Launching a website is both exciting and overwhelming, especially if your experience is limited. As someone who has launched over a handful of websites in my day, I can tell you that I have definitely learned what not to do. Don't be afraid of failing, because honestly we all do it more than once. There are a few things that I believe are very important to have completed before launching your new website. These things can make or break your site, as well as determine whether or not your new readers will stick around. Nothing in life is "one size fits all," however, so this may not be 100% applicable to everyone.
About Me Page
You don't want to launch your website without having your "About Me" page/section finished. Most readers, including myself, like to read a short biography and see a picture of the author when we come across content we really enjoy. I like to feel more of a personal connection when I follow someone, so I can put a face to a name. You are more likely to attract return visitors if you have your "about me" section readily available on their first visit.
Social Media Buttons
When readers come across something they like, they look for more. This means that they may want to find you on Facebook, Twitter, etc. You will be shooting yourself in the foot if you don't have your social media accounts easily accessible on every page. A good way to do this is by creating a header that has clickable social media buttons that will bring your visitors to your profiles. If you don't know how to do that, you can always hire someone to do it for you. If it's not yet in your budget, then the next best thing would be to have your social media buttons in your side bar, towards the top.
Lots of Content
If you are going to be hyping up the launch of your website, and expect to have a good amount of visitors right away, you should make sure that you have plenty of content. Most of my "launches" consisted of a boring welcome post, and not much else. Don't be like me. Catch their attention from the first day, and keep them wanting more. Launching your website can be a huge task on its own, without considering content creation, so make sure you set aside enough time for all of this before your launch date.
Clear Theme and Color Scheme
When I visit a website for the first time, I like being able to understand their style and theme. I like for there to be a consistency between fonts, colors, and design. Too much going on design-wise can confuse and overwhelm your readers- which you do not want to do. It's ok to change your theme down the road, but try to make it as visibly pleasing as you can from the get-go. A good design can get you a long way. If you are not a web design the best way to make sure your design is professional is to purchase a theme. For feminine, stylish templates my favorite go-to is Blu Chic. They are masters at creating beautiful WordPress themes and make it so simple!
Have a Freebie
The common goal for most online entrepreneurs is to build their email list. How are you supposed to do that without giving your readers a reason to give their email to you? The best way to accomplish this is to create some sort of valuable "freebie" they can download or receive via email. By setting up a visible section where your readers can enter their email and get the freebie, you are more likely to grow your list, keep your readers, and gain followers.
Like I said earlier, there is no "one size fits all" way to do things. No website should look or function exactly like another website, so don't focus on copying any single page. There are things like these that I think apply to just about every website out there, and I think many would agree. These things are important no matter what the purpose of your website is, and will help you find success. The most important thing is to have fun with it! Launching a website is a very exciting time, and you should be able to feel proud of your work, and confident in the results after launching.
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