Launching Your New Website Successfully

As designers and developers, we spend a lot of time creating new designs and implementing them, building the site, adding content and setting everything up so the site owner or administrator can take over. In the rush to get a site completed, several important steps could easily be overlooked. This article covers the most important steps to take when getting your website ready to launch. This is written for designers and developers but site owners and administrators will be interested in learning the site launch steps.

This article is written for Drupal websites specifically. But the main items apply to any platform such as Wordpress or Joomla. Here is an overview:
  • Be sure to enable and configure modules that prevent spam form submissions on your website
  • Keep working backups of your website on your home computer. You can ask your web developer for backup copies of your website on DVD.
  • Add Google Analytics so you can track visitors to your site and what pages they are visiting most often.
  • Add robots.txt to your root directory to enable Google and other search engines to index your website pages
  • Add content to your website in the first week after launch to perform testing

For Drupal websites:
1.    Be sure to have a complete working site backup on your local development server. I keep multiple copies of the site files and database on my dev server.

2.    Install your new Drupal site on your client web host account.

3.    Check Status Report for any installation errors and correct them.

4.    You can put your site in Maintenance Mode if you have tweaks to make. Your site admin or editors can view/edit site content when the site is in maintenance mode by giving them permission to do so

5.    Enable Mollom to prevent spam comments, contact form submissions, user registration. (

6.    Install reCaptcha module ( to prevent spam form submissions for Webforms

7.    Add Google Analytics tracking ID

8.    Add robots.txt to your root directory to allow search engines to index your site files

9.    Go to the Configuration >Development > Performance page
  • Compress CSS and Javascript files
  • Cache pages for anonymous visitors

10.    Check your PHP Memory Limit. If your PHP Memory Limit is 64 MB, be aware that you may have problems due to memory limitations. When I try to Save the Module configuration page, I sometimes get this error message: Memory limits exceeded. Drupal is quite memory intensive and 128MB of PHP Memory is recommended. One of my clients uses Host Papa shared hosting and CKeditor was not loading during staging and testing. They refused our request to increase the PHP Memory Limit to 128 MB. I turned on the CSS and Javascript compression and this seemed to help. CKeditor is now working.

11. When everything is done, you can put the site online and notify your client that your site has launched successfully.

Need help launching your website successfully? Contact Katy at