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Content Management, Web Design

Checklist for Launching Your College or University Website

website launch checklistAfter months of meetings, design phases, content writing, and development, it’s finally time to present your college or university’s newly redesigned website. Yet before you click the launch button, it pays to doublecheck the details.

Following are some of the top issues to check when reviewing the design, content, usability, and technical aspects of your new website.  

Contact an OmniUpdate expert to see what OU Campus can do for you.

College Website Design

  • Do you see any code that shouldn’t be visible?
  • Are all placeholder photos, text, and images replaced with the intended content?
  • For accessibility reasons, are links clearly identified such as “Schedule a Tour” instead of simply saying “Click Here”?
  • Have you removed all plugins/add-on software installed during the testing phase that are no longer needed?
  • Have you reviewed copyrights to ensure all third-party content can be used by you legally on the internet?

College Website Usability

  • Have you tested your website to ensure it is compatible in all browsers? Alert your developer if it isn’t.
  • Is your website mobile-friendly?
  • Is your website accessible? Have you checked all pages for WCAG compliance that’s consistent with your institution’s accessibility guidelines?
  • Have you considered how you will redirect searches that land on your old URLs? Called “301 redirects,” these links redirect visitors to pages on your new site when they accidentally land on pages of your old website.
  • Have you tested your load speed using a tool like GTmetrix?

College Website Content

  • Is all appropriate information conveyed in actual text rather than in images?
  • Do contact pages include up-to-date phone numbers, emails, and contacts, and do you have a plan for how you will address future updates?
  • Does each page have a clear call to action or next logical step identified for the user to take?
  • Is content in an easy-to-read format, with small blocks of text interspersed with images?
  • Do your navigation tabs and buttons in your header and footer link to the correct places?

Technical Aspects of Your College Website

  • Have you checked code validations through W3C Validator?
  • Have you validated Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) throughout the site using the W3C CSS Validation?
  • Does the website work if JavaScript is turned off?
  • Are all pages compliant with accessibility requirements?
  • Have you checked sitemap.xml file(s) to confirm they lead to new destinations?

For a comprehensive checklist, download Launching Your Website: Boosting the Success of a Redesign.

Conclusion

“Better safe than sorry” is especially applicable during the launch of a college website redesign. However, remember that errors are a normal part of redesign. After your website has been live for a few weeks, you can look at it with fresh eyes to ensure that it’s accurate in content, grammar, spelling, design, and functionality.

Additional Resources

Even if you have been through a redesign project in the past, website best practices are constantly changing. Download our series of white papers on successful website redesign to learn the latest steps involved in a redesign project.

Investigate how a content management system can improve your website redesign project. Call 805-484-9400 to speak with an expert or schedule a demo now.

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