Regardless of political affiliation or feelings about the Affordable Care Act, we can all agree on one thing: The launch of the program’s website was a disaster that could have been easily avoided. I have taken it upon myself to share some tips that can help an organization not be a failure at launch.
Have everything in place on the website that you need. Make sure your code contains no errors. Have all Meta tags, keywords, page titles, headers, user forms, links, images, analytic tools, and Favicons in place. (Favicons are the tiny images that appear next to the web address in the address bar.)
The fastest way to lose credibility is to have spelling and grammar errors littered throughout your website. Proof read copy for grammar and spelling errors. Reread it again to make sure it flows well and is easy for users to comprehend. Have a coworker or friend read over the copy for anything that may have been missed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Before the site goes up, test it. With the code in line and content perfected, this is the prime opportunity to test the site before the public puts it to use. Be sure to test the website across multiple Internet browsers. Doing this simulates what users will see on the site from any type of computer. Any errors that may appear can easily be fixed without the public ever knowing. Be sure to fill out any contact forms, check links and any applications to make sure they work properly and are easy to use.
There are a couple of different ways to launch a product, service, or website. A hard launch is where the website is promoted to be open and functional by a certain date. Soft launches are kept under wraps, only letting certain people in to try out the new website. A soft launch can include beta testing and allows time for bugs to be fixed, before it is opened up to the masses.
These simple tips can help avoid a disaster. Don’t launch a website until it is absolutely certain that it will run smoothly and operate the way it was meant to. First impressions can be lasting, so it is usually better to delay a launch if things aren’t ready to go. Not rushing and following these guidelines will help make any site’s launch a success.