WP Checklist for Launching a new site

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 31, 2017

WordPress has taken the world by storm. In fact, more sites are maintained with WordPress than any other framework on the web. If you’re a website owner, chances are you’re familiar with WordPress on some level, and if you’re new to blogging, you’ve probably considered using it for your site.

It doesn’t take long to build a website with WordPress, but there’s more to it than attractive designs and relevant content. Before you launch your website, you want to make sure you’ve covered all the bases to keep your website secure and running to its maximum potential.

What should you do before you launch your WordPress site? Take a look at our checklist to get started.

Step #1: Install Backup Software
No matter how small your site is, you should always have backup software installed on your website. WordPress’s servers are reliable, but you never know what can happen to make you lose your data.

There are dozens of free and paid WordPress backup solutions to choose from. The right choice for you will depend on the size of your site and your budget.

Step #2: Protect Your WordPress Admin Login
WordPress is a major target for hackers across the globe. Without securing your admin area, you’re prone to cyber attacks and data loss. Not all sites face cyber attacks, but it’s better to be safe than lose your site due to poor preparation.

You can secure your site using a firewall or one of WordPress’s free and paid plugins. To learn more about protecting your WordPress admin area, check out WPBeginner’s complete guide.

Step #3: Setup Email for Your Site
Without setting up email for your WordPress site, you might fail to send or receive email. Some recipients may get your emails, while others won’t see them at all.

The WordPress email issue is widely known, and there are a few ways you can fix it. WPBeginner has a great guide on fixing the issue, which should help you prepare before it causes any trouble.

Step #4: Test Your Site’s Forms
Depending on the nature of your site, you may have several different types of forms. These may include contact, comment, and email forms which help you gather important information from your site visitors. You want these forms to work flawlessly from the moment you launch your site.

There are tools to help you test your forms, but it doesn’t take long to do it manually. Enter an email into your email list and see if it works, then use the same process for other forms on your site. If they work for you, they should work for anyone else visiting your site.

Step #5: Check Your Social Links
You might include social links on your site to better connect with your readers elsewhere on the web. These links won’t do much good if they don’t take your reader the right destination.

Go through each social link on your website and check that it performs as expected. Check to see that your social links are visible, without them overpowering the rest of your page. You should also check that all social plugins on your site are working as expected, to reduce any frustration your reader might have when visiting your site.

Step #6: Confirm Your SEO Settings
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your SEO measures are working up to par. Without proper SEO, you might miss out on traffic from Google’s search engine results pages.

You can find a number of excellent plugins for WordPress to help you analyze your SEO settings. The most popular SEO plugin is Yoast, which checks your content for keywords and gives you tips to improve.

Final Thoughts
It’s always a good idea to have your ducks in a row before publishing a site. By maximizing your site’s security and performance before you make your site visible to the public, you can minimize any future headaches that may threaten your site, giving you and your readers a seamless, enjoyable website experience.