After a lot of planning, creativity and hard work, your Volusion site is nearly done. You've got your products uploaded and properly categorized. Your SSL certificate is functioning and DNS are all set up. Your store looks just the way you'd envisioned it. But with all the excitement to launch your store into ecommerce space, it can be easy to overlook some crucial details.
To ensure that doesn't happen, here’s a "going live" checklist of tasks that will fully prepare your store for success starting day one:
Fewer things are more damaging to a users' perception of your website than clicking on a broken link. To be on the safe side, it's a good idea to check all of your major links, especially those central to navigation, and make sure they lead to the right pages.
- Click on the links in your header and footer and make sure that they work. These two areas of your website are going to be used very frequently
- Click on the categories in your navigation menus to ensure that your products have been categorized correctly
- Click on all of your Nav Menu Promotions and make sure they work
Customers will want to get to know your business, especially if they're seeing your store for the first time or considering making a purchase. So keep them in the loop by providing the essential information they need.
- Write about your business in your About page
- Write out your business' Terms and Conditions and make them easy to find
- Write your store's return policy and make it easy to find
- Make sure your contact information is accurate and easy to find
Transaction testing & settings
Your ecommerce website can't make you any money if your customers can't purchase anything. That's why, when it comes to transactions, extensive testing is a must.
*Note: Be sure to test all of these settings in all three major browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
- Make a test purchase with a credit card to make sure your gateway integration is set up correctly
- Make a test purchases with the other payment types your business offers to make sure they work as well
- Review the Order Confirmation pages of each payment type to ensure that you’re providing the appropriate instructions for the customer to follow
- Check the Shipping Rates to make sure you’re correctly charging your customers.
- Check that your store tax calculates correctly for multiple zip codes in different states
Email functionality and customization
Email is a major way to communicate with your customers, and one they'll be very comfortable with, so you'll want to ensure that your email is set up to give the best customer service possible.
- Review the Order Confirmation and Order Shipped emails to the customer to ensure that your email templates are customized for your store, and give customers all of the correct information
- Test the sending and receiving capabilities of your Volusion mailboxes to make sure they're set up correctly
- Make sure your emails include a signature with your company name and contact information
SEO & analytics setup
You don't have to wait until your site is live to start working on your SEO. In fact, the more you've prepared before going live, the better your store will do in search rankings.
- Install the Google Analytics code and check that it's verified. This way, you'll be able to track your SEO progress from the very beginning.
- Create and submit your sitemap to Google. Google will be better able to find and index your site once you have.
- Fill out your Page Titles and Meta Data with good content. Although search engines may not pay a lot of attention to this content, customers will, and they'll notice if it's missing or poorly written.
Before you go live, here are some last few details that will help build greater customer trust in your brand, and help you go above and beyond in preparing for success.
- Do a thorough spelling, grammar and content check
- Set up your favicon image
- Look at your ecommerce site in all three major browsers and make sure it looks as planned
- Create a custom 404 page
- Clear out any test data
Although we can't predict the future, we can do our best to prepare for it. Once you've caught all the details, you're ready to embark on your ecommerce adventure. So make the leap, sit back and enjoy the ride.
-Gracelyn Tan, Volusion