The Ultimate Pre-Launch Website Checklist

The Pre-Launch Checklist
Are you ready to launch your WordPress website? Pause for a moment and go over this comprehensive checklist we have compiled just for you. Completing this checklist will help ensure your website is ready to launch and can be found by both visitors and search engines. Be sure you’re ready to launch in style.
The Essentials
Be sure to have both your domain name and hosting provider. Domain Name Before you launch your website and make your web presence known, you need to register a domain name for your website. There are a number of domain registrars available on the internet today, some of the most trusted ones are listed here:
  1. Business Deacon
  2. GoDaddy
  3. 1&1
  4. Name
  5. Gandi
When picking a domain name, do keep in mind relevant search keywords that could help drive traffic to your website from search engines. But also make sure it is relevant to your small business and is easy for your audience to remember. Hosting Provider You need to have a hosting solution provider before you launch your WordPress website. We recommend WPEngine for WordPress websites. It’s fast, affordable, and reliable. Other hosting providers include Business Deacon, Blue Host, GoDaddy, and HostGator.
Your content is the backbone of your WordPress website. Your website content should be useful, accessible, concise, and consistent. Here is your content checklist:
  1. Have a content strategy
  2. Content is proofread and edited for:
    • Consistency of writing style
    • Correct punctuation usage
    • Spelling and grammar
    • Capitalization
    • Heading standard on your site
  3. All your content is formatted and structured
  4. All your links are working correctly and there are no dead links
  5. Contact and social media details are easy to find and are up-to-date
Your user-interface and experience need to be exceptional. Before taking your website live, make sure your website design is engaging and eye-appealing. The design needs to be responsive on all devices. Here are some tips to keep in mind before your launching the new website:

  1. Website is responsive and adaptable to all device screens
  2. You have a favicon
  3. Touch icons are present and optimized for mobile devices
  4. Font is user-friendly and readable
  5. The design is responsive to older browsers
  6. Error pages are properly designed with a customized 404 error page
Speed Up Your Site
Speed really does matters. It’s found that most people will abandon a webpage that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Furthermore, a high performing website has a significant impact on both the user experience and search rankings. With that in mind, here is what you need to consider before taking your website live:
  1. Reduce your file requests by combining files where appropriate
  2. Minify your JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SVG to reduce file size.
  3. Ensure your image files are optimized
  4. Make sure you have a caching strategy
  5. Speed test your website before launch
  6. Make sure you have an optimized hosting provider in place
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines use a number of factors to determine the ranking of your websites. The main components are your design and content. Both of these must make the user experience easy and valuable. There are a number of things to check pre-launch:

  1. Thoroughly research the keywords and understand what your users searching for
  2. All of your pages have meta descriptions
  3. Make sure all your redirects are in place and working
  4. Make a sitemap and submit it to the search engines (You can do this with the Yoast SEO plugin)
  5. Test your speed’s site (previously mentioned, but it’s important to know and monitor!)
  6. Test your site for mobile responsiveness (again, very important!)
  7. All your images have relevant alt text
Reduce Risks
Although risks are bound to happen, there are benefits to being proactive.
  1. Make sure backups are scheduled
  2. Make sure you have SSL enabled on your website
  3. Test your website for malicious code injection and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities
  4. Test whether the appropriate users and roles have been set up and allowed to specific areas of the site
  5. Limit the number of user accounts
Test Everything
Launching a website can be stressful. You dedicate a lot of time, resources, and energy. You don’t want your launch to be a failure by small mistakes. To avoid being disappointed, you need to perform tests on your website. Perform these tests both with a tool and manually. These tests will help ensure your website is perfect and polished.
  1. Test your site’s speed
  2. Test the funnel or pipeline you have created for your visitors
  3. Ensure your forms are integrated
  4. Complex functionality works as expected
  5. Test your website for all browsers and devices
  6. Make sure you have validated your forms/opt-ins
  7. Be sure all of your accessibility tools are in place
It’s Time to Launch!
Once you have checked off everything from this checklist, you are now ready to launch your website. Do keep this in mind:
A website launch is not a one-time event.
If you are going to launch the whole website in one go, you won’t ever fully know the success potential of your website. Plan your website launch with small, incremental changes. Why? Because it is easier to analyze the successes of small releases. By doing this, you can easily find what is working and what isn’t working. Here is how to measure success:
  1. Analytics: check whether website analytics have been set up to help you know the number of visitors coming to your site.
  2. Reporting: Make sure you have reporting enabled to identify engagement. Use Google Analytics to monitor their behavior pattern.
  3. Check to make sure you have social media monitoring in place for engagement.
  4. Ensure that you have to monitor in place for page speed insights.
With this in mind, you can start working on the next release of your website. Be sure:
  1. Your content strategy is in place for the long-term.
  2. Your design and user experience is a welcoming feature for your site visitor.
  3. You have conducted all the tests on your websites for optimization.
  4. Your analytics reporting is in place to help monitor and analyze.