The days and weeks before a website go-live is usually the busiest time of the project lifecycle. Having a checklist ensures that there is a process that team members can go through to enable a successful go-live.
Use this checklist to review the client's site systematically before going live.
- Configure SEO
- SEO description and meta tags for each page
- WordPress, out of the box, is very search engine friendly. However, you can still improve the SEO further with plugins like Yoast SEO.
- Add Analytics Code (either Google Analytics or Simple Analytics if the website needs to be GDPR Compliant)
- Check all permalinks.
- Add social share data.
- Ensure all open graph data is set on all pages for all social media platforms. Utilize tools such as the Facebook Sharing Debugger to test.
- SSL certificate for the website.
- Ensure HTTPS is on and the domain has been configured correctly.
- Check favicon
- Allow search engine indexing.
- Submit the website sitemap to Google for indexing.
- Check for Broken Links via Broken Link Checker
- Proofread all content. The entire website should be read by a native language speaker of the main site language.
- Remove all unwanted pages and plugins.
- Check performance
- Use free online services like GT Metrix or Experte or Google Website Speed Tests to identify any areas that are causing the site to underperform
- PageSpeed Insights check should be at least 80
- Create site backup.
- Check meta-data is set on all pages.
- Form testing. Check that forms are submitting data as expected, and check that email notifications are working for each form.
- Ensure all required fields have been tested and that the form data is submitted and saved correctly.
- Check on all screen types on Webflow, and all browsers and use the various test devices available to review the website on different browsers, operating systems, and screen sizes.
- Image sizes per device (Webflow does this automatically)
- If Webflow, ensure which account the website will be hosted on, and setup client billing if required.
- Backup source code and send to the client – once final payment as been received.
- Check that links to outside websites open in new tabs
- Check that we have a credits link to mad.co if that is in the contract. This should open a new tab.
- If the website contains a map, ensure that the Google Maps API Key Setup is complete and that the maps is working correctly.
- Double check that social media links are pointing to the correct social media pages.
- If the client will be running advertising, ensure that that major advertising trackers such as Google Tag Manager, Facebook Pixel, and the LinkedIN tracking code are installed on all pages and that key goals are configured.
- If this is a relaunch project, ensure that 301 permanent redirects have been setup for all major old website links to the corresponding new pages.
- Do we have access to the DNS Settings or are we working with internal IT teams or third parties? Have we sent our clear instructions for DNS switchover?
We hope that this list showcases the level of detail that we try to achieve when going live with all of our projects, and that you can take this as a starting point when launching your new website.