We’ve launched hundreds of websites, and learned a thing or two along the way.


This process helps us to ensure that everything gets taken care of when your site is launched. It is separated into a handful of sections to aid us in knowing when each step needs to get done. This is our website launch checklist.

1. Before the Site is Moved

  • Verify there is a favicon
  • Update all the plugins and files
  • Visually inspect every page and make sure everything looks correct
  • View the site on a mobile device and make sure everything works
  • Verify the old pages will redirect to the new ones, if necessary
  • Verify each page has a proper SEO title and description
  • Check for a credits link if applicable
  • Check live site, make record of Google Analytics ID being used
  • Take a screenshot of the old site, for our purposes
  • If we are hosting, add this site to the uptime monitoring tool
  • Check PHP versions at the staging area and live environment
  • Does the new site need an SSL Certificate? If so, deal with that now.

2. The Launch

  • Export the website using Duplicator
  • Upload files to new server
  • Extract the website
  • Set local host file to test the site before changing DNS
  • Search database for any lingering references to test URL
  • Configure any plugins that couldn’t be done at test location such as payments, newsletters, and others
  • If SSL is needed, ensure it is functioning
  • Change DNS host record to point to new location

3. Post-Launch

  • Check to verify robots.txt isn’t preventing search traffic
  • Search the database for links to test location, replace if necessary
  • Search the site FILES for links to test location, replace if necessary (note that we generally strive to never include hard-coded site links in template files)
  • Check PHP version if we’re hosting, make sure it’s updated
  • Verify both www and non-www versions of the site work
  • Verify that there is an active theme license, if applicable
  • Check to make sure Google Analytics is loading
  • Ensure backup, security, and anti-spam plugins are installed and activated
  • Verify the correct destination for contact form submissions
  • Set up SMTP if applicable
  • Set up ReCaptcha on contact forms, if applicable
  • Test all contact forms
  • Test all site links
  • Test old site locations and Google-indexed pages to ensure they are redirecting
  • Test the 404 page and make sure it looks good
  • Have client verify everything looks correct
  • Alter test location to redirect to live site, if applicable
  • Delete any unnecessary users, “Hello World” posts and comments, or other dummy content
  • They should have been added to our uptime monitoring tool if we’re hosting already, but double-check
  • Also if we are hosting, add WP Rocket to this site and make sure the caching works
  • Inform client they may cancel their old hosting, if applicable

Bonus – Migrating Site Tutorials

Congratulations, the site is live!


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