At Manoverboard, building websites is a collaborative process. Our team does a lot, but the client and other industry professionals play an important role. Launching a website can be confusing and stressful.
After weeks of architecting, designing, writing and developing, things are starting to shape up, but the admin, logistics, and IT are just beginning. Mapping the course and knowing what’s ahead will make launching your new website smooth sailing.
Each design and website project budget is different. However, all websites require font files. Companies that create typefaces will often provide their font files for testing purposes to use for non-public facing design and development. When your website goes live, we need appropriate licenses for each font file.
Fonts for the web usually range between $20 to $200 per file (or even thousands of dollars for some variable fonts). For tight budgets or less bespoke websites, Google offers some excellent free web fonts.
The site owner needs to purchase and register the font licenses. Once the fonts are ready for commercial use, all we need is the purchased font files or cloud hosting link to make them work on the new website.
If we are replacing an old website with a new website at a domain, use 301 redirects to forward old pages to new pages. A 301 redirect means moved permanently and offers the best chance at keeping search engine rankings. If we are launching the first website at a domain name, we can skip this step.
We need to create these 301 redirects in a file or through an interface to tell the search engine to show the page yoursite.com/new-about when a visitor goes to the old address at yoursite.com/old-about.
In most cases, we take care of the technical bits, but we’ll need a list from the site owner of what needs to be redirected and where it needs to go on the new website. We can redirect all pages for small sites, but for larger sites, choosing the top-visited pages is more efficient. This data can be collected from any web analytic platform.
Analytics platforms track visits to your site and often collect a wide array of personal data like visitors’ countries of origin and how long they’ve been on a page. Not all websites have (or need) analytics, so this may not be relevant to your organization. An analytics platform provides sections of code (that is placed on the website) that connects the analytics platform to the website.
We are increasingly seeing folks move away from Google Analytics to newer, less invasive platforms such as Fathom Analytics. Not every analytics platform has to put a burden on your organization to follow complex laws and regulations.
Website Hosting and SSL Certificates
A website hosting service has servers where website files can be stored; these servers are available for purchase or rent. We’ve used a lot of different hosts at Manoverboard and give our clients recommendations and guidance tailored to suit the new website’s requirements.
An SSL Certificate is what changes the URL prefix from HTTP, to HTTPS which is more secure. You know you’re on a secure site when it shows a lock icon in your browser. The main functions of this certificate are to encrypt data, gain trust from visitors and search engines, and prove website ownership.
Getting the certificate is made easy by many hosts but can be difficult, expensive, and time consuming with others. We recommend:
- Finding a host that offers SSL certificates as part of their hosting package
- Purchasing a certificate through the website host to avoid several time-consuming technical tasks
- Looking into how to obtain an SSL Certificate well before launching a website
The website host or a client’s IT firm can always provide assistance.
Website IT and Security
At Manoverboard, we leave most IT to the professionals. Web security and IT services are very different from the website development we provide. Services that are critical to launching a website that are not generally within our expertise include email server setup and migration, and domain and nameserver (DNS) setup and migration.
Hiring the right people for the job can avoid website launch and migration disasters. We routinely recommend IT firms to our clients if they don’t have an existing relationship.
Coordinating the items discussed in this article as soon as possible and connecting IT (or other) teams with us well in advance can keep you out of rough waters.
Choosing a launch date earlier in the week is wise because it will also allow teams not working on weekends to assist with anything that might need adjustment along the way.
We depend on others to handle specific tasks: clients have to secure accounts and licenses, and IT teams take the sails for servers and domains. Regardless, we’re with you every step of the way.