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Hackernoon logoA Complete Checklist Before Launching Your WordPress Site by@ruby_writer

A Complete Checklist Before Launching Your WordPress Site

Launching your own WordPress site can be quite a tedious task. You have to set up your theme, install plugins, add forms, build your blog, do SEO, and so on. It’s easy to miss something that’s important when launching your site to go live - and we don’t want that to happen.

Therefore, we have curated a complete checklist for you before launching a WordPress site

Contact form

Each form, whether it's a contact form, a comment form, or an email subscription form, is very important. These forms not only help you generate leads, but also allow for smooth communication between you and site visitors.

Some things to keep in mind when making a contact form:

  1. Easy access: Link them in the header, footer or sidebar, but make sure they are visible to visitors.
  2. Do not ask for unnecessary information, such as date of birth, etc.
  3. Check if the form is redirected to the correct page.
  4. Show other contact options, such as mobile phones, etc.

Check Performance

You may have a beautiful theme activated with your content all set up, but there’s still a lot of things to check. It's time to test the performance of your site and solve any problems.

You can use free online services like GTmetrix or Google’s page speed insight tests to identify any area that causes your site to have a low performance.

You should optimize your website given the recommended actions provided on your test to increase your overall website speed, reduce server requests, etc. You can get great results using plugins such as WP Rocket.

Check product, media, and image licenses

If you use third-party resources, such as Pixabay, Shutterstock or Unsplash images, be sure to take the time to review the license agreement and its relationship for use on the Internet. Once the website is launched, you do not want to get into copyright or licensing issues.

Backup your website

Your site looks great, so now what? Well, as we know, technical problems can hinder even the most well-prepared person. Therefore, before pressing the live button, take some time to make a full backup of the site, in case something unimaginable happens!

Use plugins like WP Time Capsule to configure automated and remote backups of your website.

Domains and Hosting

Choosing a good host is the best decision for a successful launch of the website. It will ensure that your website is fast, secure and secure. You will also need to select a domain name for your website.

Your web hosting has a direct impact on the loading time of your site and overall user experience. It is vital to use a fast and reliable web host that has an effective stack of tech to support your website.

Legal/Compliance

Create a privacy statement and terms of use for your website.

Consult your local attorney for laws that may apply to your website and any other legal requirements for you to be responsible, such as accessibility to visitors with disabilities and disclosure of the use/storage of cookies.

Verify that your website has obtained the necessary permissions, licenses and/or rights to purchase or borrow codes, images and fonts to protect against legal risks.

Make sure that website visitors can see your terms and privacy policy.

Check PCI compliance for any e-commerce site management or credit card storage function.

Design

Make sure your site looks great, not only on your desktop, but also on your smartphone and tablet as well.

Utilize device mode in Chrome to test various widths and make sure each item responds accordingly for optimal compatibility with mobile devices or smaller displays.

Check All Content

Carefully check the syntax and spelling of all written content, top to bottom, including page copy, title, sidebar/footer widgets, forms, etc. Make sure there are no lorem ipsum text left as it can make your site look unprofessional.

Check the format of the site content; for example, is bold text bold? Bullets have bullets? Does your content look attractive?

Links

Make sure your site has no broken links. You should click on each link within the main navigation bar and footer menu links to make sure they go to the correct page/section and load properly (e.g. again with the same tab/window, tooltip or not, etc.).

You might also want to use a link tracking tool, like Broken Link Checker. You can also use its chrome extension for easy access and analysis. 

Brand and Logo

Verify that your website logo is displayed correctly. Verify that the color scheme or display is consistent across major browsers. You can use Logo Maker, a professional logo making service to ensure your logo has a quality design.

Make sure your icons work correctly in all major browsers. The header/footer bar is correct and includes copyright for the current year's footer.

 UX/UI and Integration

Test and validate any content built into your website, such as email subscription forms, imported fonts, ecommerce features, maps, and more.

  1. Test and verify the receipt of messages sent through the contact form.
  2. Verify that the contact information on your website is accurate.
  3. Try all downloadable cases where you offer downloadable content on your WordPress website.
  4. Test and verify the import of user information from lead generation forms into the CRM system.
  5. You can view w3 browser usage statistics to see which browsers you need to check first to save time and effort. For this review, you need to look at the main visual elements of your site, such as the main text elements, layouts, fonts, colors, gradients, images, and logos.

Search Engine Optimization

For this final section of the manifest, verify that each of the following options is in place for each page of the site. This task can usually be taken care of by leveraging the SEO plugins on your WordPress website.

  1. Title tag containing keywords (if possible) with a total of less than 70 characters.
  2. Alt tag for better usability and SEO for each image on your website.
  3. Meta-descriptions and descriptive keywords, written in natural language for human readers and with less than 160 characters in total, get the best results in search engines.
  4. XML Sitemap is created and ready to be sent to your Google webmaster tool.
  5. 301 Redirection works fine if it corresponds to your site.
  6. Check the url's permanent link structure to make sure it reflects how your site is organized.
  7. Using the appropriate keywords in the URL to get the best results in the search engine.
    Add the corresponding link = “untracked” where applicable to avoid Google punishment.
  8. Check  the mobile responsiveness of your WordPress website with Google tools.

SSL

SSL is more important than ever. Google has made it clear that “https” will be considered a ranking factor. Google Chrome also started marking unsafe websites.

Make sure your SSL is operable through the SSL checker before starting the website.

In addition to improving your Google ranking, SSL will also help protect and encrypt your data and prevent cybercrime. You can also see our article on how SSL works.

Security Plugins

There are so many data leaks, malicious spam and website hackers. Make sure that you have protected your site from these. The security plugin is the easiest way to do this.

  1. Improve the cybersecurity of your website.
  2. Protect your website from scammers.
    Improve the functionality of your website and provide a better user experience.
  3. Protect yourself from brute force attacks, malware, spam, or any intruder access.
  4. Some of the best security plugins are Wordfence Security, Sucuri Security and Bulletproof Security.

Google Analytics

It is very wise to add Google Analytics to the WordPress website.

Google Analytics is the best way to personally understand your audience. It allows you to see not only how many people visit your site, but also where they come from. This will help you improve the performance and problem areas of your site.

Add Google Analytics to WordPress, first you will need to create an account on your official website.

Once you've created an account, go to Administration > Tracking Information > Tracking Code.

Now you have to paste this code into your WordPress website.

Optimize Images

A modern website with interactive images and videos is essential. Images can capture users' attention, but can also affect the speed of your website and increase your hosting requirements.

You can optimize the image by avoiding empty src lines of code. Also, avoid bmp or TIFF images and stick to jpegs and PNG.

Try playing videos on different devices and browsers to make sure they work well. The same applies to the slider, which appears on your website.

You can use Photoshop to reduce the overall size of the image. But we recommend using image compression plugins such as short pixels, resmush.it and imaginary.

Device Compatibility

More than half of the search traffic will come from mobile devices. Google also weighs on mobility-friendly sites in their algorithms.

Your user interface must be compatible with different devices such as desktop, mobile and tablet. You can check whether your website supports mobile devices using the mobile test tool provided by Google.

You can check this manually by testing your site on various devices and ask your friends to do so on their phones and tablets. Some of the key points to consider include website navigation, design/design, and consistency.

  1.  To optimize your website for different devices, make sure that:
  2.  Make a short menu
  3.  Do not allow users to pinch to zoom in again and again.
  4.  Produces automatically expandable product images.
  5.  Make calls to action clearly visible


Email address

Set up a new email address using your domain. If your email address does not match your domain or server authentication records, some servers may consider it as spam. It will also look unprofessional for your business.

Conclusion

Make sure everything is working perfectly before launching your WordPress website. Don’t forget to get it checked and verified by your team, peers or friends!

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