Prepping for go-live in the WMS

You've worked hard creating or redesigning your site and now you're all set to go live, but are you absolutely sure everything is in order?
Image by Matthew Henry.

Best practices for launching your WMS site

  1. Choose your go-live date wisely

    Avoid launching your site at a time when it will be in high demand, e.g. during registration periods, during recruitment season, while campaigns are in progress, or any time your site is being actively shared and promoted. Most sites will launch without technical problems, but issues can occur that result in sites becoming temporarily unavailable.

    Avoid launching your site when you are away from the office, or unreachable. If a problem occurs, it may be important for you to be available to provide input on decisions.

    Take note that it's standard practice to avoid launching sites on Fridays or weekends. When summer Fridays are in effect, this is extended to Thursdays, Fridays and weekends. Web Service Group team members are required to be on hand to launch a site and/or troubleshoot any issues that might occur after launch. Their regular office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  2. Check those links

    Make sure links are relative links instead of absolute links. You should also take care to fix any links that might be pointing to your staging site as these links will break when your site goes live.

    For additional details, read the IT Knowledge Base article, Links in the WMS.

  3. Un-publish blank pages and remove sample text

    Before submitting your go-live request, make sure you've unpublished any blank pages and replaced any sample text (e.g. lorem ipsum or "under construction" placeholder text). If you have content that you plan to publish or finalize at a later date, its better to keep these sections unpublished rather than present your visitors with empty, unfinished web pages.

Special considerations for launching a site redesign

  1. Channels dos and don'ts

    If you created channels items on your live site while it was in staging, contact the Web Service Group via the IT Service Desk to request a re-import of your channels items when your revamped site goes live. Where other content types are concerned, e.g. basic pages and articles, it's important to make sure content on the live site and on staging is kept in sync. In other words, if you create or edit a basic page on your live site, you should also create or edit the page in staging.

  2. Careful with your webform data

    Be sure to download webform data from your live site before your staging site goes live. That way, you'll have an archive of data captured while your site was in staging.

  3. Keep it short and sweet

    Once your site goes into staging, it's best to complete your revisions and launch in as short a time as possible. Keeping a site in staging for an extended period of time increases the possibility that your site content will become out of sync between your staging and live sites, meaning a greater chance that your redesigned site could launch with outdated content.

It never hurts to do one final overview of your site content to check for any typos or text formatting issues that may have been missed when you did your copy review.

Once you've checked your over your site and are sure it's ready for launch, submit your go-live request through our online form.

Laying the ground work for a worry-free launch

A well-planned and executed redesign is more likely to result in an easy and worry-free launch. If you're reading this article to do some early reconnaissance and your project is still in the early stages, check out our self-serve site review tools which are designed to help you plan, and efficiently execute, your redesign project.

Wishing you all the best with the launch of your new or redesigned website!

This article was originally published, 06/08/2018 and revised on 1/24/2023.

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