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Launch checklist

Is your site ready to launch?

Before you can launch your site on GovCMS, you developers will need to finish building any functionality your site needs, they'll need to finish off the site's theme, and your content team will need to get all the content ready.

You should give yourself plenty of time to work through your site's launch checklist - we recommend up to 2 weeks.

14 days before go live

  • Make sure your team are signed up to the GovCMS online community
  • Check that your site is configured to hide unpublished content from your search engine, and also check your sitemap is setup correctly
    • You can find the index setting in the admin interface under Configuration > Search and metadata > Search API
    • Check your sitemap under Configuration > Search and metadata > XML Sitemap
  • Setup your redirects
    • Use a tool like Google Analytics to see what the most popular landing pages are where people start their visit to your site
    • Make sure the links for these landing pages either point to a new page with the same URL, or setup a redirect
  • If you're a SaaS customer, or a PaaS customer who has also bought the web protection service, Finance will advise what settings you need to use on your domain name
    • You are responsible for submitting a DNS change request to whatever service provider you use for managing your domain names
    • Confirm the domain name with the GovCMS team, we will organise the security certificate if you're a SaaS customer - if you're a PaaS customer you need to provide us with a copy of your security certificate
  • The default email address for all emails sent by the platform is - this will be used by web forms and whenever your editors submit a forgotten password form
    • You can setup site-specific email addresses such as noreply-[sitename] and these will work straight away
    • You can also setup your own email address such as noreply@[agencydomain] but this also involves whitelisting the GovCMS platform on your email gateway. Contact the GovCMS team for details. We also need to configure the platform so we will coordinate this change with you.
  • Make sure you complete any user acceptance testing
  • Setup your analytics tracking - and confirm the site is sending data your Google Analytics report

7 days before go live

  • Raise a service desk ticket on the GovCMS service desk
    • Confirm the names and email addresses of users authorised to raise service desk tickets for your website - this could be a different group to people working on other sites your agency hosts with us
    • Confirm the details of the technical contacts for your site - these users get access to the GovCMS dashboard and project repository
  • Get your team to confirm they can access the service desk, and if authorised, the dashboard and project repository - users will need to activate accounts and setup passwords
  • Raise an 'Event Notification' on the GovCMS service desk
    • Indicate on the ticket the date and time your site will go live
    • Salsa Digital will provide critical level support for issues for the 3 days prior to a site launch - provided they have been notified at least a week in advance
  • Schedule your DNS change - depending on your provider they will need time to setup the change, you should check with them as early as possible

On launch day

  • When it's time to go live, turn off your site shield - go to Configuration > System > Shield
  • When your DNS change takes effect - your site is now live on the GovCMS platform
  • Navigate to one your webforms and submit a test form to confirm you receive the email from the live site
  • Verify that your web stats are being collected - Google Analytics includes a real-time view - as you click on pages, you should see this reflected in your stats report
  • Use Google's webmaster tools to submit a request for Google Search to re-index your site - this will not happen immediately but it can decrease the amount of time Google Search takes before starting to show your new content
    • Don't forget your redirects! If Google Search is showing old content, add additional redirects to your site so that users get the right landing pages instead of getting lost
  • Check for broken links - either fix these in content, or setup more redirects as needed