Website Checklist (General)

A general purpose checklist for launching a website. For websites with user accounts, see the separate checklist on security.

Content checks
Contact us page/details exist
Contact details accurate
Contact details actually checked; emails/twitter/phone numbers work with successful delivery
No test content left on site
Colour contrast of text
RSS links to any feeds
Social share buttons working
Twitter widget working
Clear and consistent navigation model
proof read for
Punctuation (apostrophes, quotes, hyphens)
Orphaned/widowed words looking odd at the end of important paragraphs
Invisible, or initially not-displayed, text such as alt text and content displayed by javascript
check consistency of
Tone of voice
Tense and consistent narrative point-of-view
Referring to website's brand
Referring to proper nouns and common phrases
Punctuation after items in lists
US/UK spelling
Markup checks
HTML doctype set
All internal/external links work
Important pages print nicely
No links point to test/staging domain, preferably all links relevative
Micro-formats present and correct, if relevant
HTML head and meta tags
Title not a template default
Description supplied and relevant to page contents
Viewport settings for mobiles and tablets
Manifest file for off-line caching
Apple-specific favicons (various sizes)
Javascript checks
No javascript errors
No debug output in console
Big blocks of commented code (unless minifying)
No sensitive data (secret keys or credentials, user passwords, etc)
3rd party libraries are the minified version
Search for TODO and FIXME
SEO basics
Page titles are unique and relevant
Relevant meta-descriptions for all/important pages
Consistency of internal links (canonical URLs)
Target keywords used throughout site or on important pages
Target keywords are in html (not images)
Try reading the page with no CSS and no images
SEO friendly URLs
User friendly URLs and structure
Images have alt text
Submit sitemap.xml to major search engines
Uniqueness of content (no alternative URLs to the same content)
Server config
404, 500 and other error pages customised and friendly
crossdomain.xml, if relevant
Log level not left at debug verbosity
Adword / campaign / referrer IDs make it to the log files
Database backup running regularly
Database backup tested for actually working
File/directory permissions and ownership
Admin and CMS pages protected
Links and redirects from your other sites updated if changing URL schemes
Firewall configuration / run port scanner
Site auto-restarts after a server power cycle
www subdomain redirects to main domain or vice-versa
DNS changes ready if any, with strategy for any propagation delays
You own all the copyright or have permission to publish the content
Privacy policy in place
Website usage terms and conditions in place
Copyright notice, with current year
Business registration details present, if required
internal monitors running for
Disk space
Load level
Memory/swap usage
Database key performance metrics
Request latency
Error monitoring of server logs
Exception monitoring of application logs
Broken links
Approaching expiry of certificates
Intrusion detection
notification / alerting
Email alerting of errors and warnings
SMS alerting of errors
Escalation process
Third party tools
Website uptime monitoring (preferably from globally distributed locations)
Google webmaster console
YSlow run on important pages
Third party UX testing service
HTML validation
CSS validation
Javascript lint (maybe)
Accessibility testing
Broken link checker
Visits and page counts
Goals configured
404 page counting (if not detecting separately)
Adword integration working
Functional Testing
// obviously need to also test all proprietary functionality of the site
Check email delivery via third party service is working
Check inbox placement success rate if DIY email delivery
Site responds appropriately when javascript turned off
Site responds appropriately when cookies turned off
Search functionality works and produces relevant results
Double click on buttons
Forms reject invalid data
Forms display friendly validation errors
Unicode content (submits in forms and renders in content)
Bot traps for publicly accessible forms
Try markup and javascript in input fields
Try sql injection style attacks in input fields
Resize the browser through a range of sizes on all pages
Visit beginning, middle and last pages of paginated lists
Check forwards and backwards links work in paginated lists
Embedded videos working, and load quickly and completely
Edit URL parameters to check extreme values
Browser Compatability
Big screen browsers
IE 9 & 10
IE 8
IE 7 and below
ChromeFrame for IE
Touchscreen mobile devices
Android mobiles
Android tablets
Non-touch and smaller mobiles
Opera Mini
Provide meta tag to disable Google Wireless Transcoder if relevant
Performance testing
Run YSlow on important pages
Load testing - request volume
Load testing - request size/impact
Check page size and download times
Performance considerations
Image sizes and optimisation
Caching set correctly
Content distribution network needed?
Number of resources to download
Compression of http content
Minification/obfuscation of javascript and css
Verbosity of CSS
Database indexes
Javascript declared/loaded after HTML content
Deployment process
Rollback procedure ready
Re-deployment on new servers tested for disaster recovery
Deployment of servers, code and content is as automated as possible, preferably a single command/button
Estimation of network and server loads after launch
Capacity of service understood from load testing
Responsibilities of team members understood for handling any problems post-launch
Payment gateway switched to live mode (not left in test mode)
Updates requiring downtime
Will downtime be required for an update?
Staff and customers aware of any downtime
Marketing campaigns (e.g adwords) paused
Placeholder page ready during downtime
Post launch
Suggest the site to the Open Directory Project (
Setup google alerts for key terms relating to the site
Test the alerting and escalation process from time to time
run A/B testing to experiment and improve conversion ratios
// sources
// and comments

Subscribe to receive pragmatic strategies and starter templates straight to your inbox