redirects and pass the “link juice” to your new URLs.
Test also all outgoing links, if your site is big you should use a link checker tool. There are many desktop tools and online services available. Try some of them and use the one which works the best for you.
If you build your website on a test location, it’s possible that some or all your images point to the test location. Change these image paths, because after your test location is gone you will get a lot of broken image links.
There are a lot of tiny things you can do to rank your site better in Google or other search engines. Here is a list of steps you should follow for all new and updated website:
Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the favorite web browsers for most web developers (85% of the visitors from this blog are using such a browser). Don’t forget, there are still people using Internet Explorer to visit your websites. Test your website in the most common browsers in your field, check the most popular web clients in Google Analytics or any other web statistics software. Fix all important issues, sometimes a tiny error in IE can take a lot of time to fix it, decide if it’s worth enough to spend that time.
This is just a list with common checks, if you know more of them please share them in the comment section. Take these checks serious because your website deserves it ?