16 Things to Check Before Launching Your WordPress Website

Whoop Whoop, you did it! You finally finished working on your new website. It might have taken days, or weeks or perhaps a couple of months, but you are done and ready to proudly share it with the whole world! I get it, you’ve worked hard and are excited to start collecting your well deserved compliments and likes. But before going live, make sure you go over these key steps to be certain that you have a smooth and successful website launch!

Design & Aesthetics

Does the site look good? As funny or weird as this question may seem, I need to ask it. Sometimes, with all the stress, long working hours and large amount of research, tutorials and emotions put into it – you just want to be done. This is exactly the case when you might overlook or give in to small but vital design mistakes. Can’t see any? Ok, get a pair of fresh eyes! Ask a friend or a colleague to check everything out and give you an objective opinion.

Cross-browser compatibility – not all browsers render your site in the same way, so it’s crucial that you test it out with all popular browsers. Some things to look out for: fonts, your logo, widget areas, image display and colors, any type of animations and navigation working properly.

Cross-device functionality – with Flothemes your site should display nicely on any screen size, however it never hurts to double check. Get a few devices (ask friends to expand your testing options) or use a tool similar to Browser Stack. Some things to look out for: overall look, ease of site navigation, design/layout consistency, etc.

Favicon – if you don’t know what a favicon is or how to upload your own custom one, check this video and this post (for older themes users). If you use one of our newer themes (built on the advanced backend), you can upload a new favicon here: Flotheme -> Introduction -> Optional Settings. Make sure your file is .ico format. You can use Convertico to convert your .png to .ico file.

Must have pages – Do you have all your important pages setup? An About page to help potential clients put a face and personality to your brand. A Contact page with a form to fill in and/or contact details, so interested users know how to reach out to you (check this article if you want to Create a Killer Contact page). Your Blog, Portfolio, Homepage all should look nice, be linked to your menu and be easy to find.

Site Functionality

Link testing – while performing this check may sound like a pain, there are tons of platforms and tools that you can use to check whether your site has any broken links. One of them is Broken Link Checker. Do perform a manual check of the following at least: your navigation and footer buttons, your logo (usually it should link to your homepage), your social media icons.

Test your Contact Form(s) – make sure your emails are set up correctly and your submission forms work well, so the collected information goes to the right place. If you use third party integrations, Studio Management software, autoresponders, etc – do test each single one of them.

404 Pages – even if you have performed a very thorough analysis of your links, it’s still possible that somewhere somebody refers you on their blog, but it’s an old article or page that doesn’t exist anymore. This is when 404 comes up. Make sure it looks friendly, redirects your clients to your homepage or any other relevant page that your user might be interested in. Check out this article for plugin recommendations and design inspiration for your 404 page.

Site Security – this is very important, however quite often overlooked. Have a look at the following list of recommended plugins, to help you make your site more secure. Also, follow these 12 steps to make your website more secure. 

Site Backup – you’ll say thank you in the future. Trust me. Here’s how to backup your WordPress site.

Recommended Plugins – Did you install and activate all recommended plugins, such as the Theme Updater, Yoast SEO, etc? You can find here the full list of plugins we recommend for various purposes.

Content

Proofread your site, check each page and make sure there are no misspelled words, grammar mistakes or which is even worse “Lorem Ipsum” sections. Ask a few friends to proofread your site too.

Having content that works for your SEO and drives more traffic to it, is also something to consider. Though this is a more long-term goal, starting early and implementing keywords in titles and headers can make a significant difference for the way Google and potential clients find you. Check our SEO Guide for more details.

Site Optimization & SEO

Site Speed Check & Image Optimization – these are basic rules, but crucial, especially for photographers. Unoptimized images can harm your SEO, slow down your site, increase your bounce rate and overall ruin your users’ experience. Now tell me, how many times you closed a website because it took forever and ever for the content to load? Exactly!

Check our Ultimate Image Optimization Guide to learn how to measure your site’s performance and loading speed, how to identify the optimal image sizes you need, as well as how to prepare your photos for the Web (including tools like JPEGmini or TinyPNG). And of course don’t forget about keywords and metatags (alt tags) for your images to increase your chances of being found (more on this topic in our SEO guide).

Analytics – setting up your Google Analytics, Google Console or any other analytics tool from the very start is highly advisable. This will not only satisfy your curiosity in terms of traffic that you’re getting for your new site, but will also point out any performance problems or weaknesses if any exist. For more details on how to setup your Analytics and analyze the stats that come in.

Social Sharing – check how your site and pages look when shared on social media. You can easily change the featured image, headline or text snippet through your Yoast SEO plugin. If your featured image is displaying incorrectly or nowhere to be found, use the Facebook Debugger tool.

Announcing Your New Site

Hooray! If you’ve taken care of all the points described above, you are ready to officially launch and share your beautiful site with the world. Last thing to consider, is your social media. Especially if you’ve rebranded, if you’ve changed your style and aesthetics – your social profiles need to reflect and promote that. Update your avatar and cover image, create a beautiful banner or video to announce your new site (maybe even a short facebook and Instagram LIVE).

Now you’re ready! Share your site and enjoy all the compliments, likes and love coming your way!

Flothemes Team,
Supporting You. 

2 comments

    Tom Robak

    22:11 November 2, 2016

    great advices! nice one Flothemes

      Nata Flo

      13:19 November 3, 2016

      Thanks Tom! Glad you've found it helpful! :)

Comments are closed.
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