Website Go-Live Process: 12 Items To Check Before Your New Website Goes Live

You love the design of your new website that you signed off weeks/months ago. The web development is almost finished and now that design has come to life. All your website content is almost loaded (finally!).

Putting the finishing touches on your new website to prepare it to go live is an exciting time.

But before you push the launch button, here’s a list of 12 items you need to complete before your new website goes live.

  1. Set a go live date and time
    • So everyone knows what they are working towards
    • It’s ok if that date needs to be moved once or twice if everything is not quite ready
  2. Coordinate with your IT provider
    • Provide them the go live date and time, the new IP address, and instructions on new SPF and DMARC records if required (for contact form notification deliverability)
    • Talk to them about improving your new websites loading speed with a Content Delivery Network (“CDN”) from a provider such as CloudFlare.com and determine if there are any costs for this
    • To ensure the email notifications from your website get through to recipients, it’s good to set up a new email address such as webenquiry@your_website.com and provide the SMTP credentials to your web developer to insert into your contact form notification software
  3. Choose your website editors
    • Decide on who your website editors will be and get these users set up on the staging version of your website
    • Ensure their usernames and passwords are impossible to guess (don’t just use first names as usernames!)
  4. Organise training
    • Ask your web developer if they will provide a training document or videos that show your team how to access and update sections of your new website such as the blog or case studies or testimonials sections
  5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    • List out every webpage on your old website in a spreadsheet
    • In column B state the new url of that page on your staging site if it has changed
    • Export this list to create a list of “301 redirections” and import this list into your new website so, when it goes live, Google will know the new location of every webpage
  6. Check your contact form notifications
    • Check the content of your contact form notifications and modify them if necessary
  7. Connect Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
    • Connect GA and GTM to the new site
  8. Schedule cancellation of your old website hosting
    • Put a note in your diary to cancel the hosting of your old website 7 days after your go-live date (a lot of companies forget this and don’t notice for months or years!)
  9. Rescue any old text or images
    • Go ahead and download anything off your old website (text / images) that might be useful later
    • Free desktop software called HTTrack.com does a good job of this
    • If you miss anything, the The Wayback Machine can be useful for retrieving additional items
  10. Check what your website hosting includes
    • If your new website is on WordPress, ask your new website developer who is responsible for keeping your WordPress core, theme, plugins up to date to ensure website security and performance, and if your SSL certificate renewal is automatic
  11. Find out about the website support process
    • Check with your new website developer how their support system works
  12. Last minute changes?
    • Be aware that most developers have a lock-down period of 24 – 48 hours when transitioning your staging site to the live environment so if you have a last-minute change you have 3 choices:
    • Get all your changes in before then (best)
    • Decide they are not critical, and put them in place after the new website goes live
    • Or delay the go-live date

Here at CreativeQ we launch multiple websites every month for design agencies in New Zealand (Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua and Auckland).

We use checklists such as this one to ensure your website is ready for launch, launches successfully, and operates well after launch.

If you’d like our help with your next website development project, contact us.

Website launch image credit: https://tnng.co.za/

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