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Is Your Site Ready for Launch?

Make sure your website includes all these must-haves.

Customers judge you by your website. So it's especially important for startups to have all the basics covered on launch day. Check your site against this list of must-haves for business websites, large and small.

  • Contact information: This seems simple, but missing or incomplete contact information is frustrating to customers and can hurt your business. At the minimum, have a contact form or e-mail available on your "Contact Us" page.
  • Consistent design: There are a lot of elements that go into an appealing site design: your logo on every page, navigation in the same place and colors that fit your message. Be sure to keep it consistent from page to page
  • Search: A search box is especially important for larger sites and e-commerce sites, but it's a good idea for any site. Make it easy for your customers to find the products or information they're looking for.
  • Updates: Whether it's a blog, a community forum, or coupons, give your web visitors a reason to come back. Make a habit of making updates.
  • Analytics: What if you built a website and nobody came? Website analytics can tell you how many visitors you have, where they're coming from and on what pages they spend the most time. Two free tools to check out include Google Analytics and Woopra.

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This article was originally published in the March 2009 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Is Your Site Ready for Launch?.

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