Launching your new website can be a daunting task, you want to make sure you haven’t missed anything important or made any small mistakes that might cause problems. This checklist is what we use at Business Clan to make sure we have covered everything and our websites are fully functional and ready to go before we push the site live.
Our checklist is split into three sections, the first is the checks we do on the website to make sure that all our pages are fully functional, indexed properly and redirected to the correct places. Following this we redirect the domain and update the URL (this is effectively making the site live). The final stage is just checking that everything is functioning properly and indexing everything for search engines.
Going through this list every time we launch a new website means that nothing is missed, and all potential problems are avoided.
Pre-go live WordPress checks.
1. Make sure that these pages are not indexed:
c. Content templates and page blocks
d. Any test pages
2. Redirects (if you are replacing an existing website):
a. Ensure all old URLs are redirected to the live site.
b. Extract a list of existing site URLs (which need to be checked when the site is live).
3. Removing dev site URL:
a. Make sure any custom code on the site that may include a dev site URL or subdomain is updated.
b. You should check any forms and any raw html on your site.
4. Ensure all themes and plugins are up to date.
5. Back up your website:
a. Make sure that the site is in maintenance mode during the backup. This is so that no further changes are made to the website while a backup is in process.
b. You can use the Updraft WordPress plugin to back up your site.
6. Take a copy of existing DNS and MX records:
a. Login to existing domain provider and take a screenshot of all the DNS settings, including the MX records.
b. Make sure this screenshot is saved somewhere safe.
7. Install “Google Analytics Dashboard” plugin. Only activate this after the site is live.
8. Turn off maintenance mode and any password protection.
Launching the website.
1. Domain settings:
a. Check that your domain settings are correct so that the domain is pointing to the new website.
2. Update WordPress site URL:
a. Entering your URL into a browser should redirect to your dev URL. Log into your development site and go to SettingsGeneral.
b. Update the WordPress Address (URL) and the Site Address (URL) to match the live domain. At this point SSL has not been configured so use http rather than https.
a. Check any licenses are associated with the live domain.
2. Make sure Google Analytics is set up, link to your site using Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress plugin.
3. Untick WordPress setting that blocks search engine indexing.
a. Settings > Reading > Discourage search engines tick box
4. Set up Search Console, you can do this by entering code into the Yoast plugin.
5. Submit site to Bing for indexing.
6. Double check all URLs and redirects.
7. Check that your site is live!
At Business Clan we design and develop marketing led websites for which we have a proven step of starting with strategy. An effective website is one that has a clearly defined role to deliver to a marketing objective with other marketing tools. Speak to us to discuss our approach where your marketing plan will be grounded on a strong marketing strategy using client insights and competitor intelligence.