Being an amateur web developer like me, you are always excited and want to do everything almost immediately. Unfortunately, this hurry or rush you feel (to achieve a target immediately) results in simple basic mistakes.
This then leads to being the only reason for a full-fledged disaster. And within seconds, you are at ground zero again. I have my fair share of making mistakes.
Being an impatient, overwhelmed person, I have made blunders that resulted in incomplete project failure leaving me in anger, disappointment, and hopelessness. But you have to continue and learn from your mistakes to avoid disaster.
Today I am writing this article to help you understand how important it is for you to plan, design, implement, observe and improve your website and the sections. By the end of this article, I am sure that you have equipped yourself with enough information to avoid any issues related to your website.
Believe it or not but this article is going to be your key resource for Website development. Hoping that you will make this article your Bible of web development, let’s begin. So here is the checklist.
Web hosting and domain name
Being new to websites, what do you think you would require to start working with? Yes, you are writing a domain name and a hosting plan. Now keeping in mind that we will develop a WordPress-based website, we need to ensure that whichever server hosting we choose, the host has to support WordPress.
There is always a smarter way of doing things. Here, for us, the smartest option would be to choose a WordPress engine that comes with a lot of server space.
Once the hosting plan has been finalized, we need to check for the domain name availability. Sometimes you get lucky and get to have the name available for your website, and sometimes you have to choose something else.
No matter how much emphasis I put on this, always ensure to take backups of your website on the hosting servers. Why? Because any configurational change which was intended to make something beautiful ended in some problem, leaving you clueless.
How do you fix that? Rollback the website immediately to the last saved backup.
Backups might also come in handy when your regular customers inform you that they don’t like the new interface you have just updated. What would you do then?
Yes, roll back because, without the customers, your website will be of no use. So you immediately roll back to the last saved version of your website on your hosting website.
Without investment in any business, you will not be able to run it. Similarly, without SEO, your website is not going to be famous. Okay, you can be famous like Facebook and be used by literally everyone on the planet earth, or you can follow me telling you to work on SEO to rank your website in Google searches.
The more effort you put into SEO, the higher ranked your website will be, and more and more people will see it.
WordPress helps you smartly doing SEO. It gives you the option to use Permalinks. So what, why does it suddenly gets confusing? Why can’t it be simple? Hey, don’t panic; I am here to help. Permalinks give you an option to display your content in certain ways.
You can click on the settings tab in your admin portal dashboard to see through the options. All of these will help you with better SEO results.
Take backup. Okay, now moving on, we have:
Avoid 404 errors
Now assuming that you are a noob like me, we have to be very conscious about 404 errors. Now a good question how does a 404 error happen? Simple, you worked on a section or page and deleted the content on this section or page.
In this case, if anyone clicks on this section or page, the user will get a 404 error. To avoid 404 errors, please install the Google webmaster tool. It will help you find all the internal links which are causing this problem.
Take backup. Okay, now moving on, we have:
Being an entrepreneur, you will need an email address similar to the website name for your business. Some people prefer getting their email hosting from the same hosting website where your domain is hosted.
Usually, there is no problem with this technique. However, if you are willing to choose the same web host for your website and email, then here is what you need to know. If your website is facing downtime due to any issue, your email will be down as well.
More importantly, you will not be getting any emails until the technical issue is sorted out.
If you ask me, I would suggest you use separate hosting for your website and email service. Of course, that will be costly but will make you earn more. But in the end, it’s your decision.
Once again, don’t forget to take backup. Okay, now moving on, we have.
Delete template information
Discussing deleting template information makes me happy. Because by now, we are halfway through the website development checklist. WordPress gives you an option of many templates to choose from.
These templates come with some sample content.
Please ensure that you have deleted all the sample content from your website or replaced it with the one you want your customer to see.
It is very important to delete the sample content as it will not make any connection or sense to your website and confuse your customer.
And believe me, that’s the last thing you want to see, a customer leaving unsatisfied.
Create a Site Map
Once the template has been selected and sample data has been deleted, it is time for you to sit down and finalize your website’s Site Map. Again, you need to be very clear with your website’s look; how many sections will it have?
How many pages will each section have? Do you need a subfolder kind of a website, or are you looking forward to a subdirectories kind of website?
These are all very crucial questions, and believe me, the sooner you answer them, the better. Avoid mishaps at all costs. And remember, this site map will be your Bible for this website. It can’t be changed no matter what.
Once again, don’t forget to take backup. Anything can go wrong. Okay, now moving on, we have:
Test your website
Before launching your website, test everything. I mean everything—every single click matters. And you need to be aware of all the functions. Test your website on a mobile phone. Test it on your laptop. Test “what leave a message” does.
Test your social media integrations. Stress-test your website. Check how much time it is taking to load. Check if it is crashing or not.
Fix the errors. Manage SEO with the inbuilt Yoast SEO plugin and Google analytics to check the performance of your website.
And now you are all set to commercially launch your website. But first, take backup as this will be your first restore point image of a complete commercial website.
Checklists are a blessing. Follow through with the instructions shared in this checklist, and I promise you that you will not end up making the same mistakes I did. Here is a quick revamp of these eight secret tips:
- Lookup for hosting websites and domain name
- Backup your website
- Setting up the permalinks for SEO
- Avoid 404 errors
- Email configurations to be done on the separate hosting server
- Delete the sample information from a template
- Test your website and its template configurations.
I hope this checklist covers all the topics which concern you in a phase of your web development. Unfortunately, it wasn’t this easy for you to go through this checklist and avoid making mistakes.