Exhaustive List of Things to Double Check Before You Launch Your WordPress Website

  • Get rid of Admin username.
  • Delete the Default sample page and post (Hello Word).
  • Remove Hello Dolly Plugin.
  • Activate Akismet or install another spam filter.
  • Go to Settings / General and change the Site Title and Tagline.
  • Turn off email notifications and user registration.
  • Turn off the privacy filter so the site will be crawled by the search engines. (This is found under the Reading section).
  • Set the permalink structure to post type.
  • Make sure each page has a custom meta title and description.
  • Make sure each image is optimized (and that you have a right to use it).
  • Add Google Analytics tracking code.
  • Create a sitemap. (I use the Google XML Sitemap plugin).
  • Verify the site with Google webmaster Tools and submit your sitemap.
  • Set up social media profiles and link to those from the site.
  • Add a social media sharing plugin so your readers can share your posts.
  • If you have built the site on a temporary url make sure that all of the links have been updated.  You can use the Velvet Blues plugin for this.  Be sure to check the widgets, as those links don’t always automatically update.  Also check your footer or any other places you may have hard coded in the temporary urls.
  • Set up 301 redirects if you are redoing a site in which the permalink structure will change (ie eileenlonergan.com/about.html to eileenlonergan.com/about)
  • Do a cross browser check to make sure your site looks awesome everywhere.
  • Look at your site on a phone and tablet.
  • Review calls to action on pages – does each page have a purpose?
  • Set up an email platform service (I use MailChimp).  Create a template and set a campaign to automatically email your new blog posts to your subscribers.
  • Add the email sign up code to the website.
  • Make sure you have a lovely About page.
  • Test all email addresses that you have on the site – including forms.
  • Make sure there is a regular scheduled back up of the website.
  • Download a copy of the site and save it in DropBox or on a zip drive.
  • Create an editorial calendar for the next month (or more) of blog posts.