The final stage of the web project involves much more than just moving the test site on to the live server. To minimise issues and maximise impact proper consideration should be given to a range of pre-implementation and post-implementation activities.
It is important to have a clear plan for the migration from your existing site to the new site which minimises any reduction in search engine ranking. Pages from the old site should smoothly redirect to pages in the new site so that visitors and search engines do not find themselves with a ‘page not found’ error. This is an essential step to ensure all social media posts and other content you have created remains valuable once the new site goes live. It also means that the search engines will be able to discover your new pages more quickly and so become available in the search engine results with minimal delay.
This is another area where we feel we place greater emphasis than many other web agencies.
Once the new site has been moved to the live environment, there remain a number of tasks and checks to be carried out.
- Ensure that all appropriate security measures are in place and functioning correctly.
- Ensure site statistics are being collected and set up any particular data collection measures that may be needed
- Submit new sitemaps to the search engines which detail the pages and images to be processed
- Check that web addresses from the old site are being redirected to the proper pages in the new site
- Check that the search engines can ‘see’ the new pages
- Check that the page load speeds on the live server are as expected
- Ensure that backups are being automatically taken
- Check that there are no broken links on the new site