Going Live with Your New Bluepark Site: Use Our 10 Step Checklist
1 CommentWednesday, 29 May 2013 | Cate
You’ve uploaded all of your products, you’re finally happy with your design and now you’re ready to let the world see your new Bluepark site. So, what’s next? Use our ten step checklist to make sure you have covered all of the important areas before pressing that button.
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Is it the right time to go live? This may sound odd but if you are a brand new site, i.e. never existed on your domain in any other form, Google can add a ‘sandbox’ effect to your site. This means that, although Google may index your site straight away, the results may not be as expected until it has proved its viability. This ‘probationary’ period can last up to 3 months and it is not recommended that you make any big changes to a site during this time. Therefore, it is best to only go live when you are happy that the site is completed and ready to be indexed.
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Have you set the correct default email address within the Site Options tab in Configuration? This is the email address that is used for all triggered emails going out from your website. So, whenever someone makes a purchase or an order gets shipped the system will send out a triggered email to the customer to inform them. Ensure this is an email address on your domain rather than a third party email address from a provider such as Hotmail or Gmail, to make it look professional and genuine.
You can also add in your own Email Signature in the field underneath and this signature will then appear at the bottom of all triggered emails from your website. You can even give your emails a branded look by creating an email wrapper.
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Have you set up your shipping options? By default, there is a range of shipping options set up within the Shipping Manager. If these aren’t correct for your shipping costs then you will need to edit them or create your own. Have a read of our How to: Set-up Multiple Shipping Methods guide if you are unsure of how to do this.
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Has the payment processor been set up? To take payments on your site you will need to have set up an account with one of our integrated payment partners. Once you have all your details for your account go to Site > Configuration > Payment and select the payment processor you will be using. After you have pressed Save a new tab for that payment processor will appear next to the properties tab. Add in your details and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.
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Do you need an SSL certificate? Whether you need one or not will depend on two factors, which payment processor you are using and personal choice. With some payment processors, particularly those where the customer stays on your site to pay, it is a requirement to have an SSL certificate installed on to your site, so, please check with your payment provider.
Even if it is not mandatory you may want to have one installed as it can add a sense of confidence to your site. Many people look for the security padlock (shown when an SSL certificate is installed) on a site before continuing and often abandon their order if there isn’t one.
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Have you made a test purchase? Many payment processors allow you to test the system fully so that you can make sure the checkout process works correctly before going live. Many have a ‘test’ mode or test settings which you can set/access within the primary payment processor tab in Site > Configuration > Payment in your admin console.
If your payment processor doesn’t allow this, make sure it is the first thing you try once your site is live.
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Have you imported your current customers’ details? If you are transferring a current website over to Bluepark you will be able to import your customer data into the User Manager for users to access their accounts on your new site. If you can export their passwords along with any other details, this will provide your customers with uninterrupted access as you can import this information in too. If you cannot export passwords from your current site the Bluepark system can automatically create random ones for each account.
We recommend, when importing your file, that you un-tick the Send Emails option at the top right of the page, as leaving it ticked will send out a welcome email to every customers on the file. This can cause confusion and lead to unwanted customer service calls and emails. Instead, utilise the Email Manager and, once the file has been imported, you can select to send an email newsletter to all customers informing them of the move.
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Have you added your Google information? Within Site > Configuration > Site Options there are several Google fields to connect your site to Webmaster Tools and Analytics. If you are a new site you will need to verify your site on Google Webmaster Tools to be able to submit your sitemap for Google to index and track things like links to your site, content keywords and any errors that may occur.
To add the verification file to your site log into Webmaster Tools, add your new site and click on the Verify This Site link. Then highlight and copy the file name (similar to googled69f15e426gs32f1.html) and paste it into the Google Site Verification File field in the admin console.
Add your Google Analytics ID (similar to UA-23857113-1) to the Google Analytics Number field just underneath to link your Analytics account to your website. This will allow you to track and analyse traffic to your site and what visitors do once they are there. You will also need to tick the Remarketing Analytics checkbox if you are using Remarketing in Google Adwords.
Finally, if you are using Google Maps within the Location Manager you will need to add in the Google Maps API V2 Key and set you default distance.
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Have you read the Transfer Site page? You can view this page by logging into the admin console and clicking on the Ready to Transfer and Go Live? button. The Transfer Site page explains the different options for how your website and email accounts are hosted, so please, read this page in full so that you understand the implications of both options.
Once you have read this page and are ready to make the switch submit the transfer request to us and change your DNS settings in your domain registration admin console.
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Have you set up your email accounts? DNS changes can take up to 48 hours to propagate across the internet and until this is completed you cannot access the admin console via the live address. On the email you receive from us to let you know the transfer has completed on our servers there will be a link where you can access the admin console during this ‘in-between’ stage.
Once you have logged in via this link you can set up your email accounts by going to Site > Email Accounts. Do not set up email accounts if you have only changed the A-Record on your domain as your emails will not be hosted by Bluepark.
And that’s it. Why not print off our quick checklist sheet to help you keep track of each step as you complete it? If you have any questions about going live please leave a comment below or contact support.