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Your go-live checklist

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OpenCities Product Team

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When all your content is in place, and everything is ready in your site admin, you're ready to go live with your site. But before you do, use this checklist to ensure everything is in place to give your community the best site possible.

Use this list:

Check your site is ready to go

Most of your content should be ready to go live now, but there may be some tasks left to do. The following will help your site run smoothly and provide as much information as possible.

  • Update your site footer: add widgets and links to your site footer, such as contact details, social media links, acknowledgments, links to other sites, your sitemap, and your policies.
  • Check your site's favicon: this icon will display in the browser tab next to your site name. We will add this for you.
  • Set up a 404 error page: set up a custom 404 error page for site visitors to be redirected to when they try to access an unavailable page.
  • Check your waste collection dates are accurate: double-check your waste collection service details in your My Area module to ensure they are correct to your most current schedule.
  • Set up Google Analytics: connect your site with Google Analytics and get data about your site and visitor patterns.
  • Change the domain for Google Maps APIs: ensure that the live domain is added to your API key so your maps work correctly.
  • Set up site search: create a search results page and configure your site search to include the right content.
  • Turn on social media sharing: set up page sharing so your community can share your content on their social media accounts.
  • Create URL mappings: use URL mapping to redirect site visitors from old URLs to your new site. We recommend doing this for the top search engine results.
  • Check your homepage links: ensure the links on your homepage lead where they're supposed to. This may include links in your homepage tabs leading to top services, listings, and your featured content.
  • Double-check your content: ensure that your important pages are ready, including any policy pages and the sitemap in the sub footer links. You may need to create or update pages and delete or archive any that need to be removed.
    • Tip: search your site for "test" or "draft" to find any stray test pages that need to be removed. This may include searching through the Dashboard, admin page search, and internal site search.

Contact your Project Manager

When your site is ready to go live, please follow this process:

  1. Decide on your preferred launch date and submit a support case to contact your Project Manager.
  2. In your support case, please provide the following information:
    • Your selected go-live date and time
    • The name of your Project Manager (if applicable)
    • The type and name of your site
    • Contact details for your IT representative
    • The go-live domain for your site
  3. If there is no Project Manager attached to your site, please submit a support case with the information above, and one of our team will be in touch.

When you contact us, please do it at least three weeks before your chosen launch date.

If there are any potential conflicts with your nominated date, your Project Manager will negotiate a new date with you.

If you're using a folder within an existing domain to launch your new site, your launch process might be different. Regardless, we'll be in touch with any further instructions or details we need from you and your team.

Prepare for launch day

Once we've agreed on your launch date, there are a few things to do before go-live. Before 5pm on the day before your launch date, you will need to pause content updates. Ensure everything you need is published, and let your content authors know they won't be able to make any changes until after go-live. You can still make urgent edits after the site has launched.

Your Project Manager, or someone else on our team, will be in touch before launch for any other details we requires or instructions we have for you.

Lift off

When your launch day arrives, we'll take care of most things. However, you should still ensure that a member of your IT team is on standby, so we can reach them if necessary. We may need to restart your site, but you won't lose any content.

To take your site live, you may need to implement DNS settings; we'll be in touch if this is the case.

What's next?

Congratulations! Your site is now live and ready for your community to engage with. Now that your site is live, there are other tasks we recommend to ensure it's working correctly:

We also encourage you to keep browsing our help center and see what else you can do with OpenCities. Here are some sections to investigate:

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