Table Of Content
- Importance of a WordPress Launch Checklist
- Pre-Development Stage
- Design & Content Creation
- WordPress Development & Customization Checklist
- SEO & Social Media Integration
- Security & Performance Optimization
- Checklist for Website Performance
- Post-Launch Checklist
- FAQs Related to the WordPress Launch Checklist
WordPress is one of the biggest names, not just in web development but the whole IT space. It is widely regarded as the best CMS, with hundreds of millions of websites to prove its dominance. But the best WordPress developers recommend you follow a comprehensive checklist to ensure you create the best website.
A predefined WordPress launch checklist ensures your development workflow is streamlined from start to finish. That means, from installing WordPress to launching the website, everything goes according to plan. Plus, it helps you make sure there are no security and performance issues after the development.
That’s why we have created an extensive WordPress launch checklist followed by the top WordPress development services. It covers the pre-development, design, development, SEO integration, post-development, pre-launch, and more, of the website.
So fasten your seatbelts, and let’s dive into the circuitous journey of WordPress website development.
Importance of a WordPress Launch Checklist
Before we get into the checklist, it’s important to know why you need to understand it carefully.
A WordPress launch checklist is a great way to ensure the success of development and deployment for a website. With this kind of checklist, both WordPress programmers and project managers can better track the critical tasks involved in the process. That ensures quality and consistency throughout the website.
Here are a few more key benefits of the WordPress launch checklist that highlight its importance:
- Comprehensive Planning. This checklist will help you plan the necessary steps and considerations for the best possible WordPress website development. That ensures you don’t miss any critical elements and organize your workflow effectively.
- Quality Control. You can use this WordPress launch checklist as a quality assurance tool to perform thorough testing and debugging on your website. Moreover, you can systematically ensure the website’s responsiveness and functionality to identify and fix any issues.
- Better Consistency. By following this checklist, you can ensure consistency through the development process and, in turn, the website. Plus, it ensures you follow standard coding practices and guidelines for plugin and theme development. This consistency means your codebase is maintainable. So other developers can understand and work on the project more efficiently.
- Security Measures. This WordPress launch checklist covers essential security measures like secure user authentication, SSL certificates, sensitive data protection, etc. Plus, of course, you can implement security plugins like Sucuri, Wordfence, Cloudflare, and more.
- SEO Considerations. Search engine optimization helps improve the visibility and SERP ranking of your WordPress website. So this checklist ensures you include WordPress SEO best practices like optimizing meta tags, search engine-friendly URLs, XML sitemaps, and more.
- Deployment and Maintenance. This checklist also covers the best practices in WordPress development related to the final deployment of a website. That includes tasks like setting up backups, caching mechanisms, and regularly updating WordPress core, plugins, and themes.
Overall, this WordPress launch checklist provides you with a roadmap through the entire development process. So your website will turn out as best as possible.
Without further ado, let’s start the WordPress installation guide. First stop: the pre-development process for a website.
The pre-development checklist you provided includes important steps that are crucial for setting up a strong foundation for your WordPress website. Here’s a breakdown of each item:
#1. Selecting the Right WordPress Version
The first step in the WordPress web development checklist is selecting the right version of WordPress. For that, you will need to consider the following factors.
- Stability and Security: Choose the most stable and actively-maintained version of WordPress. It should have a track record of regular updates and security patches. So your website is protected from vulnerabilities and potential security threats.
- Support and Community: Check if that particular WordPress version has an active community and support. Also, see if it has ample documentation, forums, and active communities so you will have proper guidance and insights in case of any issues.
- Long-Term Support (LTS): Not all versions of WordPress receive long-term support. The ones that do are supported for an extended period, especially for major releases. So see if your chosen WordPress has LTS.
- New Features and Improvements: Every new version of WordPress comes with new features and improvements. See which version has the features essential for your project and choose accordingly.
- Pricing: The best way forward for beginners would be the free version, i.e., WordPress.org. But if you want the best WordPress CMS features with built-in hosting, go to WordPress.com and choose the suitable paid plan. We recommend you opt for WordPress VIP. It has all the best features, including high-quality hosting.
Other than the above-mentioned criteria, you must check the specific requirements of your client or customer. The project requirements may influence the choice of the WordPress version.
#2. Select a Suitable Hosting Provider
Hosting is one of the most significant elements in WordPress website development. It controls the performance, security, storage, and more facets of your website. Let’s say you have decided to go with the free version of WordPress (i.e., WordPress.org). Then you will need a high-quality hosting service for your website. Here are the selection criteria for choosing the best WordPress hosting provider for your website:
- Type of website hosting (cloud hosting, VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, shared hosting, dedicated server hosting, or colocation hosting)
- Speed & Performance
- Uptime & Reliability
- Server Facilities
- Customer Support
Hosting contributes as one of the prominent elements involved in the WordPress website development costs. So select carefully, as it will control how your website works.
#3. Installing WordPress
After you have settled on the suitable version of WordPress, it will be time to install it on your PC. That involves creating a database, configuring necessary settings, and uploading WordPress files to your server. Here’s how you install WordPress effectively:
- Download WordPress (from WordPress.org) and extract the files in a zip folder on your computer.
- Create a MySQL database in your hosting account.
- Configure the wp-config.php file in your WordPress file and directory structure.
- Then, run the installation.
- After that, log into your WordPress dashboard and start working on your website.
You can also install WordPress on WP Engine or use FTP.
#4. Understanding the WordPress Dashboard
After installing WordPress, you will need to understand its dashboard. It’s the control panel to manage and customize the appearance and functionality of your website. Here are the key features of the WordPress dashboard:
- Dashboard Home. It provides you with a snapshot of your website’s activity, performance, and any important updates or notifications.
- Posts. This section lets you create, edit, and manage your blog posts. You can also manage comments on your posts in this section.
- Media. This section lets you upload and manage your media files, including images, videos, and audio on your posts and pages.
- Pages. With Pages, you can create and manage static pages, like About Us, Contact, or Services, on your website.
- Appearance. This section lets you select and customize themes, create and manage menus, customize widgets for sidebars, and other appearance aspects of your website.
- Plugins. The Plugins section lets you install, activate, deactivate, and manage plugins to extend the functionality of your WordPress website.
- Users. You can manage the user accounts and roles on your website through the Users section.
- Tools. The Tools section provides various utilities to assist you in building a WordPress site.
- Settings. With the Settings section, you can configure WordPress website settings, permalink structure, and more.
Additionally, the WordPress dashboard lets you configure the settings of the website along with its Pages and Posts.
#5. Installing a Local WordPress Development Environment
Setting up a local WordPress development environment offers a variety of features like easy configuration, duplicable environment, isolation, portability, efficient resource usage, and more. So you can ensure accuracy across the environment, along with the scalability and performance of the website. Moreover, it lets you work on your website, and test changes locally before deploying them live.
Whether you use Windows, macOS, or Ubuntu, it’s easy to set up a local WordPress development using Docker.
#6. Conceptualizing Your Website
In this part of the pre-development WordPress checklist, you need to conceptualize your website. Here are a few factors involved in it.
- Purpose. It helps you set the direction for the content and features you will include.
- Goals. Defining the goals will help you design and optimize your website accordingly.
- Target Audience. Identifying your target user-base will help you tailor the content, design, and functionality to ensure a better user experience.
- Content Strategy. Try to align your content strategy with your goals and target audience to ensure relevance and engagement.
- Branding and Visual Identity. Ensure that your branding aligns with your overall business or organization’s identity.
- Competitor Analysis. Conduct proper research on your competitors’ websites to gain insights into industry standards and opportunities.
Properly conceptualizing your website will help you lay the foundation for the design and development process.
#7. Sketching the Website Structure
Sketching the website structure involves outlining the relationships between different sections of your website and planning how users will navigate and access the content. Here are the significant factors involved in this part of the WordPress launch checklist:
- Sitemap. It provides a bird’s-eye view of the static and dynamic pages on your WordPress website. Sitemap is one of the crucial things to add to a WordPress footer.
- Navigation Menus. These menus typically appear on the top or side of your website and may also have some sub-menus. They provide links to the most important sections or pages.
- Categories and Tag. The Categories and Tags in WordPress determine the taxonomy of your website so that the users can find related content easily.
- User Flow. Try to visualize how your users will move from one page to another. That helps you design the structure for a smooth UX.
- Wireframes and Mockups. Another significant part of sketching the website structure involves creating wireframes for the main pages. That helps visualize the layout and placement of elements.
Sketching the website structure helps you organize and structure your content, plan navigation, and create a logical user experience.
That concludes the pre-development tasks to establish a solid foundation for your WordPress website. These tasks will help you ease into the next part of this guide to WordPress web development, i.e., Design & Content Creation.
Design & Content Creation
Design and content creation are among the most vital aspects of creating a successful WordPress website. It helps improve the website’s user experience, branding, engagement, conversion chances, SEO, and more. Here are the most significant elements of the design and content of a website:
#1. Selecting the Right Theme
It’s very important to select the most suitable WordPress theme. It impacts the design, functionality, and user experience of your website. Here’s how you choose the right theme:
- Define Your Requirements. Like your website’s purpose, goals, and the features you need.
- Look for Responsive Design. Make sure the design adapts to various devices and screen sizes.
- Consider Customization Options. Check if you can customize the website theme to align with your brand and design preferences.
- Check Theme Ratings and Reviews. To get insights into the theme’s quality, support, and ease of use.
- Ensure Compatibility with Plugins. Check if the theme provides specific integration with essential plugins like WooCommerce, Rank Math, Jetpack, etc.
- Evaluate Theme Performance. Go for a theme with faster load times and better overall performance.
- Look for SEO-Friendly Features. See if the theme is aligned with SEO-best practices to improve your website’s visibility in the SERPs.
- Check Support & Documentation. Make sure there is a dedicated support forum, installation guides and tutorials, and email support.
- Free vs Premium Themes. Consider your budget, requirements, and the level of support to select between free and premium themes.
- Preview and Test. After narrowing down the decision for your WordPress theme, preview and test its functionality.
These steps will help you choose the best theme based on your requirements. It will enhance your website’s appearance and functionality and provide an optimal user experience. But if you are not satisfied with the themes in the directory and have some custom graphic designs, our experts will help convert PSD to WordPress themes, you may opt for our WordPress development company.
#2. Crafting Engaging Content
To create compelling content, you must focus on three key elements: text, graphics, and videos. You will need to write concise and engaging content relevant to your target audience. Here’s what to consider while crafting engaging content for your WordPress website:
- Audience Understanding. Gain a deeper understanding of your intended audience with respect to their needs, interests, and preferences.
- Compelling Headlines. Write attention-grabbing headlines to pique the curiosity of your readers and encourage them to click and explore further.
- Clear and Concise Writing. Write clear, concise, and easy-to-read content to enhance its readability and reach a wider range of users.
- Visual Appeal. High-quality images, infographics, videos, and more will make the posts and pages more engaging and shareable.
- Storytelling. The websites that tell a story related to the company’s (or individual’s) brand or journey are usually more enticing to the audiences.
- Incorporate Interactive Elements. Try to engage your audience through interactive elements like quizzes, surveys, polls, or interactive infographics.
- Calls to Action (CTAs). Strategically include clear CTAs within your content to guide the users toward desired conversions.
- Regular Updates. Regularly update the information along with the latest statistics and relevant insights. That will encourage the users to return for fresh content.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Optimize the content on your website with relevant keywords, meta tags, and descriptive headings. That will improve the website visibility on the SERPs to drive more organic traffic.
Incorporating these strategies will help you craft excellent, engaging content to captivate your audience and encourage interaction on your WordPress website.
#3. Organizing Your Content
After following the above-mentioned checklist, properly organize your content so that the visitors can navigate your website properly. That ensures a positive user experience. Here are a few things that will help:
- Categories (and Subcategories) & Tags
- Table of Content (in every blog)
- Search Functionality
- Related (and Recommended) Blogs
- Content Hierarchy
This sort of organization will make it easier for users to find the relevant content on your website.
#4. Creating a Unique Logo and Consistent Branding
On any website or for any company, one of the first things anyone looks at is the logo. It represents your brand’s identity. For example, whether you go north or south, east or west, anyone would recognize the Nike swoosh, no matter who they are. Anything with a Nike logo sells so well, whether it’s the Air Jordans or just a simple keychain.
So it’s important you consider your brand’s values and identity and design your logo carefully. If you don’t have the necessary designing skills, make sure you take professional help. Or get in touch with an expert graphic designer. They have the skills and experience with respect to color schemes and typography, which helps them design the best logos for your company.
By focusing on these design and content creation aspects, you enhance your website’s visual appeal, user engagement, and brand consistency. We recommend you opt for a web design company as their experts have the skills and expertise to create the best design strategy for your WordPress website.
WordPress Development & Customization Checklist
Now, we come to the most important part of this guide to using WordPress for successful web development, creating the pages and posts of the website. You’ll also learn what goes into customizing the website. Let’s start.
#1. Customizing the Headers, Footers, and Sidebars
After selecting the theme of your WordPress website, you can start customizing your website. A website and every one of its pages have three essential things: Header, Footer, and Sidebar. So you need to start with these parts of your website. Let’s see how you can create and customize the best Header, Footer, and Sidebar for your WordPress website.
Header: The header is located at the top of your website and creates a strong first impression on your target audience. Let’s see what goes into creating the best header for your WordPress website.
- Site Logo (with a navigation link back to the homepage)
- Navigation Menu (for easy access to important pages and sections of your website)
- Contact Info (like email address, phone number, or physical address to the header)
- Search Bar (to let users search for specific information or products)
- Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons (like “Get Started,” “Sign Up,” or “Buy Now”)
- Language Switcher (to switch between different language versions of your site)
- Sticky Header (it remains fixed at the top of the screen as the readers scroll down the page)
- CSS & JS Scripts for stuff like tracking & analytics and third-party integrations.
- About page, Services, Blog, & Contact Us.
Footer: Although the WordPress footer has a lower scope of design, there’s still a wealth of opportunities with this part of the website. It helps improve the navigation, credibility, SEO, and user experience of the website. So include the following elements in a WordPress footer:
- Website navigation links (for easy access to important pages and sections of your website)
- Sitemap (to help the users find their desired pages on the website)
- Contact forms (so the visitors can fill out their details and reach out to you)
- Social ratings (shows the ratings of your products and services on social platforms like Google)
- Location (so the customers can visit your physical office location)
- Contact info (like email address, phone number, or physical address to the header)
- Sticky footer (it remains fixed at the bottom of the screen as readers scroll down the page)
- Email signup form (helps the visitor sign up for your newsletter and weekly or monthly blasts)
- Social media buttons (visitors can easily connect with you on social channels)
- Site search (so the users can search without having to scroll back up)
- Copyright date (to protect your website against plagiarism)
- Protector & validator logos
Sidebar: The sidebar of a WordPress website offers an additional space where you can display various elements to enhance navigation, provide additional information, or engage visitors. Here’s what to add to the sidebar of a WordPress website:
- Reading recommendations (you can recommend other posts related to the user is currently reading)
- Email subscription (for newsletter subscription)
- Social media widgets (to let the users share your content)
- Social proof (showcase your social media followers and subscribers)
- Sticky sidebar (it remains fixed at the side of the screen as the readers scroll down the page)
Sidebars are a great way to show additional info for an improved user experience.
#2. Choosing Essential Plugins for the Website
One of the best highlights of WordPress as a website development platform is its plugins. These plugins can help create and customize the features and functionalities of a website. Whether you want to convert your WordPress website into an eStore, improve security, performance, and more, or do something else, plugins will be of help. Plugins can also help you add chatGPT to your WordPress website for content writing, chatbots, virtual assistance, and more.
Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best WordPress plugin for your website:
- Determine the niche of the plugin (SEO, Security, Performance, Caching, or something else). Here are some of the most common WordPress plugins for a website:
- Functional/Technical Overview (Technical requirements and compatibility)
- Last Updated (When was the plugin last updated?)
- Active Installations
- WordPress Version Compatibility
- Ratings & Reviews
- Brand Value of the Plugin Author
- Size of the Plugin
- Plugin Costs
- WordPress Coding Standards
- Support, Documentation, and Community
There are over 60K plugins in the WordPress plugin library. But not all of them will be suitable for your website. So choose carefully.
#3. Create Custom Post Types
By default, WordPress offers post types like Post, Page, Attachment, Revision, and Nav Menu. Plugins like WooCommerce (to add ‘product’ post type), WPForms (to add ‘wpforms’ post types), etc., offer some additional post types. But this CMS also lets you create custom post types for your website. Let’s see the best ways to go about this.
- Through WPCode: By adding custom code snippets.
- Through WordPress plugins like Custom Post Type UI: It can help create custom post types automatically.
Custom post types will help you create and add blogging coupons, glossary sections, blueprint pages, and any kind of page or post you desire for your website.
#4. Utilize Widgets for Enhanced User Experience
Widgets is one of the best ways to enhance the UX of your WordPress website. This modular element lets you add specific features in different spaces of your WordPress websites, like footers and sidebars of the websites.
Here’s how you add widgets to your website:
Step 1: Click on the Appearance section of your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: Select Widgets and click on +.
Step 3: Then you’ll see options to add widgets to different parts like the Sidebar, Header, and Footer of your website.
Step 4: Let’s say you want to add the widget to the Sidebar. Then, under the Sidebar drop-down menu, click on “+” and browse for the particular widget.
Step 5: After selecting the specific widget for your sidebar, click on Update.
Now the widget will be ready for your website. By the way, you can also add the widget through the WordPress Theme Customizer available in the Appearance section of the WordPress dashboard.
For creating the best WordPress website, besides implementing these tasks, get in touch with a web development company.
SEO & Social Media Integration
No matter how good your website is, you must implement Search Engine Optimization to ensure your pages and posts reach the top positions of the SERPs. SEO helps ensure that search engines index your website according to multiple factors.
#1. Install & Configure SEO Plugins
As we mentioned earlier, WordPress has thousands of free plugins in its official library, along with several premium (paid) ones on third-party marketplaces. In these plugins, you can also find multiple ones to implement SEO in the WordPress website.
You can select the best SEO plugin for your website through the selection criteria we mentioned above. Some of the best options available in the library are Rank Math SEO, Yoast SEO, and All In One SEO.
#2. Implement SEO-best Practices
After installing the SEO plugins, implement SEO tactics like link building. Here are a few of the most significant SEO practices to go for:
- Use SEO-friendly theme
- Optimize the website speed and performance (we’ll discuss it later)
- Use a caching plugin
- Optimize the URL structure
- Optimize the title tags and meta descriptions
- Use proper header tags on the website
- Use schema markup
- Optimize image alt tags and file names
- Use breadcrumbs for easier navigation
- Submit an XML sitemap to Google
- Optimize your robots.txt file
- Optimize the navigation of your website
- Use internal linking
- Optimize the website for mobile responsiveness
- Install and use SSL and HTTPS on your website
After following this WordPress SEO checklist, make sure you monitor the SEO factors regularly so that your website stays on top of the SERPs.
#3. Integrating Social Media Platforms
Today, over 4.8 Billion people around the world use social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. So integrating social media will help bring more traffic to your WordPress website.
Here’s how you can integrate social media platforms into your WordPress website:
- Integrate social media follow and share buttons
- Display social media feeds
- Embed social media posts
- Show the social media like and share counts
- Add social login (through plugins like WooCommerce Social Login)
- Integrate social media plugins like SocialSnap.
Make sure you consider the website’s design and place the social media integrations accordingly. Ensure they fit harmoniously with your overall branding and user experience. Also, regularly update your social media feeds to maintain accuracy.
Merely creating a WordPress website is not enough. If you want good-quality traffic on your website, this SEO and social media checklist would be of help.
Security & Performance Optimization
Two of the most significant aspects of every website is the security and performance. The security measures ensure your website is protected against threats like Malware, SQL Injections, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks, XSS (Cross-site Scripting), etc.
Moreover, performance measures ensure your WordPress website loads and performs excellently. Let’s start this part of the checklist.
#1. Implementing WordPress Security Measures
Here are a few of the most significant security measures for WordPress websites:
- Use Security Plugins. As we mentioned earlier, plugins can solve every issue in a WordPress website, including security. Reputable security plugins, like Wordfence, Sucuri, and more, will help prevent online threats.
- Keep WordPress Updated. Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to benefit from the bug fixes and latest security patches.
- Strong User Authentication. Enforce strong passwords for user accounts and consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security.
- Limit Login Attempts. Use a plugin like Limit Login Attempts or Login Lockdown to restrict the number of login attempts from a single IP address.
- Secure Hosting Environment. Choose a reliable, secure hosting provider to ensure robust security measures, regular backups, and server-level protection.
After implementing these measures in the WordPress security checklist, make sure you conduct periodic audits through scanning tools. That will help identify the vulnerabilities and address them promptly.
#2. Conduct Performance Measures
If the users click on your website and it keeps buffering, they won’t stay on it for more than 5-10 seconds (and that’s generous). So swift performance is extremely necessary for the user experience of a WordPress website. Here’s how to speed up the website:
- Optimize Images. As you may have heard, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But poorly-optimized images may slow down your website. So compress and resize the images before uploading them to your website. Plugins like Smush, Optimus, and Shortpixel Image Optimizer can help automate the optimization process.
- Use Caching. Install a WordPress caching plugin, such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, to store static versions of your web pages. That reduces the server load and improves website performance, especially during high-traffic periods.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDNs help deliver your website’s static content from servers located closer to your visitors. That reduces the travel distance data needs and results in faster loading times. Some of the most popular CDNs are Cloudflare, StackPath, and Sucuri.
These measures are quite critical in the WordPress launch checklist as speed and performance are two of the most crucial aspects of SEO. So poor performance may lead to worse rankings on the SERPs.
#3. Establishing Regular Backups:
One of the most significant aspects of website security is backup. As you know, there are loads of ways to customize a WordPress website. But with that comes the inherent risk of site failure due to unhealthy themes and plugins, server issues, or something else. So it’s important to take regular backups of your website. Here are a few ways to go about the process.
- Backup Plugins. Plugins like Jetpack, Duplicator, and UpdraftPlus can help automate the backup process reliably. Configure scheduled backups to run at regular intervals and store backups on remote servers or cloud storage services.
- Manual Backups. Automated backups are good. But manual backups before making major changes provide an extra protection layer to your website. These changes may include tasks like updating themes or plugins or making significant modifications.
- Off-Site Storage. Make sure the backups are stored off-site. That ensures your data won’t be affected in case of any issues or security breaches. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and more offer dedicated backup storage that is secured off-site.
Performance and security are two of the fundamental pillars of the WordPress launch checklist and of course, the website. Not only do they improve the user experience and SEO, but they also ensure a sense of trust among the users. That can help establish you as one of the industry leaders quite effectively.
At this point, after establishing the performance and security measures, your website is ready for launch. But there are still some pre-launch checks that you need to take care of. We’ll discuss them in the next section.
Checklist for Website Performance
After your website is designed, developed, and ready with all the SEO, performance, and security measures, you will need to perform some pre-launch checks. They will help you determine whether or not your website is ready to be launched for the world to see and interact with. Let’s start.
#1. Site Responsiveness
All that hard work you have done in the past elements of this vast WordPress launch checklist is to make sure your site looks and works well. So in this step of the checklist, you will check if that hard work has come to fruition. For that, WordPress experts recommend you do two things: Cross-browser & Cross-device testing.
As it sounds, the cross-browser testing checks if your website works well on all the popular browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, etc. If your website works well on all browsers (or at least all the popular ones), the masses will be able to access it.
Again, people nowadays access websites on all sorts of devices, like mobile phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, smartwatches, etc. So it’s important your website works on all of them. Check if your website opens and loads in a reasonable time (under 4 seconds). Plus, are all the images, videos, and of course, text snippets visible as intended? If yes, then the website is good to go. If not, it’ll need some changes.
Make sure your website opens and performs on all browsers and devices as you intended. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing customer bases.
#2. Verify Site Navigation & Links
At this point in the WordPress launch checklist, you’ll see if any of the links on the website is broken or not redirecting as intended. Plus, you have set up a navigation menu in the header as well as the footer. Make sure it navigates the users to the correct pages.
If there are any broken links, make sure you fix them as soon as possible. Moreover, test the internal links and external links on the pages and posts to make sure they are functioning properly. They will determine the content flow of your website, which is very important for SEO.
We don’t need to explain the importance of proofreading. It is one of the major aspects of this WordPress launch checklist. Spelling and grammatical errors don’t look good on any website, especially not on high-quality ones. In the age of tools like Grammarly, these kinds of errors can make you a laughing stock. So go through your website and check each and every sentence and word meticulously. Proofreading will help ensure the quality of the content on your website.
Then, there’s the readability of your website. According to the experts, your website should be easy enough to read so that school kids can understand what you are trying to explain. So write your content and process it through tools like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and also through MarketMuse (to see where your content stands from an SEO standpoint). These tools will help you optimize your content and rectify any mistakes.
#4. Set Up the Analytics
After launching your website, you will need to keep an eye on how it’s performing. So we recommend you set up analytics for your WordPress website. The most popular platform for that is Google Analytics.
So first, set up a Google Analytics account through the following process:
Step 1: Visit analytics.google.com
Step 2: Log in with your Google Credentials (if you don’t have a Google account, create one).
Step 3: Open the Google Analytics homepage and click the Start Measuring button. That will open the Account Setup screen.
Step 4: Enter the Account Name and select the checkboxes for Account Data Sharing.
Step 5: Click Next. That will open the Property Setup screen.
Step 6: Fill in the details on the page.
- Property Name: The name of your website. (not the URL)
- Reporting time zone: Select the time-zone country and select the specific time zone (for the countries with multiple time zones)
- Currency: Select your preferred currency.
Step 7: Click Next. That will lead you to the “About your business” screen.
Step 8: In this section, you will need to enter the details about your business.
- Select the business size (Small, Medium, Large, and Very Large, in terms of employee strength)
- Select the checkboxes for how you intend to use Google Analytics for your business.
Step 9: Finally, when you click on the Create button, there will be a Google Analytics ToS Agreement pop-up.
Step 10: Last but not least, accept the ToS and click on I Accept.
Now, you can use Google Analytics for your business. But still, how to add it to the website.
Well, there are 4 ways to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website:
- Add Google Tag Code to Header.php (WordPress file and directory structure)
- Install the Site Kit By Google WordPress Plugin
- Using Google Tag Manager
- Hosting WordPress Google Analytics Locally
That will ensure after launching your WordPress website; you can track and analyze website traffic, user behavior, and other important metrics.
#5. Create Staging for Your Website
Staging is like the soft opening for your website. It’s an identical copy of your live website, except it’s not visible or accessible to the public. That helps you experiment with every new feature, functionality, and design before you push it to the live website. That ensures everything works as intended.
With staging, you can test new customizations, WordPress core updates, and theme & plugin updates to ensure quality and consistency throughout the website.
There are three ways to create staging for the WordPress website:
- Through the website’s hosting provider (like Bluehost, WP Engine, SiteGround, and DreamHost)
- Through WordPress plugins (like WP Staging, Duplicator, and WP Time Capsule)
- Manually (through the cPanel)
Custom WordPress development services use staging to do risk-free experimentations with new designs, features, updates, customizations, and more. So make sure you create the staging before launching a live website.
That concludes the pre-launch checklist. After complying with these tasks, your website will be ready for launch. So publish your website, and we can move on to the next phase of this checklist, i.e., Post-launch.
Coming up to the last part of this checklist, we’ll discuss what you need to do after launching your website. This section will help you analyze the live website and determine if anything is going wrong with it.
#1. Monitor the Site Performance
It’s important to monitor the site performance of the website and ensure it’s running smoothly for a positive UX. Here are some of the significant performance elements to monitor:
- Page Load Speed. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. They will help you assess the website’s performance and identify areas for improvement.
- Uptime Monitoring. Use uptime monitoring services or plugins to receive notifications if your website goes offline.
- Server Response Time. Use tools like Pingdom or WebPageTest to evaluate the server response time and ensure that it is within acceptable limits.
- Mobile-Friendly Design. Use mobile-responsive themes and render the website to ensure it looks and feels right on every device.
These tasks will help you check if your website is performing as expected. If not, you can make the due changes.
#2. Continuous SEO Analysis
After the performance, we move to SEO. Following the SEO part of this WordPress launch checklist, you must have taken a long time to ensure your website ranks well on the search engines. So now it’s time to see if your efforts are showing the results.
Remember, you add Google Analytics to your WordPress website. Now, it’s time to use this tool and analyze the SEO aspects of your website. Here are a few things to do:
- Monitor your website’s search engine rankings for different keywords and assess its visibility in search results.
- Conduct keyword research periodically to identify new opportunities and refine your content strategy.
- Analyze backlinks to your website and try to identify opportunities for link building.
Try to improve the SEO of your website through these strategies in order to enhance its visibility on the SERPs.
#3. Regular Updates
One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is that there are frequent updates on this platform. They help maintain your WordPress website’s security, stability, and functionality. There are frequent updates with core WordPress and its themes and plugins.
- WordPress Core: The latest security patches help protect your website from potential hacking attempts and keep your data secure. Then there are bug fixes to improve the performance, functionality, and user experience. With updates, your website will be compatible with the latest technologies, themes, and plugins.
- Theme: The bug fixes for a WordPress theme will address the security vulnerabilities, and the updates bring new features and design options.
- Plugins: Like themes, the bug fixes for a WordPress plugin will address the security vulnerabilities and performance limitations, and the updates bring new features and functionalities.
So make sure you update the core WordPress and your website’s theme and plugins regularly.
#4. Revisit the Website Backup Schedules & Security Measures
Since WordPress is an open-source platform, anyone can mess with the core code of WordPress. That means a risk of security issues with the website.
So it’s important to have robust security measures and automated backup in place. Let’s see how you will revisit them after setting them up earlier in the website development process.
- Review and confirm that your website’s backup system is functioning properly. It must be regularly backing up your data. Also, test the restoration process periodically to ensure data can be recovered if needed.
- Evaluate and update security measures, such as using security plugins, strong passwords, and implementing two-factor authentication.
- Stay informed about the latest security threats and vulnerabilities in WordPress and take the necessary precautions. That will help protect your website from potential attacks.
These tasks will help ensure your website works well after being launched. Now, although the earlier sections of this WordPress launch checklist will have to be followed only once, this section will have to be performed repeatedly.
This checklist is meant to ensure consistency and the best security, performance, and search rankings for your website. So make sure you follow it carefully.
FAQs Related to WordPress Launch Checklist
WordPress is revered around the world for its customization capabilities. There are thousands of themes and plugins to tailor the design and features of your website according to your preferences. But that means there will be a host of chances that something may go wrong at some point in the launching process.
So we have compiled this guide to creating a successful website with WordPress. It takes you from pre-development, design & content, and development & customization to SEO and social media integration, WordPress security checklist, performance best practices, and website launch. We aim to ensure your WordPress website turns out as best as possible. If you have any more doubts about tips for successful WordPress website development, get in touch with our experts today!