Teething problems are common when launching a new site but having the basics in place should avoid any major issues. Although last minute design changes can be a distraction, don’t forget the essentials. We’ve chosen 6 of the most important, that must be done before the launch date.
Install a backup plugin
Don’t leave it to chance. In the event of an issue, you’ll want some assurance that all your hard work is saved elsewhere. Choose from one on the many backup plugins which can be installed within minutes. You’ll be asked to set up a schedule for automatic backups which can be saved to a cloud storage service of your choice. It can also save across multiple locations for that added peace of mind.
Check for errors
Using Google Webmaster Tools is the most efficient way of uncovering any 404 error pages. If you can’t make use of the handy, crawl report, you’ll have to check the site manually. It may be time consuming but error pages will impact user experience and could see your traffic diminish before you’ve even got started. WordPress also enables you to set up email alerts when a 404 error is recognised.
Faulty login or sign up forms are a common issue amongst new WordPress Sites. It’s an overlooked issue which could result in non-existent conversion rates until the problem is finally discovered and fixed. Test each form several times to ensure they’re working and emails are being delivered to the correct mailing list.
Test site speed
They’ll be plenty of time after the launch to carry out a multitude of testing but this is just as important before you begin. Site speed plays a crucial role in user experience as well as bumping you up the rankings. To make certain yours is performing adequately, be sure to use a speed tool such as Google Pagespeed or Pingdom. You can now act on poor results, installing one of the many caching plugins.
Be social ready
Social media can no longer be ignored. Social plugins on your website linking to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more are now a necessity. Be sure to check these links are working as you’ll want to direct traffic to these platforms. Install social markup – Facebook Open Graph meta-data, Twitter Cards and so on – to take advantage of rich snippets on these networks.
Add Google Analytics
When launching a new site, we need all the information we can get. How many visitors are finding the site, where they are coming from and most importantly, how long are they staying on the site? All these questions can be answered with Google Analytics. Install this feature and you’ll also have historical date from the first date of launch, allowing you to see periods of growth and downturn.
Make it secure
Unfortunately, hackers are a common threat for WordPress users. Not only could this put your website offline for several days, personal information could also be stolen. There is no need to panic though. Choose from one of the firewall solutions such as Securi and you’ll be safe from many potential attacks.
Follow this checklist before getting started and you’ll be web-ready with a fighting chance at success.