Last Updated: 19 Oct 2011
Website Launch / Relaunch Checklist
This checklist is useful when you're launching / relaunching a website or webapp. It doesn't substitute for a full QA; it's more of a 'don't forget to…' list.
- Verify that QA is complete and there are no outstanding issues / tickets.
- Verify server settings. Vhosts must be setup and ready. The domain must be pointed at the new server (or have a 300s TTL if you're still pointing to the old server until launch).
- Make sure you've migrated the old
.htaccessfile, including special settings and any redirects included there.
- Do a final spot check of pages or your app (preferably in IE) and make sure nothing looks broken; all pages have title tags, meta data, etc.
- Make sure Google Analytics is installed, including any advanced tracking (virtual pageviews, e-commerce, event tracking, etc.)
- Make sure you have a written launch procedure, as well as a rollback procedure. These can be simple - a few steps written on a napkin for the launch, and just a 'restore backups' step for the rollback. But make sure you actually have them, and have them written down. Launch is no time to ad-hoc important system changes.
- Things you'll probably want to include on the launch plan:
- Making backups of files and dumping databases.
- Running your CSS/JS minification scripts (if you have them).
- Putting your app into 'maintenance mode'.
- Updating/installing any needed server side software (e.g. an updated version of curl)
- Pushing out your actual code.
- Making specific file or filesystem changes needed for launch (e.g. creating a needed symlink or changing a specific config file)
- Running database update scripts.
- Running one-time scripts, e.g. a permissions fixer script or something.
- Setting up needed cron jobs.
- Making any needed changes to Google Analytics goals, etc. as you go live.
- Spot check the website again, probably in IE, to make sure everything looks good. Also spot check functionality (e.g. registration, login, contact forms, basic functionality in your app).
- Make sure httpd access and error logs are going where you think they should be. Review the files and make sure no unexpected errors are showing up.
- Spot check a few redirects (e.g. from old pages) to make sure they work.
- Set TTLs back to 86400.
- Check Google Analytics and make sure you're still getting tracking data and goals, etc. are still working. Note that Google typically takes ~3 hrs to update data.
- Make sure any monitoring you've setup is showing everything is online and operational.