So the big day has finally come. You have sign-off and the site is ready to launch. Congratulations – but your work isn’t done yet. Aside from post-launch site monitoring, closing gaps that may have been postponed in the interest of expediency, and starting to think about phase two wish list items, some other critical issues now take centre stage. In particular, attention shifts to hosting, ongoing support of the new site, measuring and then improving the site’s effectiveness in reaching its goals, and building traffic.
The site will need to be hosted. Some web development firms offer this service. The hosting environment should be a secure facility offering climate control, continuous monitoring, sensors for smoke, heat, and humidity, and unlimited power backup. Hosting, licensing, and payment gateway fees (for e-commerce sites), as well as third-party software such as reporting engines, should all have been addressed in the project budget. For e-commerce sites, your client will also need an SSL certificate and a merchant account.
All websites need some form of ongoing support, and as a designer it may serve you well to be flexible in servicing customer needs. Some clients ask their design and development partner to handle all of their content changes while others manage large and sophisticated sites completely on their own, and need intervention only rarely. A post-launch support contract can be tailored to meet the needs of any client or projects.