One place for hosting & domains

      Master

      Master Your Website Launch With This 18-Item Checklist


      Unveiling a new website can be an exciting and nerve-racking time. Sometimes it might feel like you’ve forgotten a crucial element, but you won’t always know until someone complains. Additionally, there are a lot of pages and items you’ll need to include, so it can be hard to know where to start.

      Not to worry — we’re here to help! Creating a comprehensive checklist of key pages and technical items to review before you launch your website can be a helpful time-saver. Scanning down a pre-flight checklist is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t overlook anything important.

      In this article, we’ll run through 18 essentials that you need to put on your website launch checklist. Let’s start from the top!

      Launch Your Website with DreamHost

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on creating a great website.

      1. Finalize Your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

      A privacy policy is required by law if you’re collecting any kind of personal data. This policy spells out exactly how any information (emails, contact information, and more) will be used.

      Terms of Service (TOS) statements are not legally mandatory in most cases, but they can still be valuable. Your TOS states the ground rules for visitors who want to use your site.

      2. Create a “Contact Us” Page

      Contact pages might seem straightforward, but there is room for creativity. Buzzworthy Studio has an excellent example of a bold and effective contact page.

      Buzzworthy Studio’s contact page.

      Your contact page can be a valuable way to reaffirm your brand. Plus, it helps visitors get in touch and find answers to their questions.

      3. Set Your Site to Back Up Regularly

      If your website crashes or is hacked, or if you install a plugin that causes a problem, having your files backed up regularly and automatically is a lifesaver.

      There are many ways to approach this task, but one surefire way to keep things running smoothly is by using a managed host for your site. That way, your provider can take care of restoring backups and automatically archiving them for you.

      4. Configure Your 404 Page

      A 404 page is what will display when an error occurs on your website. Designing fun and on-brand error pages can help you retain visitors who would have otherwise left once they encountered an error.

      Magnt, for example, managed to turn an error into a marketing opportunity.

      Magnt’s 404 Error page.

      This clever error page displays the company’s skills for humor and design. Creating this kind of page prompts visitors to learn more about your business, rather than leaving in frustration.

      5. Establish a Comprehensive Site Map

      Sitemaps play a vital role in how search engines read and index your pages. While a sitemap won’t directly improve your rankings, it can help to ensure that your site is indexed properly.

      If you use WordPress, there are plugins available to help you generate and manage sitemaps. Google also has an established process for submitting your sitemap directly.

      6. Complete Your “About Us” Information

      Keeping your About Us information up-to-date and well-organized is essential. In fact, 94% of first impressions online are design-related. That’s why the Refinery29 About Us page is a great example of concise web design.

      Refinery29’s About Us page. 

      Visitors are likely to check your About Us page or section in order to vet your business. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure it contains all the information they need and looks professional as well.

      7. Set Up Your Permalink Structure

      Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your posts and pages, as well as to your category and tag archives. Strategically creating your permalinks can help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

      It’s also important to note that deciding to change your permalink structure after you’ve created content can result in a lot of work. For that reason, it’s best to decide on a structure you’re happy with upfront.

      8. Choose a Web Host With Fast and Reliable Servers

      Your site’s hosting server is a determining factor for how fast its pages will load. Consequently, it’s a pretty significant decision.

      Here at DreamHost, we offer several options for hosting your website.

      DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting plans.

      A fast and reliable managed hosting plan means the website owner can focus on their business and website content. Leave the server management to us — we live for this stuff!

      9. Add Meta Titles and Descriptions to Your Content

      Metadata, such as meta descriptions and title tags, can help you tell potential visitors what kind of content to expect when they find your website’s pages in search engines. You can think of this data as a summary that helps people decide if a page is valuable to them.

      A meta description is typically limited to two lines of text, so choosing the right keywords is critical. However, what matters most when you’re launching a website is that each post and page has its own meta title and description.

      10. Optimize Image Sizes

      Optimizing your site’s images not only improves performance but can improve the user experience for those using mobile devices to view your site. As a consequence, it can also benefit your rankings on search engines.

      You can use a tool like Tiny PNG to reduce the size of your image files.

      TinyPNG’s home page.

      There are also many plugin options for optimizing your images, either one at a time or in bulk.

      11. Turn on Caching for Your Website

      Caching is when a web browser stores a static version of your website, and loads that copy for the visitor. This results in a faster loading speed than if the site’s data had to be transferred each time anew. If you want to check your site speed, start with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

      It’s a good idea to check with your web host, to see if it offers built-in caching options. Otherwise, you’ll want to look into plugins or other caching solutions.

      12. Set Alt Text for Your Images

      Setting alt text for all the images on your website benefits both its accessibility and SEO. Alt text can typically be added in the same menu you use to edit your images.

      Wordpress’ image edit panel.

      This text will help visitors understand what an image is if it doesn’t load properly. Additionally, it will make it easier for those using screen readers to make sense of your content.

      If you’re looking for more ways to boost your search performance, check out Google’s Search Console. This tool will help you create reports that measure your traffic so you can improve how your site’s pages perform in search engines’ rankings.

      13. Review Responsiveness on Mobile Platforms

      Whether you’re writing a blog post or operating a Shopify store, it’s vital that your site looks good and performs well on devices of all sizes. One easy way to check your website’s mobile responsiveness is with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

      Fortunately, most website builders include built-in options for testing mobile responsiveness. Still, there is no doubting the importance of designing with an eye toward mobile use.

      14. Clean Up Your Plugins List

      When you’re launching a website with WordPress, managing your plugins is a must. You may have tried out several different solutions during your development and building process, which can result in unused items in your plugin list.

      There are literally thousands of free and premium plugins at your disposal, many of which we’ve previously recommended:

      A list of plugins.

      Before you launch your site, you’ll want to remove all unused plugins to shore up site security, speed, and functionality. There are a few essentials that we’d recommend you keep, though: Jetpack, Akismet Anti-Spam, and the Yoast plugin for SEO.

      15. Update All Your Website Software

      Keeping every part of your website up to date is vital. Not only does each software update or upgrade help keep your site secure, but newer versions can boost its performance as well.

      Fortunately, software updates can be a “set it and forget it” process. That way, you can automatically keep on top of your plugins and other software from the very beginning.

      16. Double-Check Your Site’s Security License

      Site security is something we can’t stress enough. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate tells your visitors that all data exchanged between their browsers and your site will go through a secure connection.

      An example of a secure URL.

      There are several ways to acquire an SSL certificate. You can check with your web host to see if it provides one, or you can purchase a certificate through a third-party service.

      17. Add Analytics Tracking to Your Site

      Once your website is up and running, you’ll need a way to measure how well it performs. That’s why it pays to set up an analytics tracking solution before even launching your site.

      There are many excellent solutions out there, although Google Analytics is a strong choice for beginners. No matter what tool you use, make sure you have an easy way to keep an eye on important numbers, such as your daily visits and page views.

      18. Connect Your Social Media Accounts

      Promoting your site on social media can be vital to reaching your target audience. Providing icons so your visitors can easily find your social media pages is one of the best ways to do that.

      Social media icons.

      Plugins such as Jetpack can also help you automate social sharing. That way, this task will take up as little of your time as possible.

      Your Website Launch Checklist

      Launching your website can involve a lot of work, and many different kinds of tasks. Checklists are one way to help your team stay on track and cover all the bases before revealing your masterpiece to the public.

      To provide a seamless first experience to your website’s visitors, you’ll want to keep in mind a few key items on your website launch checklist. For instance, you can write strong meta descriptions, optimize your images for increased site speed, and take advantage of an SSL certificate.

      Here at DreamHost, we want you to be able to focus on the task at hand, and not worry about whether your website maintenance is taken care of. That’s why we offer complete hosting solutions with reliable support, so you can focus on enjoying your new site!



      Source link

      A Beginner's Guide to Kubernetes, Part 2: Master, Nodes, and the Control Plane


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by

      Linode

      A Beginner's Guide to Kubernetes

      Note

      At the highest level of Kubernetes, there exist two kinds of servers, a Master and a Node. These servers can be Linodes, VMs, or physical servers. Together, these servers form a cluster and are controlled by the services that make up the Control Plane.

      In this guide you will learn about the Master server, cluster nodes, and the Kubernetes Control Plane.

      Kubernetes Master

      The Kubernetes Master is normally a separate server responsible for maintaining the desired state of the cluster. It does this by telling the Nodes how many instances of your application it should run and where.

      Nodes

      Kubernetes Nodes are worker servers that run your application(s). The number of Nodes is determined by the user, and they are created by the user. In addition to running your application, each Node runs two processes:

      • kubelet receives descriptions of the desired state of a Pod from the API server, and ensures the Pod is healthy, and running on the Node.
      • kube-proxy is a networking proxy that proxies the UDP, TCP, and SCTP networking of each Node, and provides load balancing. This is only used to connect to Services.

      The Control Plane

      Together, kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager, kube-scheduler, and etcd form what is known as the control plane. The control plane is responsible for making decisions about the cluster, and pushing it toward the desired state. kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager, and kube-scheduler are processes and etcd is a database; all four are run by the Kubernetes Master.

      • kube-apiserver is the front end for the Kubernetes API server.
      • kube-controller-manager is a daemon that manages the Kubernetes control loop. For more on Controllers, see the Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes: Controllers.
      • kube-scheduler is a function that looks for newly created Pods that have no Nodes, and assigns them a Node based on a host of requirements. For more information on kube-scheduler, consult the Kubernetes kube-scheduler documentation.
      • Etcd is a highly available key-value store that provides the backend database for Kubernetes. It stores and replicates the entirety of the Kubernetes cluster state. It’s written in Go and uses the Raft protocol which means it maintains identical logs of state changing commands across nodes and coordinates the order in which these state changes occur.

      Next Steps

      To continue in the Beginner’s Guide to Kubernetes series, visit part 3:

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



      Source link