Every time I take a new website live I run it though two checklists. The first checklist is the pre-flight WordPress SEO checklist that I use to make sure that the new website has everything in place before Google begins indexing the site and before the general public visits the site.
After a site goes live, I have another checklist I run to make sure that everything on the new site is running properly. Most of the items on this list can only be accomplished on a live website and won’t work on a preview or development site.
After Website Go-Live
- Test 301 redirects… with and without www! After I have setup 301 redirects I want to make sure they actually work. I haven’t gotten burned here more than once! Doublecheck those 301s and make sure they work.
- Put an annotation into Google Analytics indicating that the site went live on that day. Read more about Google Analytics Annotations here.
- Do a speed check and compare vs old website. Make sure you read item 25 (Create a Website Speed Benchmark) in my other SEO checklist. Is your new website faster?
- Did you have an no-index or no-follow tags setup or any robots.txt language to keep Google out of your “development” site before you took it live. Make sure those have been disabled and you are letting Google index your website.
- Add Google Webmaster Tools to website. There probably isn’t any useful data in it… yet.
- Submit the website’s sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools.
- Add Bing Webmaster Tools to website… maybe.
- Check all links (I use Screaming Frog). Pay attention to any broken External Links as well as Internal Links. I also pay attention to 301 redirects being reported from my internal linking and try go get those cleaned up too.
- If you have a blog with a RSS Feed, consider setting up a Feedburner account for your new blog. Update links on blog that link to the RSS feed to link to your new Feedburner feed.
If you have any ideas on what I should add to this list, please comment below.