As a developer, for me, the “go live” day is always filled with mixed emotions. I’m psyched to have the project almost finished and show it off, but also a little nervous about the transfer process and the final tests to make sure everything works correctly. Here’s the checklist I like to run through to make sure I haven’t missed anything:
If they had a previous site, make sure you have listed all old site url’s that will need to be redirected with redirection plugin
1) Do a backup of the old site (files & database) in case anything goes wrong.
2) Make sure you have the correct logins for domain name & new hosting. (There is a reason I’m putting this down. You won’t believe how many times I’ve been ready to go and done everything else, only to find out that I don’t actually have access to the domain name.)
If you are redirecting a domain name to the development hosting
- Change WordPress Settings to new domain name
- Redirect domain name. Once you do this, it normally takes a few minutes until you can access your new site, but expect some back and forth with caching to cause the old site to show up now and then. (Don’t panic when you can’t access new website right away.)
- Don’t forget to check where email is being hosted. If they have their email through their old host, it will either need to be transferred or they will need to start over. The best case scenario is that they have their email through GSuite and you can just change the MX records with the new host. Siteground makes it sure easy with these instructions.
Once site is live
- Go through all pages to make sure all pictures are showing and all links are working.
- Go through backend to make sure all links to old development site are now linking to new domain name. Use a plugin like Search & Replace to help with this, but be sure to do a backup in case anything goes wrong.
- Set robots to index in General Settings
- Test forms to make sure they are being emailed
- Setup sitemap with Google XML Sitemaps plugin
- Install Google Analytics
- Test on all browsers/devices (hopefully you did this before launch day)
What else is on your “go live” checklist?