The ultimate checklist for pushing a WordPress site live (2020)

marameo

Published on

You’ve worked on your new website for weeks or months and finally, it’s time to push it live.

Not so fast, tiger.

We’ve crafted a thorough and detailed checklist from our 20+ years experience that is an invaluable asset to follow.

Don’t skim through it.

If you care about yours or your client’s website success go through this list one by one. You can buy us a beer next time you are in Newtown, Sydney.

What you need

  • A development environment either on a server or on your local machine
  • The live server and database access (Eg. Cpanel)
  • Access to the DNS management panel for your final domain (eg. briefmate.co)

The ultimate checklist

We like to separate the checklist between pre-launch and post-launch. There is a lot of preparation that goes into pushing a site live, and we want to be able to complete most of the tasks before launching our site live.

Pre-launch WordPress checklist

Content, images and links

  • Check your site for placeholder text (such as Lorem ipsum) and placeholder images and make sure the actual (client-approved) content is in place.
  • Every page should have a clear hierarchy of Headings. This is not just great for accessibility, but it’s extremely important for Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Make sure there aren’t any broken links. Use Online Broken Links Checker, it’s free.
  • Make sure the “contact us” and any other forms are connected to the right email address and that the server can send emails (Hint: you might need an SMTP integration)
  • Make sure the search page works and it’s displayed correctly.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • Setup a 404 custom page.
  • Optimize Permalinks for SEO.
  • Create an XML Sitemap.
  • Improve Your Website Loading Speed.
  • Setup Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
  • If you’re relaunching your old website, make sure to add 301 redirects
  • Install RankMath SEO plugin

Post-launch WordPress checklist

Content, images and links

  • Search and replace old URLs across the site. You can use this plugin which is great. Don’t forget to remove it once done!
  • Make sure there aren’t any broken links. Use Online Broken Links Checker. No, it’s not a duplication, do it again and be extra sure it’s all good.

Search Engine Optimisation

  • Uncheck the checkbox for Search Engine Visibility.

Security

Best practices

  • Remove all unused and “development” plugins.
  • Setup automatic website backups.
  • Run a Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Create and add a custom favicon.
  • Include a privacy statement and terms of use, as well as legal disclaimers if needed.