WordPress Website Launch Checklist: 15+ Things to Check Before Launching Your WordPress Website

Your brand-new WordPress site is almost ready for launch. The design is flawless and you can’t wait to publish the site and watch it grow. Prior to your site’s public availability, verify that you have not left anything undone. Before launching your website glance through this WordPress Website Launch Checklist and ensure that you have complied.

Essential WordPress Website Launch Checklist

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1. Install a backup

At the top of our WordPress website launch checklist is backup. You should never launch the site without storing a copy remotely. If you find it too complex, it is easy to hire a WordPress development company and let them take care of these issues.

In case of a website crash or technical problems with the server, a backup is worth its weight in gold. Hit restore, and all goes back to the way it was with minimum damage.

There are excellent plugins that help you automate the process such as Updraft Plus. The backup location can be Dropbox, Google Drive, or any other cloud facility you use.

2. Enable security plugins

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System that controls 60% of the market. Successful platforms draw the attention of hackers since they need to learn once and then exploit the weakness over and over.

Making sure your site is secure is crucial before launching your WordPress website.

The best way to protect the site is to use a security suite such as Sucuri. It is a free plugin which offers you a range of security features that protect against tampering. Most security plugins provide a file change log that helps you pinpoint when malware was inserted.

3. SSL/HTTPS

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HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is essential if you want your site to rank high. HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP that uses SSL encryption.

An eavesdropper can intercept personal information (address, credit card number, etc.) sent through plain HTTP.

HTTPS uses encryption that sets up a secure tunnel between the user and server.

Ensure that the hosting service has provided your site with an HTTPS certificate.

Also Read: How to Develop a New Product Launch Plan in 2021?

4. Remove 404 Errors

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A new website must never have 404 errors. 404 means the server was unable to find a matching webpage.

404 is quite common in old websites since a few of the outbound links might have moved.

It is a different matter in a new website that has just been created.

Usually, in such a case it shows the URL was inserted sloppily.

Since a recently launched site has very few visitors, you cannot afford to displease any.

Be vigilant and use Google Search Console or a tool such as Screaming Frog to weed it out.

5. Ensure the forms are working

Forms are used for obtaining user information, comments, and feedback. A contact form is an accepted way for a user to get in touch with you the first time. Thereafter, you can email back and forth with them.

If you share your email address, within a week, spam will flood your inbox. That is why an email address is rarely provided. Test the contact form by writing several messages from different devices.

Type in some information on each and check that they are reflecting on the backend. A dead form might not be discovered for months and deprive you of valuable feedback, leads, and potential clients.

6. Email account selection

Is your email account provided by the hosting service? In that case, you would be able to access neither the site nor the emails when their server is down.

It’s best to keep these separate. You also would not have the problem of migrating email when you change the hosting service. Signing up for G Suite or Zoho is the best way to keep the site and email separate.

Also Read: The need for Business Website

7. Delete Lorem Ipsum

When a site is being created the web designers place dummy text, usually Lorem Ipsum. The Latin phrase is meant to be replaced by text produced by content writers.

From About to Product Pages, Lorem Ipsum indicates the presence of a text box. If your site has several pages, it is easy to miss some of these blocks of dummy text.

The error looks amateurish and would increase bounce rate.

8. Login Attempts

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The default setting of WordPress allows users to try to log in as many times as they want.

This means that your site is vulnerable to brute force attacks.

These hacking attempts try to guess your username and password.

Limit login attempts to 5 so that no unauthorized logins can happen.

A plugin such as Limit Login Attempts makes it simple. Install, activate and limit the number of logins attempts from Settings.

9. Generate XML sitemap

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A sitemap lists the important pages of a site and details the hierarchy.

This feature allows the Google bot to crawl and classify every page quickly. Otherwise it might take Google several months.

The faster your site is indexed by Google the better it is for SEO.

An XML sitemap also contains a date stamp that shows to search engines when a page was last updated.

You can use a paid plugin such as Yoast or an open source one like Google XML Sitemap Generator. Remember to submit the sitemap to Google when you request a crawl.

Also Read: Top 15 Best Selling WordPress Themes Of All Times

10. Check browser adaptability

There are a variety of browsers out there. Chrome dominates but several more, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and Opera have a significant presence. Though they perform the same task, their architecture is very different.

Do the mobile and desktop versions of your WordPress site display well in all of them?

You could of course do it manually. But that takes a lot of time. A site such as Browserstack lets this test happen across several browsers and operating systems in a few minutes.

11. Check images have alt-texts

A search engine cannot understand an image unless it is told about the content. The description is variously known as alt-tags or alt-text.

After you publish the site, you need to use Google Search Console to request indexing. This usually happens in 2-3 days. Unless the alt-texts are already present you have to wait for a re-crawl.

12. Install Google Analytics

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Google Analytics and Tag Manager are essential to the success of your site. 56% of all websites use it for measuring their performance.

These are free tracking tools that provide you with a plethora of data about who visited your site, from where, when, browser type, device type, and much more.

It helps you understand your audience and refine the content.

It is essential to integrate this vital plugin into your site by installing the tracking code on every page.

Also Read: Best Free SEO Plugin For WordPress Must Have

13. Updated themes and plugins

It takes time to design a website. Sometimes several months might elapse between design and launch. In the meantime, the themes and plugins might have new releases.

Check for these since a release usually is more stable than its predecessor. An updated release is also an essential part of enhancing website security.

14. Test social share buttons

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Every page of a modern website carries social media integration.

The page can be easily shared through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Before you launch the site test if these work by sharing pages from your site at random.

Share to your Facebook and Twitter profiles and ensure all is in order. Of course, you can delete the shares later on.

15. Add a copyright notice

Your website has to be protected against theft of intellectual property. The internet is full of dubious writers who like nothing better than to copy-paste content.

Include a copyright notice at the end of the home page to indicate that all material is owned by you.

You could also add Copyscape protection. It brings any plagiarism by others to your notice.

Also Read: Top e-Commerce WordPress Theme for Business in 2021

Last Words

Theis WordPress website launch checklist is crucial to the success of your site. However, you might find it hard to do what is necessary since you do not possess the know-how. In that case you would find Uplers can lend you a helping hand.

Uplers is a reputed web design firm that not only creates WordPress sites but also maintains and performs SEO to propel your WordPress site to the top of search rankings.

Images by Gerd Altmann, WilliamsCreativity, Shelby Weers, fsweb_de, fumingli, Chetan Nada and Al Kwarismi Wirawan from Pixabay

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