Launching Your First Small Business Website, Phase Three: Launch

As the final installment to our series on launching your first website, and we are at the last step!  To launch your website, the last step is connecting your domain name with your hosting platform to make it publicly available. The exact timing of the DNS change may vary depending on your platform, but generally this article outlines making your website publicly available on the Internet.

Connect your domain

You should check with your provider, the one you selected in Step 1, on the best way to handle this process. It usually involves updating the DNS record of your domain.  Essentially, you will point your address (“www.mybusiness.com”) to your hosting company.

Follow these steps as an initial outline:

Step 1: Obtain DNS Information from the Hosting Provider

Once you’ve signed up for hosting, the hosting provider will provide you with DNS (Domain Name System) information. This usually includes nameservers (e.g., ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com).

Step 2: Log In to Your Domain Registrar’s Account

Access the control panel or dashboard of your domain registrar’s account. This is where you manage your domain settings.

Step 3: Locate DNS Settings or NameServers

Look for an option like “DNS Settings,” “NameServers,” or “Domain Management” in your domain registrar’s dashboard.

Step 4: Update NameServers

Replace the default nameservers with the ones provided by your hosting provider. Save the changes.

Step 5: Wait for DNS Propagation

DNS changes may take some time to propagate across the internet. It can range from a few minutes to 48 hours. During this period, your website may be temporarily unreachable for some users.

Step 6: Verify Domain Connection

After DNS propagation is complete, you can verify the domain connection. Visit your domain in a web browser and check if it loads your website or shows a placeholder page from the hosting provider.

Additional Tips:

  • Clear your browser cache or use an incognito/private browsing window to ensure you’re seeing the latest changes.
  • If you encounter any issues, contact your hosting provider’s support for assistance.
  • Ensure your hosting account is set up correctly to receive traffic for your domain.

Security Inspection

Ensuring the security of your website is crucial in protecting both your data and that of your users. Here’s a checklist for website security:

SSL Encryption: Ensure your website uses HTTPS with an SSL certificate. SSL encrypts data transmitted between the user’s browser and your server, securing sensitive information such as login credentials and payment details.

Regular Software Updates: Keep your Content Management System (CMS), plugins, and themes up to date. Updates often include security patches, fixing vulnerabilities targeted by hackers.

Strong Passwords: Enforce strong password policies for users, including a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. Weak passwords are a common point of entry for hackers.

Regular Backups: Set up regular automatic backups of your website. In case of a security incident or data loss, backups ensure you can quickly restore your site to a previous, secure state.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for administrative access. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two forms of identification before gaining access.

User Permissions: Assign the minimum necessary permissions to users. Limiting access helps mitigate the impact of a potential breach.

Incident Response Plan: Have a clear incident response plan in place. Knowing how to respond in the event of a security incident is crucial for minimizing damage and recovering quickly.

Content Inspection

Now that your site is live, take a fresh look at the content you developed in Phase 1. There is a psychology to webpages, and you might find that what you originally wrote doesn’t match the desired effect you want from your site. As a final step to your launch, review your content in full and make sure everything is matching your goals and purpose defined in step 1.

If your unsure where to start, use this checklist:

Clear Brand Messaging: Ensure your website’s messaging is clear, concise, and aligns with your brand identity.

User-Friendly Language: Use plain and user-friendly language to ensure your content is easily understandable by a diverse audience.

Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, providing a seamless experience for users on various devices.

Contact Information: Clearly display contact information, including email, phone number, and address, to facilitate communication with users.

Social Media Integration: Integrate social media links and encourage users to connect with your brand on various platforms for ongoing engagement.

Responsive Customer Support: Provide accessible customer support channels, such as chat, email, or a helpdesk, and respond promptly to inquiries.

Feedback Mechanisms: Implement feedback forms or surveys to gather user opinions, suggestions, and insights for continuous improvement.

Accessibility: Ensure your website is accessible to users with disabilities, following accessibility standards for content and design.

Newsletter Signup. Make sure your subscribe buttons for Newsletters work properly, and that you are capturing leads correctly.

Security and Privacy Information: Clearly communicate your website’s security measures and privacy policies to reassure users about the safety of their information.

Multilingual Support: If applicable, provide content in multiple languages to cater to a diverse audience.

Conclusion:

As we conclude this comprehensive guide, you’ve navigated the intricate steps of planning, building, and launching your website with purpose and precision. The phases we’ve explored are not just technical checkpoints. They are also strategic milestones that contribute to the success of your online venture.

Your website is now ready to make its mark, reaching and engaging your audience with purpose and impact. Welcome to the digital realm, where your online presence becomes a powerful asset in achieving your goals. Cheers to your successful website launch!