Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website

So you’ve just launched your website. The only thing left now is to start creating content and arranging for some promotion, right? Well, not so fast. You first have to do several things to ensure that your site is set up properly and ready for the public.

Here are a few things you should do right after launching a website (and if you can, do them prior to launching your website publicly).

Create a Sitemap.xml File and a Robots.txt File

What are these files? These files are essential for search engines and other web services. They are two out of the five web files that will improve your site.

The Sitemap.xml file is a standard protocol for listing all the URLs that are contained within your website. It gives web spiders like Googlebot a better understanding of your website’s structure.

If you’re using WordPress, you’re in luck: The only thing you need to do is to install a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps, and it will do all the work for you. This is a valuable WordPress plugin, and is one of six plugins that Six Revisions uses on the site.

If you’re not using WordPress, you can have a look at, a simple tool for generating a Sitemap.xml file just by providing your website’s URL.

Robots.txt is yet another file that search engines love. It’s a simple text file containing information about which parts of your website search engines should and shouldn’t visit.

To create such a file, you can just use a template and modify it to you own needs.

Here’s my template (designed for WordPress sites):

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/cache/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /feed/
Disallow: /author/
Disallow: /archives/
Disallow: /2009/
Disallow: /2010/
Disallow: /2011/
Disallow: /print/
Disallow: /index.php
Disallow: /*?
Disallow: /*.php$
Disallow: /*.js$
Disallow: /*.inc$
Disallow: /*.css$
Disallow: */feed/
Disallow: */trackback/
Disallow: */print/
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

You should remember two things regarding robots.txt:

  1. You don’t want search engines to encounter any duplicate content on your website
  2. You don’t want search engines to index your private pages and scripts (e.g. the wp-admin files in WordPress)

If you use WordPress, check out this guide called Optimizing WordPress for Search Engines to learn more about Sitemap.xml and robots.xml in the context of SEO and WordPress.

Set Up Web Analytics

Having stats about the traffic to your website is simply priceless. Without traffic statistics, you won’t know how many people are visiting your site and you will have a hard time figuring out how to improve your site to draw in more traffic.

If you want a top-notch and free application that will report data about your website users, then look no further than Google Analytics.

Set Up Web Analytics

Of course, there are alternative web analytics software out there, but Google Analytics is the undisputed leader, and not simply because it was created by Google, but because the tool is extremely powerful and easy to use.

Here are a few guides and tutorials to read for getting up to speed with Google Analytics:

Set Up Google Webmaster Tools

Not many people use this tool — it’s not as popular as Google Analytics, for example — however, it still is one of the best tools to have as a website owner.

Google Webmaster Tools

Here are just a few things Google Webmaster Tools will tell you about your website:

Want to learn more about Google Webmaster Tools? It’s not surprising that the best place to start is the official Webmaster Tools Help articles.

Also, make sure to check out the following guide: How to Find and Remove Broken Links in Your Website. This guide will allow you to make sure your hyperlinks work.

Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings

A good ranking in search engines is important to any site. Good ranking equals more traffic and increased levels of popularity. More traffic equals more money. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor whether or not your SEO efforts are bringing good results.

If you don’t want to buy software (i.e. spend money) there are two main ways of monitoring your keywords:

Manually: Just input a keyword in Google Search and take note of the position of your website. Important: Do not click on your listing because if you do, Google will remember it and next time you will see your website on a higher position. However, you will be the only person to witness that change; everybody else will see it on the actual position. This is because Google Search tries to predict what you will likely click on and, thus, previously visited sites bubble up to the top.

Use a Firefox plugin: There are a few Firefox browser add-ons for checking your keywords. I like the one called Rank Checker. Check out this video of Rank Checker:

Rank Checker is easy to use and has all the important features for search engine ranking analysis and monitoring.

Submit Your Website to Dmoz

I don’t really know why, but for some reason Google checks whether your website appears in Dmoz, and if it does, it gets some extra points when it comes to its search rankings.

Submitting your website is very easy. Just go to Dmoz, browse to a category that best describes your website, and then click the suggest URL link in the top menu.


Unfortunately, it takes some time for your submission to be reviewed. Sometimes even a couple of months. Here’s something important: Even if you don’t see your website listing yet, don’t resubmit it. Such a practice may result in your website dropping to the end of the line. I would suggest not resubmitting your site more than once in a 6-month period.

Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

Google Alerts is brilliant. Let’s say that you’re interested in all things that have to do with the term, guitar. If that’s the case, then you probably want to know about every new website that appears on Google that covers this topic.

However, you can’t possibly monitor the whole internet (it’s a pretty huge place). Here’s where Google Alerts comes to the rescue. Google Alerts will notify you about every new web page that contains keywords you’re interested in. If you don’t see the power behind this nifty app, then let me rephrase my value proposition for Google Alerts: Google will let you know of any web page that contains your keywords. This lets you stay on top of competition, as well as monitor what people are saying about your website.

Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

A good idea is to monitor your website’s name, your company’s name, your own name, and other things that are pertinent to your website. For example, Six Revisions might want to monitor:

Set Up Google Alerts to Monitor Mentions

Talk about having your finger on the pulse — it doesn’t get much better than that. There are many more tools for monitoring your website’s mentions. For example, you can use the RSS feeds of places like Yahoo! Pipes, Twitter search and Google Blog Search.

Monitor Your Website’s Uptime

Without a doubt, the most important piece of information you can have about your website is if it’s online or not. The problem is that you can’t really visit each of your websites every minute of the day. Luckily, there’s an app for that. It’s called UptimeRobot. You can use UptimeRobot to track as many as 50 websites at the same time, and if one of them goes offline even for a minute, it will send you an email notification. The best part? The tool is free.


There are plenty of tools for monitoring your web properties’ uptimes. Be sure to check out this list of 12 free tools for monitoring your site’s uptime.

Check Your Site’s Speed

It was not so long ago when Google announced that one of the new factors for ranking websites in search engine results is site speed. Of course pleasing Google is not the only reason why you need to make your website lightning quick. Users hate waiting, and they will less likely visit your website again if they remember it as being slow.

There are many tools for allowing you to make fast web pages. One such tool is YSlow: it checks your web pages to see issues and suggests things you can do to make your site faster.


There are many other tools you can use to check and evaluate your website’s speed; be sure to take a look at this list of 15 tools to help you develop faster web pages.


Dealing with all the things mentioned above will take you less than one hour (maybe a little more if you don’t have a web development background and if this is your first site). This hour might very well be one of the most fruitful hours you spend towards the well-being of your new website.

What other things should site owners do immediately after launching a website?

Related Content

About the Author

Karol K is a blogger who’s passionate about WordPress. He works with ThemeIsle, a WordPress theme development company. His work has been published all over the Web, on sites like Web Design Ledger, Quick Sprout, ProBlogger, and others. Reach him at @carlosinho.

This was published on Nov 8, 2010


Guy Arbus Nov 08 2010


There are many interesting ways you have to follow immediatly after the website’s launch. Great article, many thanks !

Umut Muhaddisoglu Nov 08 2010

Thanks so much for featuring Uptime Robot in this handy article. So appreciated.

Marc von Brockdofff Nov 08 2010

Great post! Just moved my blog to a new domain yesterday so some of these are really helpful.

Will be trying out Google Alerts.

Very handy laundry list – thanks for writing it up.

Chief Alchemist Nov 08 2010

Good list. But the speed tuning should be prior to launch, no?

Waheed Akhtar Nov 08 2010

Nice article Karol.

Between I have 2 questions here.
1- Do submitting to Dmoz really matter anymore?
2- I just checked the robots file Six Revisions and its just simple 2 following lines.

User-agent: *

Would like to know you guys opinion on this.

Boost Inspiration Nov 08 2010

Nice article Karol

Between I have 2 questions here.
1- Do submitting to Dmoz really matter anymore?
2- I just checked the robots file Six Revisions and its just simple 2 following lines.

User-agent: *

Would like to know you guys opinion on this.

QVectors Nov 08 2010

Great tips. The robots.txt is really important if you’re using wordpress and “theme my login” plugin. i learnt the hard way and found out i had over 500 duplicate pages marked by google.

Taimur Asghar Nov 08 2010

Awesome, specially for me who is starting new web blog in upcoming January :)

David Hobbs Nov 08 2010

Karol this is a nice list. Since in the heat of a launch it can be easy to forget details, keeping using a checklist is helpful. You mention that ideally these happen before public launch. I thought I would list some reasons to do these before public launch:

a) at launch, you probably want to know the immediate response, especially for a high profile site (so for example you want to know web analytics from the start)
b) you may realize that the way the site was implemented makes it difficult to ideally implement the items in the checklist — this may may it difficult to “get right” if you’re in a rush to put in this monitoring


— David

Rochelle Nov 08 2010

Thank you. Informative article!

Peter E. Nov 08 2010 is also a great way to test speed and gives great feedback on how to reduce http requests. it combines yahoo’s yslow and google page speed.

Lucifix Nov 08 2010

For me one of the most crucial thing when I open new website is to regularly check error log. Only then can I see if I missed an error generated other users or bots.

benedetta.s Nov 08 2010

Thank you very much! Your advices are extremely useful!!

Sandy Allen Nov 08 2010

Besides Google Webmaster Tools, you should also register with Bing Webmaster Tools. You get a lot of info not duplicated at Google and it seems you get indexed by Bing faster.

imran khan Nov 08 2010

oh wow! i am gonna do that

believe all these are very interesting for me, for now I am going to create site map and robots file for my site.

Really I’ve my site up since 2 months I think but I was really not sure how to do this all, an gathered guide like this help me alot.

thanks again.

Forgot to mention that you should start farming backlinks to improve your page rank.

I was looking for that type of article! I found it just on time! Thx! ;-)

Asikur Rhaman Reko Nov 08 2010

In a single word this is great posting.

chrelad Nov 08 2010

Awesome! Thanks for the great list :)

Chad DePue Nov 08 2010

Good article. We just launched a product that takes care of “Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings” – – would love feedback on it; we tie it to Google Analytics so you can track the ranking of the keywords people are using to find your site. Also one thing to remember is it’s important to track rankings on the Google of the country you’re in – don’t search if you have a french website, the results are radically different. Seems obvious but a lot of tools don’t properly let you set the target country.

I wouldn’t disallow these:
Disallow: /index.php
Disallow: /feed/

Blocking index.php can potentially cause problems and WordPress automatically redirects it. Search engines use feeds to index content and don’t show them in the SERPs anymore so there’s no need to block them.

This works for Google, but maybe not for Bing which also powers Yahoo:
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

I would leave /wp-content unblocked, but just be sure that directory listing is off with .htaccess:
Options –Indexes

If you completely block dynamic URLs with “Disallow: /*?”, you might miss out on some link juice if people link to URLs with parameters attached. For example, sometimes Google Analytics parameters get attached from Feedburner URLs and then people copy/paste those dynamic URLs into their links. You can fix the dynamic URLs either with link-canonical tags or with 301 redirects…

Hi Karol,

Nice article. I have only implemented a few of the items (Analytics,Google Webmaster Tools, alerts).
Will surely implement the rest.



Zach Lysobey Nov 08 2010

From your Robots.txt link:

Note also that globbing and regular expression are not supported in either the User-agent or Disallow lines. The ‘*’ in the User-agent field is a special value meaning “any robot”. Specifically, you cannot have lines like “User-agent: *bot*”, “Disallow: /tmp/*” or “Disallow: *.gif”.

Kuroki Kaze Nov 08 2010

IMHO most of these should be done before launching, not “Immediately after” :)

Ibrahim Nov 08 2010

This is a must have list. Thanks for putting this up… Where else would I have learned of the existence of a spam-free page rank look-up application? Thanks Carlos.

DMOZ has been useless for years. Google does not consider DMOZ at all when indexing your site. Check the videos by Matt Cutts from Google on Youttube.

Dom Crook Nov 08 2010

Great post! The YSlow plugin is very handy I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before.

webXpress Nov 08 2010

really useful article. thanks :)

Hey Karol,

Great article. Thanks for sharing!

John Faulk Nov 08 2010

An excellent line-up of the most crucial tools. I’m just starting out, and I don’t (yet) get much new business from website, but I plan to upgrade and redesign the site in the coming months and I’ve got a set of bookmarked pages with just this kind of intelligence. Yours will now go to the front of the line. Very helpful, nicely written and formatted. Good work all around.

Nice Post. I always like to do a baseline site audit that includes SERPs, traffic figures, indexed page count, backlink count, and alexa rankings. Then in a few weeks or months I can say hey…this site is doing great/poor.

tech2011 Nov 08 2010

Thanks much!!!

Rob Mills Nov 08 2010

These are great suggestions! I didn’t know about uptimerobot. Will certainly make use of that.

WordTracker’s another tool I suggest for using:

Great article. Compliments. Could also mention modifying the htaccess file, especially for security when using WordPress.

ceejayoz Nov 08 2010

After launching? Virtually all of these should be done beforehand.

Himanshu Nov 08 2010

A very enlightening article. Just written when needed badly.

Sir, one thing, you have mentioned only wordpress only. Even other CMS like Drupal and Joomla are also widely used. Please write about them also. And if not, do provide us with a link – especially for Drupal – as my new site has been built in Drupal.

cancel bubble Nov 08 2010

Here’s an interesting blurb from a huge site about google sitemaps:

Based on our two years’ experience with sitemaps, there’s something fundamentally paradoxical about the sitemap:

1. Sitemaps are intended for sites that are hard to crawl properly.

2. If Google can’t successfully crawl your site to find a link, but is able to find it in the sitemap it gives the sitemap link no weight and will not index it!

That’s the sitemap paradox — if your site isn’t being properly crawled (for whatever reason), using a sitemap will not help you!

Aji( Nov 08 2010

There are few more things one should do:

#1) Create a Facebook page and link it from the website and vice-versa (I like you, I don’t want to have sex with you know, but may be later I will fall in love with you and have sex with you too .. Facebook community is a room for such people .. Get a vamity URL as soon as possible

#2) Some of them may not be there on FB, so have a link to Twitter and LinkedIn (Linkedin is important for some sectors)

#3) A custom search engine, to establish your trust … It has some more significance :)

Hope it helps :)

nikos lianeris Nov 08 2010

Although these are the steps I follow when I launch a website I found this article very useful!Thank you for shearing!

Paz Aricha Nov 08 2010

Great article. really awesome tips I really learned some new stuff.. especially on the robots.txt file.

Dan Rowan Nov 08 2010

Fantastic article Karol! I think that many people tend to overlook these simple steps for successfully launching a website. Even as a heavy internet user, I didn’t know that Google had Google Alerts (although they do have a billion different resources; who can keep track of them all). I am definitely going to be using that asap.

Greg Babula Nov 08 2010

Great post, you pretty much covered everything important.

Kristina Made Nov 08 2010

Hey, Karol! Nice and interesting article! Thanks! :)

izdelava strani Nov 08 2010

Thank you for this tips. Good bookmark for my next project as to-do list! :)

Nathan King Nov 08 2010

A lot of these should actually be addressed prior to launching a website; the speed test, sitemap, robots.txt, and analytics set up should all be taken care of before launch.

Dustin Dyer Nov 08 2010

This is the exact reason I come to sixrevisions every day. This article is perfect for me! Simple tips like these are what help people the most. Thanks…

Asoto Adeola Nov 08 2010

Found this article at the right time. Launched my site a month ago. I have actually been thinking of the next step to take. Thumbs up…

A lot of these should be done before you launch a site!!

PS: I’ll try Google Alerts, nice advice!

Karol K. Nov 08 2010

@Waheed Akhtar

Yes, submitting to Dmoz does matter. The directory is manually reviewed so Google knows that only good, quality sites pass the exam.

@David Hobbs

Launch hour can be really crazy, so setting those things up earlier is a good idea indeed.

@Peter E looks really cool. Great site.

@Sandy Allen

Great idea. Will have to give it a shot.


Thanks for these tips!

@Zach Lysobey

Are you saying that lines like: “Disallow: /*.php$” are incorrect?


Do you have any other evidence except Matt’s videos?

@cancel bubble

That’s a really interesting piece. Thanks for sharing!

Very good points and resources. I would also definitely check the website on IE browsers on a Windows platform.

There are many developers there who really love MAC’s but there are sometimes differences or platform related bugs. So make sure 90% of the visitors will see your site properly.

The manually ranking thing is useless.

Google rankings on its serp change depending on:

1. Where you live, (someone in London will get a different serp to someone in Brussels)

2. If you’re logged in or not

3. What your search history is, whether you clicked the link or not.

Where your site comes in google may be different on other people’s machines so manually noting your ranking can be rendered pointless in some retrospect.

Kelly Lawrence Nov 08 2010

I hate analytics — almost every time a site fails to load, I check to see what’s loading and it’s usually stuck on some analytics or ad javascript. Analytics basically makes a worse experience for your users. Why not just process your own server logs? It’s more reliable that way anyways.

Awesome tips. I got lot of information. thank you so much for sharing this info. Keep up the good work.

Mohamed Mansour Nov 08 2010

Ibrahim azhar armar Nov 08 2010

Very nice and useful article, I started web development recently and I am so thankful to you for guiding me on this.

omvaishnav Nov 09 2010

Really great article, Thanks for valuable information.

Payam Rahmani Nov 09 2010

Great post. Thank you so much.

Mark Shingleton Nov 09 2010

Uptime Robot is a great free application to get you going with website monitoring but if you need something a little more comprehensive, but still super easy to use ,then I recommend that you check out

We do all the same stuff that uptime robot does plus a whole heap more. So you can check things like PING, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, SSL Certificate Expiry, DNS, FTP and more and when your site or application grows and you need to run it on a VPS or dedicated server then we can keep an eye on DISK, CPU Load and MEMORY too.

We’re a relative newcomer in the monitoring space but we’ve had really great feedback and think we have a nice app and I would be really interested to hear any feedback your readers may have.

Most of your tips are OK. But better create and tune a .htaccess file to harden your installation.

It’s created by wordperss when you switch to real urls. Bur you can use it to block hackers, fake user agents an hacking attempts.

getting submitted into DMOZ can be real headache, never succeeded before. If you are submitting to popular category you will be denied cause in many cases it’s controlled by people who have interested for you not to appear in lists. If you gonna sell ads on one point or another would consider signing up for such services as alexa or quantcast. Somehow people from advertising tend to look how you rank on alexa.

This is really useful information. Currently I’ve only got a sitemap.xml-file. Thanks for this info!

Michael Buckley Nov 09 2010

Good tips! I do some of them already, but not all of them, going to go implement the rest soon.

Johan R Nov 09 2010

Thanks for all those tips. I use only the half but it’s great to see there are other things I have to do after launch.

Someone said to check your site in IE on Windows. Go a step better and check your site on It produces screen shots of your page on dozens of browsers. Very neat.

Regards, BPM

LaKaye Mbah Nov 09 2010

Awesome tips. thanks for sharing the info!

Kimberley Turrell Nov 09 2010

What a great article – especially because I’m just about to re-design my website using WordPress!! Very Useful

Site map is essential step. very nice article

Great tips thanks

CJ Treggett Nov 09 2010

Hi Karol,
I could just kiss you lol. I’m planning on launching my first website next week. So this article couldn’t have come at a better time!

Thanks so much, from a ‘non-techie’ new web-mistress :)

Cindy Auligny Nov 09 2010

Nice article. But after launching those stuffs, we have to keep our sites alive. You know, there’re so much things we should do.

Chandan Nov 10 2010

Thank you for sharing useful information in detail :-)

Karol K. Nov 10 2010


There’s a cool tool for that: – it’s a real time-saver (as mentioned in a comment by BPM)

@Kelly Lawrence

You are so right about the loading times. I have the same problem. However, tools like Google Analytics have some valuable features, so the loading time is the price I’m willing to pay.


I agree, .htaccess is an important one. You can also use it to prevent direct directory access and hot-linking (among hundreds of other things, of course).

@CJ Treggett

No comment about the kissing thing, but good luck with your launch ;)

Muhammad Haris Nov 10 2010

I completely disagree with the last point. yslow should be used during development not immediately after launch.

Roy@NeedWebsite Nov 10 2010

Great list … but I have loads of doubts whether you would get a Dmoz listing right after starting a website – unless backed by awesomeness.

Jessica Lee Nov 10 2010

Thank you for this great informative article! I just started creating my own WordPress blogs for the first time, and this article will help me a lot! :)

Nikki Davis Nov 10 2010

Great list, I think there’s a couple things that could be added (I haven’t look at everybody’s comments so it could already have been covered). Setting up a 301 re-direct (so that you don’t have 2 instances of your website on the internet, www and non-www) is very important immediately after going live (if not before) and also important (not essential) is creating some custom error pages.

Thanks for article. Very useful. Using almost all of them except DMoz. So many useful tool out there, and it is so hard to remember all of them :)

roy morejon Nov 10 2010

Karol, This is a great resource on launching a website. Thank you.

i am not sure about Dmoz listing is essential! Concentrating on Media Marketing is must these days else your sites won’t catch up in rankings well.

Karol K. Nov 11 2010


Getting a Dmoz listing is never easy.

@Nikki Davis

Good tips, thanks! 301 redirects and a 404 page are really important.

and probably tweet it!

Michael A. Robson Nov 11 2010

Wow. Perfect! A couple of these I’m already doing, but definitely love the recommended WP plugins, thanks! I love my blog, but have zero interest in actually doing .. um.. the nuts and bolts stuff. Thanks for the great advice!

This is a great checklist… I wasn’t really aware of not clicking on your own site after searching key words, thanks for the article.

I haven’t read such a useful writing for .. I really don’t know how long. I added your site to my daily webdesign-lookaround :)

Great article … I’va done everything you said for my sites.

Just one question … why don’t you do that before launching your website ?? :)

a_usman Nov 17 2010

I have never seen such an informative article about this topic. I esp liked the Google Alerts part, didn’t know about it. Thanks a lot and keep it up.

Anoop P R Nov 18 2010

Good article… It gives a lot of information about websites… Keep writing these type of informative articles.. :D

submitting it to the DMOZ. it havent worked out very well

Awesome article, thanks a lot for it. I have actually tried quite a few things from your article and I am very happy with the results. I can only agree with former comments: keep on writing this kind of articles, it’s greatly appreciated!

Excellent article. These are definatelly “must” for every website – no matter CMS or static.

Good Work!

Jeremy Randall Dec 03 2010

Great article. Thanks for the tips.

Thank your. Very informative article.

Good work, thank you.
One more thing to add. Everybody checks their sites’ speed but rarely people check sites’ optimization. People too lazy to go deep into the details when they see their site is faster than 70%. I’d rewrite that last part to “Check Your Site’s Optimization” with emphasis to optimization, I mean. Speed with those checkers is nothing. Speed when you try to use a site in a cafe with slow wi-fi connection is everything.
BTW, I use for checking sites because all those plugins slow down my browser.

Arun Prabu Dec 26 2010

Good Article with really informative stuff. Will follow your tips for my newly launched blog..

Great checklist.
I think it will really come in handy to us all.

Benjamin Charity Mar 01 2011

Hmm it seems to me, that any of your titles that begin with “Set up…” should be finished pre launch. Why would you launch prior to setting up Analytics, or robots.txt etc?

I would say to create some inter-linking within your site would also be something you want to do. Great tips!

There is some great information for your readers here which is exactly what Google is after. The adwords tool itself has as I understand it recently been given an overhaul and now includes even more accurate data than previously. I make use of the tool which taps into the adwords interface and allows you to look at competition levels as well as domains avaliable. This is something which with the new more accuate data being released should ensure that webmasters are targeting the right keywords which are importantly achievable.

Christian Oct 06 2011

Thanks for the list! There are some new apps i dont know.

Sebastien Nov 10 2011

I have long sought a complete list, I can say that I am, thank you for sharing this!

Informative article,
if a website did not get listed on DMOZ for whatever reasons, try to build a backlink from site that already listed on DMOZ.

Hi! This is old but I thought I would add something to it in case a wanderer happens to come here. Don’t use robot.txt to disallow content!!! Never!! The file is stored in plain txt format and pretty much anyone can read it, it’s like a blueprint around a bank run by goblins indicating where the dragons and treasure is at!!

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