You may think you are ready for launch, but chances are you have overlooked something that could kill your conversions, SEO, and overall sales.

You need to be thorough when it comes to launch, and should really leave at least a week or two for just testing alone.

Here are the major areas to finalize for launch!

Favicon

Don’t launch with the default WordPress Favicon and update it to your brand’s Favicon!

SSL Certificate

Google likes SSL certificates. An SSL certificate will make your site more secure so although not necessary for non-eCommerce sites, make sure you have an SSL certificate ready for production launch to your main URL.

Integrations & Extensions

Your integrations and third party extensions may require a license key or production credentials when you go live. Make sure the settings are all in place so that when you move to the live URL none of your third party modules or integrations break.

404 Page

The default 404 page is not your brand, update it to be unique to your brand and perhaps lead people back to where they want to go!

Remove Test Data 

You may have been playing around with test data, make sure you remove it all and keep your site clean for production launch. 

Browser Testing: The first simple place to start is simply browser testing. There are many browsers and versions of browsers and you also have to test mobile and different devices for each browser.

Some of the major areas to test:

  • Google chrome
  • IE versions
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • Mobile and Tablet browser versions. 

Search functionality: 

Is your search up to par? Users expect high quality search, and basic default WordPress search might not cut it. Make sure you have modified the WordPress search for your business or implement a high quality third party tool to improve search.

Final Data Transfer:

If you are coming from another system then you will need to do a final data import of any new blog data or other types of last minute data changes. Make sure you have a developer to a final data import if that is necessary.

Caching:

During development you might have caching turned off to see changes faster. Leverage a caching tool to improve site speed. There are many good caching plugins available for WordPress.

Test All Forms:

If you have forms for various things like newsletters, contact us, etc…Make sure they are all tested and go to the correct place.

301 Redirects

Has your URL structure changed? If so you need to redirect the old URLs to the appropriate new ones or you could lose a ton of SEO value. Make sure you have a plan for this or you could face a much longer SEO recovery time.

Google Web Masters & Google Analytics

Make sure you are ready to optimize your site for Google via a quality sitemap submission to Google Web Masters and your site is trackable via analytics. You don’t want any gaps in your analytics or Web Master tools upon launch.

Optimize CSS and Javascript:

You can minify CSS and Javascript for site performance and reduce it to one smaller file.

Site Speed / Performance:

Your site might be fine with a few people working on it, but is it ready for production visitors. Make sure you are confident it can handle speed and performance testing for the volume you expect to bring in.

Google Analytics should give you a good indicator of how many visitors to expect when you launch your new site.

Development Operations & Post Launch: 

Are you ready for deployment and post launch improvements? Make sure you have a dev ops process for pushing new code to production and managing versions via Git. Expect bugs and new work to come in immediately so having a process for this is critical to success.

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