Following a straightforward but comprehensive launch checklist will help to ensure that everyone’s hard work over the build period is repaid.
Below we have created a Shopware checklist that can be used in the pre-launch and launch stages of your website deployment. The checklist is based on the assumption that the website is ‘done in terms of development and QA; these are the final checks the eCommerce / Project Manager should make when launching it to the world.
☑ To be undertaken when the site is deemed to be complete and ready to launch
☑ Checks should take place on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices
☑ Ensure that Register/login works fine if there are multiple user groups and multiple ways to Register/Login.
☑ images show correctly, as do hover secondary images if applicable.
☑ Correct pricing shows for:
✓ Simple products
✓ Bundle products
✓ Configurable products
✓ Grouped products
✓ Gift cards
☑ Filtering works as expected
☑ Category title is wrapped around an H1 tag
☑ Category description if used is feeding through correctly onto the front end
☑ Sort By functionality functions as expected
☑ Pagination functions as expected
☑ Product images are optimized and display correctly across all devices
☑ Product videos play correctly across all devices
☑ Product title is prominent and wrapped in an H1 tag
☑ Price is displayed prominently across all devices, including accurately showing:
✓ Inc. or ex. VAT
✓ Sale prices
✓ Tiered pricing
✓ Simple prices when chosen on configurable products
✓ Price changes when options are selected on bundle products
✓ Product images change in real-time if configurable product.
☑ Clicking Add to Basket button:
✓ Correctly adds an item(s) to the basket across all product types.
✓ Displays a concise error message when required product options are not selected.
☑ Out of Stock products display correctly across all devices
☑ Add to wishlist functionality works as expected.
☑ Products with Back in Stock notifications enabled are displayed correctly and email address is correctly stored when entered
☑ Product description (short and main) displays correctly across all devices
☑ If using out-of-the-box product reviews, these are working correctly and feeding through to the Shopware admin for the appropriate approval status. If using a 3rd party review platform, go to the ‘Reviews’ section below.
☑ All ‘test’ products are removed from the site.
☑ Switched to production mode and test reviews have been added to ensure they are working
✓ At product level
✓ At the site level, if applicable
☑ Product reviews contain correct schema markup
☑ Existing site reviews have been correctly imported across.
The following steps should be followed to help get the most out of your site search functionality:
☑ Correct attributes for searching have been selected, e.g. SKU, name, description, etc
☑ Popular searches on the previous site (which you can identify via Google Analytics) are checked and bring back expected results
☑ Site search results filtering options work as expected
☑ Any search term redirects have been imported from the old site and are working correctly
☑ Consider implementing new landing page redirects for popular search terms
☑ Relevant synonyms have been set up
The quality of site search results is subjective but through performing a range of relevant searches, you should have a good idea as to whether the algorithm is working optimally. Remember: a lot of 3rd party services learn as they go, so this may need a bedding-in period post-launch.
We don’t want Google and co to index your new website before it is ready to launch, as this can cause all sorts of problems! It’s important however to get the site ready from an SEO perspective, so the following steps should be followed at this pre-launch stage:
☑ The site is set to noindex/nofollow
☑ Robots.txt at this stage should
✓Block search engines from accessing the site
✓Prevent dynamic URLs from being indexed
☑ Product schema implemented
☑ All ‘test’ promo rules have been removed or disabled
☑ Check all active Shopping Cart rules (or as many as practical) to ensure they are working correctly
☑ Check Catalog Price rules work and amend prices on the front end as expected
☑ Breadcrumbs display correctly across all areas of the website
☑ Breadcrumbs link through correctly to the destination page
It is recommended that every setting within all the sales channels is checked for each site on your new Shopware platform to ensure that nothing has been missed. Listing every single option here would not be practical but the below are commonly overlooked!
✓ Cookies settings should be there as per the GDPR and DSGVO policies.
✓ The correct default country and allowed shipping countries are selected
✓ Store information is filled out
✓ If only one store is being managed, single store mode is enabled
✓ Store email addresses are updated from example placeholder
✓ Contacts are updated from example placeholder
✓ Currency – correct base and allowed currencies added
✓ Catalog – ensure fall back metadata is added
✓ XML sitemap – ensure this is set to update daily
✓ Customer configuration – ensure the share customer accounts option is as desired
☑ Sales – it’s worth going through every single setting here to make sure you are happy with the setup. Particular attention should be paid to:
✓ Tax – ensure tax is calculated and shown correctly sitewide
✓ Checkout – ensure you are comfortable with how the checkout will look and function
✓ Shipping settings – Origin correctly filled in
✓ Shipping methods – double-check all settings
✓ Payment methods – ensure these are changed from sandbox to production in order to test live transactions
✓ Google API – to add in credentials for GA and/or GTM
Assuming Shopware is to be used for transactional emails, check that the following emails send correctly and look as expected on all devices:
☑ Sales order
✓ Logged in user
☑ New account sign up
☑ Forgotten password
✓ Link to reset the password works and can be reset
☑ Back in stock notification
☑ Successful Purchase
☑ Shipping Status (in Transit, Out for delivery, etc..)
☑ Tax rules, rates, and classes have been entered
☑ Tax display settings in configuration have been correctly set up
☑ The front end displays the correct VAT price per product on:
✓ Product pages
✓ Category pages
☑ Cart total displays the following correctly:
✓Works as expected with valid codes
✓Displays user-friendly error message for invalid codes
☑ Changing product quantity updates as expected
☑ Removing product from cart works as expected
☑ Continue Shopping buttons return the user to the homepage
Checks to be carried out for the following as both a logged in and guest user (if applicable):
☑ Error messages on address/billing details are user-friendly
☑ Correct Details are displayed in my account if logged in user.
☑ Promo work as expected.
☑ Correct shipping options are pulled through with the correct shipping value
☑ All payment options
✓ Have been fully configured and set to production accounts
✓ Show user-friendly error messages for invalid details
✓ Take payment as expected when correct details are used
- The order is shown incorrect state in Shopware, e.g. Processing
- Order exports successfully to ERP if applicable
- Payment is received in the gateway as expected
- Order completes as expected
☑ If checking out as a guest, the option to register on the success page is present and works as expected
Generally, the account area functionality is not adapted a great deal from a code point of view so will work as expected. It is still worth checking the following, however (this is particularly important if you have imported your customers over from your current website):
☑ Personal details pull through as expected and passwords can be updated
☑ Address functionality will ensure:
✓ Shown correctly for all existing addresses
✓ New addresses can be added
✓ Addresses can be updated
✓ New orders show as expected with correct order state
✓ The re-order button works as expected
☑ Newsletter subscriptions
✓ Show the correct mailing list user is subscribed to
✓ Provides an opportunity to remove themselves from mailing lists
✓ Items in the wishlist are shown as expected
✓ Clicking on an item in the wishlist takes the user through to the corresponding product
As CMS pages can be infinitely varied, especially if using the CMS blocks functionality, it is important to check that each block used functions correctly across multiple devices. It is very common for mistakes to be made here, so we suggest creating an example page with all the page builder blocks to be used across the site and ensure that these look and function as expected across all devices.
☑ Live GA/GTM credentials to be added if you are filtering out traffic to your unlaunched website.
☑ Looks and functions as expected
When the new site launches there is likely to be downtime which can last for several hours, during which the holding page will show. It is at this point that key stakeholders (as well as users) will be on this page, refreshing to see if it has launched yet, so it is important to get this page spot on!
☑ Check holding page for launch is correct
Phone number (including tel: link)
Launch day has arrived, the holding page has been removed and IP restrictions lifted – the site is now available to the world. The following should be checked as soon as the site is live. It is also worth running through the pre-launch checks again (minus the SEO steps) for peace of mind.
☑ Place multiple test orders
✓ Logged in and as guest users
✓ Same billing/shipping address
✓ Different billing/shipping address
✓ Multiple tests of different payment options
☑ Orders go through as expected
✓ To Shopware
✓ To ERP / Order management software
✓ Tax amounts are correct
☑ Payment is captured as expected in the gateway
☑ Correctly resolves to HTTPS
✓ Non HTTPS redirects to HTTPS
☑ Non www resolves to www or vice versa
This part is very important! Make sure all aspects are checked as soon as site launches:
☑ Spot check 301 redirects – as many as practically possible
☑ Create XML sitemap(s) in Shopware
☑ Ensure site is set to INDEX/FOLLOW
✓ View page source across several on FE to confirm text is there
☑ Search engines are unblocked from robots.txt
☑ Webmaster tools account is created/updated
✓ New sitemap(s) are added
☑ If using SEO software, check for broken links across the site and fix
☑ Run product pages through schema markup tool https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool
☑ Double-check canonical URLs are in place
☑ Double-check href-lang implementation
A repeat of the pre-launch steps, but worth checking again as these commonly cause issues upon launch. Ensure that the following emails send correctly and look as expected on all devices:
☑ Sales order
✓ Logged in user
☑ New account sign up
☑ Forgotten password
☑ Link to reset the password works and can be reset
☑ Back in stock notification
If emails are not coming through as expected or going into spam, a good step to take is to ensure the developers have added SFTP records correctly.
☑ Use real-time reports to ensure external traffic is coming through to the website
☑ Update the site search parameters if necessary to ensure site search queries are recorded
☑ Ensure transactions are being recorded correctly (these generally are available in GA around 10mins after a transaction is made)
Run Google lighthouse audit and compare to the previous website. Address any concerns with your technical team as necessary.
Your site will more than likely have a number of 3rd party modules to enhance functionality. When a site is launched, these can have issues with licenses etc which can cause modules to not work. The common ones to check as soon as a website launches include:
☑ Site Search – run a re-index and check results are as expected
☑ Email – sign up for marketing email lists works as expected
☑ Live chat
☑ Personalization software
☑ Tax extensions
☑ Shipping extensions
☑ Payment Method extensions