Once you are done with the WordPress development of your site, it’s time to make it go live! But before that, take a look at this checklist to make sure that you are presenting your viewers with a stunning website.
Let’s Get Started…
1. Back Up – Most Important
There is nothing more disastrous than creating an amazing website only to have it all gone within seconds. Something might go wrong and your hard work can vanish immediately.
Backing up your website is easier than you could imagine. A plugin like All-in-One WP Migration would do the trick – https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/
2. Double Check The Content
Check the structuring of your content before you decide to make your website go live. Take as much time as you think is appropriate for double checking the entire thing.
Are all the pages and posts there? Have you set all the permalink properly? Are all the categories and post tags correct? Are the submission forms in a working state? I hope you have got an idea now.
Pro Tip : Carry out all the testing and related tasks from a browser you are not logged in from. While doing so, make sure you are not signed in to your WordPress admin panel. You can be logged in one browser, simultaneously being logged out of another.
3. Update To The Latest Version Of WordPress
In order to carry out a safe and smooth running of your website, it is advisable to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as it has the required safety features and maintenance updates.
Have the updated version before your site goes live. Also, keep upgrading as and when the updates arrive.
4. Upgrade Plugins and Themes
Apart from using the latest version of WordPress, make sure you upgrade the themes and plugins as well. Hackers can enter through outdated plugins and themes. Bottom line, upgrade as soon as there is an update available, whether it is before you go live or after your website is running.
Although keep in mind that an update might also go wrong. In this case, your backup can come in handy. So, before you update the core plugins, files or themes, make sure you have backed up all the database and website files.
5. Make Sure The WebSite Is Responsive
A website whose content and layout modifies itself according to the device or the size of the screen is known as a responsive website. The content should be usable and readable on any gizmos.
Even though it doesn’t sound challenging enough, it takes efforts to get it right. You can use Google’s Mobile Friendliness test https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly to check out the responsiveness of a website.
6. Cross-Browser Compatibility
This kind of testing is done to make sure whether your site is in a fully running and responsive condition in different browsers. If your system has multiple browsers installed on it, you can test on those.
Alternatively, there are many online tools you can check out for the purpose of testing. Log on to http://browsershots.org/. All you need to do is enter the URL of your website and check the boxes in front of the functionality you wish to test. At present, it supports testing in over 150 different browsers and browser versions.
7. Secure Your Website
It is extremely important that you take the security of your website seriously as there are about 50,000 WordPress websites being hacked every single day. Installation and Sucuri plugin and Wordfence plugin to solidify the foundation of security of your site, so you should go ahead with that as soon as possible.
8. Change The Admin Email
You can find the admin email inside the WordPress panel. On the menu in the left, hover over settings. Once done, click on General. On the same page, you can see the Admin email address. Wordfence and many other important plugins are going to send information to the same email. So, make sure you select one that you monitor on a regular basis.
9. Make Sure Your Site Is ‘Crawlable’
Inside the admin panel when you click on Settings >> Reading, there is a setting that is not much known. But it is capable of causing you immense frustration. This setting has been designed to stop the search engine crawling and indexing of your website during the designing phase.
There is a checkbox with a label “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”. If you fail to uncheck the box before launching you are going to be stuck with negligible traffic from search engines. The worst part is that you won’t even know why! Make sure you uncheck the box!
10. Check Website Load Speed
Google Pagespeed Insights are meant for you to check and improvise on your page. It provides good user experience and acts as a major ranking factor for search engines. Link – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
11. Compress Images – All Images
One of the most promising ways of increasing your page speed is to compress all the PNG and JPEG files on your site. You can manually compress the images here (https://tinypng.com/) or install a plugin to do that for you.
12. Check For Broken Links
Checking for broken links is a very crucial step. When you move a website from a developmental environment to a live server, it is easy for the links to get broken. Find all the links that are broken on your website by installing the Broken Link Checker.
13. Check All Internal & External Links
The testing phase of the website is usually where this step is performed but it is good to check where the links are leading before launching the site. In the past point we discussed a link checker. You should know that it only checks whether the link is in a working state or not. It does not check whether it is pointing out to the right place.
Ensure that the links leaving your website open in a new tab or window. If you are not in favor of passing the link juice to them, use the HTML attribute rel=”nofollow”.
14. White Label The Site
In the case when the website you are developing is for your client, you can use the theme White Label WordPress Admin on the Code Canyon plugin for white labeling your WordPress site’s admin area. This way, all the support information will take your client back to your business in a situation when they require assistance.
15. Check For Proper SEO
Making your website search engine friendly is not a child’s play. It takes a lot to make your website appear on top of the results. Check step 9 again and make sure that search engines can crawl your website, that is, ensure that your site is crawlable. Set your permalinks to the /%postname%/ after that. For all the pages you are about to publish, perform in-depth keyword research. This is to ensure that you only target those that actually receive decent searches.
When you have a keyword with high traffic, use it in the URL of the page, in the content according to the appropriate density and in the title of the post or page, you are publishing. After then, go on to the creation of metadata for your website.
16. Disable/Delete Coming Soon Page
If your website has a coming soon page, ensure that you turn it off. Install the SeedPro Coming Soon Page Plugin and use it to make your coming soon page beautiful and simpler to maintain.
17. Go Live!!!
Going live is the last step! Congratulations for making it to this point on your journey to build a successful WordPress website. Now relax and unwind with your favorite drink to celebrate this moment.
When the celebration is over, get back to work as the real work starts once your site is out there.