CHECKLIST FOR MAKING A WORDPRESS WEBSITE LIVE


You’ve been working hard on a new website for the last few months, spending countless hours and an unremarkable amount of patience – and now the time has finally come: you can finally publish your new website! So that everything runs smoothly and without any problems, I have prepared a small checklist for you. First and foremost, this checklist is based on TYPO3 or WordPress websites, but it can also be applied to other CMS-based websites.

The tasks are not only aimed at the developers, but also at the content maintainers and / or project managers. If, for example, content is to be taken over by the customer, it is advisable to inform the user regularly which points are currently still open or missing. This gives you the opportunity for your customer to support you in the final fine-tuning.

CONFIGURE ENVIRONMENT FOR WORDPRESS

Of course, if you work locally in your development environment, you will have configured the software or components used quite differently than is the case on the production system. For example, debug mode runs locally, but not productively. So that nothing goes wrong here, I’ve put together a small checklist for WordPress, which you should pay attention to.

Is your cache plugin set up correctly? 

If you’re using a cache plugin, check its settings to see if everything is correct. How and with which tips and tricks you can increase the performance of your WordPress website.

Website should be found by search engines. 

By default, when you start a new WordPress project, indexing (via robots.txt) is disabled to prevent false or erroneous indexing by search engines, this WordPress instance is already publicly available on the Internet. Under the “Reading” settings, remove the hack in the checkbox below so that the site can be crawled and indexed by search engines.

Change WordPress to the new URL or domain. 

Navigate to the settings and change the values ​​for “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” accordingly for the new live URL or domain.

Search the database for dev domains. 

If you use links in your pages or posts, these are mostly absolute links (with indication of the domain). In order for them to be rewritten to the new live URL or domain, the easiest way is to use a plugin such as ” Go Live Update URLS “.  Please remember to uninstall it for security reasons when you are done with your customization.

Is there a WordPress update? 

Make sure your current version of WordPress is the most up-to-date. If there is an update to a newer version, you can do it with one click. (For security reasons it should be noted here that you should always create a backup before an update, in case something goes wrong.)

ROBOTS.TXT AND .HTACCESS

Allow robots.txt to all bots. 

Check if robots.txt exists on your website – either as a static file or dynamically via rewriting. This provides important information for search engines and provides information on whether and how a website may be indexed.

Remove any password protection. 

Often, you may want to protect your website with a password (for example, via .htaccess) until the time of publication to avoid unauthorized access. It is best to check in an incognito window of your browser, if the website can be loaded easily.

Customize HTML meta tags for indexing. 

Take a look at your meta tags and check if they are set to “index, follow”. So you tell the search engines that they can track links from the respective page further, and may also include in their search index.

REDIRECTS

Redirect the main domain from non-www to www. 

Choose a variant: would you like to access your website with or without the “www”?
This is important so that search engines then always include this one version in their search index. Otherwise, you risk creating duplicate content, which damages your ranking.
Whichever version you choose, you should make an appropriate redirect in either the vHost configuration or in the .htaccess: either redirect from “www” to “non-www” or vice versa.

Redirect from old to new domain (if applicable). 

If your website was previously published under a different domain then you should definitely configure a 301 redirect from the old domain to the new one. Thus, on the one hand, you maintain your position in the search engine ranking, and on the other hand, visitors with the old domain can reach the new one as they are forwarded accordingly.

SSL certificate installed correctly? 

Do you have your SSL certificate for secure access via HTTPS properly installed, and is this valid accordingly? The easiest way to find out is through the SSL-Labs test tool .
If you use managed hosting for your website , then the provider usually takes care of it, and you do not have to worry about it.

This should cover the most important points that are relevant for the life of a website. If you think of more, which we should complement here, then just contact us: @reach@blazedream.com

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