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9 Things To Remember Before You Finish Your WordPress Website

Building a website is a long-term process and requires great effort, concentration as well as coffee for the nights. So, it’s understandable that when you the proud, diligent builder are about to reach the final stage, you feel excited and relieved. Your masterpiece is going to be finished. Isn’t it a great thing?

However, in these last minutes, it’s really important to cover all the small but essential things before preparing your WordPress site to go live. What are those “small things”? I think it depends on each developer. Different web developers will have different things they usually leave out until the end.

This blog is like a sum-up note to help remind you what things need to be wrapped up before you finish your website. Feel free to share your last-minute scrambles below this blog.

1. Double Check Your Links

URLs are changed when you move files from your old to new site, from your local to your live server. So, double check all your links for broken ones although this task may make you keep on yawning. 301 redirect links play an important role in not turning your site’s links into dead-ends (404 pages). 301 redirects are here to make sure all your site’s links are consistent and real.

However, one “redirect” is ideal, and the maximum is 3 “redirects” for one link. That means, if you start on one page and this page links to a 301 redirect page, then another and then another, you’d better stop there. Google doesn’t limit the 301 links in you website but giving your users the exact link they want is always good for user experience.

Suggested WordPress plugins

Firstly, you should use a tool to check for broken links on your site. Let Broken Link Checker do the hard work for you.

For 301 redirect links, I think you should use a plugin to help you instead of doing it manually because there will be MANY of them.

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin is a good choice for you to handle 301 redirect links in WordPress. This plugin allows you to do many things: create redirect links, set a redirect page or menu link to open in a new window, add rel=”nofollow” attribute, rewrite the URL completely

Simple 301 Redirects is a handy WordPress plugin that does its job perfectly. When your site’s visitors click on old links, they will still be taken to the new links without fail. Plus, this plugin preserves your page ranks too.

2. Website’s Favicon

Look at the image above. That little circled guy is the favicon of your website. Many users may not notice it (he is so tiny!) but it does make a big difference on a site. A favicon helps distinguish a website especially when you open many tabs in your browser. A favicon makes your site standout and recognizable. Isn’t it amazing for an image of that size?

For a responsive website, it’s important to have Apple Touch Icons (150x150px or 75x75px). This icon will display as the website’s icon on mobile devices. When users bookmarks or add your web page to their home screen on their mobile, this icon is used.

Suggested WordPress plugins

All in One Favicon is a good solution for your WordPress website’s favicon. You can upload your favicons as .ico, .png and .gif. This plugin also supports Apple Touch Icons.

3. Allow Search Engines To Index Your Website

Many people forget to uncheck the option “Discourage search engines from crawling my site” and they later wonder why their beautiful links get ignored. By checking this option, you close the door and refuse to let the search engine’s bots to crawl in your house.

Solution? Eh, check this in your admin settings. Don’t be silly, okay?

4. Create and Submit Sitemap

A sitemap helps search engines to index your site faster and easier. The sitemap includes all pages existing on your website, shows what links are more important, how often you update your site, and it lets search engine know all that. It’s like telling exactly how many rooms there are in your house.

After creating a sitemap, you should submit your sitemap to Google by using the Google Webmaster tool. You will have to log in your account, submit your new site and verify it. And then, you’ll be able to add your website’s sitemap here.

Suggested WordPress plugins

One of the best WordPress plugins for sitemap is Google XML Sitemaps. Not only does it do what it says, this plugin will automatically update your sitemap when there is new page or post you add to your site.

5. Check Contact Form

Although you have everything well configured, you still should check if they do work. Especially the contact form because it’s the way your site’s visitors can reach you. Fill out the fields and hit the Send button to send a test email to your own inbox.

Suggested WordPress plugins

Talking about best WordPress plugins for contact forms, there are many for you to choose from. My top three contact form plugins are Contact Form 7, Fast Secure Contact Form and Contact Form in Jetpack.

6. Spell Check

Prepare a magnifying glass and check your website from stem to stern for any language errors. Check every pixel. A spelling or grammatical error will instantly degrade your site’s experience for visitors and change your client’s overall perception of site quality.

Suggested Tools

You can use some spell checkers to do this for you. Or just ask a heavy literal-minded friend to help you detect all errors.

I would suggest Spell Checker (available for both Chrome and Firefox) or Ginger.

7. Pay Attention to the Footer

Webdesignerdepot

This part is easily forgotten. Make sure that all the policies are updated. If you have developed your website on a purchased theme, it’s important to remove references to the theme provider (if the theme provider allows you to). Also, remove the theme name and replace it with your own credentials. Lastly, check if the year in the copyright is correctly dated.

8. Ensure Solid Security

Making a secure website must be done from the very start when you begin building your website. In this final stage, you just have to do some quick security measures to be more confident. For example, protecting the admin URL by changing it or limiting login attempts, etc.

Read more my previous article Make Your WordPress Website Invincible From Security Attacks for the best WordPress security tips and WordPress security plugins.

9. Back it Up

The final and most important step is to backup all relevant data and materials of your site before launching it. Show that you are a thoughtful developer and save all the parts of your project before handing over everything to your client (who knows what will happen when your project is in the hands of others?).

Suggested WordPress plugins

There is no better backup plugins than WordPress Backup to Dropbox (free), BackWPUp (free), Backup Buddy (premium) and VaultPress (premium).

It’s 3AM. Have You Covered Everything?

There are so many last-minute details that they wreck your nerves, right? It will be much easier for you to make a list of the things you will leave until the very last moment to ensure a smooth live site. Take a good nap when you finish everything and check them again when you wake up.

Above is my list, what do you have for your pre-launch tasks?

by Vivian Vu

I'm a proud minion in the WooRockets Team. Enjoy life, music, writing blogs and LOVE to read comments for my blogs - So feel free to connect with me by leaving a comment right below or tweet me @vivianjedi

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