Site Start Checklist

Knowledge Center

Site Start Checklist

Before starting

Content and style

  • Typography
  • Correct symbols. Put down the correct symbols such as dash, quotation marks and apostrophes, depending on the language of the site
  • Hyphenation. Put down non-breaking spaces between initials, dashes, before the last words
  • For the English: Ligatures. Put down ligatures in the headers, if needed
  • Carefully read the text and check spelling
  • Connectedness of the texts
  • Check the register in the important texts and headlines
  • Provide a single text style
  • The unity of repetitive phrases (i.e. "Learn more", "Read more», «N comments", etc.)
  • Punctuation in lists (e.g. if the list item ends with a point then the following paragraph should begin with an uppercase letter and vice versa for the semicolon)
  • Check if there are no hardcoded links to dev-server
  • Check of there is no test content on the site
  • Check the printed versions of important pages
  • Check the RSS feed and the displaying of content in Google Reader
  • In the case of redesign or modification of the information architecture check if there are redirects from the old URL to the new
  • Check the hidden text (i.e., alt / title attributes of HTML tags, text in JavaScript functions)

Standards and Validation

  • Accessibility for people with disabilities (check if everything is ok with the perception of color, sound, site navigation and so on)
  • HTML validation
  • JavaScript validation
  • CSS validation

Availability in search engines, SEO and statistics

  • Page Titles are very important, make sure they make sense and contain important keywords
  • Fill in the meta- tag description for important pages
  • Bring links to the home page to a single view (i.e., to choose one thing from variations http://site.ru, http://www.site.ru, http://www.site.ru/index.html)
  • Guarantee the preceding 6 point by redirecting to the selected version (e.g. redirect from http://www.site.ru/ * to http://site.ru/ *)
  • Ensure in semantically competent use of HTML tags (<h1>, <h2>, ... etc.)
  • Check for important keywords in the content
  • Bring references to a readable form (e.g. http://site.ru/blog/how-to-make-coffee, http://site.ru/user/nastya, etc.)
  • Add Google Analytics, FeedBurner, and / or other systems of statistics measurement
  • Create XML Sitemap
  • Add this site to Google Webmaster Tools

Functional Testing

  • Check all ordered / special / complex functionality
  • Check the search work (including relevance)
  • Check the site work in different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome etc.), versions (6, 7, 2.2, 3.1 etc.) and platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux)
  • Check the view of the site at different screen resolutions (1280 × 1024, 1024 × 768 1920 × 1200 800 × 600 ...)
  • Test all forms (contact, comments, feedback ...), add the captcha or other protection
  • Check out all e-mail templates
  • To test the site’s capacity for work with JavaScript, Flash, and other components turned off
  • Check the availability of external links

Safety / Risk

  • Configure scheduled backups, and test the restored one
  • Check whether the visitors have the access to the service / secret / private pages
  • Close access to the service / secret / private parts of this site for the search engines using robots.txt
  • Cut off the output of errors on the screen
  • Check the amount of available disk space and calculate how much it will suffice
  • Run a regular procedure for the crown (for most CMS)
  • Configure email / SMS notification of inoperable site / server


  • Conduct load testing
  • Optimize the images / graphics
  • Check and implement caching where it is necessary
  • Check the overall size / speed of loading pages
  • Minimize / compress static (JavaScript / HTML / CSS)
  • Optimize CSS: short path to the images, use the "cascading" basic of styles, etc.
  • Check the availability of indexes in the database tables
  • Check the other performance settings at all levels (server, database, CMS, etc.)
  • Enable logging of errors / performance on the server.

The final touches

  • Create your pages 404/403
  • Create a page "Site is under maintenance"
  • Create a favicon.

After starting


  • Add this site to social media: Twitter, VKontakte, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  • Add this site to search engines.
  • Customize PPC / Google Adwords (if required).
  • Check the formatting of the site in search results of search engines.


  • Monitor feedback (straight from the site, social media, Google, etc.)
  • Catch possible statistics problems with some sections / pages of the site.
  • Update the content.