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Going live with a new website can always be tricky, especially if it is a complex Ecommerce webshop based on Magento 1.

A nice webshop takes weeks and months to be developed and ‘go-live’ is the day when you present all that hard work in form of your new webshop to your customers and partners.
It can give you and your team many sleepless nights if you are not fully prepared for it.
It is always possible that someone forgot something critical and that part might stop working when the site is live. Debugging and fixing issues on a live site should always be avoided, so even a small issue in live site can push you back.

That by default puts the reputation of your company/brand at stake, so it is very important that the webshop works perfectly right from the first visitor.

It should also be noted that customers avoid placing orders on sites that do not work smoothly throughout the process. The shopping experience should be flawless if you want to turn all your visitors into customers.

At Hungersoft, we have years of experience in developing and putting hundreds of Magento webshops live. And it is always a privilege to share our knowledge with the wider community. 
In the same spirit, we created a quick check-list that can help you in preparing for go-live phase of your Magento 1 webshop.

Going through this checklist should generally be the responsibility of Project/Delivery manager. But the list can be used by all parties involved to prepare for the go-live phase.
Note that this is not an exhaustive testing list, but only a handy reference list for the go-live process.

A. After testing rounds

Once you have completed your development and debugging rounds and think that everything is ready, you should check for following points:

  1. Check (and apply) if Magento has released any new security patches for your M1 version.
  2. Favicon has been added to the site?
  3. Banners and links on homepage are working?
  4. In backend, Design > HTML Head values filled with correct information?
  5. Product placeholder Images were added?
  6. Copyright text and links are correct in footer?
  7. Cookie bar implemented and working correctly (important for EU websites)?
  8. Contact page and store Information added?
  9. Header search works?
  10. Categories and menu structure set correctly, as per required sitemap?
  11. Filters working correctly on product list pages?
  12. Sorting works correctly on product list pages?
  13. All required CMS pages created and their content was added?
  14. Privacy, shipping, T&C pages were added with correct information?
  15. All Footer links work correctly?
  16. Social media links are added correctly?
  17. Sales email address set from backend?
  18. Transactional Emails checked and approved?
  19. Invoice and Packing Slip Design checked and approved?
  20. Logo correct in emails and pdfs?
  21. Product and shipping tax settings checked for B2C and B2B orders (if applicable)?
  22. Tax lines and amounts displayed correctly everywhere?
  23. Shipping Origin country set?
  24. 404 Page checked?
  25. Error Page checked?
  26. Newsletter Subscription working?
  27. Allowed countries configured?
  28. Shipping costs added for all allowed countries?
  29. All required modules configured and working correctly?
  30. Admin Url changed from default /admin?
  31. Minified JS and CSS?
  32. GPSI / GTmetrix scores optimised to maximum scores possible?
  33. W3C errors minimized to lowest possible number?

B. Before Go-Live

Make sure following points are ticked-off before starting the go-live process:

  1. Go-live was approved by developers?
  2. Go-live was approved by business owner?
  3. DNS manager details arranged and low TTL value set?
  4. Payment gateway details (live) arranged?
  5. Module Licenses ready for live domains?
  6. Test data cleared from the webshop?
  7. GA number available?
  8. Redirect plan ready?
  9. Live hosting/server setup ready?
  10. If it is a dedicated/VPS server then:
    • Check hostname
    • Check vhost config
  11. SSL Certificate purchased and implemented on live server? (Check and avoid RC4 cipher)
  12. Informed client that there will be some downtime (if there was a site live on the domain)?

C. During Go-Live

  1. While the site is going live, following checks should be performed:
  2. Domain pointed towards live server IP?
  3. Base URLs edited in Magento database?
  4. WordPress blog integration (if applicable)
    •    URLs updated?
    •    Change default email address
    •    Update permalinks
    •    ‘Discourage search engine’ option unchecked
    •    WP admin password changed?
  5. Google Analytics configured?
  6. Shipping Methods made live and working?
  7. Payment gateways made live and working?
  8. Robots.txt file updated with live entries?
  9. Magento and WP file permissions set correctly?
  10. Data re-indexed?
  11. Cron jobs running correctly?
  12. Cache cleared and enabled?
  13. Backend password changed from default?

D. After Go-Live

Ok so now your Magento 1 webshop is live, but we are not done yet. Following points still need to be checked and confirmed:

  1. Required 301/302 redirects setup done?

2. Run the site through multiple link-checkers and fix broken links (if any)
  2. All transactional mails being delivered correctly to Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook?
  3. Google Sitemap generated?
  4. All frontend pages loading within 2 seconds
  5. Backup script implemented and working?
  6. Download folder disabled?
  7. All import/export processes (if any) working?
  8. Server monitoring setup?
  9. Paid test order placed successfully on live site?
  10. Search works?
  11. All stake-holders (developers, managers, clients, payment gateway, shipper, marketing/seo, warehouse etc.) informed about go live?
  12. Monitor the site for new real customers and orders.
  13. Live happily ever after!

We are sure that go-live process will be a much smoother experience for everyone involved if you take care of all the points mentioned above.

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