At Mangrove, building websites is a collaborative process. Our team does a lot, but the client and other industry professionals also play an essential role.
Launching a website can be confusing and stressful. After weeks of architecting, designing, writing and developing, things are coming together, but the admin, logistics, and IT work is just beginning. Knowing what’s involved on the technical side of your site going live will help you prepare for a successful launch.
Each design and website project budget is different. However, all websites require font files. Companies that create typefaces will often provide their font files for testing purposes for non-public-facing design and development. When your website goes live, we need appropriate licenses for each font file.
Fonts for the web usually range between $20 to $200 per file (or even thousands of dollars for some variable fonts). Google offers some excellent free web fonts for tight budgets or less bespoke websites.
The site owner needs to purchase and register the font licenses. Once the fonts are ready for commercial use, all we need is the purchased font files or cloud hosting link to make them work on the new website.
If we are replacing an old website with a new one at a domain, we use 301 redirects to forward old pages to new ones. A 301 redirect means moved permanently and offers the best chance at keeping search engine rankings. If we are launching the first website at a domain name, we can skip this step.
We need to create these 301 redirects in a file or through an interface to tell the search engine to show the page yoursite.com/new-about when a visitor goes to the old address at yoursite.com/old-about.
In most cases, we take care of the technical bits, but we’ll need a list from the site owner of what needs redirecting and where it needs to go on the new website. We can redirect all pages for small sites, but choosing the top-visited pages is more efficient for larger sites. This data can be collected from any web analytic platform.
Analytics platforms track visits to your site and often collect a wide array of personal data like visitors’ countries of origin and how long they’ve been on a page. Not all websites have (or need) analytics, so this may not be relevant to your organization. An analytics platform provides sections of code to insert on the website, which allows it to connect to the website.
Some platforms place less burden on organizations to follow complex laws and regulations. We are increasingly seeing folks move from Google Analytics to newer, less invasive platforms like Fathom Analytics. We also wrote a blog post about online privacy if you’re interested in this topic.
Website hosting and SSL certificates
A website hosting service has servers that can store website files; these servers are available for purchase or rent. We’ve used a lot of different hosts at Mangrove and give our clients recommendations and guidance tailored to suit their new website’s requirements.
An SSL certificate changes the URL prefix from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. You know you’re on a secure site when it shows a lock icon in your browser. The main functions of this certificate are to encrypt data, gain trust from visitors and search engines, and prove website ownership.
Many hosts make getting a certificate easy, while it’s difficult, expensive, and time-consuming with others. We recommend:
- Finding a host that offers SSL certificates as part of their hosting package
- Purchasing a certificate through the website host to avoid several time-consuming technical tasks
- Looking into how to obtain an SSL Certificate well before launching a website
The website host or your organization’s IT firm can provide assistance.
Website IT and security
At Mangrove, we leave most IT to professionals. Web security and IT services fall outside of the website development we provide. Services critical to launching a website that are not generally within our expertise include email server setup and migration and domain and nameserver (DNS) setup and migration.
Hiring the right people for the job can avoid website launch and migration disasters. We routinely recommend IT firms to our clients if they don’t have an existing relationship.
Choosing a launch date earlier in the week is wise because it will allow teams not working on weekends to assist with anything that might need adjustment once your site is live.
Apart from design and development, we depend on our clients and others to handle specific tasks necessary to launch your website. These tasks include acquiring accounts and licenses, hosting, and security.
Coordinating the tasks outlined in this article as soon as possible and connecting IT (or other) teams with us well in advance can avoid any mishaps or delays in launching your site.
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A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.
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