How to launch your website in 2021 [checklist]

With millions of websites on the Internet and a bounty of tools to help you build one, building a website has never been more accessible. However, launching a successful website with no hiccups is a lot more difficult.

To help you launch your first, second, or event third website without any errors, we created a website launch checklist that covers 30 essentials tasks to complete pre-launch and post-launch.

What to do before launching your website

Ideally, before you launch your website should live on a staging site. This allows you to easily edit and make any necessary changes. Below are a few tasks to complete before you push your website live.

  1. Make sure your secure socket layer (SSL) certificate is in place and enable HTTPS traffic 
  2. Make sure you’re using the latest version of your content management system (CMS) 
  3. Set up a backup solution in case something goes wrong 
  4. Integrate an analytics solution to track performance 
  5. Make sure you have all of your core pages in place 
  6. Set up custom 404 pages 
  7. Check to make sure your site’s navigation is user friendly and free of broken links 
  8. Ensure your content is great for search engine optimization (SEO) and doesn’t have any mistakes 
  9. Make sure all your content includes metadata 
  10. Apply schema markup where applicable 
  11. Make sure your pages and content include relevant call to actions (CTAs) 
  12. Make sure your website follows accessibility guidelines 
  13. Double-check that your website is mobile-friendly 
  14. Ensure your site design aligns with your brand 
  15. Test your website using different browsers 
  16. Check your application programming interface (XML) sitemap 
  17. Create a robots.txt file
  18. Configure a permalink structure for your website 
  19. Check for any technical SEO errors
  20. Ensure all your uniform resource locators (URLs) are correct 
  21. Is your website legally compliant? Double-check that it is. 
  22. Create social media profiles to promote your website 

What to do after launching your website 

Congrats, you’ve officially launched your website! However, your work isn’t quite over yet. Below are some essential steps to take to ensure your launch goes smoothly. 

  1. Make sure your website is secure 
  2. Test your site user experience (UX) and make sure everything is working properly 
  3. Double-check that your analytics is working properly
  4. Submit your XML sitemap and request indexing 
  5. Check for technical SEO errors by crawling your site 
  6. Double-check that your conversion path is working properly
  7. Verify that your backups are in place 
  8. Promote your new website

Printable pre-launch checklist

This list seems like a lot, right? Don’t worry, here’s a printable pre-launch checklist and a printable post-launch checklist, so you can launch your website correctly the first time.

This guest blog post was written by Maddy Osman, a staff writer at WebsiteSetup.org. She is a content strategist who works with brands such as Automattic and HubSpot. Connect with her on LinkedIn.