As with every other step in developing a new website, there are many different aspects to consider when launching one. Launching websites can be stressful even for the most experienced, and many items can be easily overlooked. Below, we provide a checklist of the steps that can be taken before and after a launch to make it that much more successful.
What to Do Pre-Launch
The information provided will cover many commonly overlooked items that can be done even before a website is launched. Adding these items to your pre-launch to-do list will ensure the website launch is covered from all angles.
As always, it is essential to create a backup of all your files before making any updates to your website to have a fallback in case anything goes wrong.
Make Sure Everything is Updated
One of the most important reasons to keep everything updated is security. Making sure your website is up-to-date is very important in keeping your website and information secure. That said, there are always new features, performance and security improvements with new updates to your CMS, PHP version or plugins.
If you are using a CMS like WordPress, make sure you have the latest version. WordPress accounts for about 60% of all CMS websites and 40% of all websites globally, making it a common target for potential hackers and all sorts of malicious attacks.
Similar to having the most up-to-date CMS, the PHP version of the server is also important to check before launching. Why? Updating the PHP provides you with a fully-supported version that is routinely updated for security issues. Additionally, many CMS and plugin updates require a more recent PHP version.
When launching, it is especially critical to have a backup of all files, databases and DNS entries. Launching can have many points of failure and even a minor update might lead to unexpected issues or errors. Having a backup prevents huge headaches and allows you to fix any problems that can’t be immediately handled more efficiently. A backup can be the difference between a simple fix or hours and hours of troubleshooting. This will also save time if you are changing hosts since those files may no longer be accessible after launch.
What to Do Post-Launch
Once a website is live, there are still a few beneficial items to consider to make sure the website does well going forward.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Something that can separate you from others is setting up SEO for your website. This starts with making sure that your website is indexable to Google and other search engines. This basically means that the search engines can crawl through your website and make it a possible search result for anyone searching.
Setting up basic keywords on important pages and schema helps the search engines better understand your website and can allow it to show higher in the results. If you are considering professional SEO help, we offer fantastic SEO services, ranging from basic to a complete rework of your site.
Another important aspect is your website page speed. This is very important, especially for keeping users on your site. Many people searching for a service, product, or information will always gravitate and stay longer on a site that loads faster for them. Running a speed test at Google’s Page Speed Insights gives you a score and a detailed explanation of the issues that might be slowing down your website.
Having a Checklist Now Will Help You Avoid Common Issues Later
All in all, launching your website is a very exciting and important step that you want to make sure goes as smoothly and successfully as possible. Everything we discussed above should help make your launch experience and process that much more enjoyable. If you have questions or you need help with building a website, contact us. We are here to help.