Regardless of whether it is a new WooCommerce store or re-launching it with a new design, follow this checklist to ensure a smooth WooCommerce launch.
Double Check WooCommerce Products
Every product on your website must speak for itself and you have to ensure that it happens flawlessly. The following details must be mandatorily available for all the products, take utmost care in double-checking it.
- Product Title
- Product Image
- Product Description
- Product Prices
It is optional to assign a product in one or more categories and to add upsell/cross-sell options in the linked products. However, it is recommended that you check these to increase product visibility and thus profitability. Further, all variations of a particular product must be available as options on the product pages. Include the price, SKU and stock level along with it to ease the navigation process for visitors. Ensure that all of this is in place and laid out perfectly for enhancing user experience.
Audit the Pages and the Checkout flow
The successful completion of a transaction depends on the accessibility of the checkout page to a great extent. It is thus essential the page must function smoothly at all times. In addition to that, the effective functioning of the cart and order confirmation pages are equally important. Carry out a test including the following tasks to check the performance of these pages:
- Check if the cart gets updated after adding or removing a product.
- Ensure that coupon codes are working fine and the calculations are accurate at the checkout page.
- Examine how the stock management options like out-of-stock are displayed on product pages.
- Carry out a test purchase to check if all the pages are performing smoothly.
- Check how the “My Account” page looks after making the test purchase.
Check all WooCommerce Settings
Recheck the configuration settings of Customer Accounts, Email, Sales Tax, Shipping, Payment Methods, and Inventory. We will discuss the essential settings to be checked for each of these separately.
- Set the role of New Customers to “Customer”
- The option of Guest checkout and account registration process must be finalised.
It is essential to check if the emails are being sent without error as it is a prominent form of communication. Make sure that the email has the correct layout and includes the company logo and footer text. The text and background colour must complement the brand. For an email to be reliable, check the from address is from your domain and not the staging site URL.
All the compatible payment options like PayPal, Stripe, etc should be added and activated. After making a test order check whether the data is showing the payment provider dashboard. Ensure to turn off the “test mode” for payment providers after completion of testing. You can do real testing of the payment gateways by changing the price of a product to $1. You can check on the Stripe or PayPal dashboard to check if it is displayed. If it is successful, ensure to change the price back to the original.
Test if it is correctly displayed on all relevant pages and at checkout. Also, keep in mind that sales tax differs according to location and it must be aptly configured.
The Configuration of shipping settings like zones, options, and classes must be perfect to ensure that rates are correct. If you have enabled free shipping calculation, ensure that it is being calculated accordingly.
If you opt to enable Stock Management, make sure that you recheck that you have added the inventory email address. This will ensure that low stock notifications are received.
Test Contact Forms
Contact forms are often forgotten. Check if the contact form plug-ins like Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, WP Forms, etc are installed and working well. Ensure that notifications and confirmation messages are being sent successfully and in the right context.
3rd Party Plugins
Ensure that 3rd party plugins are configured properly. For example, for newsletter subscription of the website, ensure that leads are sending to your email marketing site.
Migrate site files and database from staging to production
Move your site files and database to the production server if you are working on a staging server. You can also consider the following alternate option
Connect to the live server via SFTP (i.e. FileZilla) or SSH
Upload your new theme as “design-new”.
Rename your old theme to “design-old”.
Rename your new theme to “design”.
Activate your new theme in the WordPress dashboard
If you are working for a client on your staging environment, make it a point to use the same PHP version as the client’s production environment.
Install SSL certificate
For a secure connection, ensure that the SSL certificate is installed. To know if it is active, check the browser address bar for padlock. It is recommended to opt for a premium WordPress host that integrates with Let’s Encrypt like WP Engine.
Update Primary Domain and Email Address
Make certain that the primary domain is updated to the new domain during migration. You can find the option on general settings on WordPress dashboard. The Primary email address must be updated to site admin. Further, update it client’s primary contact if you are working for one. They will become the admin of the site only once your invitation is accepted.
Ensure Search Engine Visibility
Make sure that search engines are able to index the site to ensure visibility. On the WordPress dashboard follow the path Settings > Reading > Search engine Visibility and uncheck “Discourage search engines from indexing the site”
Install A Search and Replace Plugin
Better Search Replace is a great plugin to run a search/replace on the database to update URL to the primary domain. Ensure that it is installed and activated. As mentioned earlier, do not forget to take the backup of your website while making any changes.
Submit Sitemap to Search Engines
Submitting your sitemap to Google search console and Bing Webmaster tools is the next step after configuring 301 redirects.