WordPress pre-go live checklist


Development / 5 min read

WordPress pre-go live checklist

someone making a checklist on a notebook

When a WordPress web development project nears completion, everyone involved feels a combination of anxiousness and excitement. There are so many things to check that it easily gets overwhelming, and that’s when a WordPress pre-go live checklist comes into play.

Over our years of experience, we have created multiple pre-go live checklists and gradually improved upon them. This article will explore the importance of pre-go live checklists and our current checklist (which you can download), broken down into sections.

Hopefully, you’ll find it useful and incorporate the parts that fit better into your workflow.

What is a WordPress pre-go-live checklist?

someone making a checklist on glass with a marker

Pre-go-live checklists are sheets or templates used to track the tasks Quality Assurance (QA) analysts must perform for websites to be deployed successfully and without major issues.

In WordPress software development, “going live” means deploying a website and making it available to the public. WordPress websites go through multiple phases before being publicly available, from design to typography selection and sitemap setup, to final delivery to the client.

QA analysts ensure the quality of every software, product, and system associated with the project meets all the visual and functional goals set by the team and client. Pre-go live checklists are one of the resources QA analysts use to ensure quality at every phase of the project.

However, keep in mind that even in controlled development environments it can be challenging to account for every variable that could lead to a bug. As a result, QA is sometimes more about taking bugs and issues to the minimum rather than eliminating them completely.

What are the benefits of WordPress pre-go live checklists?

Pre-go-live checklists list tasks for QA analysts to perform in the context of a website deployment. They bring many benefits to the web development process, including the following:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of what’s needed to deploy without issues.
  • Verifying compatibility for plugins and themes.
  • Detecting errors, bugs, and system misbehaviors that developers missed.
  • Checking the pre-live website’s security and performance.
  • Meeting deadlines for web development objectives, which also saves on costs.
  • Enabling faster and more efficient development.
  • Ensuring a high-quality user experience.
  • Preventing the financial and reputational consequences of delivering buggy or incomplete websites.

Get your Free File

"*" indicates required fields

WordPress pre-go live checklist for QA analysts

woman making a checklist on a notebook


Responsive web design ensures that websites will render well on the widest possible range of screen sizes while retaining usability. WordPress QA analysts use built-in web browser tools to ensure the pre-live site displays correctly for various devices.

The main screen sizes we focus on are the following:

  • Mobile (less than 576 pixels).
  • Tablet (768 px).
  • Tablet (1024 px).
  • Desktop (1440 px).

Cross-browser functionality

Ensuring that your website renders and displays properly on all major browsers is essential for making the most functional and accessible you can. Most of our traffic for the websites we build comes from the US, so we focus on the Safari browser, but we still remember all others.

Chrome is the most popular browser worldwide, so it should also have priority, but you must also consider your target audience. Depending on the country most of your traffic will come from, you should consider which browser to prioritize.

Other popular browsers are Safari for iOS, Mozilla, and Edge.


Functionality refers to the interactive aspects of your site: buttons, scrollers, verification tests, etc. The most common functional elements we focus on are the following:

  • Social media. Making sure all social media “Share” buttons work properly.
  • Forms. Verify web form functionality that collects user data or processes login credentials. CAPTCHAs may be involved.
  • Slideshows. 

Certain websites may have other functional elements, but these are the ones we work with the most often.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is increasing organic website traffic by improving the site’s content, security, functionality, accessibility, and more. Websites with better SEO provide better user experiences and rank higher on search results.

When going through the pro-go live preparations, our QA analysts focus on the following:

  • Making sure Yoast SEO is installed, activated, and up to date.
  • Checking the sitemap exists and is optimized.
  • Checking that the robots.txt file exists and is optimized (disallows wp-admin, allows admin-ajax.php, etc.).
  • Verifying that there’s only one H1 header per page.
  • Verifying that all images have an alternative title and a title.
  • On Google Search Console, verify that the sitemap is being read correctly and there are no indexing errors.
  • Going page for page using the “SEO META in 1 Click” browser extension and looking for errors.
  • Optimizing the URL format. It is done by configuring the Yoast SEO “Site basics” section to ensure words in URLs are separated with a dash (-).
  • Making sure staging environments are password-protected.


Optimizing content is also essential for SEO ranking and website performance. This is what we primarily focus on:

  • Replacing demo content and “lorem ipsum” placeholder text.
  • Ensuring that CTA links contain only relative URLs instead of absolute ones.
  • Verifying that broken or invalid links redirect to a 404 error page.
  • Verifying all legal disclaimers like cookies and privacy policies are active and displayed correctly.
  • Verifying that images are using the WebP format.
  • Verifying that the tab icon or favicon exists and is correct.

Pre-go live checks

These are the last checks and verifications necessary before launching the website. We focus on the following:

  • Checking the site’s “Settings” section from the dashboard and verifying all the data is correct.
  • Setting up and configuring Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
  • Making sure WordPress and all plugins and themes are up to date.
  • Confirming that submitted forms arrive at the correct email address.
  • Verifying there’s an active security plugin.
  • Verifying the validity of the website’s SSL certificate.
  • Renewing caches.
  • Testing the site with Lighthouse and making the necessary adjustments.
  • Testing the site as a final user.

QA testing is an iterative and ever-changing process

QA analysts perform these checks multiple times throughout the phases of web development to ensure that objectives have been met and the project is on track.

We hope this checklist is useful for you and you can incorporate it into your QA and web development process. However, keep in mind that every agency and developer needs to adjust workflows and methods based on its needs, so simply applying what other agencies do may not always be the best choice.

Furthermore, our processes are constantly evolving, and as technology keeps evolving, it’s important to stay current and adapt to evolving best practices. Consider all of these when incorporating our pre-go live checklist into your workflow.