3 Game-Changing Tips: WordPress Website Launch
Before a new WordPress website launch, a number of important tasks need to be completed beforehand. From browser testing and responsive design updates to making sure the website can be found in search results – your developer and/or website designer will have gone through the steps to launch and checked them twice. However, sometimes things can be missed.
If you can relate to any of the following, this article is for you:
- You may be working with someone who may have a little less experience or (unfortunately) isn’t trustworthy
- You are noticing issues with your website pre or post-launch
- You have some fears about something not being done
We’ll share some of the most commonly missed tasks during a WordPress website launch and game-changing tips to make sure your new website launches in tip-top shape.
Problem: Your Website Is Not Getting Indexed
While indexing a brand new website could take some time to begin populating search results – Google does do a great job of indexing sites pretty quickly these days. To guarantee that happens, make sure your site isn’t being discouraged from being indexed on search engines.
And sometimes, it all comes down to one little checkbox. In WordPress, you have the option to discourage search engines from indexing the site. While in development, the setting should be checked so that pages that are not ready to ‘go live’ don’t get indexed. Sometimes when a new website is launched, the setting remains.
WordPress Website Launch Tip #1: Uncheck This Box
From your WordPress dashboard, click Settings > Reading. Navigate to the ‘Search engine visibility’ section and ‘uncheck’ this box.
If that doesn’t work, be sure to check any search engine optimization (SEO) related plugins and also with your web hosting to make sure a setting isn’t turned on to block search engines.
Problem: Your Website Doesn’t Redirect with ‘WWW’ (or the Opposite)
What we mean by this: A website’s top-level domain is set to use, or not use www. In both cases, you should be able to navigate to your website using both www and non-www URLs. (e.g. www.website.com and website.com should both load properly)
Oftentimes, a new client will come to us and say that their website is broken – only to realize it just looks that way because the website didn’t redirect properly. You can verify that this works by typing in your website name using both www and without www in front of the domain. If one or the other does not work – this means a proper redirect is not in place. Not to worry, this is a pretty straightforward fix.
WordPress Website Launch Tip #2: Add a Redirect
In most cases, you can add this redirect within your website host’s settings. We do recommend that you ask an experienced website developer or IT professional to help you with this. Once in place, this redirect should work almost immediately. Just in case, clear your browser cache before verifying it works.
Problem: You’re Not Getting Contact Form Submissions
When we launch a WordPress site, we always submit test entries to every form that is on the website.
This test is done to make sure that:
- Forms are successfully submitted
- Entries are properly stored and can easily be accessed from your WordPress dashboard
- Notifications are received
- Integrations (such as a CRM) are properly mapped
If you have a client or potential client alert you that they submitted a form but you did not receive it, first – check the entries on the backend of your website. This can typically be found within the Form plugin’s settings*.
*If you are using a form plugin that doesn’t store entries, you may not be able to access the settings as described above. We do suggest you use a form plugin that does store entries, so you can access this information at any time. If you’re using an embedded third-party form – please check with the service provider to troubleshoot.
The good news is that (in most cases) it’s an email authentication issue. It’s worth shooting a quick email to your website developer to find out if this is definitely the cause. If so, ask them about setting up Sendgrid.
WordPress Website Launch #3: Set Up Sendgrid
To set up your domain to be able to send authenticated emails through the website, we recommend Sendgrid.
In order to do that, your website developer will need your help with the following:
- Create an account on Sendgrid.com
- Set up 2FA as well as it is required after the first login
- Share the account details (They’ll need to email/text you for the 2FA code once they login)
- Once that is done, they will need to authenticate the domain via DNS (If your website developer does not have access, perhaps your IT professional can assist in completing this step)
- Finally, they’ll add a plugin, such as Fluent SMTP, so they can connect to the account to utilize the Sendgrid API. This final step ensures outgoing emails from the website are going to be seen as properly authenticated emails under your domain
While there are probably a lot more items to check before, during, and after a new WordPress website launch, the three problems listed above are a few of the most commonly missed tasks. We hope to have imparted just a teensy bit of knowledge and possible solutions to help you double-check your own website. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!