The look, feel, content and overall customer journey are all very important aspects of what to consider when creating a new website, however we also need to ensure we cover off the more technical aspects.
The technical website checklist is like having the mechanic check your engine before you hit the race track. It covers the ‘behind the scenes’ requirements that will make your site run efficiently and allow search engines to find you.
Here’s 7 Website Technical Requirements that you want to tick off when launching your new website:
1. Mobile Responsive Design
A website is responsive when its layout adapts to the size of the viewers screen. It needs to be able to display well across a mobile device, a tablet, a laptop and a desktop.
2. SSL Certificate
An SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificate applied to your website authenticates its identify and enables an encrypted connection between a web server and a web browser. It will ensure that all web traffic between your web server and the users browser is secure and cannot be read. It is protecting things such as login data, any information entered on a form and transactions. A few years back, Google confirmed that websites that have an SSL certificate and use the HTTPS protocol are given a better ranking in search, yet another great reason to ensure you apply an SSL certificate to your site.
3. Website Hosting Service
A website hosting service allows you to securely store the files that make up your website (images, HTML files etc) and to enable you to run your site live on the internet.
Before selecting your website hosting service, you need to understand the specific type of hosting you after, how much storage you will need and if they include an SSL certificate in their fee.
A great website hosting service will excel at speed, security and reliability.
Redirects are required if you have an existing website and you will updating that website. Where you have original pages or content that may not be carried forward to the new site or the URL may be different than the original, you will want to set up redirects.
An example of this may be:
Original website: www.mywebsite.com/seo-services
Updated website: www.mywebsite.com/services/seo
In the above example, we need to set up a redirect so that the original page is redirected to the new page.
This is important from an SEO and user experience perspective, as search engines and visitors do not want to encounter pages that no longer exist.
5. Create and submit XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap is a roadmap of your website that leads search engines to all your important pages. It assists search engines to index your site and find information more quickly, increasing the chances of your website being found by Google and other search engines.
6. Browser Capability
A browser is a software application that enables you to access the World Wide Web such as Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
When you create a new website, you must check that your site displays and functions appropriately across the various browsers.
7. Website Page Load Time
Page load time is the time it takes for any page on your website to load in a browser. Slow site speed may result in poor search engine rankings, a negative user experience and lower overall site traffic.
To speed up your website page load time you want to ensure your images are as small as possible, minimise video content uploaded to your site (instead insert a link and ‘embed’ the video), your hosting service is optimised meaning little or no network latency.
Use this Website Technical Requirements Checklist as the basis of what you need to do to breathe life into your website.
You may want to read through my article on Website Project Management which outlines 10 Critical Components that you need to cover before you embark on creating or updating your website.
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