Getting ready to publish your WordPress website? Congratulations- setting up and launching a website is a big milestone for business owners. It can be exciting and also stressful during the launching time of your website. Stressing because you don’t want anything to go wrong or forget things at the time of launching right? Worry not, there is a solution for every problem and so there is “Pre-launch prep” for this too.
You might be wondering what pre-launch prep is. By pre-launch prep we mean, to have a pre-launch checklist for your website so that the launch day becomes the day for celebration and success and not frantic scrambling for solutions. We would recommend you build a pre-launch checklist for your business website at least 3 weeks before your website launch day. In this way, you get enough time to list down the errors and problems and also get enough time to iron out those issues before your website launch date.
How do you make or what do you include in the pre-launch checklist? You must be thinking, well grab your pen and paper and get ready to list down all the ultimate points that you need to include in your website pre-launch checklist.
- Coming Soon Page
A coming soon page is like a teaser for your upcoming website. It lets people know that this business is going online soon and also gives them a way to stay notified about the launch. We recommend having a coming soon page as soon as you have bought the domain and set the launch date for your website. There are many plugins available for the “Coming soon page” that you can check on WordPress plugins
- A Backup Solution
Losing the entire website is the worst thing that could happen before the launch time. To save yourself from this we recommend having a backup solution for both your website data and database. If you are using premium hosting, your host might already have provided you with a secure off-site backup, if not we recommend you to get it asap. Some other points to consider here :
- Check your backup schedule is working
- The backup should not be stored on the same server as your site
- Secure Admin Area
WordPress is the most popular CMS system, making it a popular target of many hackers around the world. Though not many websites face threats, it is better to be prepared than to be sorry later. And hence we suggest implementing login protection to secure the site and prevent attacks on your WordPress website. Also, if you haven’t already set a safe password, set it now and save it in a secure place.
- Replace Dummy Content
With WordPress coming with its default content for the web pages such as “Hello world” and “Sample page”, it is very essential that you check and delete these dummy content before you launch the website. Sure you can also change after the website is launched, but you need to take into consideration the fact that search engines take time to update, and hence the updates that you make might not have immediate updates on your search results. And also we are sure you don’t want “Just another website” flashing as your website title on your launch day!
- Proofread The Content
As stated in the above point, that sometimes it takes time for the search engine to update the data in its database, it is important that you thoroughly proofread all the content that you have uploaded on your website. Check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and also don’t forget to include your focus keywords in the content.
- Go Through Videos & Images
Videos and images can only make proper sense if they are presented in the right way and right place. In fact, visuals are more impactful to the users/customers than words. So make sure that the visuals are placed along with the proper content and are relevant and most importantly whether they are visible or working properly.
- Examine Page Links
Imagine clicking on a link leading to a broken URL. Not good right? To avoid this, check all the links manually to see if it’s properly redirecting and it’s not broken. Also, check all the internal linking as well to make sure they are at the place they are supposed to be and also if they are opening in the same tab or the new tab as you want it to be.
- 404 Page
404 errors can lead to a bad user experience on your brand new website. Also when stumbled upon a 404 error, many users tend to close the page and head somewhere else. This might lead to losing a potential customer. To avoid this you need to check if all the pages are loading properly. You can also add your website to the google search console, which will deliver you a 404 not found report on your crawl report. You can also install a customized 404 error page before you launch your website to engage and redirect your website visitors to another page of your website.
- Browser Compatible
Cross-browser compatibility is a must. To spot errors in browser compatibility, open and view your website in different browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, and any other browsers you think your users/customers could be using. Especially look out for the visuals.
- Speed Test
You can use tools like Google pagespeed insights to know how fast your website pages are loading. They also provide information on what you can do to improve your page speed. Make sure your website takes the minimum time to load because no one likes waiting and there are chances that you lose your visitors/customers due to it.
- Test Web Forms
All the forms that you have on your website, ensure that they are submitting all the data correctly to your database. Also, make sure that the form emails are configured to take the data to the right place. If you have automated responses configured, ensure that the users are getting relevant messages and are moved out to the right place after submitting the form. Oh and also do not forget the “Thank You” message.
- Social Profiles
Social media can take your business to another level if leveraged properly. Make sure your business is on social media platforms and you have set the social media icons on your website linking it to the correct addresses. Also do not forget to enable the social sharing functionality on your website, this will enable the users to share the content from your website to their social media profile giving you a broader user reach.
- Install SEO plugin
You would want your website to be easily visible on the search engine and to be ranked in the search results. Right? To make that happen you need to install an SEO plugin. An SEO plugin will help you take your business to another level. It will help you set up metas, permalinks, focus keywords, and also sitemap simply from your backend. Our recommended SEO plugins are “Yoast SEO” & “All-in-one SEO pack”
- Company Details
Have you included an “About Us” page on your website? If not, you definitely should. And if you already have then be sure to add information about your company such as where your business is located, email address, phone number, fax, tax registration, whether your business is listed or not, etc if necessary.
So, this is it! Wrapping up, you have now made a checklist for your website, and now it’s time to check and resolve the issues if you find any. What’s next? Launching your website and making sure that you get good traffic. Hope you found this article helpful and for more tips like this, do not forget to subscribe to our blog, and also you can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter for more such updates.