Creating a WordPress blog requires a great deal of hard work, patience, accountability, and consistency. After a fair deal of going through the development process, your website finally becomes ready to be launched. It’s the moment to cherish, celebrate and let your website be introduced to the world.
It’s extremely important, however, to keep a check on several parameters before launching a WordPress website. If you successfully take care of all these factors before the website goes live, you will not run into any major issues.
We also have a FREE Printable Checklist below for you to download and keep handy, while you’re getting ready to launch your WordPress website.
1. Set up a backup system for your website
As soon as your website is out in the world, it becomes prone to hacking, malware attacks or even breaking after an internal update. Taking regular backups of your website can save you a lot of time and energy. So make sure you have implemented an effective backup process to keep your website secure.
ManageWP is a great tool (with free and premium options) for backing up your WordPress site and keeping it secure and up-to-date.
2. Test the speed of your website
If your website speed is slow, you’re losing visitors and your ranking factor on Google will also take a blow. Slow loading pages leave the visitors frustrated and they’re more likely to abandon. For these reasons alone, tt’s extremely important for you to monitor the page speed of your website.
Luckily, it’s very easy to do using Pingdom (for free!).
3. Check for broken links
Especially if you have a large website with dozens of pages, there are chances of unwanted redirects and broken links on your website. This creates a negative user experience and can hurt your website’s traffic.
While you can manually check your website to make sure all of the URLs are functioning properly, you can also use a tool such as Website Auditor to do the job quickly for you.
4. Create a 404 error page
Even though you’ve checked all the broken links on your website, you still need to create a custom 404 page on your WordPress website. Visitors will land on this page if they have mistyped a URL or landed on an expired page.
See how to create a 404 error page here
5. Check if your website is responsive
Your visitors will access your site from their mobile devices, tablet and even from their wide-screen monitors. Responsive sites not only increases the amount of time that visitors spend on the website, but also help improve the rankings on search engines such as Google. Don’t lose leads, customers or sales over a website that doesn’t work right on different devices.
Use the Mobile-Friendly Test by Google to see how your website scores.
6. Perform cross-browser testing
Another very important parameter that most web designers miss out on is to make sure it displays correctly across different web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera to name a few. Run browser testing on your website
7. Install Google Analytics
Once your website is launched, it will have a number of visitors browsing through it, however, unless you’re tracking how they’re interacting with your website, it’s going to be tough to know how to grow your website further. Install Google Analytics before the website is launched so you can keep a track of the efforts you’ve put in.
If you’d prefer to use a plugin to track your analytics, consider Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights.
8. Create an XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap makes it easy for Google’s crawler to see what’s on your website and index it. This helps in improving your website’s search rankings as it allows Google to easily find the most important web pages on your website and collect information regarding them.
Check out Screaming Frog or XML Sitemaps (for smaller sites) to create an XML sitemap for your website.
9. Set up newsletter subscription box
The majority of websites should be growing their email list which is exactly why a way to easily sign-up should be front and center. Having a newsletter subscription adds value to your business, so setting up an email marketing platform to grow your business is a vital step.
Aweber and Mailchimp are good choices for email marketing platforms depending on your needs.
10. Connect social media profiles
We don’t have to tell you how important social media is today. Take a few extra minutes to link to your social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. from your WordPress website. There are several WordPress plugins that can help you integrate your social media profile to your website with ease such as Social Icons Widget.
As a bonus, enable social sharing as well to encourage your site visitors to share your content.