10 Things You Must Do Before A New Site Or Blog Launch

Launching a new website can be an intense experience. Preparing yourself for the launch and making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row will ensure that your launch is successful. Today, I want to discuss with you ten things you must do before a new site launch.

New Site Launch

Please note that not all items below are in an order of importance, but all 10 should be completed before the site launch.

1. Do Your Homework

Starting a website in any niche is hard work. Be prepared for it and prepare yourself for the type of visitors you’ll be gaining. Is your website going to be design related like SpyreStudios is? Ensure that you’re catering to those visitors in your planning. What about a freelancing website like Freelance Folder? Should they randomly post articles about sports or do they need to stick to their target market – freelancers? You guessed it, they stick to what their site is about and they know what their readers are after.

2. Create (Or Hire Someone To Create) A Killer Design

I’ve talked about this numerous times before with people, but I believe that design is one of the most important items for a website, especially one that is geared towards gaining clients and/or readership. Yes, if you’re running a blog, your content needs to be great (we’ll be covering that in a minute), but the design is what catches the viewers attention first – so make a good impression. :)

3. Plan Out A Month Or So Worth Of Content

Writing Content
There’s no reason to launch your site if you have nothing to show but 1-2 posts. I’d suggest having 4-5 posts up live and 10+ in the holster, ready to post every few days after the launch. This will let people know you’re serious about the site and will also give you time to promote the site, chat it up with other people in your niche to get some exposure and to write more content.

4. Arrange For A Giveaway For Your First Readers To Benefit From

A great way to ensure that you’re getting visitors when you launch is to organize a giveaway. You can do this by giving your services away for free (if you’re a designer, writer, coder, etc…) or find websites in your niche that your readers could benefit from (ie: time tracking software sites, invoicing sites, etc…). The bigger the contest, the better the response, so make sure you either go big or go home :)

5. Set Up All Of Your Google Accounts

Make sure you set up Google Analytics, Gmail, Webmaster tools, Sitemaps, Feedburner etc… You need to set them all up and make sure they’re all working properly so that when you launch, everything is in full running order. There’s nothing worse than launching a site, only to find out 2 days later that your feedburner link was broken or you forgot to set up analytics to track your traffic stats.

6. Set Up All Of Your Social Media Profiles

Social Profiles
You might not use them all, but I’d suggest setting them all up anyways. For instance, when I started putting together the Giant Themes website, I immediately set up an account on twitter to help promote the site as well as make sure no one else is setting up an account under my name, squatting on it and/or promoting nonsense that I wouldn’t want associated with me.

Jon did the same for SpyreStudios, even though he uses his personal profile for everything related to design and business.

7. Build Up Anticipation On Other Platforms

Do you already run a blog? Post up some teaser images and/or information about your pending site launch. Don’t have a blog yet? Why not leverage the power of twitter and utilize a hash tag like #GIANTcontest (which I’ll be utilizing myself soon) to make sure people are talking about your site and looking out for the launch. Just opening your doors without any warning could work, but the majority of the time, there’s a higher chance you’ll hit a home run if you build some anticipation beforehand.

8. Find A Host That Can Handle Your Traffic

It’s no secret that the ‘digg effect’ or becoming popular on websites like popurls, delicious and/or twitter will send you a huge amount of traffic and there’s nothing worse than having all that traffic and a “page cannot be displayed” screen. So, do some research and find a website host that can handle these things and has experience dealing with a website like yours. Can you get away with a shared hosting plan or should you go with a dedicated server or VPS? If you can’t answer that question, you need to do more research.

9. Do Last Minute Checks On All Of Your Pages And Content

Checklist
Are your archives in order? Does the 404 page work properly? Are all of the social media links working on your page? Does your contact form work? These are just a few of the things you should check over just to make sure that your site is in full working order. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve built a site, got it running and then forgot to check the 404 pages or how the site displays the search results. It’s the little things that count – make sure you’re not looking them over.

10. Comment Over 100 Times On Various Blogs In Your Niche

Yes, you read that right – 100 times. This is a great way to build awareness for your site as well as build relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Another great result from this is that generally if you are commenting on other peoples blogs, they’re more eager to check your blog out and comment on yours. Now, imagine if 100 comments by you (on various blogs – 1 comment per blog) resulted in 100 comments on your launch posts. That will give instant credibility to new viewers who see 10+ comments on each post. (in theory – of course it’s pointless leaving comments on blogs if you’re not genuinely interested in the posts. It’s all about the conversations) :)

Anything I Missed? Let Me Know

I’m always up for revising my to do list when launching a site, so drop us a comment and let everybody know which items you normally follow. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject.

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Comments

  1. says

    Very true – community won’t come to you, so you need go to them! Of course, you must have content worth reading (which is why I stopped by) and a nice theme to make reading that content enjoyable.

  2. says

    Good info. I still need to setup my social networking icons with links, thanks for reminding me. I have to disagree with the “Giveaway” idea, I view that as a gimmick, but it is worth consideration (just not a must-do). I think that killer content for your niche is the most important thing. Which pbrings up the question of why am I posting the best content to my blog and not my portfolio? Hmmm. I guess I’m not quite ready with my HTML5 experiments just yet.

    Thanks! -Doug

  3. says

    Yup, this is great advice…I followed MOST of it when I did my blog moveover/website launch last month. One thing I would add is that if you’re moving a lot of content around like I did (my old blog had 175 posts and LOTS of pix), give your new site a week to settle in before you announce your big reveal complete with contest and links from other sites. We had some DNS issues that 1st week (pointed out to me by old friends/readers of my blog) that made me all the more anxious because I was worried that some of the new traffic would just clack away and never return because that first link didn’t work :-(

  4. says

    Good advice, you can’t launch a sucessufl site in 2 hours work. Planning is the key. I think I would have added research in articles subimssion sites in step 3.

  5. yukon says

    You missed spellcheck…

    Just thought I’d let you Know there is a spelling error in the line…

    “Anything I Missed? Let Me Lnow”

    Great post by the way.

  6. says

    A few good points (you can never stress #2 enough), but I disagree with #10. That’s borderline spam in my book. You’re encouraging people to comment with well….nothing to really say.

    It’s well annoying to see so many people post comments on blogs with two words replies that say “nice post” or “great article”, simply to get their name and website linked. I am not disagreeing that it is a ‘technique’ to build traffic, but chances are that I’m not going to click that link because it’s just become too commonplace now in comments on popular blogs. If person actually posts something constructive and interesting (a contribution) to the comment thread, I may, just may check out their website.

  7. says

    Loads of great advice on this post. I would just suggest to all who will be commenting to really leave meaningful comments that add to the discussion.

    Also, regarding number 6, Set Up All Of Your Social Media Profiles, that is really important. Most of your traffic will probably come from the social networks.

  8. says

    @kurrent: Good point – in fact in the article it says:

    “of course it’s pointless leaving comments on blogs if you’re not genuinely interested in the posts. It’s all about the conversations”

    We’re not suggesting or encouraging those ‘nice post’ and ‘great stuff’ comments – those don’t add anything to a conversation (like you said). If you’re not genuinely interested and don’t want to add to the discussion, it’s better not to comment. We’re suggesting that you actually comment on blogs and articles that you have interest in (and they should be genuine comments that add value) :)

    @yukon: Thanks for the heads up! Fixed :)

  9. says

    Good pointers

    ..and for a “killer design” just contact me.. hah j/k. Giveaways are definite a good way to increase the traffic – they alone can get you the digg effect.

  10. says

    Before the launch of your site you could set up a Twitter account and chronicle the progress good, bad or frustrating on the progress of setting up everything. This way you will have an audience waiting in anticipation to see your new project on Day 1.

  11. says

    Great article.. I am currently in the process of moving from blogspot to self hosted wordpress and this post came at the right time. Thanks so much for sharing this information

  12. Manal Assaad says

    This is just what I needed. I have been working on a website for the past few weeks, and I keep looking for tools to make it all better and it has been time consuming. I don’t want to start with a failed website then work on updating it after getting bad reviews. I am already tweeting all about it and I got people interested, although mostly friends and family members, but I also got some good connections.
    I already worked on some of those tips, but need to do more.
    Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

    @TheManalyst

  13. says

    Excellent tips; all very useful. People underestimate the importance of the site launch and are content trickling their site out slowly. This is a great refresher for anybody launching a new blog. I personally need to comment on more blogs.

  14. says

    I’m relaunching my site in a few weeks and I think this just confirmed a lot of things I had floating around in my head as to how to go about this the best way.

    Thanks :)

    This should count as post 1 of 100…

  15. says

    Great Suggestions! Thanks! I started my blog about a month ago. I’ve figured
    out a number of these things from hard work, but still got several new ideas from your article. I really like the idea of a give away.

  16. says

    Nice tips. I inspires me to make a blog, but I have nothing useful to write about! I wouldn’t want one just for the sake of writing one.

    But some of the tips can be related to a normal/business website too, so I’ll keep it in mind!

    Thanks!

  17. says

    Try signing up to a forum in your niche and posting relevant content and replies on a regular basis I find this works well for my blog, make sure to put your URL in your signature.

  18. says

    What an insightful and well-thought-out list!

    I launched a new blog not that long ago (wide launch on October 5 with a soft launch in late August) and ran through the list to see how many of them I missed. I’m lacking the stuff for a giveaway, and I don’t think I hit 100 comments even prior to wide launch. Lessons learned, just in time for my next blog/site launches to start 2010.

  19. says

    Very nice, wish you wrote these six years ago to make us have a greater media for now, meanwhile I will use your tenth advise:)

  20. says

    If you’re a blogger (or a decent writer) you can write a guest post on another blog in your niche – to get some instant credibility and traffic. Of course you’ll want to link to your new site in the “author box”.

  21. says

    Interesting post… With everyone trying to launch sites lately, you need to stand out. The post has some great ways to do that!

  22. says

    I am currently working on getting my new site finished, and with everything getting me stressed out, this is a fabulous list to get me back on track and focus on what needs to be done, so thank you!

  23. says

    Very helpful comments. I’d also make sure to invest in a personal development program. Running your own site takes serious mental effort too. If you don’t have a deep desire to do this backed by a belief in yourself you’ll be more likely to quit.

  24. says

    Very useful for me! I am planning my blog but before reading your post I was almost sure that if I started with just one post, without any other up live in the holster, it would be ok. But now, I am sure I was wrong. Thanks for sharing these hints. It helped me a lot. My blog would start beeing a great disaster! It’s really helpful.

  25. says

    Really good post and very good tips on what to do before launch. As you mention it’s always best to get an account on all the social platforms. Which many people doesn’t seem to understand, so really good that you cleared that up.

  26. says

    Great tips. Definitely register your social media profiles. Its a horrible feeling to find someone registering your name on a network – i learnt from experience

  27. says

    Really informative post, thanks. I’ve actually just finished launching my own website (which still actually needs tweaking still!) and blog, so this is quite useful.

  28. says

    Remember to set up all relevant Google and Twitter alerts! Very important went launching a site and product/service to monitor the different conversations or why not what your competitors are saying about it :)

    Best
    Fred

  29. says

    this is a great tips on one place :)
    a question bro, if I want to create a new blog, how many articles that I have to prepared before I launch the blog? I’m in the middle preparing my new blog and I found your great article, lucky me!
    thanks for sharing this article with us.

  30. says

    great advice, thank you! i found this article through twitter!
    i see leaving comments now in a new light, i will now make more of an effort, before i did not consider it as being that important!
    the give-away is also a novel idea to me, we are a library, maybe we can give away books?

  31. says

    Love it.

    Just recently relaunched an old blog and did much of what the post said.

    Having a good bit of content before going live was a big help because some of those days that I would have been writing, I was able to fix some small tweaks and try to promote :)

  32. says

    Especially agree with points #3 and #10! Having content prepared and outlined before your sites launch is one of the best things that you can do. This way, your site launch is more organized (you give readers content to sift through) and you don’t have to stress over rushing to write something new. In regards to commented on other blogs, I think this is one of the best ways to build relationships, create awareness and ultimately a community with your blog readers. It’s ultimately a very effective way to drive traffic to your site in my opinion (and my experience).

  33. says

    Thank for the very informative tips. Commenting on similar sites or blogs and social media are great way to get your website out their especially if you are about to launch.

  34. Manish R Chiniwalar says

    You are absolutely right with the #6.
    And also, I think we should decided on what social widgets you’d use.
    Like I put Google friend connect before I launched then felt facebook would’ve been better.
    http://Webdip.co.cc

  35. Newman says

    Great list, I have done maybe 4 of those things, I better get to work.

    I have a question on blog content, It’s a personal site to get clients and sell posters, and other branded me merch as I like to call it. I have been rubbing elbows with some fellow designers for the past 3 years on various forums thither and yon and I would like to do a series of interviews with them as a way of

    1.Giving my buddies some exposure, and
    2. Gaining some credibility as someone who didn’t just set up a tent and start hawking wears to people.

    The concern is that I may be selling these other people better then I am selling myself.
    I am put off personally by blogs that are always me me me. (That is what a blog is, but you know the type) Instead of extending a hand to shake, they rather put their fist in my pocket at the first click. I like to read what people think and feel about things and some of the hurdles they have overcome and future goals ect.

  36. says

    Comment #1 on a web site in my niche. =)

    I really like this article. Nice job! I would add security audit to this list as well. Too often this is forgotten about.

  37. says

    Thanks for your great post.
    It’s really help me so much.

    I am going to build a new website on selling Tee.
    Now i got the ideas on how to do it.

    Thanks again~
    =)

  38. says

    maybe I am a newbie or something, but what are the benefits of commenting on over 100 different blogs. What does that do?

  39. says

    Taking note of your tip #10 and letting you know how great this list is! I am curious to know what recommendations are available for the busy entrepreneur who understand the importance of populating the blog with viable and useful content, but does not have alot of time to do so!? Thanks !

  40. says

    @Ben, since no one has answered your question. There are several benefits. The exposure is one. I get random visitors from blogs that I forgot that I left comments on and this is a great feeling to know that people are coming from sites other than search engines, based upon my comments.
    The next most powerful is the link. A “do follow” link from an established site is like gold. It help in your sites credibility and in the sites overall ranking.
    Even a “do not follow” link carries some juice with it.
    If the blog that you comment on is related to your own niche or topic it is even more powerful, and authority status to your site.
    The older your comments have ranking weight too. As long as the blog remains active your comment and link will be alive on the Internet.
    These are just a few of the advantages of leaving comments.

  41. Ecenica says

    Some good tips. have read before that it’s worth having at least 8 articles queued for publishing so you can keep your visitors interest.

    Were launching a brand new web hosting site In 2010 and been looking for cost effective marketing tips so your article was just the ticket. I guess the advice to “go big” on the free giveaways is the key.

  42. says

    Perfect post for people starting up a blog / portfolio site / web program. I myself am in the process of launching a blog and will take these steps to heart. It’s great to see it all listed in a nice format and the idea of a contest for the launch is something that I hadn’t thought about before. A+ post.

  43. says

    I wish I’d seen this article before starting my sites. Would’ve helped big time. Oh well, I took the long road and learned everything the hard way.

    Great article, I’ll pass it along :)

    ~Jay

  44. says

    I think the 8th tip is misleading for newbies. They worry about hosting and things traffic is gonna boom in from the first day. Truth is, any good shared hosting will be more than enough for the first few months.

    Great tips :)

  45. says

    I would agree that the 8th post is misleading. Unless you are a highly professional person setting up a website which you know is going to pull in a lot of traffic I don’t think this needs to be worried over. Good article overall though, would recommend this list to anyone wanting to get good exposure on the internet.

  46. says

    Now that’s something I had never considered but makes perfect sense having been spelled out for me. There’s so much to consider when it comes to promoting and launching new sites.

    Thanks for another informative and entertaining post :^)

  47. says

    I recommend having a Google custom search in your 404 error pages. This increases the likelihood of the visitor finally getting what he came for.

    With a resilient plug-in like W3 Total Cache, I believe most blogs or sites on shared hosting can survive a digg effect but then again it also depends on how durable the host’s servers are.

    P.S: You should really look into installing the subscribe to comments plugin so as to increase the likelihood of continued conversation. Cheers ;-).

  48. JennaAnn says

    Great article but I think you should include mobile website also. Much of your “todo” list will apply but it is also a little easier to create a mobile site. http://www.unitymobile.com is the platform I used to create my mobile site. They incorporated Google analytics into their platform and can host any amount of traffic. With their “create once publish to all OS’s” feature it cut my work time in half and didn’t have to limit to just one platform.

  49. says

    Great points but missing the key ingredient… actually making the blog visible amongst the thousands already out there clogging up the Blog Rolls….. Social bookmarks are no longer enough… but thanks for the tips.

  50. says

    Good list overall, but I have a question. We have chosen to use WordPress (self-hosted) for our appliance repair site, but apparently all the local ( & distant ! ) competition uses static pages. What would you suggest in lieu of the “100 comments” suggestions?

    Oh, and thanks for the heads-up on the social networks. Our Yellow Book and Yellow Pages accounts contain errors that I can’t get to to fix (for lack of login info). :-( But maybe I can offset this somewhat by whacking away on the social networks.

  51. says

    Great job! All these points have been noted in my last minute to-be-checked list. I’ll have a couple launches in the near future, and am hoarding all the posts about getting it right.

    This fits right in amongst the best of them.

    I too would recommend adding in “Mobilize” your site. It seems to be the thing to do these days, judging by all the people sitting around me now, not socializing!

  52. says

    Thanks for the “to do list” – I’m just looking forward to launch a social blog for my college and I really needed this list.

    Thanks! :)

  53. says

    Great post, not sure how I’d stretch to 100 different blogs to comment on without looking a bit suspect but can see why you recommend it :)

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  1. 10 Things You Must Do Before A New Site Or Blog Launch…

    Launching a new website can be an intense experience. Preparing yourself for the launch and making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row will ensure that your launch is successful….

  2. […] Things you must do before launching a new site or blog “Launching a new website can be an intense experience. Preparing yourself for the launch and making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row will ensure that your launch is successful. Today, I want to discuss with you ten things you must do before a new site launch.” […]

  3. […] 10 Things You Must Do Before A New Site Or Blog Launch | SpyreStudios "Launching a new website can be an intense experience. Preparing yourself for the launch and making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row will ensure that your launch is successful." (tags: webdesign website blog spyre launch) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Weekly Web Wanderings (weekly) Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment » […]

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