Ready to Launch

by Nathan Duvall

Congratulations on getting this far in the development process! We’re getting really close to launching your new site and it’s at this point that we like to collect some additional information from you so that when launch day comes, it’s as quick and seamless as possible.

This all may sound like a lot of work — and it is — but not for you!

It’s easy to get lost in the complexity of everything that goes into building a website, so before we jump in, we want to explain our process and exactly what we need and what we do to launch your site. But first, let’s start by defining some frequently used words that are involved in the process.

Glossary of Terms:

  • Domain Name: this is your website address or URL. (i.e. yourname.com). Think of it as your home address on the web.
  • Domain Registrar: this is where you purchased your domain name. There are hundreds of domain registrars out there, but the most common ones are GoDaddy.com, NameCheap.com or NetworkSolutions.com.
  • Hosting Provider: hosting is what allows your website to live on the web. Hosting is like your landlord — it’s who you pay monthly or yearly to keep your site online.
  • Email Provider: like hosting, but for your email. It’s where you go to login and access your email messages. The most common providers are Google/GSuite, Outlook.com or free email through your hosting provider.
  • DNS Records: DNS records control where all the traffic goes to and from your domain. Think of DNS like a traffic cop, directing everyone where they need to go. Similarly, DNS records tell all inbound & outbound traffic where to go.
    Now that we understand what each of these things are, let’s get into our process!

Step 1: Figuring out your Setup

The first thing we need to know is 1) Do you have a custom email account (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) and if yes, 2) where is your email currently hosted? If you don’t have a custom address or you use a 3rd party like Google/GSuite or Outlook — great! That simplifies the process. However, if you have free email from your current hosting provider, you’ll need to decide how you wish to proceed. You typically have 3 options:

  • Move your email accounts to a reliable 3rd party provider — we can help point you in the right direction.
  • Contact your host to see if they offer email-only services or what the cheapest way is to continue receiving email services through them.
  • Leave everything as-is and continue paying the hosting fee in order to continue using your current email services.

Once we’ve determined how your email is setup, we can then determine where we need to make changes to your DNS records. We always prefer to eliminate unnecessary systems and steps from the process when we can. This streamlines the process and also saves you money in the long run.

Step 2: Collecting your Logins

If you’re an expert or familiar with making changes to your DNS records, then we’re happy to provide instructions so you can make the changes on your own. Otherwise, we’re happy to handle it for you! We’ll need the following logins to get started:

  • Hosting Provider Login
  • Domain Registrar Login

See glossary list above if you’re not 100% sure what these are.

Step 3: Launch Day!

Once all revisions are approved and you’re ready to launch, we’ll select a day and time that works best for you to launch the site. There’s a lot that goes into launching a site, but here’s a quick overview of the work we do behind the scenes:

  • Change DNS records to point your website traffic to our servers.
  • Order & install SSL certificate — this is what makes your site secure with the padlock icon in the address bar and https vs. http.
  • Ensure that all site links are changed from the temporary development link to the live URL and fix all insecure content warnings due to SSL implementation.
  • Setup redirects (if requested) to point any old URL’s to the new site.
  • Optimize images to ensure all our sized appropriately to load quickly on all devices.
  • Implement Google Analytics & Google Search Console — used to record your site traffic and activity of your website visitors.
  • Install required plugins used to monitor your site’s security, traffic & updates (ManageWP, Yoast).
  • Setup and configure monthly reports — a monthly report you will receive on the 1st of each month that shows your uptime and work we did throughout the month.

Once our work is complete, we’ll send a quick recap email letting you know your site is launched and what next steps are, including how to contact our support team. We’ll also provide a walkthrough video that will show you how to make basic edits to your site. If you signed up for SEO services, we’ll provide you with a timeframe of when you can expect completion of that work alongside the SEO Analysis Report.

This all may sound like a lot of work — and it is — but not for you! The most important thing we need from you are the logins to your domain and/or hosting providers if we are performing the changes to your DNS records. Once we have that, we’ll handle the rest. But we’ve outlined all of our launch steps here so that you know what to expect and what we will be doing to ensure your new site is launched as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

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