A new website’s launch is often thrilling since you worked hard on its stunning design, awesome content, and excellent user experience. You obviously can’t wait to tell everyone about it. Then why would you want to test your lovely website before making it public? That’s because mistakes can occur and using a checklist can assist in minimizing them. This website launch checklist will be helpful in that situation. Now. “What should you check before launching your website?” is an excellent place to start. So, Let’s get started.
1. Activate an SSL certificate
SSL (Safe Sockets Layer) certificates verify the legitimacy of your website and let you use HTTPS for secure data transit. It’s crucial for eCommerce sites in particular because it prevents hackers from accessing your visitor data like credit card information. Regardless of your industry, there is no justification for skipping this step, especially since you can create an SSL certificate for free.
SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, certificates are more crucial than ever, and if you’re not using one, Google Chrome and many other browsers are now reporting your website as insecure. It is quite simple to correct what is unquestionably a terrible situation. Nowadays, most hosts provide a free SSL certificate. So if you have any doubts regarding the SSL certificate of your website, please contact them.
2. Update your CMS to the latest version
Many aspects of your life can be made simpler by using a CMS. Even if you don’t know anything about web development, this software typically gives you a wide choice of tools to build, update, and manage your pages and blog posts. However, to keep your CMS reliable and give you access to its most recent features, you’ll need to upgrade it similarly to other software.
Maintaining a current software version shouldn’t be a problem because most CMSs will notify you when an update is necessary. We advise updating your CMS whenever a new version is released, even after your website has gone live, so keep a lookout for notifications.
3. Check the usability of your website.
Check that each of the website’s functionalities functions properly. And also, Checking usability is crucial for both conversions and overall SEO. The most important thing is to view every feature of your website through the eyes of a visitor. Make sure that photos are speed-optimized. Test all contact and call-to-action forms in particular. Check your website’s login process, roles, and credentials if it has many users.
You must also evaluate the overall user experience as seen by users accessing the website’s content. You should make sure that as many browsers as feasible are compatible with your website. It’s difficult, but you can get an excellent notion of how the public will perceive your website with the help of websites like Browsershots.
Once you’ve set up autoresponders, ensure they answer as you expected. Additionally, if you plan to take payments through your website, test each stage of the payment process, including the success page redirect. This includes downloads, sign-ups, shopping cart features, payment processing, email notifications, buttons, and links.
4. Make sure URLs are correct and remove broken links
You must change all the URLs frequently when you transfer your website from the staging area to production. Before continuing with the website launch checklist, make sure to confirm that all of the URLs on the live version of your site are accurate.
Links and pages are changed frequently as the site is being developed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure your website is clear of these problems before presenting it to the public. Additionally, it’s a good idea to routinely inspect your website to ensure that all of your previous links still function properly and that you haven’t unintentionally modified or deleted a page without simultaneously updating your link structure.
5. Create a favicon.
Why is a favicon important? First of all, it embodies your brand. Second, a favicon might make it easier for users to locate your website when looking through their bookmarks. Additionally, every successful and modern website has one. Your website shouldn’t fall behind the competition, right? Favicon generator, Genfavicon, and Favicon.cc are a few tools that can help you create a favicon.
6. Create a custom 404 page.
The likelihood of 404 errors on a new website is low, yes. However, a user could make a typing error or accidentally land on a “Page Not Found” error page. Create a personalized 404 page to avoid losing visitors. This will also improve the user experience.
Make sure that the custom 404 page you created fulfills the following requirements: Visitors should not be confused by simple and plain wording, A search bar that allows users to return to the page they were looking for, A link to your home page or the most popular articles on your website, as well as your contact details so that users can reach you.
You can also set up email alerts to resolve mistakes as soon as they occur so that you can stay on top of 404 errors.
7. Take reliable security precautions
This is undoubtedly the most significant post-launch action in the website launch checklist. Double-checking the security of your website is essential. Users are more concerned than ever about their data security due to the increased adoption of digitization in daily life. Consult a lawyer or other relevant expert if you plan to accept payments from clients or store personal information to ensure you comply with all laws and that your new website is safe from hackers. Every website should, at the very least, have these features enabled:
- SSL (Secured Socket Layer): A website should have an SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate if it wishes to collect sensitive user data, such as financial information and personal details (such as address and DOB)
- Anti-malware Plugin: Users shouldn’t be threatened by malware now. Find appropriate anti-malware plugins to prevent attacks and periodically evaluate their effectiveness.
- HTTPS: Keep in mind that most popular browsers label non-HTTPS websites as Not Secure, causing most users to leave the page as soon as they arrive. Use only HTTPS. User data is at risk if HTTP does not always reroute to HTTPS.
8. Delete any unwanted plugins
To maintain a lean and effective WordPress site, you should examine your dashboard for plugins that are no longer required and uninstall them. You may have installed plugins while building the website that you never used. Remove them all in advance of launch day!
9. Check Performance
You’ve created a stunning design, optimized every image, and thoroughly proofread it all, and you’re almost ready to go live. Now is the moment to test the performance of your website and address any issues that may have arisen.
You can utilize free internet tools like GT Metrix or Website Speed Tests to figure out where your website is performing poorly. You can also use plugins like Swift Performance, WP Rocket, or Autoptimize to optimize your website further, increase your overall loading speed, decrease server requests, etc. Time spent achieving the finest results possible at this stage will pay off when your visitors use it.
10. Set up a backup solution
We’ve come to the last item in the website launch checklist. Your website has a wonderful design, loads quickly, and is written correctly. What’s next? As we all know, technical difficulties can obstruct even the most prepared person. Therefore, take time to create a complete backup of the website before clicking the “Launch” button, just in case the unthinkable happens!
Set up automated, offsite backups of your websites using plugins like UpdraftPlus, WP Time Capsule, or BlogVault.