Here you will find described our team’s process before launching a WordPress website. Launch time is stressful enough, so we work together, we don’t rush it, and almost always success is a reward both for us and our clients.
During our years working to improve our clients business, we’ve discovered the most important things besides making an awesome website, and since then we always advise our clients to take the time and these steps which will help them extend the functionality, save us time and most importantly increase the security of the website.
First and most important, and we cannot stress this enough, install a reliable hosting. In order for your website to go live you need a hosting service. Clients sometimes insist on paying less money in order to save funds, but unfortunately, in the long run, they end up spending more, because unreliable hosting providers negatively affect the performance of the website, and here is how:
What does this mean? Well, the server has a finite amount of memory and too many users connected to a single server. So, you are sharing memory with other users, and if one of the websites uses more than its share, other hundreds of websites, your being one of them will have huge problems because of the bad neighbor.
This is just one example, please note that besides sharing memory you are also sharing storage, processing power and bandwidth with hundreds of others.
The other option you have, and we always advise our clients is to use managed hosting.
Managed hosting is not just about better speed, although it does reduce page-load speed by 1-to 2 seconds, it also about better functionality, security level which is higher and better, since they enable security protocols and daily malware scans to prevent all kinds of cyber-attacks.
So consider choosing the hosting provider and hosting type as the first and most important step before launch.
Backup. Always. Nowadays, data is the most valuable thing ever, you can’t afford to lose data. So put backups in place even before lunch. Different problems might happen to your website, and you cannot predict all of them, but you can make sure you are ready to fix them. In the event of failure, with your backups in place or copies of your website you can recover quickly. There are a lot of backup solutions for WordPress, WordPress directory has 500+ plugins working perfectly and are pretty effective
When we imagine someone hacking a website, we often imagine someone breaking into servers or doing something unimaginable, just like in the movies. In real life, more often than not, attackers get into websites the same way we do. The somehow obtain the login credentials and your website is “hacked”. Password theft accounts for more than 20% of all hacked WordPress sites.
So we need to take some action in order to protect the work we put the effort in.
We usually do the following steps: We add an additional username and password in order to protect the wp-admin directory. Always use secure passwords, and add musking plugins. Here are the ones we prefer: Sucuri Security, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening, and iThemes Security.
This happens way too often to old as well as to new websites for various reasons. Your job would be to find them and eliminate them as soon as possible.
For this purpose, our SEO team uses Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, SemRush and other useful tools which allow us to see the website as if we were a search engine, meaning we can see how all pages appear in search results. The crawl report will list all 404 errors. You can also set up alerts, so if a 404 error appears, you will immediately be informed via Gmail or WordPress emails.
Almost all websites have at least one contact form.
You should check all forms, contact, comment, subscription forms, etc. right after setting up email and make sure they work well. Your email should be delivered properly to the right contacts. To ensure this, our team sends test emails to see if they are delivered properly. Testing before lunch is something we take very seriously as an important step, so make sure you never skip it. For multi-user or multi-author websites, we check registration and login forms too.
We never forget Google Analytics. Tracking user behavior and activity gives you all the feedback you need about the performance of your website and gives you the opportunity to get to know your audience and possible customers. These insights are indispensable for your marketing strategy so why opt-out?
Google Analytics for WordPress, by the one and only, Yoast. These guys raised the analytics and user activity on the websites to a new level. Track traffic metrics for specific posts, clicks, downloads, you name it… with such an incredible amount of data Yoast allows you to collect you can do wonders for several purposes to optimize your website performance, hence your business.
Google Analytics Dashboard gives you sorted access to your data, key indicators of the site traffic, most popular posts, pages, bounce rates, visits, etc. and for specific materials.
The tools are out there, use them. If you think you don’t need them now, be sure you will regret it later.
We specialize in eCommerce Websites, so to free ourselves from a “headache” afterward, here is what we do before the launch process. We start testing with one question in mind: How does it look and work from a user perspective?
Therefore, we perform the following tests, we try to browse products, try to write comments, read product descriptions, add products to the cart and try to purchase the product. We later check all invoices, prices, taxes, shipping costs and every other calculation we’ve set up. When we finish, we do it all over again. This way we feel confident when we launch the website, and it makes the launch process almost stress free.
Images, videos, sliders and other content of the website can help make your website be compelling for customers. So it important to ensure they all work correctly. Images and videos should be optimized for web and mobile viewing, and most importantly, we ensure they do not slow the loading of the website. We also always check social media buttons, to make sure your website is ready for those likes and shares you deserve! 🙂