Looking for a post-launch checklist to keep handy after you push your new site live? Maybe you’re panicking after you launched your new site and wanting to make sure you have your bases covered?
Have no fear – check out our tips to finalize your site!
One thing that we expect to see after a redesign is that traffic will drop for a while. And when we take on new clients who have recently redesigned their website and are concerned that their traffic has dropped significantly, we can usually trace it back to the fact that 301 redirects were not completed.
So if you changed your domain name, changed the URL paths of your pages, consolidated your website, or you just have a lot of outlying pages you want to get rid of, you need to make sure you create proper redirects on your site.
Redirects are enacted differently across various content management systems (CMS), so here are some helpful guides for some of the most popular platforms:
If you switched hosting companies, or are working with an entirely new content management system, be sure to ask your hosting provider or the IT support of your content management system to get an SSL certificate for your new website. This ensures your site is secure and will greatly help you in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
After you launch your new website, be sure that you have gone through and added all the tracking codes you were using before. These could include platforms such as:
- Google Analytics/Google Ads
- CRM Tracking
- Call tracking
- And many more
Did you create new web forms for your website? You will want to make sure these next two things are properly configured:
Thank You Pages
If you didn’t modify your thank you page URLs, you should be safe. However, it’s always a good idea to test the forms and make sure that working thank you pages are in place. If not, just make new thank you pages and link them to your forms.
After you have confirmed that the thank you pages are working, and the Google Analytics code is properly installed on your new site, head over to the “Real Time” area in GA while you are testing your forms to make sure everything is triggering properly.
And if you had to make new thank you pages, be sure to update your goals with the new URLs and repeat the process stated above. If you are unfamiliar with goal tracking, be sure to check out our Google Analytics post.
On your staging site (also called a dev site), you likely (hopefully) had your settings configured to noindex your website during development. If so, be sure that you change your website settings to now index your website since it has launched, otherwise Google and other search engines won’t be able to find your website and will remove you from search results!
After you have re-indexed your website, be sure to resubmit your sitemap to Google and Bing so they can read your new pages. This can be performed through various plugins if you are using WordPress, or also via Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Plugins, Add-ons, Extensions
Many platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and more can be pretty dependent on plugins or add-ons to create things such as PPC landing pages, metadata, redirects, and elsewise. So when you launch your new website, be sure that you have added and activated all the things that your old website was using to make sure that nothing is interrupted.
If you were doing interlinking on the pages of your staging site, then it’s likely that when you hover over the links post-launch, they may still be linked to the development site’s URL! Be sure to contact your web developer to see if they are able to add a search and replace plugin or add-on to the site to easily swap out all the URLs to be the live domain.