It’s almost time – you’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into your WordPress website, and now you’re able to share it with the Friends.
Before you click another button to form your site live, though, what are the foremost essential belongings you got to check to build sure your site launch may be a success? What’s your website launch checklist?
That’s what we’ll cover during this post – we’re getting to list out 16 essential things that you simply should check and configure before you launch your WordPress website.
Ready to go? Here’s your WordPress website launch checklist…
1. Create an Optimized Site Structure with Internal Links
Your website’s structure matters for 2 big reasons:
- It helps your users find content more easily.
- It helps Google crawl your site and find all of your content.
There are a couple of things that enter an optimized structure.
First, there are your sitewide links. These are the links that appear in your header/primary navigation menu, your footer, and any sidebars that you only could also be using. These should make it easy for humans and search engines to access your most important content quickly. Program Journal features a useful resource for optimizing your overall website navigation.
Optimising your website navigation isn’t almost those sitewide elements, though, you’ll also want to interact visitors and help them find content in your blog posts and pages. To try to do this, you’ll use internal links within the body of your content whenever relevant. As you’ll read through this post, you’ll see our link to tons of our other blog posts, and that’s an ideal example of what you would like to do!
2. Optimize Your On-Page SEO to start out Ranking from Day One
While optimizing your website navigation is one important aspect of on-page program optimization (SEO), there also are a bunch of other factors you’ll get to countercheck if you would like Google to start outranking your site.
First, you’ll want to form sure you’ve installed a WordPress SEO plugin to assist you with the basics:
Then, countercheck things like:
- Your site’s permalink structure. When unsure , we recommend just using the post name.
- Your heading structure. E.g. , , etc.
- SEO titles and meta descriptions. confirm you’ve written them for each piece of content you would like to rank.
- Thin pages. Whenever possible, get obviate thin pages or beef them up.
- HTTPS. additionally to being good for security, it’s also a positive ranking factor.
- Check out our on-page SEO guide for a deeper look.
3. Test and Optimize Your Site’s Performance on All Devices
How quickly your site loads will have an impact on everything from user experience to SEO to conversion rates, so you’ll want to form sure your site loads fast.
Now, you don’t got to obsess over page speed scores or getting under one-second page load times. But you are doing want to form sure your site loads in under ~three seconds to avoid the worst effects of a slow-loading site.
- Faster hosting. No amount of lipstick on a pig will make a horrible host load fast.
- Caching. Page caching may be a good way to chop your load times and reduce the load on your server.
- Image optimization. Plugins like ShortPixel or Imagify make it easy to compress and resize your images.
- Minification. This shrinks the dimensions of your code without changing functionality.
- You can also consider AMP to hurry up the mobile version of your page.
If you would like a simple thanks to implement a bunch of WordPress performance improvements in one fell swoop, you’ll use the WP Rocket plugin. In our WP Rocket review, we found that it had been ready to cut our test site’s load times by 47%.
4. confirm You Don’t Have Any Broken Links
Broken links are bad for SEO and user experience. Before you launch, you’ll want to see for broken links and fix them if possible:
This isn’t a one-time check, either – finding broken links should be a part of your routine WordPress maintenance plan.
5. found out Google Search Console and Add Your Sitemap
Google Search Console may be a useful gizmo that allows you to control how Google treats your site and consider essential analytics.
Before you launch, you’ll want to verify your site with Google Search Console and also add your site’s XML sitemap in Google Search Console (most SEO plugins will automatically create a sitemap for you – all you would like to try to to is submit it via Google Search Console).
6. Confirm Google Can Index Your Site
When you’re developing a WordPress site on a live server, it’s common to feature a no-index tag to form sure Google and other search engines don’t index your site before it’s able to go live.
That’s all well and good…unless you forget to get rid of it once you push your site live.
I saw this happen to accept a startup that’s now worth many dollars. I attempted on Google before my employment interview, but their site not found on Google. It turns out, and they’d left the noindex tag in after their recent update.
So – as silly because it sounds, this will happen to you.
To countercheck , you’ll use this easy Noindex Tag Test tool.
7. found out Google Analytics and Other Analytics Tools
Analytics assist you track your site’s performance and optimize where you spend some time and money.
You should definitely add some sort of analytics to your site before going live, with Google Analytics offering an excellent start line . Here’s the way to add Google Analytics to WordPress.
There also are many other analytics plugins to settle on from. And, counting on your needs, you furthermore may might want other analytics tools. for instance , a heatmap analysis tool are often especially helpful once you launch, because it allows you to collect data about how real people use your site.
8. Monitor Your Site’s Uptime and found out Alerts
Any time your site goes down means lost revenue and opportunity. to stay track of when and the way often this happens, you’ll want to line up uptime monitoring.
In addition to telling you ways reliable your host is, you’ll also found out automatic email and text alerts in order that you recognize as soon as there’s a problem together with your site:
Uptime Robot, pictured above, may be a useful gizmo which will do that for you for free of charge .
9. Lock Your Site Down Like Fort Knox
Because of WordPress’ popularity, it’s also a well-liked target for hackers and other malicious actors.
To prevent your site from falling prey to those folks, you’ll want to form sure you’ve got your security so as before launching. One simple way is to put in a WordPress security plugin, but you’ll also want to form sure you’ve implemented other basics like:
- Strong passwords
- Limit login attempts or two-factor authentication
- Up-to-date WordPress software, plugins, and themes
- SSL certificate and HTTPS
Check out more WordPress security tips (this post is about law firms, but equivalent basic ideas apply to all or any WordPress sites).
10. found out Antispam Measures
In addition to people trying to hack or deface your website, you’ll even have to affect a crowd of individuals who’d rather just fill your site up with spam.
In fact, almost as soon as you go live, you’ll probably start getting spam comments.
To stop these comments and save yourself from spam with comment moderation, you ought to install a WordPress anti-spam plugin like Akismet or Antispam Bee.
11. Test Contact Forms (and Other Important Functionality)
Your site probably has some sort of form for people to urge in-tuned with you. It might be an easy contact form or something more detailed.
Either way, it’s always an honest idea to check it before going live to form sure it’s still functioning properly (you’d hate to miss out on form submissions due to an issue!).
12. found out Automatic Backups (If Your Host Isn’t Already Doing That)
If your WordPress host doesn’t already implement automatic backups for you, it’s essential that you simply found out your backup solution so that your site’s data is usually safe and secure. Your website launch checklist isn’t complete until you are doing.
A good free option is UpdraftPlus, which can allow you to automatically copy your site to off-site locations like Google Drive or Amazon S3 on a group schedule.
13. Integrate Your Social Media Accounts (Shares and Follows)
You don’t need us to inform you that folks spend tons of your time on social media nowadays. You’ll want to form sure your website is there to attach with them. Typically, meaning adding:
- Social share buttons to your content
- Social follow buttons that link to your profiles
Beyond that, you’ll want to think about fixing the Open Graph tags for your most important content (like your homepage). Most SEO plugins also allow you to found out Open Graph information additionally to SEO titles/descriptions.
14. Add the small Details (Favicon, Author Bio, etc.)
This is quite a catch-all for stuff that’s important but doesn’t necessarily warrant its own section. Consider things like:
- Favicon, which you’ll set within the WordPress Customizer.
- Author bios, which you’ll set in your profile.
- Author display names, which you’ll also set in your profile.
- Comment settings, for instance , does one want to automatically close comments after a particular amount of time?
16. Remove Unused Users, Test Content, Plugins, Etc.
Finally, confirm you’ve removed anything that you simply only put there for testing, or that you simply just generally don’t decide to use on your live site.
- Unused users that you simply might’ve created for testing. Also, confirm there’s no generic “admin” account as this is often a security risk.
- Test content.
- Unused plugins or themes (though you’ll want to go away the default Twenty Nineteen theme, just just in case you’ve got to manually deactivate your theme).
That wraps up our WordPress website launch checklist! After implementing and checking everything above, you ought to be ready up for a successful launch.
However, your work doesn’t stop once you go live (unfortunately!). No, once your site is live, you’ll even be liable for maintaining it.
For some recommendations on the way to do this , inspect our routine WordPress maintenance guide, where we break down exactly what you ought to be doing and the way often you would like to try to to it.
Any questions on implementing any of the tasks during this website launch checklist? Ask away within the comments!