About to launch a Magento 2 store? Congratulations! 😃
But worried if everything has been done right? Relatable!
From my experience and the mistakes that I realized after launching a store, I have summarized a list that I would like to say as “Magento 2 Go Live Checklist” 😎
You might be well prepared for the “Yaay” moment but I’d still recommend going through the below Magento 2 launch checklist to avoid any “Oops” moment!!
Magento 2 Go Live Checklist:
- Check the latest version
- System Requirements
- Check Favicon
- Check Store URLs
- Set up SSL
- 301 redirects
- 404 error page
- SEO Audit
- Integrate Google Tools
- Set up Email
- Cart Options
- Check Shipping Methods
- Check Payment Methods
- Check Tax Settings
- Correct Store Information
- Modify the admin URL
- Check Inventory
- Check Extensions License
- Turn on the Cron
- Caching & Indexing
- Remove Test Data
- Check Placeholder Images
- Enable Varnish Cache
- Minify and Merge CSS
- System Compilation
- Check Image Optimization
- Check Email Templates
- Check CMS Pages
- Check Newsletter Subscriptions
- Database Backup & Restore
- Optimize Website Loading time
- Enable Crawling
- Switch to production mode
Let me remind you each step in detail,
Magento 2 Go Live Checklist:
Check the latest version
Make sure you are using the latest Magento 2 version for your brand new store using any of the methods given here. If not, upgrade Magento 2 to the latest version. I can help you with Magento Upgrade Service to make your task easier.
Check if the below system requirements are fulfilled:
Operating System Requirements Linux distributors such as CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian or RedHat Enterprise Linux Memory Requirement You need up to 2GB RAM to update Magento Composer Requirement You need the latest stable version of composer Web Service Requirement
- Apache 2.2 or 2.4
- Nginx 1.8
Required PHP Extensions
- gd, ImageMagick > 6.3.7;
- json (PHP 7 only); iconv (PHP 7 only)
- Mail Transfer Agent (MTA)
- SMTP server
And more…check the entire list at Magento 2.x System Requirements
A tiny image in the address bar of the browser is important for brand recognization. It is more important now than ever due to Google’s update for mobile search design that highlights a website’s name and favicon too!
Navigate to Content > Design > Configuration. Edit store. Under HTML Head, upload the Favicon image.
Check Store URLs:
Check the below points:
- Frontend URLs are working properly
- The store URLs are user-friendly
- Remove index.php from the URLs
- 200 OK status
- www and http/https status
Set up SSL
The Magento 2 store owner is expected to install a 100% trusted security certificate and setup secured frontend URL in the configuration.
You don’t want to miss anything that would help in ranking as Google considers security and https as one of the ranking signals. Apart from ranking, https is important for a number of reasons, as per Kayce Basques.
Set up SSL in Magento 2 store and then check the below configuration:
Navigate to Stores > Configuration > General > Web > Base URLs (Secure) > URL with https.
Fixing broken redirects is crucial. For more details, check How to Manage Magento 2 URL Rewrite
404 error page
Make sure you have a 404 error page, because 404s won’t hurt your site, according to Google!
Navigate to Stores > Configurations > Web > Default Pages and review all the settings. You can also customize a Magento 2 404 page to make it user-friendly.
An important point to have your store’s SEO in place, check the below things:
- Are your meta tags and meta descriptions optimized?
- Robots.txt file. Need help with it? Check here
- Your XML Sitemap configuration at Stores > Configuration > Catalog to automate regenerating the sitemap.
- Schema markup for accuracy
- Broken links and its fixYou can refer the Magento 2 SEO Settings to avoid any mistakes.
Integrate Google Tools
It is important to measure the growth and analyze the data right from day 1 and thus ensure the proper integration of Google Analytics. If you are going for Adwords, Magento 2 also offers the API integration. For both the settings, navigate to Stores > Configuration > Sales > Google API and configure the settings.
Set up Email
Do not forget to change the test Email IDs you may have used in the staging environment to the actual business Email addresses of your Magento 2 store. You can do that from Stores > Configuration > General > Store Email Addresses
To change the contact Email address, go to Stores > Configuration > General > Contacts
Not only that, but the transactional Emails are also to be taken care of. These Emails use a different logo than the default image. Check if the image that you want to use is saved in your theme directory as logo_email.gif.
Check Cart Options
Make sure the cart functionalities are in place and the calculations are errorless. Check the add, edit, and remove products functions in the cart.
Check Shipping Methods
Check the configuration and functioning of all the shipping methods that you’ll be using from the backend. For the detailed steps, click here.
Check Payment Methods
As an E-commerce store owner, you can’t afford any error in the online payment system. Check the configuration at Stores > Configuration > Sales > Payment Methods.
If you require specific payment gateway integration in the store, refer Magento 2 Payment Gateways.
Check Tax Settings
Navigate to Stores > Configuration > Sales > Tax and check if the tax settings are configured correctly.
Correct Store Information
Is your basic store information correct? Go to Stores > Configuration > General > General and check for the same.
Modify the admin URL
You obviously do not want to entertain any security issues when it comes to the admin panel of the store. By default, the admin panel is /admin, easy to guess. Therefore go through the guide to change admin URL in Magento 2 and don’t forget to set a unique password for the same!
There are 2 options to manage stock:
- Manage inventory without stock management
- Manage inventory with stock managementI’m sure you have double-checked this area! If not, check here
Check Extensions License
In many cases, you require to enter the license key while installing a module. Check if the key you had entered in the test store is still valid for your brand new domain! If not, its time to get you a new key!
Turn on the Cron
Check if you have set up cron in Magento 2 to schedule the repetitive but important tasks like generating Google sitemaps, reindexing, and many more. You can also set up a custom cron job in Magento 2 if required.
Caching & Indexing
Caching is by default on. However, the developers tend to disable it when the store is under development. Do not forget to turn in on again and refresh it. You may refer the methods to clear Magento 2 cache.
To check the readiness of indexing, go to System > Index Management
Remove Test Data
Delete all the test data like test orders, products, and customers before the store goes live.
Check Placeholder Images
Placeholder images are shown when a product does not have its own image.
Make sure you have created a default set for your store and placed them in: catalog/products/placeholder/image.jpg, catalog/products/placeholder/small_image.jpg and catalog/products/placeholder/thumbnail.jpg.
Or, you can upload them in admin at Stores > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Product Image Placeholders.
Enable Varnish Cache
Enable varnish cache to speed up your store. Check if you have set the option of Caching Application to Varnish Cache at Stores > Configuration > Advanced > System > Full Page Cache.
Minify and Merge CSS
Use a CSS compressor to reduce site load time. Keep two versions of the CSS, one in readable form and then have a minified version styles.css.
For changes, go to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Developer > CSS Settings.
Run this command for system compilation:1php bin/magento setup:di:compile
System Compilation is responsible for code generation, code compilation and reduces the load time.
Check Image Optimization
Check Email Templates
Check if you have already updated the default Email template to reflect your brand. If not, this list will be helpful.
Check CMS Pages
Check Newsletter Subscriptions
To avoid embarrassment with real customers. check your newsletter subscription system and check if customers will be able to subscribe or unsubscribe.
Implement some technique for timely backup so you don’t need to worry about losing the data after for the live store.
Optimize Website Loading time
Apart from the few points I mentioned above, check the website loading time using tools like WebPageTest, GTMetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights If there is room for improvement, which is always, do it before you launch the Magento 2 store.
Refer tips to speed up Magento 2 store.
You surely want Google to index your store. Make sure you have enabled the configuration that allows Google to crawl and index which might be disabled in the staging environment. Let Google bot visit your store from time and again and to ensure the configuration for it, visit here.
Switch to production mode
Lastly, switch to production mode after every development or admin panel tasks are done!
And now you are all set to go live 🚀
Am I missing any point? Don’t hesitate to share with me using the Comments section below. You can also Contact Us for any professional help with the Magento 2 store setup.