Quality Control

Website launch checklist: how to go live with confidence and fewer errors

By Nicholas Gracilla  ·   May 8, 2018  ·  2 minute read

Topics: Testing

Taking a website live requires careful planning that involves many team roles. While editorial and SEO usually get the spotlight, it’s critical to review accessibility, optimization, and security, too.

At Neoteric, we want every project’s launch day to be as uneventful as possible—no surprises, and no last-minute shuffles.

To do this, we’ve developed extensive checklists, processes, and procedures that we use from project kickoff through mid-project assessment to launch. Not all of these tasks are “client apparent,” but they add up to a polished, smooth launch process.

Content

  • Remove all test and for-placement-only content
  • Run an automated link check to confirm no broken links
  • Finalize editorial style guides
  • Configure a print style sheet appropriately
  • Confirm favicon is in place
  • Finalize application documentation with editors, managers
  • Archive legacy site content

Optimization

  • Run a high-traffic stress test
  • Run Google’s Lighthouse Audit against Accessibility, Best Practices, SEO, Performance
  • Run Google’s PageSpeed Insights
  • Optimize images
  • Implement browser caching
  • Configure asset pipeline or Content Distribution Network appropriately
  • Configure caching appropriately

Application

  • Set up and test application resource monitoring
  • Enable database backups on daily, monthly basis
  • Test all integrated services, forms, and workflows
  • Consider Google’s Data Highlighter for structured data
  • Confirm DNS management, settings, and TTL
  • Validate RSS feeds and embed in headers
  • Confirm and configure application content exports
  • Set server configuration to production mode

Security

  • Review SSL certificate requirements, create and install SSL certificates as needed
  • Run observatory.mozilla.org
  • Confirm account credentials are established and secure
  • Confirm staging server has HTTPS authentication to prevent indexing
  • Validate secured application pages work
  • Update robots.txt as needed

Analytics and SEO

  • Review required URLs and 301 redirect as needed
  • Confirm page titles and descriptions are appropriate
  • Validate meta tags for Facebook, Twitter, and others for appropriate URL unfurls
  • Consider implementing Google Tag Manager
  • Implement Google Analytics, and filter out traffic (from client, team) appropriately
  • Implement Google Analytics site search, if needed
  • Establish and implement Google Analytics Goals and Events as required
  • Integrate Google Search Engine, request reindex
  • Filter sharebutton.to and other Analytics spam