grass growing in the breeze

Site Launch Checklist

First, we always put website on a content management system of some kind. This has been our goal from day one, and there are very few sites we’ve ever launched without this kind of setup. There are a number of tools we offer. We have Ladybug for our clients, and soon we’ll have Fluttershow for others to use. We also like ExpressionEngine a lot, and most e-commerce systems come with their own basic CMS features.

Next, we have to think about the domain and web hosting. While hosting recommendations are always changing, for budget-minded projects we still often recommend Dreamhost, and for larger projects, we tend to go with Joyent. The domain question is an interesting one these days. With the advent of Google Apps or other email services, we find ourselves needing to point this or that record to different places. Many domain name registrars just don’t let you do that, unfortunately, so we sometimes also use another intermediary service to let us point mail services to one place, different web addresses and subdomains to different places, and so on. It gets complicated!

Analytics and SEO needs to be considered. It almost goes without saying that we’ll put a site on Google Analytics, since it’s free and of very high quality. But sometimes that’s not enough. If you have feeds you want to track, you need to look into something like Feedburner, since Google Analytics just isn’t going to see those feeds – it can’t! And optimizing a site for search engines has to be considered, including making some kind of site map that search engines can use to see your site more easily.

There’s more, and we’ll probably revisit this list in another week or two. What would you change, or add, to our list? What’s on yours?

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.