Has anyone ever told you to pull up your socks? Well, now that you’re building a website it’s time to pull up your socks again. It’s just not OK anymore to launch a website without going through a checklist.
A great study technique, which always seems to help people remember things off by heart, is acronyms. An acronym is when you make a word from the first letter of other words. So, here is the SOCKFAD website checklist for you to go through before putting on your socks for the website launch party.
Having an S at the end of your HTTP website is no longer optional. Websites have to be safe and secure for all visitors, so make sure the connection to your site is encrypted. You don’t want hackers intercepting any data. It’s important to set up the necessary protection against malware and other website threats.
Making and saving backup copies of the website at regular intervals is fundamental, so if anything goes wrong you don’t lose everything. Installing website monitoring scripts will also help you respond quickly if your website’s security is compromised. It also goes without saying that passwords and other confidential information must be securely saved.
Have you done whatever you can to ensure your website is optimised for improved SERP results? The attention you give to SEO will determine the success of your website. Make sure you have added alt tags to all images, submitted a sitemap to search engines, done a spellcheck, edited grammar errors and created sensible page URLs. Uncover all the SEO secrets and focus on building a credible website with quality content.
Your website must also be optimised for other devices. Gone are the days when users operate on desktop computers only. Your site needs to work responsively and optimally (as well as look good) on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
Your website is an empty shell without content. Be sure to put in the required effort to create outstanding content that will not only help solve your user’s problems, but which will also be easy for them to consume. Ask yourself these questions regarding the content of your website:
- Does the content solve the user’s problem?
- Is the content easily digestible?
- Has all the copy been edited and proofread?
- Is all the formatting correct and consistent?
- Has all the information been checked for accuracy?
- Are image, video and audio files working and in the correct place?
It’s easy to get carried away with your website. So what people often end up with is a complicated maze of information. Let’s be honest – who is going to find and read all of that information? Let’s keep it short and simple.
Long-winded copy is unnecessary. If you can say what you need to say with fewer words then do so. In case you haven’t noticed, ain’t nobody got time to read websites that are novels. Your website is your most pivotal communication tool, so give the people what they are looking for. And don’t make it too complex for them to do so. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Does everything on your website work? Testing every element of your website’s functionality is essential. Check every nook and cranny:
- Internal and external links
- Image links
- Social media sharing buttons and feeds
- Lead generation forms
- CRM integration
- Thank you pages
- Site speed
The last thing you want to do is frustrate your user, so make sure their expectations are met with every click they make.
Analytics will provide you with imperative details necessary to continuously adapt and improve your website, so make sure your website is built to capture web data. Are your Google Analytics, Search Console and Adwords accounts set up? Have you inserted the analytics code on your website? Without analytics you will not be able to move your website forward effectively.
Last, but not least, does your website look and feel great? Does the website design work for the user? Call in those UX and UI specialists to ensure the experience and interface you are providing your users is the best. Here are some website design must-haves:
- Brand consistency
- Phenomenal user experience
- Compatibility across different browsers and devices
- Scripts, images and CSS optimised
- CSS / HTML validated
Now that you know all about the SOCKFAD, there are no more excuses for poor websites. Let’s pull up our socks and launch nothing less than excellent websites. If you're not sure where to go from here, let's start with security: