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

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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

But once you have your church website development complete, 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.  Redirects (specifically 301 redirects) perform two primary functions:

  • A) Tell the search engines to apply any authority and search rankings earned by your old web pages and apply them to the new versions of those pages on your new website.
  • B) Redirect any person who tries to go to a page of your old website to the new version of that page on your new website.

If you don’t implement redirects, you will lose all the search rankings gained by all your web pages (except your homepage) of your old website.  And if anyone has bookmarked or “saved to favorites” any of those 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 an experienced website developer perform these for you.

2) Perform a Domain Name transfer

If your new website will be hosted with a different company than your existing website you will need to either change the DNS settings yourself, so your domain name points to your new site. If your new web hosting company also provides domain registration, you may want to transfer the domain name to be managed by your new hosting company so that all of your website services are managed by one company.

If you transfer your domain name to your new hosting company, they should walk you through the process of transferring the domain name. It can take as long as 2 weeks to go through the domain transfer process. Therefore, 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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Comment and Discuss

  • What questions do you have about launching a new website?
  • If you’ve launched a new website in the past, what additional tips can you share?

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    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.