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29 Things To Do While Launching Your Magento Websites

June 4, 2015

6 Min Read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you are a web designer, the toughest job for you would be to launch a new website. You might think you have everything under control; however, in the back of your mind, you know there will be things that you might miss out on. When that happens, your perfectly planned project falls in doldrums.

checklist

To help with your project, I have compiled a checklist which is common to many Magento web shop projects. This list should be placed on every Magento developer’s desk! If you follow this small list, you will surely complete the launch of your Magento website successfully.

1. Configuring Base URLs

These URLs are stored in your Magento database table, core_config_data. But you can also access them through the Admin Panel by going to System > Configuration > Web.

These URLs only need to be updated once you decide to move your website. If left as it is, your staging site will be the one referred by all the URLs.

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2. Setting Up Favicon 

Magento stores require a little more of your efforts. So, you should create a favicon for your website. A favicon gives your website a unique identity and it gets displayed whenever someone bookmarks a page.

3. Preparing HTML Head

One of the most important things you should do for Magento SEO is to change the setting of your Magento HTML head. You can change the title, set the meta description, and review the keywords for the SEO when you navigate to System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head.

4. Placing Product Placeholder Images

Magento has default placeholder images for catalogues and products. When your product does not have its own image, then the placeholder images will be displayed by default. You can upload your own Product Placeholder Images by going to System > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Product Image Placeholders.

5. Entering the Correct Store Information 

You can find and change your store information in System > Configuration > General > Store Information. You can also change the email address of your store by going to System > Configuration > Store Email Addresses.

6. Changing the Admin URL

For security purposes, you should change the URL of your admin page. You can change your Admin URL via your admin panel. Go to System > Configuration > Advanced > Admin Admin Base URL. To ensure utmost protection for your store, choose a strong username and password for the admin.

7. Establishing the Tax Rules

There are many possibilities and choices that are specially designed by Magento to deal with the complicated processes of taxation. Classes of Product Taxes can be detailed and designated to a specific product by the owner. You can set the tax percentage as determined by the particular region, state, or country of your customer. Before going live, you should recheck it to assess whether you have missed something in the development period. You can find the tax settings in System > Configuration > Sales  > Tax > Tax.

8. Setting Default Image of Transactional Emails 

A default image is used by transactional emails. Ensure that the image is stored as logo_email_gif in your theme directory.

9. Finishing the Layout of 404 Error Page

Do not underestimate the abilities of a 404 error page. You can use it to put up some of your categories by editing your the layout of this page. You can do this by navigating to CMS > Pages > 404 Page.

10. Clearing Test Data

Remove all the things produced such as products, customers, and orders that were created during the development phase.

11. Setting Up Product Inventory 

It is inappropriate to have problems with stocks once the website starts working. Therefore, inspect what configuration your client wants to set up before going live.

12. Bringing JavaScript Into One File

To decrease the loading time of the webpages, you should restrict the amount of HTTP requests that are created every time. You can perform this task by flushing JavaScripts file into a single file: System > Configuration > Developer > JavaScripts > Settings.

13. Placing CSS in a Single File

This is somewhat similar to the JavaScript task. But, as it is an experimental one; therefore, you must take precaution before completing this task. One option is to power on the staging server before putting the website live to see if this task has any side-effects. This can be done by going to System > Configuration > Developer > CSS Setting.

14. Creating Maintenance Flag File 

When you are about to go live, make a maintenance file in the beginning of your Magento installation. Maintenance.flag file is quite useful, especially when you are using a slow FTP. When transferring your website, you should first place this file and then arrange the remaining files of Magento.

15. Creating Email Rule for Error Page Reporting

You can use various themes to display your error page. However, you should first change the file position in error directory. To stop the error page from printing stack trace, open the Error/local xml then turn the action from print to e-mail. This would prompt the error report to be sent to the email address you put in.

16. Handling Index Management

To ensure that your catalogues are functioning properly after migration, you need to re-index the data to make sure your changes show up in the front-end. You can do this by going to System > Index Management.

17. Enabling Caching

When developing, caching is disabled at the very beginning. Once done, you must remember to re-enable the caching again and refresh it when you are prepared for showtime.

18. Setting Up System Compilation

Compilation helps you decrease the loading time of your Magento site by almost 50 percent. The system compilation setting can be found in System > Tools > Compilation.

19. Setting Up Google Analytics

Clients want to keep an eye on each and everything, including visitors’ traffic, from the first day their site goes live. Magento has made it easy for you to set your Google Analytics account. You can then enter your account number in System > Configuration > Sales > Google API > Google Analytics.

20. Setting Up Google Base

One more important Google facility provided by Magento is the Google Base. You need to have a Google account to register for Google Base. Once done, add your login details in your Magento website by going to System > Configuration > Google API > Google Base .

21. Setting Up Google Sitemap

If you are using Google Webmaster Tool to produce the sitemap that regulates itself, then there are more extended settings that are available. These are found in System > Configuration > Catalog > Google Sitemaps.

22. Check the Newsletter Subscription Procedure

When you send out the newsletters, you must examine whether your customers can sign-up and unsubscribe. It is pretty harmful if this task is not completed properly. You need sign-ups for marketing purposes. Similarly, the unsubscribe option is the opt-out button for your patrons when they do not wish to be contacted.

23. Checking for Payment Gateway

Make sure your payment gateway is ready to move your website from testing to live. Not setting up this correctly will result in monetary losses.

24. Setting Up SSL Certificate

Payment Gateways do not allow you to execute a transaction without SSL Certificate. Learn more about SSL Certificate Installation in this article.

25. Placing Module Licenses

A licence key is needed in few modules of Magento. Keep in mind: The licence key you have chosen may not be sufficient enough, and you may require a fresh one when you shift to another district.

26. Check the PHP Configuration

While rejecting values you must keep in mind they are supportive and justifiable for memory _limit and max _ execution time.

You can check your PHP configuration by importing/exporting your Product from your Magento store. If the configuration is correct, the Export/Import will be successful.

27. Turn On Cron Jobs

To maintain things datewise in Magento, scripts needs to be arranged in a proper manner for e.g Google Sitemap.xml.

To configure these you are required to go in System > Configuration > Advanced > System and change cron.php file in the beginning of Magento installation.

28. Cleaning Log

With time, the logs available in the database spread out. To remove logs from admin in a particular manner go to System > Configuration > Advanced > System > Log cleaning.

You are required to enable it. However, you need to remove these logs regularly.

29. Creating Database and Files Backup

Regularly create backup of your database to avoid losing out on precious customer data.

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Final Thought

When you are working on development, then going live is the initial major step. You need to sure that your site is properly edited and bug-free to ensure smooth operations of your Magento store. For this purpose, you have the two versions of your sites available for you to assess where and what you need to edit. There is a public facing version and the staging area version, which is your development site. Go live only when you are totally satisfied with what you have done to your staging site. This checklist will help you make a Magento site that is sure to run in a smooth manner.

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