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Website Workshop: Are You Ready to Go Live?

29th July 2009

Website Workshop: Are You Ready to Go Live?

to-do-listI have to admit that when it comes to our web presence, I’m a perfectionist.  I want every t crossed and every i dotted.  I want pictures for everything.  I want every link to work perfectly and all the text to be descriptive, sparkling and present.  In a perfect world, I’d get what I want, but in the real world such things don’t always happen.  A web site is a complicated thing and a perfectionist like myself could tinker with one forever in a quest to get everything working and looking exactly right.  At some point you need to let go and let the site go live, if only because people can’t buy from a site they can’t access.

If you’re like me, and a bit of a perfectionist about your websites, I thought I’d share the checklist that I use before a site goes live.  This checklist, divided into the “must haves” and the “would be nice” categories,  gives me the assurance that all the necessary stuff is on the site while also reminding me that the “would be nice” stuff can be added later without the site or our customers suffering.

“Must Have” List

Easy to follow and understand navigation

Contact information

Clearly stated policies regarding orders, returns, shipping, privacy and security

Descriptions and pictures at the category level

Pricing for every item

A shopping cart that has been tested and is known to work

“Would Be Nice” List

Pictures and descriptive text for every item

Information and educational pages – usually PDF links

Crosslinks between relevant products and pages

Featured products or specials page

Let’s face it, a website is always a work in progress.  Good websites are always being updated and changing to better meet the needs of the people who visit the site.  Quality and attention to detail are always necessary when creating a website, just don’t let your desire for perfection stop you from allowing your site to do what it was designed to do.

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