Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Launching your website can be a huge undertaking. There are a lot of moving parts involved and you don’t want to forget one. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your website launch!

  • Determine the purpose of the site
  • Choose a Web Host and Sign Up
  • Setup new domain in Cpanel

For web hosting I recommend HostGator. The technical support is beyond excellent and their prices are even better.

  • Choose Domain Name and Purchase
  • Purchase domain name from the register, I recommend Namecheap.
  • Setup nameservers to match DNS nameservers from the web host.
  • Setup Domain-based email (ex: somoene@yourdomain.com)
  • Install WordPress (or us to do this!)
  • Setup HTTPS
  • Choose and install a Shopping Cart and Affiliate Program system

Shopping cart and affiliate program system needs vary business to business. If you are only selling digital goods, I highly recommend Amember. It allows you to sell digital products, have a membership area, and even comes with an affiliate program!

WordPress Backend

  • Install and Setup a security Plugin, I recommend Wordfence.
  • Install and Setup a backup Plugin, I recommend UpdraftPlus.
  • Install and Setup an SEO Plugin, I recommend YoastSEO.
  • Install and Setup Spam Control, I recommend Akismet.
  • Install and Setup Google Analytics and Add Tracking Code to WordPress. Setup filters to exclude traffic from your IP.
  • Setup how you want to handle comments ( Admin Menu – Settings – Discussion)
  • Configure Permalinks (Admin Menu – Settings – Permalinks)
  • Choose how to organize media (Admin Menu – Settings – Media)
  • Update website title and tagline (Admin Menu – Settings – General)
  • Choose how your author name is displayed (Admin Menu – Users – Your Profile)
  • Choose how to organize media (Admin Menu – Settings – Media)
  • Create an informative 404 page
  • Create redirects for affiliate links, I recommend Pretty Links.
  • Set default time/Date (Admin Menu – Settings – General)
  • Enable site to be indexed by search engines (Admin Menu – Settings- Reading)
  • Install Plugin for contact form and create a form, I recommend OptinCat.
  • Create any custom posts if needed

WordPress Frontend

  • Choose & Setup Theme to use

Choosing the right theme, in the beginning, will save you a lot of headache in the future. What theme is best for you might not be best for someone else. Do your research and find a theme that will allow the layout and design elements that are important to you. This may require you to pay someone to customize a theme or create a completely new theme for you. I highly recommend Divi by Elegant Themes. The complete access allows you to choose from all themes available and gives you plenty of options to build your site with ease.

  • Install logo and make sure it links to the Home Page
  • Choose Font
  • Setup categories
  • Setup tags
  • Add social media links
  • Setup navigation menu

Make sure your visitors can find their way around your website quickly and easily. If you’re uncertain about how to accomplish this, then study websites that you visit often. Notice how they guide you through the site. Do they provide relevant and easy to recognize navigation tabs? Does the flow of the site seem logical? Is there a search function so you can head directly to the page or information you’re looking for?

  • Setup post sharing options, I recommend MashShare.
  • Setup the website footer and be sure to include a copyright statement

Content

  • Create product and landing pages as needed
  • Add blog posts
  • Add optin forms where needed
  • Create Home Page layout with appropriate images and content
  • Create About Page
  • Create Contact Page
  • Add Call to Actions where needed
  • Create Policy pages ex: Privacy Policy, Affiliate Policy ( Check out https://getterms.io/ )

Test & Review

  • Test site responsiveness on phones and tablets
  • Test in multiple browsers
  • Test all forms, contact, optin forms
  • Test all links and confirm all external links open in a new tab/window
  • Test website speed
  • Test search function
  • Confirm contact information is correct
  • Test all audio/video items

If you have any questions or need assistance with setting up your website please contact us for a free 15-minute consultation.