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If you have launched a website before, you know that it’s the little things right before launch that may take you by surprise. No matter how thorough your JIRA epics or ticket list may be, it’s inevitable that something always slips through the cracks. It is the result of having looked at your product day-in and day-out for the entirety of the development process—but don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

We here at CHIEF want to help you learn from our experiences. Below is a portion of the web launch checklist that our Technology Team has put together to help make our launches as smooth as possible. We cover areas from content and migration, functionality and design to development and security.

Content and Migration

Content is king, so one of the first things we do is make sure that all content is ready for its debut. Some of the things we do include checking to see that:

  • Lorem ipsum, test and dummy content (written content, images and files) have been removed
  • All images and videos are tested for responsiveness
  • Any visible style guide created for or during development has been disabled
  • Link checker has been run on production ready content

Functionality and Design

Once the content has been checked we want to make sure that the functionality and design are consistent. We do this by checking that:

  • Functionality has been thoroughly tested against functionality requirements that were established with the client
  • Favicon, the icon that appears in the tab or in the URL bar, has been added
  • Any externally hosted font is set up and working with the appropriate domain names
  • Webforms have been tested out and are sending the results to the appropriate email

Development

Now that the site has been built we want to make sure that, even with last minute tweaks, it is fast to load and accessible per Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Checks include:

  • Code has been minified for production
  • Page speed has been checked
  • All plugins are up to date
  • Accessibility tests have been completed (both manual and automatic)

Analytics/SEO

Next, we want to make sure that our analytics data is being successfully captured for clients. The steps we take include:

  • Appropriate code has been placed to capture analytics
  • Google Search Console has been set up
  • Robots.txt has been set up and is excluding the appropriate paths

Security

Even if you don't specialize in security there are still measures you can take to make sure your websites are secure. Here are just a few of the steps we take before launch.

  • SSL is enabled
  • Two-factor authentication has been discussed with the client and enabled if appropriate
  • User self-registration is disabled, unnecessary accounts (for example, ones used to migrate content) have been disabled
  • Password complexity standards has been discussed and enabled

Though this is meant to be a final pre-launch checklist, we at CHIEF reference this document throughout the entire development lifecycle of a project to remind ourselves of potential problems upstream where we can proactively take action to mitigate risk and avoid common pitfalls. We hope our experiences can help save you time and energy, and can serve as a reference for your own projects.


Want to work with us? Reach out, we’d love to help.