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Checklist For Launching A New Site

Checklist For Launching A New Site

So, you’ve decided to launch a new site, but have no idea how one does it, what one needs, and where to begin. Don’t think that you can figure things out as you go along, especially if you are new to this business. There are all kinds of seemingly small things that may tremendously impact the overall quality and efficiency of your website. So, to avoid unnecessary problems, take a look at this list and see if you can check a tick against very point of it.

1. Consistent Design

If you use a certain color palette, it should be used throughout the website. If there is a menu, it should be present on all pages. There shouldn’t be a dozen different fonts scattered all over the place, even if you really like all of them. When you are dealing with professionals, all these things are usually not an issue, so try to hire only companies with good reputation and positive feedback from previous clients. You may find a full list of developers in trustworthy online directories dedicated to web design and SEO.

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2. Clear Purpose

The more content there is on the Web, the less users are inclined to spend time trying to figure out what your website is about. If you haven’t managed to persuade them that you can solve their problem in a couple of seconds, you’ve lost them.

3. Mobile-Friendliness

What was a nice additional feature just a couple of years ago is a must today. The amount of traffic passing through mobile devices today is at least equal to that passing through desktops. This is going to continue growing in scale. If your website isn’t mobile-ready, you are losing a great many customers.

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4. Blog

A blog is not exactly necessary, but it is hard to imagine a better way of keeping your website fresh. Let your visitors know that you are alive and kicking by regularly providing visitors with new and useful content that will make them come back again and again.

5. SEO

Self-proclaimed gurus may repeat time and again that it isn’t necessary to optimize your website for search engines if you have great content, but when all is said and done, great content is nothing but a part of SEO. It’s a part that doesn’t work all too well if other aspects are neglected. SEO is an art in and of itself. If it isn’t your primary job, you will do better by hiring a specialist, otherwise you will be forced to constantly keep abreast of all the minute alterations and changes in Google algorithms.

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6. Ecommerce – Payment Methods

What is convenient for you may be inconvenient for your potential clients. If you are only using payment methods that suit you and don’t make an effort to add a variety of additional mechanisms, chances are you are leaving a great deal of money on the table. Don’t limit yourself to credit cards – there are Google Wallet, bitcoin, PayPal, and many others.

7. Website Search

You may find pride in immaculately organized website navigation, but there will always be people who are going to cut to the chase and simply enter the keyword that interests them. If you don’t have a search function or if it works haphazardly, they are going to be extremely annoyed.

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Conclusion

An efficient and effective website consists of dozens of little things. They are almost imperceptible when present, but forget to add them, and you get a glaring deficiency that many customers are going to notice and base their negative impression on. Don’t make easily avoidable mistakes. Take a look at this checklist and make sure to solve these problems prior to launch.

Featured photo credit: Check List/Gerardo Hernández Arias via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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