Website Launch Checklist – 61 Points You Should Check Before You Publish

website launch checklist

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

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Website Checks

  1. 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.
  2. Review cross-browser and device compatibility – Ensure that your website works on the most popular web browsers.
  3. Check responsive layouts – Test across multiple screen sizes and resolutions to catch possible errors in layout and user experience. 
  4. Carry out mobile-friendly testing
  5. Test social sharing functionality and social media icons
  6. Proofread content and check text is accurate, error-free, with no grammar or spelling mistakes. 
  7. Remove all unwanted pages/posts
  8. Remove all unwanted media
  9. Deactivate and delete unused plugins
  10. Change admin email to the customer’s email address
  11. Check all blog functionality works (search, archive, posts, sidebar)
  12. Test if Paypal button opens PayPal
  13. Check if the customer has been added to Microsoft Clarity.
  14. Test live chat configuration settings.
  15. Test rental, booking or appointments system.
  16. 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’?
  17. Advanced search filter by category – keeping with the previous example ‘ju’ will only show ‘jumpers’ if the category ‘clothes’ was originally selected.
  18. 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?
  19. Check premium plugins and extra functionality (maintenance customers) 

Pop-Ups

  1. Check if the Pop-Ups work i.e. exit intent / multi-step/ on click/ advanced targeting. 
  2. Check if the Pop-ups Google analytics integration works and it tracks real-time impressions and conversions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Check if forms integrate correctly with customers other marketing tools.
  6. Test interactive popups i.e. did the ‘scratch’ to reveal, mouse effects, swipe to see more… work correctly? 

eCommerce Checks

For those hiring me to build an ecommerce website:

  1. Review linked products (upsell, cross-sell).
  2. Add several items to a wishlist. Did the wishlist page store them, is it possible to remove selected items from the wishlist?
  3. 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? 
  4. Try out the powerful faceted search system/ product filtering.
  5. Inspect the mega menu.
  6. Test blog news ticker, video playlists.
  7. Test product reviews. Can a customer leave a review?
  8. 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?

SEO Checks

  1. Check ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is unticked
  2. Check 404 Page / error page works
  3. Check SEO friendly WordPress theme is active
  4. Check Search Engine Friendly URL’s/ permalinks.
  5. Test breadcrumbs
  6. Review site structure/ navigation.
  7. Create Google Search Console property, verified and customer-added.
  8. Install and configure SEO plugin (basic version)
  9. Create and optimise Robots.txt
  10. Assess indexability and if your website is crawlable.
  11. Add schema markup.
  12. Add SEO meta. Title tags, meta descriptions, add image alt tags, fix canonical issues, assess internal linking architecture (up to 10 existing pages).
  13. Add website to Bing webmasters tool 
  14. Creation/ Optimisation / Submission of sitemap to Google and Bing.
  15. Create Google Analytics property, integrated and customer-added.
  16. Check website speed and review HTML layout. Some good, free tools to accomplish this (but not limited to) are:
    1. PageSpeed Insights
    2. GT Metrix
    3. Pingdom
    4. Web Page Test
    5. Think With Google
    6. Batch Speed
  17. Conduct SEO Audit and check the performance of the new website
  18. Add social share images
  19. Set up 301 redirects (if needed)
  20. Check for broken links 
  21. Optimise images
  22. Activate website caching (maintenance customers).
  23. Test website accessibility

Security 

  1. Activate SSL Certificate and Enable HTTPS
  2. Create a one-time initial backup
  3. Configure basic security (bronze maintenance)
  4. Activate advanced security (silver/ gold maintenance)
  5. 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.

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