Checklist for Launching a Genesis Project

For the longest time, I found I was struggling with launching a new Genesis project. I especially noticed that I ran into issues when I was switching an old design on a pre-existing website. I kept worrying, what if the site does not work; what if I forget something?
You haven’t truly finished a Genesis project until you find out that something is missing from the site or has gone horribly wrong weeks after launch. While many mistakes can be undone, it is possible to prevent these issues in the first place. This is why this Genesis Project Launch Checklist is going to be a major help to anyone beginning a Genesis project.

Before The Launch

Before you launch your Genesis website, there are several different steps that you can take to ensure that you avoid issues:
  • If possible, build a clone of the current site – If you can install to a test domain or a local install, it helps you discover any weirdness, image issues, or potential plugin conflicts that you may run into during launch.
  • Create a backup – Let’s not even argue about this one, you should just have a backup available.
  • Check CPanel/FTP credentials – Check that you can log in with the provided credentials before you proceed with any other installation. You would be surprised how many people have no clue what their correct password is.
  • Screenshot all the widgets – It is (unfortunately) normal for widgets to jump into the wrong spot when you activate a new theme. Having a screenshot available helps you put them back in the right order.
  • Turn off Cloudflare, CDNs, or caching plugins – You do not want to launch the new website, only to realize that you do not have the login to

During Launch

You are getting ready to install the new Genesis theme, how do you make sure that you do this as effective as possible?

  • Install Genesis – This should be the easy part. Download the child theme from your test site, pack it in a zip, and upload it after you’ve installed Genesis.
  • Visit Genesis > Theme Settings – You are going to have to compare the site to the test site. You can easily copy and paste if you keep two windows open side by side.
  • Upload images you need – Your theme’s images folder will hopefully have all the images that your site needs. However, considering that you do not want any pictures missing on the live site, this is an excellent time to double-check the test site’s media library.
  • Fix your widgets – Add new widgets, drag the existing widgets where they need to go and make sure that you do not use the test site URLs (use the live site’s URL instead).
  • Add and remove plugins – You can remove any plugin that you no longer need. This is also the perfect time to add more plugins that you may need for the theme to run smoothly. This is also the perfect time to configure your new plugins.
  • Optimize the site’s database – If you want a plugin that helps you do this in a couple of clicks, I recommend WP-Optimize. It is possible to bloat your website with post drafts and other unwanted items.

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