web design

Everything you need to know to ensure a successful launch of your new church website

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

We are in the final stretch of Church Website Design Month at OurChurch.Com, providing all the tips and secrets of building a great church website.

But once you have an amazing website completed, how do you ensure a successful launch of your new website?

There are 3 things that need to be done to ensure launch of your new website.  The first two are only applicable if you had a previous website:

1) Implement Redirects from your old site to your new site

This is something that most people don’t know about and most web developers don’t talk about.  Implementing redirects (known as 301 redirects) perform two primary functions: (1) Tells the search engines to apply any authority and search rankings earned by pages of your old website and apply them to the new versions of those pages on your new website.  (2) Redirect anyone who tries to go to an internal page of your old website and take them to the new version of that page on your new website.

If you don’t implement redirects, you will lose all search rankings earned by all of your internal pages of your old website and if anyone has bookmarked or “saved to favorites” any of the internal pages of your old website, they will get a “Page not found” error when trying to access those old pages.  Doing proper redirects is a bit of a technical process, so I suggest having a qualified website company perform these for you.

2) Perform a Domain Name transfer

If you already have a website with a domain name and you want to keep using that domain name with your new website, you will need to transfer it to your new website.  If you are building your new website with a different company than who hosts your existing website you will need to either change the DNS settings yourself, so your domain name points to your new site, or you can transfer the domain name to be managed by your new hosting company.

If you transfer your domain name to your new hosting company, they should walk you through the process of transferring the domain name, however, it talks a bit of time to go through this process, so plan for it taking 1-2 weeks.  If you want to have your domain name ready for your new site when the new site is complete, start the domain name transfer process 2 weeks prior to the new site being complete.

3) Install a SSL certificate

A SSL certificate will encrypt all the information being sent to and from your website.  It also prevents someone from being able to steal your username and password that you use when logging into your site.  For all the reasons and steps of installing a SSL certificate, please read our article here.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! ― Ben Franklin

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Any other suggestions of how to ensure a successful launch of your website?  Post your comments and questions below.

If you are interested in discussing a new website, please contact me here.

About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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