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Hands cutting a ribbon to announce the introduction of something new like the launch of a new website.

Are you getting ready to launch a new website for your business and are not sure what to expect? Then you are in the right place. New Theory helps companies design, develop, and launch new websites every day. Our clients often ask us what to expect when rolling out a new website. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about successfully switch over to a new website.

Choose the right time to launch and have a plan in case things go wrong

When it comes to introducing your new website, timing is everything. There is always an inherent risk to taking a new website live, whether it is a simple typo to a store-breaking issue discovered after-the-fact. Minimize your risk by considering factors such as peak traffic times, holiday seasons, and any upcoming promotions or events. You should also think about switching over to your new website in the evening during low traffic times to minimize any potential disruptions. It is also important to plan a sufficient amount of time to troubleshoot any issues that arise. 

Giving yourself enough time to thoroughly test and review your website before going live is also important. Rushing the launch process can lead to overlooked errors and a poor user experience. If you are working with a website agency like New Theory, consult with them to establish a realistic timeline for adequate testing and final adjustments.

Address any needed redirects

If you’re rolling out a new website to replace an existing one, addressing any needed redirects is crucial. Your new website may have different page URLs than your old website. Redirects ensure that users and search engines are directed to the appropriate pages on your new site. Without redirects, visitors may encounter broken links or 404 errors, leading to a frustrating experience and potentially hurting your search engine rankings. It is important to use Google’s best practices by using 301 redirects. 

Your website agency should work with you to identify all the important pages on your current website and create corresponding redirects on your new site. This process involves mapping out your old URLs and determining where they should point to on your new website. It’s also a good opportunity to clean up any outdated or irrelevant content and streamline your site structure.

Quality Assurance (QA) testing

Before you launch your new website, thorough QA testing is a must. QA testing involves reviewing your website to ensure that it functions properly and meets your expectations. This includes testing contact forms, sales links, CTA buttons, and other interactive elements to make sure they work as intended.

Your website agency should have a comprehensive QA process in place to identify and address issues before introducing. This may involve manual testing by the agency team as well as automated testing tools to catch potential bugs or errors. It’s important to test your website on various devices and browsers to ensure a consistent experience for all users.

If you’re creating a new e-commerce site, it’s also a good idea to have someone outside the business go through it as if they were a customer. Even though you may know where to find a certain product or exactly how the checkout process works, an independent observer might find something that you hadn’t yet noticed or thought of.

Make sure all automations work correctly

In addition to testing the front-end of your website, it’s equally important to ensure that any back-end automations are working correctly. This includes things like email marketing integrations, lead capture forms, and e-commerce functionalities.

Your website agency should work with you to set up and test these automations before launch. This may involve integrating your website with third-party tools and platforms, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Klaviyo, MailChimp, and other popular services. It’s important to test these integrations thoroughly to ensure that data is being passed correctly to the service from the website, and that automations are triggering as intended.

Plan your announcement – make it an event!

Last, but not least it is also important to create a plan for how you want to announce your new website. This is your opportunity to generate buzz and excitement around your new website and attract visitors to check it out. On the other hand you may not want to announce the new website until after it has gone live, just in case anything goes wrong during the process. In this situation, a “soft launch” followed by an announcement when you are ready may be a better option. 

Some ideas for your launch announcement include:

  • Email blasts to your existing customers and subscribers
  • Social media posts and paid social ads
  • Press releases and outreach to relevant media outlets
  • Blog posts and content marketing efforts

You have rolled out your new website — now what?

Switching over to a new website is an exciting milestone for any business but requires care and attention to detail. Following the steps outlined in this article sets the foundation for a smooth and successful launch that positions your business for online success—wondering what’s next?

After you launch your new website, one of the best ways to ensure that your site continues to run smoothly is to develop a strategy for regular maintenance, including updating content, monitoring performance, and addressing technical issues. Prioritizing ongoing maintenance keeps your website fresh, relevant, and performing at its best. Interested in learning about website maintenance? Read, 6 best practices for website maintenance in 2024, for more.

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