Wordpress Pre-launch Guide

February 5, 2019 ยท 3 minute read

This is a short, but sweet Wordpress pre-launch checklist for all you developers/designers out there. Launching a website is one of the most fullfilling, yet daunting parts of being a developer! You’ve spent so much blood, sweat and tears into a project, you just need to get over this last hump (sometimes a big hump). As an old college professor of mine said: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performnace. With that said, it’s very important to cross your “T’s” and dot your “I’s” when it comes to preparing your website for a live launch. A checklist can make your launch process repeatable, smoother, and safe-proof.

I’ve complied a list of items that are essential before a Wordpress launch:

Development

1. Create a backup of the existing site

This should always be first and foremost. The only thing worse than losing your entire site is not having a way to bring it back. Setting up a backup solution for your website files and database is crucial.

2. Run Speed Tests

Run speed tests to compare before & after page load times (current vs newly launched website). It’s great to save these reports and preview them to the client once the project is done! If you’re building a new, non-existing site, try to speed test the staging site link. Staging sites should work fine if they are accessible from the outside.

1. Check for any PHP errors within server logs and resolve

You can check the location of the log file using and look under error_log:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

2. Check for any JavaScript errors throughout site and resolve

All modern browsers have a built-in Javascript debugger, so you can use console.log to display JavaScript values in the debugger window.

Wordpress Admin

1. Ensure form notifications are being sent to the correct emails

Typically, you can find the form configurations in a the form pulgin settings, which is found in the wp-admin dashboard.

2. Execute a readability test

it’s important to go through the site copy to make sure you are free of spelling and grammatical errors.

Sending the audience readable and legible content will capture their attention for a longer period of time. Breaking up content into short sentence chuncks and bullet points will do the trick. I use the Hemingway App to help improve content readability issues. Try it, it’s great!

another online tool for efficienty…cool right??

3. Update any plugins and wp site

Make sure this is tested on the staging server beforehand. Also, it is good to double check the PHP & JvaScript error logs.

4. Confirm analytics tracking codes have been carried over

5. Confirm redirects are implemented on updated or lost pages

I suggest using the Redirection Plugin to add and manage redirects in Wordpress.

Launch Checklist

Here is a downloadble version of my go-to launch checklist. I chose to organize it on Airtable because of it’s visual appeal and ease-of-use.