Website Launch Checklist: How We Do It

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1: Pre-launch Tasks
  2. Chapter 2: Launch Tasks
  3. Chapter 3: Post-Launch Tasks

Chapter 1: Pre-Launch Tasks

 Create SEO ranking documentation for the current site.
 Take screenshots of the website you will be replacing if one exists.
o Save the Photoshop file in the directory for the active project.
 Generate a site map of the old website.
o https://www.xml-sitemaps.com
o Save files in the directory for the active project.
 Prepare 301 redirects for the new site based on the sitemap that was generated.
 Gather Google Analytics UA ID or generate the code snippet if there isn’t one.
o The main item needed is the Google Web Property ID which looks
something like this: UA-12345678-1
o If the client already has a Google/Gmail account set up for their business
use that account for Analytics.
o If the client has no Google account, create one for them, set up Google
Analytics, and give the client the credentials for the account. Please add
the account login information to LastPass as well for future reference.
 Verify all standard WordPress plug-ins are installed and properly configured.
o All In One WP Security & Firewall – https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-
one-wp-security-and-firewall/
 Base setting can be found here: Dropbox (Onsharp)Development
TeamWordPress

o WP Mail SMTP – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-mail-smtp/
 Set up an SMTP2GO account for the client and add the necessary
credentials for this plug-in 1

 Make sure that Onsharp or the site owner has the ability to update DNS Records.
o Public website record(s)
o 1 Record edits/additions for SMTP2GO
 Update WordPress and any Plug-ins that require updating before site launch.
o Check to make sure site is still functioning properly after doing this.

Chapter 2: Launch Tasks

 If the client doesn’t have a customer account set up in Plesk set one up using the
contact information stored for them in Podio.
 In Plesk clone the site from the onsharpstaging.com domain to the live domain
and perform the necessary cleanup.
 Edit your host file to make your computer think the production website is live.
o https://hostsfileeditor.codeplex.com/
 Disable the staging/development site in Plesk.

TASKS: WORDPRESS SITE LAUNCH
 Open your browsers developer tools console and browse the production site to
make sure there are no errors found. Fix any errors you encounter.
 Add the 301 redirects to the .htaccess file and test that they are working properly.
 Add additional items to .htaccess file for HTTPS redirects and security.
o HTTPS Rewrite Rule
# BEGIN Website HTTPS Redirect
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.WEBSITEADDRESSHERE.COM/$1 [R,L]
</IfModule>
# END Website HTTPS Redirect
o User Enumeration Security Rule
# BEGIN User Enumeration Security Fix
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/wp-admin [NC]
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^author=d+ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^author={num
RewriteRule ^ – [L,R=403]
</IfModule>
# END User Enumeration Security Fix

Chapter 3: Post-launch Tasks

 Make sure WordPress allows the site to be indexed immediately after launching
the site. In the WordPress backend go to Settings > Reading and uncheck
Discourage search engines from indexing this site and click the Save Changes
button.

 Check to make sure Google Analytics is properly installed.
o If you use the Chrome you can use the Google Tag Assistant to check the
script. https://support.google.com/tagassistant/answer/2947093?hl=en

 Update DNS records to point to the new website.
 Once DNS has completed propagation generate and install an SSL certificate for
the site either through Plesk or GoDaddy depending on the site and client’s
needs.
 SSL clean-up, fix any mixed content errors on the site.
 Log in to the clients Google account if we have access to it and verify the site in
Search Console.
 Add the Yoast site map to Google Search Console.
o Sample site map address: www.website.com/sitemap_index.xml
 Verify there are only user accounts set up for valid users in WordPress. Delete
any users that no longer need access to the site.

TASKS: WORDPRESS SITE LAUNCH
 Submit form(s) submission tests to verify they are being received by the proper
individuals.
 Add the website to the StatusCake uptime monitor.
 Run a vulnerability scan using Security Metrics. Fix any security issues found.
 Let Sam know that the site is live for accounting purposes.
 After the site has been up and running a week the staging site can be deleted
from Plesk.

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