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Recently we published a check-list for going live with a new Magento CE 1.X webshop.
 You can read it at: Go-Live Checklist – Magento 1. But Magento 2 is the way forward and more and more businesses are launching their Magento 2.X webshops. So we decided to release a check-list for Magento 2 as well.
 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 of a new webshop.

Please note that this is not a complete testing list for Magento 2.2 webshops, but only a handy reference list for the go-live process. We will divide the go-live process into 4 phases: A, B, C and D.

Let’s take them up one by one:


A. Things to check after development and debugging rounds

Once you have completed development and debugging phase of your project, you should check for following:

1. Added Favicon for your site?

A favicon is a tiny icon for your website which is used at various places in a browser. It is also called a website icon, a shortcut icon or a tab icon. Favicon image can be 16 x 16 pixels or 32 x 32 pixels. You can use ICO, PNG, JPG, and SVG file types, but we suggest you use an ICO image.
You can add it from Magento backend > Content (left column) > Design - Configurations > Click on ‘Edit’ link of your theme > HTML head > Favicon icon > Upload your favicon image > Save.

2. Default SEO values for site header


In the same backend section as mentioned above, make sure that other default values are saved: Default Page Title, Page Title Prefix, Page Title Suffix, Default Meta Description and Default Meta Keywords.
Also don’t forget to disable demo store notice (if it was enabled during development).

3. Logo


Make sure that correct logo is added and its alt text is also set correctly.
This can be done from Magento backend > Content (left column) > Design - Configurations > Click on ‘Edit’ link of your theme > Header > Upload logo and save Logo Image Alt text as well.
You can also edit the welcome text from here if needed.
You can also change the logo that is used in email templates from ‘Transactional emails’ block in same backend section.

4. Copyright text


Make sure that Copyright text and links are correct in footer.
This can be done from Magento backend > Content (left column) > Design - Configurations > Click on ‘Edit’ link of your theme > Footer > Copyright > Enter the correct content > Save.


5. Placeholder product images


Do not forget to add placeholder image for your products. This is the image that is shown when no image is added to a product. By default it displays Magento logo, which does not looks professional on a live site. You can use an image with your branding in it.
You can upload the placeholder image from Magento backend > Stores > Settings > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Product image placeholders > upload the image file(s) > Save



6. Cookie bar


Make sure that Cookie restriction mode is implemented and working correctly.
This is important if you deal with EU visitors and customers.
You can manage it from Magento backend > Stores > Settings > Configuration > General > Web > Default cookie settings > Set Cookie Restriction Mode to “Yes.” > Save.
You can also set other cookie related values from this section and do not forget to mention about cookies in your privacy policy page.

7. Contact page


Make sure that contact page is active and form works.
You can manage the settings from Magento backend > Stores > Settings > Configurations > General > Contacts > Enable ‘Contact us’ = Yes > Save.
You can also set contact form emails from ‘Email options’ section.

8. Check if the search field in frontend header is working correctly.

9. Cross check Categories and menu structure with the planned sitemap.

10. Check each product filter on product list pages individually to see if they are working correctly.

11. Try out the Sorting options on product list pages.

12. Pages


Check links of all CMS pages on frontend and make sure that their pages are created with correct content. You can manage CMS pages from Magento backend > Content > Elements – Pages > Open your page or create a new one > Add content > Save.

13. Make sure that Privacy, shipping, T&C pages were added with correct information.
These pages should contain all important information for customers.

14. Click on each social media icon/link on frontend and see if it is opening correct page in a new browser tab.

15. Sales email address should be set correctly:

You can manage this from Magento backend > Stores > Configuration > Sales > Sales emails > Add the correct email id(s) which should receive bcc copy or all transactional emails (order, invoice, shipment, credit memo etc.) > Save.

16. Transactional Emails should be checked and approved.


Email templates can be managed from Magento backend > Marketing > Email templates.
If you do not see any email templates listed here that means your webshop is using default email templates.
If you need custom email templates then have your developer add custom email templated with required content.

17. Invoice and Packing slip design should be checked and approved.

18. Product and shipping tax settings should be tested for B2C and B2B orders (if applicable).


You can manage tax settings from Magento backend > Stores > Configuration > Sales > Tax > Check each of those sections and make sure they are configured as per your business requirements.

19. On frontend and emails, check that tax lines and amounts are displayed correctly.

20. Don’t forget to set Shipping Origin country.


You can do this from Magento backend > Stores > Configuration > Sales > Shipping settings > Origin > Country > Select your base country from where products will be shipped > Save.

21. Make sure that 404 Page is filled with useful content in correct language.


You can edit it from Pages section in backend.

22. Error Page should be checked. Does not looks professional if you display default error page.

23. Try out the Newsletter Subscription mechanism by actually subscribing like a visitor.

24. If you ship to multiple countries then make sure that all those countries are selected as ‘Allowed countries’ in backend.


You can do it from Magento backend > Stores > Configuration > General > General > Allow countries > Tick select all countries you want to cater to > Save.

26. Also check that all store information is added correctly from Magento backend > Stores > Configuration > General > General > Enter correct values in fields of Locale options and Store information blocks

25. On checkout page, check and make sure that shipping costs are added for all allowed countries.

26. Ask your developers to minify JS and CSS and check the frontend for any issues.

27. Before going live, GPSI / GTmetrix scores should be optimised to maximum scores possible.

28. W3C errors should also be minimized to lowest possible number.
 

B. BEFORE GO-LIVE

Make sure following points are taken care of before starting the go-live process:

1. Go-live should be approved by developers and business owner.
Everyone should be aware that there can be some downtime (if there was a site live on the domain already).

2. DNS manager details should be arranged and low TTL value should be set.

3. Payment gateway details (live) should be arranged in advance.

4. All test data (orders, customers, demo products) should be cleared from the webshop.

5. Site’s Google analytics id should be added.

6. Redirect plan should be ready by now. Keep your server admin ready with it.

7. Live hosting/server should already be setup and ready before you reach this point.

8. If it is a dedicated/VPS server then you should check hostname and vhost configuration.

9. SSL Certificate should be purchased and implemented on live server (Check and avoid RC4 cipher).

10. Don't forget to update your server configuration to discontinue TLSv1.0 support.
 

C. DURING GO-LIVE

When your team is publishing the site on live domain, following things should be take care of:

1. Domain should be pointed towards live server IP correctly.

2. Base URLs should be edited in Magento database.

3. Shipping Methods should be made live.

4. Payment methods should be made live.

5. Robots.txt file should be updated with live entries.

6. Magento file and folder permission should be set correctly.

7. Once on live domain, data re-index should be run.

8. Cron jobs should be setup correctly.

9. Cache should be cleared and enabled.

10. Backend password should be changed from default.

11. Don’t forget to put the webshop in production mode and deploy static content again.
We already described the steps in this article: https://www.hungersoft.com/info/magento2-different-modes



D. AFTER GO-LIVE


By this point, your webshop must be live, but you still cannot rest. You need to check following things:


1. Required 301/302 redirects setup should be done.

2. You should run the site through link-checker tools and fix all broken links (if any)
https://validator.w3.org/checklink

3. Check if all transactional mails being delivered correctly to Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.
It is important that all customers are able to receive emails from the webshop.

4. Google Sitemap should be generated and submitted.

5. Ideally, all frontend pages should be loading within 2 seconds.
If this is not the case then you should look at server and Magento optimization.

6. As soon as the site is live, a reliable backup script implemented.
We recently wrote an article about best backup strategies. You can read it here: https://www.hungersoft.com/info/website-backups

You can also take a back manually, read our earlier article to know more: https://www.hungersoft.com/info/magento2-take-backup

7. You should also setup a server and site monitoring service on the live setup.

8. Place a few paid test order to makes sure that the order process is working correctly.

9. All stake-holders (developers, managers, clients, payment gateway, shipper, marketing/seo, warehouse etc.) should be informed that the site is live and invite them to browse and provide their feedback.

10. Monitor the site for new real customers and orders for next few days!

That concludes our go-live check-list for a Magento 2 webshop. We are sure that you can avoid a lot of last minute stress if you cover all the points mentioned in this list.

 At Hungersoft, our managers and developers have decades of experience and have successfully launched hundreds of Magento webshops. We not only help you with developing a great webshop but also assist you with deploying it smoothly and can help you run it perfectly. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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