Pre-Launch Checklist for WordPress Websites

Launching a website is a crucial moment for any business, and it requires a lot of time and effort to ensure that the website is designed to meet business needs. However, there are some oversights that can ruin the launch day. To minimize the chances of this happening, it is essential to follow a checklist for new WordPress websites. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Check if Your Hosting Plan Supports WordPress

It is important to ensure that your server host supports WordPress. Choose a host that offers a newer version of PHP and WordPress auto-installer. Alternatively, opt for a managed WordPress hosting plan like WP Engine, which offers fast speed, tons of server space, and excellent support.

2. Optimize Permalinks for SEO

Select the permalink structure that is ideal for your website’s SEO purposes. The Post Name option is suitable for most websites, while bigger websites that need categories and tags to reflect in the URLs may want to opt for the Custom Structure option. Changing permalinks in the future is not a smart SEO move, so create pretty permalinks right from the start.

3. Decide if Your Email Address Will Be Tagged to the Website

Separate your email account from your web hosting if email is critical to your business. This will spare you the hassle of changing your email whenever you change hosts.

4. Check That Emails Are Correctly Displayed

Ensure that all email addresses are displayed correctly in Settings > General, including all Admin ids and plugin settings.

5. Delete Dummy Content

Delete all dummy content before going live with the website to avoid displaying “Just Another WordPress Site” on the screen.

6. Create an XML Sitemap

Create an XML Sitemap and submit it to Google to help search engines find and index your pages more easily.

7. Improve Your Website Loading Speed

Add a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or WP Rocket, select a good hosting service, install CDNs, enable lazy loading, and optimize images to speed up your website.

8. Setup Website Backups

Backup your website with a plugin like Backup Buddy, which can also be used to restore and migrate your WordPress website.

9. Uncheck the Box for Search Engine Visibility

Enable search engine visibility by unchecking the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” box in Dashboard > Settings > Reading.

10. Run a Mobile-Friendly Test

Ensure that your website is responsive by running it through Google’s mobile-friendly test.

11. Setup Google Search Console

Submit your sitemap directly to Google and test whether Google can successfully understand your content using the Google Search Console.

12. More to Think About

Add more items to your checklist depending on your specific website needs.

In conclusion, launching a website requires careful planning and execution. By following this checklist for new WordPress websites, you can minimize the chances of oversights ruining your launch day and ensure that your website is optimized for SEO, responsive, and fast-loading.

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