7 things to do before launching your Joomla website
You’re happily thinking about launching your Joomla website? I know that feeling. It must be a great joy you’ve been working for so long to have. But hold on and take a look at the following checklist. There are quite many things you should check again before eagerly launching your Joomla website.
Let’s start, shall we?
Are you sure your website is mobile friendly?
Double-checking your website to make sure that it’s mobile-friendly is not too paranoid, isn’t it? Here are a few things need to be reviewed:
- Does your website respond to screen size changes without fail?
- Is it necessary to make it adapt to the features and capabilities of mobile devices like touch support, touch icons?
- Are all the Joomla extensions you are using mobile friendly?
- Have you optimized your website’s loading speed for mobile?
If you want to check your website’s mobile-friendliness, Google's Mobile-Friendly Test or W3C's MobileOK Checker can lend you a hand. You can also get some quick tips in our “5 steps to make your Joomla site mobile friendly”.
And is it SEO friendly too?
Before letting your site go live and allowing both real people, as well as robots, access it, you need to make sure that your website is easy to find/crawl too.
So, let’s look back to see if your titles and metadata are optimized – meaning that they’re short, contain your targeted keywords, reflect the content of each page exactly, not repetitive on all pages, etc. Also, check for: canonical URLs, redirect for the invalid link, URLs are all short and understandable – not randomly generated, all images has Alt tags.
Plus, you need a sitemap.xml file for search engines to easily index your website too! Add this sitemap to your Google Webmaster Tools. You can use XML-Sitemaps to automatically generate this file for you. Or you can alternatively use Joomla extensions like JSitemap. Your final sitemap link should be like this: www.mydomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Have you updated your Joomla website’s favicon?
A favicon is the identity of your website to distinguish itself from other websites. It’s a little thing but you shouldn’t forget it. And it’s too easy to have a favicon on your website too. Here’s how: “How to change Joomla website’s favicon”.
Does your website pass the test?
Validate your website, of course!
The best tool is always W3C validator. Put your site up there and check how many score you get. Well, it sounds like I’m a perfectionist but you should work your best to have 100% validation for your website. Fix all the errors (the tool lets you know why, yay!) and get passed! For Joomla website, most of the time the errors come from 3rd party extensions – so try turning each extension on and off (no joking!) to see which one causes the problem and fix it.
The second thing your website needs to pass this the speed test by Google PageSpeed tool. No one wants to wait for a fast-as-snail website so make sure your site runs fast. Here are some useful tips for that: “8 Tips to Speed Up Your Joomla 3.x Website”.
What’s next? Your site’s compatibility. Even when you think your site is perfect in every pixel, try opening it on different browsers to see if the nightmare comes. Everything should work properly no matter what browser your website is open in.
Is that all? Not yet – we have grammar and spelling tests to pass too. If you don’t want your website looks silly then make sure it has grammarly correct content displayed on it.
Do all the links work?
Don’t trust your guts this time if you think all the links are working! It might not always happen.
Make sure all of your links are in different colors with normal text, clickable and redirect to the right site. You can use W3C Link Checker to verify if all of your links are good or not. Also, make your visited links display in a different color with unvisited links. Plus, take a look at your website’s logo to check if it links to your site’s homepage yet.
In case it’s an invalid link, do you have a proper 404 error message? Here’s a guide to help you build a 404 page in Joomla: “Creating a Custom 404 Error Page”.
Did you make a thorough checkup of everything?
Okay, so you’re reaching the end (now do you think launching a website is joyful or stressful?). Make sure all functionalities on your website work properly – from a contact form to send a proper email, search function to display right search results, etc. to other complex features.
If possible, ask for other people – your friends, family or colleagues to use your website and watch where they stumble to optimize your website better.
Have you already made a backup of your Joomla site?
Backup is life. Remember that.
Backup helps you save everything of your website so you won’t scream “everything is all gone!” when your website has trouble, like being hacked, for example. So, if everything is fine now, you can create a backup of your Joomla website. The best backup tool out there you can count on is Akeeba Backup.
That’s it. Oh, and remember to test your backup recovery function as well as schedule backup regularly too!
Then go ahead with bringing your website to life. Let it out and hello the world. No one can stop you now!
Did I miss anything else that needed to be in this list? Feel free to add your comments below!