New Website Checklist

A quick new website checklist that covers basic strategies for SEO and connecting your website to 3rd party entities for tracking and more. Things to do for new websites and for website re-designs. We offer a free checklist to guide your along the way.

Simple table of contents to quickly navigate:

Google Analytics

Set up this immediately as you will want to start collecting data and also to create a baseline for when your website was launched.

For advanced users, set up Google Tag Manager to finer control of when to fire analytic on your web pages

.htaccess file

This file is important as it will help with SEO matters and issues related to redirection and setting up canonical www.

Force www & https

Making sure you aleardy have a SSL certificate installed on your web server, forcing traffic to https web addresses is important.

#Force www:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^your-website.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.your-website.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]

Force SSL

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

301 redirect

To find out what pages to re-direct, use the following command within Google search

site:your-website.com

From here, you can start setting up manual 301 redirects

Redirect 301 /oldpage.htm https://www.your-website.com/newpage.htm

Simple working example woule be:

Redirect 301 /sitemap/ https://www.sitebuilderone.com/sitemap.html

Sitemap.xml

Let Bing, Google and others know about your website pages with your sitemap.xml file.

Ours looks like this: https://www.sitebuilderone.com/sitemap.xml

Different from the HTML sitemap web page, the XML format lets search engine keep up to date with your web pages.

Submit your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console

Robots.txt

This is a fun file.

If you do not have it, create it.

WordPress will have dynamically generated robots.txt file via various SEO plugins, while on hand built or static website generated websites you may need to create your own.

The robots.txt file simply let’s the search engine bots know which parts to index and not-index in their web crawls.

# simple starter robots.txt file
User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /tmp/
Disallow: /~sitebuildeorne/
# link to sitemap.xml file
SITEMAP: https://www.sitebuilderone.com/sitemap.xml

Check your robots.txt file simply by adding ‘robot.txt’ at the end of your domain name.

https://www.sitebuilderone.com/robots.txt

Google Search Console

Now that you have your robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, submit and connect these files to Google Search Console, otherwise known as Google Webmaster Tools.

404 web page

Review your 404 web page.

Is it dynamically generated or static file.

Keep in mind, when re-building a website, this page will be getting a lot of hits.

Leave a Comment