wordpress checklist

WordPress Pre- and Post-Live Checklist

When setting a WordPress website live, nothing can go wrong, right? Well, in case you’re worried that something might go off the rails, here is a checklist to give you peace of mind when going live.

To be totally honest, this post is mainly for me as a reminder for what to check after going live! Anyway, here’s the list:

  1. Content Review:
    • Check all pages for spelling and grammar errors.
    • Verify that all text content is accurate and up-to-date.
    • Ensure that images are optimised and have the correct alt text.
    • Check for a favicon.
  2. SEO Optimisation:
    • Set up and configure an SEO plugin (e.g., Yoast SEO).
    • Make sure the Reading Setting > Search engine visibility isn’t checked
    • Optimise meta titles and descriptions for each page.
    • Generate and submit a sitemap to search engines.
  3. Performance Optimisation:
    • Optimise images and other media files.
    • Implement browser caching and compression.
    • Minify and concatenate CSS and JavaScript files.
    • Consider using a content delivery network (CDN).
  4. Responsiveness and Cross-Browser Testing:
    • Test the website on various devices (desktop, tablet, mobile).
    • Check compatibility with different web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge).
  5. Functionality Testing:
    • Test all forms to ensure they submit correctly.
    • Verify that navigation menus work properly.
    • Test any interactive elements (carousels, accordions, etc.).
    • Check for broken links.
  6. Security Measures:
    • Install and configure a security plugin.
    • Set strong passwords for all user accounts.
    • Check if WordPress core, themes, and plugins up-to-date.
  7. Backup Configuration:
    • Set up regular automated backups of your website.
    • Confirm that you can restore the website from a backup if needed.
  8. Legal Compliance:
    • Add a privacy policy page and link
    • Check and comply with GDPR or other applicable data protection regulations.
  9. Performance Monitoring:
    • Set up website analytics (e.g., Google Analytics).
    • Monitor website performance regularly.
  10. SSL Certificate:
    • Ensure that an SSL certificate is installed and configured for secure connections (HTTPS).
  11. Social Media Integration:
    • Connect social media accounts.
    • Add social sharing buttons to content.
  12. User Accessibility:
    • Test website accessibility using tools like WAVE or axe.
    • Ensure text is readable and has sufficient contrast.
  13. User Training:
    • Train content editors and administrators on how to use the WordPress dashboard.
    • Provide documentation for routine tasks.
  14. DNS and Domain Configuration:
    • Confirm domain settings are correctly configured.
    • Set up DNS records for email if applicable.
  15. Performance Load Testing:
    • Conduct load testing to ensure the website can handle traffic spikes.
  16. Launch Announcement:
    • Plan and execute a launch announcement or marketing strategy.
  17. Monitoring and Support:
    • Set up website monitoring tools.
    • Prepare a support plan for ongoing maintenance.
  18. Legal Disclaimers and Notices:
    • Include necessary legal disclaimers and copyright notices.
  19. Review and Adjust Settings:
    • Double-check general WordPress settings.
    • Configure any specific theme or plugin settings.
  20. Backup and Export:
    • Backup the website one final time before launch.
    • Export any necessary data for backup.

Remember to adapt this checklist based on the specific needs and features of your WordPress website. Each website may have unique requirements, so customise the checklist accordingly. This list will be updated over time, so check back whenever required.