Things To Consider Before Launching a WordPress Website
Ready to launch a brand new website using WordPress? Before that, you might want to consider all the potential issues that can come up. Launching a website can get on your nerves when you get overwhelmed by how massive the project is or miss crucial steps in the process. You would obviously not want to miss out on anything important that will come in the way of your website launch. Fortunately, we are here to help in that regard.
Launching a website is a daunting task and is sure to be cumbersome. In order to avoid any last minute mistakes, you must remain vigilant and calm. Big or small, all the steps involved in launching a WordPress website demand your equal attention. We will discuss their significance and how you can check off each in your WordPress website checklist.
Let us take a dive right in and get started:
1. Add Redirects
In certain instances, a WordPress Website Launch might occur in a scenario where the content from a previous URL is being moved to the new one. In such a situation, you should add redirects. You might have changed the permalink settings, written a new post and want to redirect an old post to that, or changed the slug for a page or post; you need to add redirects. So what do you do when you need to redirect a page, post, or URL in WordPress? This is where the WordPress Redirect page comes in. It will direct the browsers to navigate to a new URL rather than the old one. So if you want to set up a WordPress redirect page, you must install a plugin.
2. Add Tracking Codes
As a website owner, it becomes crucial to implement tracking, analytics, and data syncing with external devices, so adding tracking codes is a given. These are some of the most commonly-used tools that demand adding tracking code to your site:
- Marketing Automation Tools
- Facebook Pixels
- Google Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
- Facebook Domain Verification
- Google Search Console Domain Verification
If you are looking for the most hassle-free way of implementing tracking code, WordPress plugins will let you add tracking code to the body, header, or footer area of your website.
3. Ecommerce Analytics Tracking
As a website owner, you might often be driven by your sixth sense or gut feeling. That is good when you are just beginning but if you want to take your business to the next level, making data-driven decisions is a must. But what data should you rely on while making your decisions?
This is where WordPress eCommerce Analytics Tracking comes in. It is the key to making data-oriented decisions, as the data is derived from the metrics of actual visitors and customers. Thus, you will get customized details for boosting your sales. One of the most convenient techniques for tracking the progress of an ecommerce store is by using an Analytics WordPress plugin.
4. Check Forms Working
It is not an unknown fact that every site must have a contact form so visitors can get in touch about its services or products. However, WordPress, by default, does not feature an in-built contact form, but there’s a convenient way for adding forms. The answer is a WordPress plugin. But you might think, “why do I need a contact form when I can add my email address from where people can contact me?”
Let us tell you why a contact form is a better option than copy-pasting your email address on a page:
- Spam Protection – Getting a lot of spam emails becomes common when you share your email on your website, but a contact form can block contact form spam and block nearly all types of spam.
- Consistent Information – When anyone sends an email, it does not always have all the data you need, but when they send their information via a contact form, you get all the data you need from them.
- Saves Time – Apart from consistent information, the form guides the user on the next steps they should take. It can be anything, such as watching a video.
With a Plugin, you can create contact forms with multiple recipients, so choose the option that best fits your needs.
5. Speed Optimization
Optimizing the speed of your WordPress website is quite essential. Why? Below are some of the reasons:
- The websites that have fast loading are ranked higher by Search engines, thus improving your position in the SERPs.
- According to a study, visitors flee the website whose loading speed is more than two seconds.
- Impatience is one of the virtues (or, shall we say, vices) of online buyers, so they expect the page to load within a second.
6. Compress JS CSS
7. Compress Images
For any content, images are quite important. But did you know that images can be one of the primary reasons why pages load slowly? No one likes staying on a website that loads slowly, so image optimization is important. Image optimization is all about improving two aspects:
- The number of bytes used to encode each image pixel
- The total number of pixels used
Simply put, optimizing images means getting the best quality pictures from the least number of bytes and pixels.
CDN is an abbreviation for Content Delivery Network. It means a network of servers responsible for delivering cache static content from the site to users depending on the users’ geographic location. When you have CDN, it can significantly help in boosting the user experience. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Speed: A CDN helps boost the page load time, making it faster.
- Resistant to Crash: CDN distributes the load to various servers rather than driving all the traffic to the main server, so it becomes immune to crashing.
- Improved User Experience: As CDN boosts website loading speed, it will decrease the bounce rate on the site, thereby increasing the number of pages viewed by every user.
- Improvement in SEO Ranking: Search engine ranks fast-loading sites higher. A CDN boosts WordPress SEO, helping you achieve higher keyword rankings.
There are numerous WordPress CDN services that you can use for your WordPress website.
9. 404 Error Page
The 404 error page comes up when the URL is broken or the server cannot find a file or page. Some of the ways you can fix the 404 error page are:
- Setting up the permalink
- Setting up a 301 Redirect
- Disabling outdated Plugins/Theme
- Changing and updating the WordPress URL in the database
10. Generate & Submit Sitemap
If you look at it from the SEO point of view, sitemap generation is crucial. While just generating and submitting sitemaps won’t impact search ranking, when a page(s) on your website is not indexed by search engines, a sitemap helps them discover the page(s).
There are several ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress:
- Making an XML Sitemap in WordPress without a Plugin
- Coming up with an XML Sitemap in WordPress using All in One SEO
- Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Yoast SEO
There you have it! These are some of the things you must tick before launching your WordPress website. So, what’s next? Once you launch your website and get traffic, make sure you convert the visitors into customers. How? Let us discuss the checklist to tick off after launching the website.
Checklist for WordPress website post launch
1. Setup Disable Comments
Though comments are an ideal way of interacting with your website visitors, there are times when you wouldn’t want to allow them on your website for numerous reasons. So, if you want to disable comments from a specific page, post, or custom post type or even completely delete the comments, there are multiple ways you can employ.
2. Enable Robots.txt
The advantages of a well-constructed robots.txt file come down to two reasons:
- Optimize search engines’ crawl resources by indicating not to waste time on pages website owners don’t want to index. It ensures that search engines focus on crawling the pages you care about most.
- Optimize server usage by stopping bots that are wasting resources.
3. Update SMTP details
When you launch your website, you might notice that you are not receiving any emails from WordPress. It is because WordPress employs the PHP mail() function for sending them.
Using SMTP for sending WordPress emails is one of the easiest fixes for this issue. SMTP is short for ‘secure mail transfer protocol’ and is considered the standard way to send emails. As it demands the user to log in to a mail server to send emails, it helps prevent the hosting server’s abuse, thereby improving email deliverability.
4. Setup Security Plugin to Prevent Brute Force login, Bots Attack
Brute force attacks on WordPress should never be ignored as it is one of the leading causes of WordPress website hacking. If you want to prevent it, you can adopt the following steps:
- Use complicated credentials
- Limiting the number of connection attempts to the administration
- Change the administration login page
- Employing two-factor authentication to fight brute force attacks on WordPress
- Implementing a captcha
5. Setup HTTPS
HTTPS or Secure HTTP is a type of encryption that helps in protecting the connection between users’ browsers and your server. Google has announced improving overall web security by asking website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, failing which websites without an SSL certificate will be marked as ‘Not Secure.’ It makes it harder for any cybercriminal to eavesdrop on the connection.
Adhering to the above checklist will help you run your website smoothly.
You can use the above-mentioned WordPress checklist as a beginning point, but always remember to make it your own. Getting a web page fully equipped for launch is challenging, as you can see. However, a WordPress website checklist will ensure that you don’t miss anything pivotal for your site’s success.