Launching a website can be a daunting process. Wondering whether you forgot to check the mobile responsiveness? Did you implement google analytics? How about setting up a custom 404 page? To make things easier I have compiled a list of common items I personally need a reminder of when I launch a website. This list is separated into three parts. The Final Development Checklist which is done after the development of the site, the Post Live Checklist to be completed after the launch and a Hosting Checklist as a reminder while setting up or transferring hosting for a client.

Final Development Checklist

  1. Make sure all pages have content and there is no remaining Lorem Ipsum.
  2. Check that the website matches the original PSD designs.
  3. Have you completed any remaining changes that you discussed with the client after the design was approved?
  4. Run a broken link check on the site and make sure all links are heading to another page. If the link opens to another website does it open in a new tab?
  5. Do all social media icons link to the correct page?
  6. Do all forms work? Have they been set to the correct email address?
  7. Has the HTML/CSS been validated?
  8. How does the site perform in terms of speed tests? Are there any images/code that can be optimised?
  9. Does the logo in the header link to the home page?
  10. Is the 404 page styled?
  11. Does the site have a favicon?
  12. Have you performed cross browser checks on the latest browsers?
  13. Is the website mobile responsive?
  14. Does the site use friendly URLs?
  15. If applicable, can the client update the content in the CMS without any HTML knowledge?
  16. Has the meta title/description tags been updated?
  17. Does all functionality on the website work as expected?
  18. Do you need to style the CMS login screen?

Post Live Checklist

  1. Did you setup any necessary 301 redirects? If you are replacing an older site it will be necessary to redirect any broken links.
  2. Did you perform a database URL rewrite if you moved your site from a staging server to the live server? This will be necessary to remove any links pointing to your staging server.
  3. Check the robots.txt file and make sure its NOT set to noindex, follow. You will want search engines to be able to crawl your website.
  4. Does the site work with and without the www?
  5. Have you checked all internal pages to make sure there are no broken links?
  6. If the site uses stock images, do you have the license to use these or do you still need to purchase them?
  7. Have you updated users logins to make sure they are using secure passwords?
  8. Do you have a backup of your website running?
  9. Has the site cache been turned on? It may have been turned off during development.
  10. Have you set the login areas to disallow in the robots.txt file so they aren’t indexed?
  11. Did you setup a sitemap.xml?

Hosting Checklist

  1. Where are the clients emails hosted? Are you moving the emails? If not do you have the necessary DNS records to make sure there is no downtime?
  2. Did you make a backup of all existing DNS records to revert if needed?
  3. Have you lowered the TTL before launching the website so if there are any errors you can revert easily?
  4. Does the site have an SSL certificate?
  5. Are there any other domains that you need to point to the new website?
  6. Did you setup an A record for both www and non www?