Putting together a website is intensive work, y’all! And when you have your head down in the design phase, it’s easy to get so focused on what you’re doing that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Whether you’re DIY-ing your website or working with a pro, setting aside dedicated time to preview your website and make sure everything is working is a super-important step. Check before you launch your website to catch mistakes, design snafus, and any missing pieces! In this post, I’ll outline how to preview your WordPress website before going live. Follow along to make sure you’re ready for launch!
Wondering how to test a WordPress website before going live?
It’s actually a pretty easy process! The biggest factor is making sure you’re thorough and test everything out. Here’s a list of everything you should check before you launch your website!
Click on EVERYTHING
I’m talking about every link, every opt-in, and every button on your whole site! Test out every dang thing to make sure it goes where it’s supposed to go. It’s all too easy to overlook a link or paste the wrong one in.
While you’re at it, fill out the contact form to check out what your lead funnel looks like from the clients’ point of view. Does everything work as expected? Do you get a thank you message after submitting info? Does everything show up in your CRM?
Give the SEO a once-over
Each page should have a meta description, featured image, and H1 tag that includes a target keyword phrase. You can double check which featured image will show for a given page here.
For bonus points, make sure you’ve switched out the favicon (that little icon that appears next to your site name on a browser tab) for a custom logo. Nothing screams DIY like leaving the default web hosting icon as your favicon!
Psst! Download our free SEO Checklist for Online Service Providers to get all the details on how to give your website searchability a boost!
Update the social links
This one’s SO easy to overlook! Templates often come with ready-made icons for social media links. However, you’ll need to manually update them to direct them to your actual social profiles. Otherwise, they’ll be broken or redirect to a default address that came with the template. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked a social icon on someone’s website…only to be directed to the hosting company’s social profiles! 🤦🏻♀️
Check out the footer
Submit your site information to Google
You don’t HAVE to do this – technically, Google’s robots will (read: should) eventually index your site. However, if you’re launching a new site, it’s the only way to get your site indexed right away! Head over to Google Search Console to submit your site and set up Google Analytics.
If you’re unsure whether your site has already been indexed, type “site:yoururl.com” into the search bar. Anything that shows up in search results has already been indexed!
Check your site on different devices
Try out every device you have on hand! Phones, tablets, laptops, you name it! Also, test things out on several different monitor sizes for good measure. I like to pull up websites on different devices I have on hand and on Browser Stack. Some templates have built-in responsive design. However, it’s safest to double check and make sure everything looks good to go.
Proofread your copy
If you wrote your site copy yourself, take a break before reading it with a fresh pair of eyes. Grammarly is a great site for catching common spelling and grammar errors, but you should also read things out loud to see how they flow. You can even have a friend read through your site to make sure your client journey is cohesive.
Check image quality
Pixelated, low-quality images can absolutely tank your site’s credibility! If things aren’t looking great, try uploading a different size or format – or switching them out for new images entirely!
Ready to test your WordPress website before going live?
Download the free guide on How to Preview Your WordPress Website Before Going Live! It’s a comprehensive checklist and pre-launch guide so you can confidently get your site out to the world.