This is just a quick WordPress launch checklist I’ve put together for myself when launching WordPress site. Hoping this helps others as well.

1. Pre-Launch

It’s always a good idea to collect information to accounts or assets you need before doing a launch. It saves a lot of trouble and headaches later. I always like to make sure I have the following:

Hosting Access
Domain Access (if it’s not with the hosting)
Third Party Licenses and Plugin Keys (if applicable)
Google Analytics Access

In addition to, I also make sure I:

Backup the current website for archive (if applicable)
Check DNS for specific setups and do a snapshot in case information needs to be reversed

2. Migration

During the site migration I either:

Migrate using Migrate Guru
Migrate Manually

Regardless of which migration technique I use I always:

Double check if the domain name in the content has changed and install Better Search Replace to update it as needed
Make sure the main domain name has been swapped
Update and refresh the Permalink settings
Install & Configure SSL
Make sure all links are on HTTPS
Fixed any Mixed Content Warnings

3. Launch

Once the site has been moved over and fully configured to run on the new domain name I like to make sure I double check a few things to ensure it’s all in working order.

3.1 Content

Make sure text is free of grammatical and formatting errors
Pages have the proper title and links
All internal and content that are linked redirect to the proper pages
All legally required pages are created and present
Footer copyright information is updated
404 landing page is created and present

3.2 Forms

All forms are configured to go to the correct email address
reCAPTCHA or the proper spam prevention system is installed on all forms or site wide

3.3 Accessibility and SEO

Realistically, accessibility should be the primary focus during the design and development phase but it also doesn’t hurt to double check.

All images have the appropriate alt attribute
All form fields have associated labels
Links are clear and recognizable
Website is tested with screen reader
Google Analytics is installed and configured
Yoast SEO (or SEO plugin preferred by team or Client) is installed and configured
Page Meta Title, Description, Keyword, and Social Sharing Image are set
Favicon is set up
Robot Blocking Index is off

3.4 Performance & Optimization

On top of making sure everything works it is also best to make sure everything runs well. Moving from a development or staging environment to a production environment can sometimes change settings and configurations. Below is a list of items I check for to make sure the site is working at its best.

Website runs on all targeted browsers on desktop and mobile
All code is tested and working properly
No JavaScript console logs, errors or warnings
Website passes Lighthouse at a reasonable score and performance issues are resolved if any
All media files are as optimized as they can be
HTML, CSS, and JS are minified where possible

My name is Tony, and I’m an Experience Designer with 8+ years of experience in design and development. At heart, I am a developer first and a designer second. I enjoy creating interactive experiences, but I also enjoy designing and learning about the user’s experiences.

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