2018 WordPress Checklist of Important Things To Do After a Site Launch

2018 WordPress Checklist of Important Things To Do After a Site Launch
2018 WordPress Checklist of Important Things To Do After a Site Launch

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Nothing feels more exciting than a WordPress websiteโ€™s launch. For the developers, their work is done once the website has been published but for the non-developers the real work starts after the takeoff. Once your website has gone live you still need to do a handful of things. These tasks are easy but they can look a bit overwhelming due to their large number.So, here we have combined a list of 16 important things you need to do after the launch of your WordPress site to ensure it has all the keys of success:

WordPress Checklist For Site Launch


2018 WordPress Checklist of Important Things To Do After a Site Launch Infographic

1 - Enhance Your WordPress Defenses



Security should always be your top priority after installing WordPress. There are many security plugins available in the market that can keep your site safe from cyber-attacks and monitor its health. Some of the famous security plugins are listed below:
  • Sucuri Security: This security plugin from Sucuri Inc. comes in both free and premium versions. It offers services such as monitoring for potential attacks, malware detection, firewall and post hack security actions.
  • WordFence Security: The popular WordFence security plugin can scan hosting for known backdoors, mitigate DoS/DDoS and brute force attacks, detect malware infected files and provide security incident recovery tools.
  • BulletProof Security: BulletProof is the jack of all trades when it comes to security features such as firewall, database and login security, malware scanner and protection from hackers/spammers.
One thing that you should always keep in mind from security perspective are updates. Always keep your WP core, themes and plugins updated. The older versions tend to have vulnerabilities and updates come with security patches that can help in avoiding their exploitation.

2 - SSL Certificates and HTTPS



Google gives preference to sites with SSL, WordPress recommends HTTPS and people trust websites with this certificate. SSL certificate is now a necessary ammo required in the battle of rankings. If all quality checks are equal then the Google algorithm will rank the secure site higher. Hosting companies are now offering free SSL certificates with auto installations like A2 Hosting, BlueHost, WP Church Host and WP Engine. There are also encryption plugins like WP Encrypt that provide free SSL certificates that are valid for 90 days.

3 - Create New Logins



The biggest weakness a WordPress website can have is weak login credentials. Brute force attacks are extensively used to guess the username and password which is why default users such as admin and generic dictionary based passwords should never be used as there are bots programmed specifically to crack these details. Install plugins like WP Limit Login Attempts and Login LockDown for an extra layer of protection against such threats.

4 - Backup Plugins For a Rainy Day



Backup plugins are the respawn buttons for WordPress sites. If anything bad happens to your website like an attack, a faulty update or you locking yourself out, then the backup plugin can save the day by restoring your site to its previous working state. Listed here are some good backup plugins that you can use:
  • UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration: It is a popular free plugin that comes with paid add-ons.
  • BackUpWordPress: This plugin allows automatic scheduling of backups but the free version does not allow cloud storage.
  • BackupBuddy: BackupBuddy is a premium plugin with annual subscription plans and easy scheduling services. This plugin can create duplicates, restore backups and migrate sites.

5 - Unleash the Speed with Caching Plugins and minified JavaScript & CSS


Caching is the process of saving static versions of your dynamic website and presenting it to the visitors. Minification is the process that allows removal of unnecessary elements such as whitespaces, comments and newline characters. Browsers render those websites faster that have static HTML and minified Javascript/CSS which leads to high pagespeed.You might be thinking why is improving speed important for your WordPress site?Well, the answer to that is simple. Google, the search engine overlord, loves high performance and ranks websites on the SERPs depending on their speed and response time.There are many plugins available that can do both caching and minification. Some of which are listed below:
  • WP Rocket: WP Rocket is the best caching plugin in the premium category. It is loaded with features such as browser caching, cache preloading, GZIP compression and source codeโ€™s minification and concatenation.
  • W3 Total Cache: W3 Total Cache is designed to reduce page loading time and enhance the overall user experience. It has a dedicated setting page for every caching types and comes with powerful features.
  • WP Fastest Cache: This is an extremely easy to use cache plugin that comes with an additional feature of combining JavaScript and CSS files.

6 - Optimize Your WordPress



Over the course of time your WordPress site will start to gather GBs of unnecessary data such as useless drafts, post revisions, unused tags, orphan meta items, pingbacks, trash and transient options. Optimization plugins are available that remove such redundant data and increase the efficiency of the website. Some of these plugins are:
  • WP-Optimize: This is a flexible optimization plugin which gives you full control over the areas that require optimization and also offers automated cleanups of the database.
  • Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions: This is a multisite compatible DB optimizing plugin that can help you in cleaning your database with a single click.
  • WP-DBManager: This plugin allows the user to optimize, restore, repair and backup database.

7 - Image Optimization


With great aesthetics come high-resolution images whose large file size can bring down your websiteโ€™s speed drastically. Image optimization plugins are the solution to this dilemma. These plugins can reduce the image fileโ€™s size without compromising the quality. Some of the best image optimizing plugins are given below:
  • CW Image Optimizer: This plugin provides automatic lossless compression of the images and uses Littleutils which is an image optimization tool by Linux.
  • WP Smush: WP Smush is the best image optimizing plugin with power packed features. It optimizes image extensions such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF with sizes up to 32 MB. The plugin has dedicated servers where smushing of images can be done individually or in bulk. Metadata and unused colors are stripped from the images and compressed without sacrificing quality.
  • EWWW Image Optimizer: EWWW optimizes the images as they are uploaded to the site and has a conversion feature where the images are converted to the file format with the smallest image size. Lossy reduction of images is also available.

8 - Content Delivery Network (CDN)



CDN is another method of enhancing the websiteโ€™s speed and performance. It is a network of servers where the content from your website is cached and stored. This stored content is then showed to the visitor from the server that is geographically closer to them. This way the visitor gets to peruse your site faster than the usual speed.
  • CloudFlare: CLoudFlare is a free CDN perfect for small websites. It helps in avoiding traffic spikes and provides the visitors with your cached site in case when the server is not responsive or the site is under attack. The paid version includes a robust firewall.
  • MaxCDN: MaxCDN is one of the most popular and reliable CDN service provider in the market. Its servers are spread around the globe and have fast speed SSDs. It has a user friendly admin panel where you can easily purge caches, setup locations and view reports etc.
  • KeyCDN: KeyCDN is another famous CDN that comes with features such as detailed reports, comprehensive dashboard, instant cache purge and free SSL certificate, etc.

9 - Customize Your Siteโ€™s Basic Information


In the search engine world, your website can stay ahead on the SERP ranking if it has a unique identity. Search engine giants like Google, Bing and Yahoo appreciate distinctiveness. It is, therefore, important that you customize your siteโ€™s title, tagline, URL address, email, time zone and date format, etc.To change these settings go to WordPressDashboard โ†’ Settings โ†’ General

10 - Power-up your SEO



Ranking on the search engines has become a cut throat competition. Website owners are trying to get their sites on the top results with various techniques out of which SEO is the most important one. In the Game of Ranks, WordPress owners are opting for plugins that can serve as SEO powerhouses in order to achieve maximum organic traffic.ย  Some of the most popular and recommended WordPress SEO plugins are listed below:
  • Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is an amazing plugin that has covers almost all aspects of on-page SEO such as titles, meta tags, meta description and sitemaps. The premium version of this plugin has SEO services for videos, news and WooCommerce.
  • All-in-One SEO Pack: This plugin has various features such as social meta data, robot.txt generator, bad bot blocker, XML sitemap support and Google Analytics
  • SEO Ultimate: This free plugin has a huge inventory of strong features such as title tag rewriter, meta description editor, rich snippet creator and deeplink juggernaut.
In addition to the plugins, make sure your site has been properly configured SEO-wise. Go to Dashboard โ†’ Settings โ†’ Reading and make sure the Search Engine Visibility sectionโ€™s โ€˜Discourage search engines from indexing this siteโ€™ checkbox is unchecked.

11 - Change the Permalinks


In WordPress, the permalinks have a default permalink structure which is not SEO-friendly. There are many options available for the structure that you can utilize. One of the most commonly used are the Post Name, Month and Name & Day and Name. There is also an option for making a custom structure. You can change the permalink structure from Dashboard โ†’ Settings โ†’ Permalinks.The recommended structure by SEO gurus is the Post Name structure which is according to the Google guidelines and best SEO practices.

12 - Ban Spam Comments



Spam comments are a source of nuisance for many WordPress websites owners. These spammy comments are also one of the things that increase your bad SEO score. You can put a stop to this problem by installing an anti-spam plugin. There are both free and premium plugins available that can combat this issue effectively like Akismet, WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam and Anti-spam etc.

13 - Search Engine Site Submission


Whether you have a new website or a revamped version of an existing site, always submit it to the search engines. By doing so you will encourage the crawlers to go through your site and index the new content as soon as possible.Here are the submission links for the three main search engines:

14 - Social Media Integration



The influence of viral content cannot be denied and for something to get viral you need the power of social media. Social media plugins can now cater various aspects of digital marketing with their extensive features and functionalities.
  • Social Warfare: As the name indicates, Social Warfare come with all the necessary arsenal you require. It supports all major social media platforms, displays share counts/buttons in an aesthetically pleasing manner and keeps track of all social shares.
  • Shareaholic: Shareaholic offers features such as social sharing, social bookmarking, built-in social analytics, and integrated Google analytics. It also comes with a recommendation and related content tool along with Google URL shortener support.
  • Sumo Share: Sumo Share is a flexible social media plugin that gives user the button customization, various options for their placement and share count display alternatives. It also provides features such as highlighter, list builder, heat maps and content analytics.

15 - Sitemaps


A sitemap is a file that contains your siteโ€™s URLs and helps in intelligent crawling of your pages. Google crawlers make use of this file in understanding what type of information is present on your site and how it has been organized. This allows quick indexing of new and good quality pages.You can easily generate a sitemap for your WordPress site by installing the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This plugin will dynamically generate the sitemaps in a couple of clicks and add links of new pages/posts as they are created.

16 - Google Analytics



Google Analytics is a brilliant tool that allows you to monitor your traffic and the audienceโ€™s actions. It comes with a feature rich dashboard and can provide you comprehensive reports regarding you traffic such as visits per day, most viewed pages, bounce rate, conversion rate, detailed profiling of traffic and much more. This is a free tool which any website owner can easily integrate with their website by embedding the analytics code in their site.

CONCLUSION


So that concludes our 2018 WordPress checklist of most important tasks you need to carry-out after publishing a WordPress site. We know there are many more things that you could do and myriads of plugins that you can choose from. So, do mention in the comments what additional steps you take once your site is launched.

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