So, you’ve built an awesome web site… you’ve spent hours upon hours designing elements, writing code, and wondering if you’ve made the right decisions. You’re finally done and ready to launch. So, where do you go from here?

Going through this same situation myself, I decided to put together a little launch checklist of free resources and advice to launching your new project on a budget. Most of these resources are free, so the only thing invested will be your time.

If you have any additional sites to add or resources, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Directories

Adding your site to directories is the simplest way to get exposure for your site. Now, the directories I have listed below are mainly for web 2.0 applications and web sites, but a few of them do allow general companies.

Discussion forums

Discussion forums may be sooo web 1.0, but they’re still a great place to discuss your site and get feedback from like minded individuals. However, keep in mind that you are basically opening yourself up to ANYTHING… good or bad.

  • www.sitepoint.com – Sitepoint has a great forum to discuss new site launches. The only requirements is to sign up for sitepoint (for free) and you must review three other sites before you can post your own.

Press release

A press release can be a great opportunity to really showcase your business to a wide audience and present it in a very professional manner.
One word of caution… there are a lot of free Press Release companies out there, but most of them can do more harm than good. Sure, they might distribute your information, but most are havens for spammers to hang out… not a good crowd to be associated with. So, this is one place I recommend spending a few dollars to do it right.

  • www.PRunderground.com – PR Underground is a relatively new site press release field, but is quickly catching on in the web crowd. It’s also one of the least expensive routes to take for distributing a new site or product to multiple news sources, for as little as $4.95 per month.

Search Engines

Search engines are still by far one of the most valuable resources to getting your site noticed. There are literally hundreds of niche Search Engines out there, but most of them get their data from the big boys, so don’t waste your time on the others… just submit to these main search engines listed below.

One word of advice, I recommend you DO NOT use one of those “Get your site listed on hundreds of search engines” type of programs or web sites. This will only get you pegged as a spammer from the start. Also, only submit your site once and be patient. Don’t worry… they’ll find you.

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Ask Ask doesn’t have a submission form like the others, but here’s some information about getting your site listed here.
  • MSN

Blogs

If you’re site fills a need or is unique in your market, you may want to consider approaching bloggers to try and get a write up about your site. But, with so many bloggers out there, it’s difficult to narrow down your search.

A great approach to finding the write bloggers to approach is to look go to a few blog directories like the ones listed below. Simply do a search for your market and start from the top ranked blogs in the list and work your way down.

Chances are, most aren’t going to write about your site, especially the top end blogs. However, even some of the lower end blogs can really generate some good traffic.

Social Media

Participating in Social Media sites and organizations can be a good way of driving traffic and gaining exposure of your site. Now, you don’t have to post every day, but just a few here and there can suffice.