After the client is happy with the web design and before I make it live and inform the client how to successfully carry out the website promotion I carry out the following 61 website launch checklist. I break it down into 5 sections.
Free Website Launch Checklist PDF
- Test forms – Contact/enquiry/subscribe/ newsletter… Make sure forms have confirmation and error message. Emails are sent to the correct recipient. All fields appear in the email received.
- Review cross-browser and device compatibility – Ensure that your website works on the most popular web browsers.
- Check responsive layouts – Test across multiple screen sizes and resolutions to catch possible errors in layout and user experience.
- Carry out mobile-friendly testing
- Test social sharing functionality and social media icons
- Proofread content and check text is accurate, error-free, with no grammar or spelling mistakes.
- Remove all unwanted pages/posts
- Remove all unwanted media
- Deactivate and delete unused plugins
- Change admin email to the customer’s email address
- Check all blog functionality works (search, archive, posts, sidebar)
- Test if Paypal button opens PayPal
- Check if the customer has been added to Microsoft Clarity.
- Test live chat configuration settings.
- Test rental, booking or appointments system.
- Test advanced search – does the live preview/ search engine work? For example, using the word ‘Jumper’, only type in the first two letters ‘Ju’. Does it show a list: ‘Jump-start course’, ‘Jupiter books’… When the third letter ‘m’ is added do the results change? For example, does it now show ‘Jumbo’, ‘Jump-start’… When when the 4th letter ‘p’ is added does it now show, for example, a list of ‘Jumpers’?
- Advanced search filter by category – keeping with the previous example ‘ju’ will only show ‘jumpers’ if the category ‘clothes’ was originally selected.
- Test dynamic front end forms – can the user log in, answer a few questions i.e car make, car model, mileage, postcode? Did that small bit of information create a well-presented car listing formatted in the same template as other car listings? Is the location of the car listed in a Google Map?
- Check premium plugins and extra functionality (maintenance customers)
- Check if the Pop-Ups work i.e. exit intent / multi-step/ on click/ advanced targeting.
- Check if the Pop-ups Google analytics integration works and it tracks real-time impressions and conversions.
- Check when pressing sync if Pop-Ups are correctly importing results into WordPress so that the customer can view results and graphs (impressions, conversion and the conversion rate of every design) in the WordPress backend.
- Check if Pop-Ups A/B testing is tracking allowing the customer to compare and test any call-to-actions created. Also, if chosen, does it automatically pick and deploy the winning design.
- Check if forms integrate correctly with customers other marketing tools.
- Test interactive popups i.e. did the ‘scratch’ to reveal, mouse effects, swipe to see more… work correctly?
For those hiring me to build an ecommerce website:
- Review linked products (upsell, cross-sell).
- Add several items to a wishlist. Did the wishlist page store them, is it possible to remove selected items from the wishlist?
- Add three items to a compare list. Is it possible to view these 3 items on a separate page and view all the associated information in a compact table to make it easy to decide which one to purchase?
- Try out the powerful faceted search system/ product filtering.
- Inspect the mega menu.
- Test blog news ticker, video playlists.
- Test product reviews. Can a customer leave a review?
- Test advanced reviews. Can a customer rate products by pre-defined criteria i.e review a cottage by location, services, comfort? Can other users upvote or downvote reviews? Does the review dashboard show the comment list, review stats and review list?
- Check ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is unticked
- Check 404 Page / error page works
- Check SEO friendly WordPress theme is active
- Check Search Engine Friendly URL’s/ permalinks.
- Test breadcrumbs
- Review site structure/ navigation.
- Create Google Search Console property, verified and customer-added.
- Install and configure SEO plugin (basic version)
- Create and optimise Robots.txt.
- Assess indexability and if your website is crawlable.
- Add schema markup.
- Add SEO meta. Title tags, meta descriptions, add image alt tags, fix canonical issues, assess internal linking architecture (up to 10 existing pages).
- Add website to Bing webmasters tool
- Creation/ Optimisation / Submission of sitemap to Google and Bing.
- Create Google Analytics property, integrated and customer-added.
- Check website speed and review HTML layout. Some good, free tools to accomplish this (but not limited to) are:
- Conduct SEO Audit and check the performance of the new website
- Add social share images
- Set up 301 redirects (if needed)
- Check for broken links
- Optimise images
- Activate website caching (maintenance customers).
- Test website accessibility
- Activate SSL Certificate and Enable HTTPS
- Create a one-time initial backup
- Configure basic security (bronze maintenance)
- Activate advanced security (silver/ gold maintenance)
- Schedule backups (maintenance customers) a good backup solution is an ultimate fail-safe against website problems.
I deliver this website launch checklist filled in and I email it to the client in a PDF format. Each step has a tick box so they can see what has been tested. I also include a section at the end for test notes.