In this pre-launch website design checklist, you will see the 12 things you should check before your website is live.
Here are the things that you need to go through before you hit that “launch” button. Don’t worry, if you followed along with the free website design tutorial then most of this should be good to go!
Pre-Launch Website Design Checklist
Double Check your Content
Take a few minutes and make sure your content is good to go. Double check your spelling, grammar and all that fun stuff. (you can use a free browser extension called Grammarly) I’d also recommend that you share your website with some close friends or family members to get some extra eyes on your content just to be safe.
Update WordPress, Theme & Plugins
The latest releases for WordPress itself along with your theme and plugins are normally released for security reasons. Be sure to keep everything up to date. The majority of the updates are basic and are at no risk to crashing your site. Unfortunately, sometimes you may find that an update can crash your site so be sure to back up your site using the Duplicator plugin. (For more information & a tutorial for using the duplicator plugin to backup your website visit www.digitoolbag.com/duplicator)
Responsive Website Check
Take a few minutes and go through all of the pages you’ve designed with the desktop, tablet & mobile layouts. This is very important. You want to make sure all of your pages are responsive and look right on all platforms. (I’d also look into Kproxy.com which will show you an uncached version of your site and what it looks like on different platforms.)
Cross Browser Compatibility
You can use any tool you want to do this. If you do a search on Google for “cross browser compatibility check” you will find a huge list including the free tool I use: browserling.com. If you want to get a little more “hands on” you can manually open up each of the different browsers and check yourself, but I’d recommend using a tool and saving yourself some time.
Secure Your Website
Go to WhyNoPadlock.com and make sure that you are 100% secure. If you followed along then you should be good to go but unfortunately, sometimes there are a few issues that come up. But, good news for you, using WhyNoPadlock.com will tell you exactly what you need in order to get that green padlock we all want to see.
Change The Admin Email
In your general settings inside of your dashboard, you will find your “Admin Email”. Make sure that you add an email that you check on a regular basis. This is going to be where they email you all of your notifications for your website.
Page Speed Test
You should be fine with this if you followed along and optimized all of your images with TinyPNG.com. To run the test, you need to go to GTMetrix.com. Put in your URL with the proper protocol (https://). This may be a little complicated for you to understand at first just know you need to aim for an A “grade” for your Page Speed and Yslow score but if you can’t get it … a B is not going to be the end of you. You can use “Cloudflare” to speed your site up if you feel the need for it. Setting up a CDN (Content Delivery Network) like Cloudflare can be difficult and like I’ve said many times before, I want to keep this book to the basics so I’m not going to cover Cloudflare here but you can get the tutorial at digitoolbag.com/cloudflare
Check all links (internal & external)
Nothing is worse than sending traffic to your website only for them to find something they want to get more information on and when they click the link, nothing happens. So take a few minutes and click on every link on your site and make sure they go where you want them to.
SEO Site Check
This isn’t an easy check. SEO is a beast and at times you may feel like there is no way that you could keep up with all of the algorithms but if you continue to put out content that is for the readers & visitors of your website first, you will be fine.
Disable Coming Soon Page
If you chose to set up a coming soon page, now is when you go over to the settings and disable it. Now, The World Can See Your Website!!! Yay!!
There are a lot of ways to backup your WordPress Website. I recommend a free plugin that I’ve used for a while called “Duplicator”. It isn’t difficult to use and can not only backup your website but can be used to clone websites to move to new servers etc. I use this for WebDesignWebinar.com to create a shortcut. If you need more information on it you can check out the post: DigiToolBag.com/duplicator
Launch Your Website
Now that you have finished building your website, all you need to do is tell people!
Don’t forget to share your website on your social media profiles and be sure to tweet @ me with the link so I can see your website. @cjhallock