A Prelaunch Checklist for your Drupal Website

  • By :Shefali
  • Date :4-05-2017

So you have tirelessly worked hard, your Drupal developers coded for weeks together on your Drupal website and now the most important day has arrived – the launch day! Time to cheer and rejoice, for all your hard work has finally paid off. But wait! Have you done everything right to ensure your Drupal website does not run into any unforeseen issues once you launch the site? It is always best to compile a checklist of things to do a few days before the launch to make sure you have everything in place and that you’re website is not under any kind of risk. Don’t have a checklist yet? Put your mind at ease coz compiled below is a list of prelaunch checklist for your Drupal site.

Are the File Permissions set right?

To secure your Drupal website, the first step you have to take is to set the file permissions right. Make sure that your web server is not given permissions to edit or write the files that it executes. Automated tools to set and verify permissions like File Permissions Module and Security Review Module respectively, can also be used. The PHP Filter Module under /admin/modules needs to be disabled.

Security Updates?

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 automatically sends security updates for modules that are enabled. Else, security releases need to be checked and updates need to be run if needed.

Secure your admin’s account name

Your admin’s default account that they have been using for Drupal website development since installation is extremely vulnerable to attacks as it isn’t really hard to guess the username for the hacker. So the root account name should be changed (before launch at least) and a strong password must be used. You can use the AES module to tighten up your security. Also when granting user permissions, ensure minimal permissions are given to anonymous users and all permissions granted to them should also be given to authenticated users.

Don’t let your users see those Error reports!

Because it can get very annoying. Error reporting in should be turned off such that it write the errors onto a log but does not display it to users. It should be ensure that 404 errors are handled well. Using Drupal modules like Search 404 or 404 Navigation helps in displaying a more helpful content like search results based on the URL the user has been searching for.

Search Engine Optimizing for your Drupal site

Using the PathAuto Module is extremely important for Drupal web development as it will generate friendly URL’s instead of a URL that will look like this www.specbee.com/node/3843. It is also recommended to use the Global Redirect Module along with PathAuto as it checks the current URL for an alias and then does a 301 redirect to it if it is not being used. Because if you have two URL’s (with alias name and without alias name) that represent the same content, it can be very harmful for your SEO ranking.

Check on the Modules

Unused Drupal modules end up taking up space and makes your website slow. Ensure only those modules that are being used are enabled. Drupal modules that are not used for a while and would no longer need it, needs to be uninstalled. Also, it is recommended to disable the Devel module and similar modules during launch.

Is your Drupal site optimized for performance?

There are many things your developer can do to optimize the performance of your Drupal website, like

  • Caching –configuring caching will boost the performance of your website. Caching for some modules like Views are turned off by default – so make sure they are turned on.
  • CSS and Javascript – a typical Drupal website will have plenty of Javascript and CSS files which will increase the number of HTTP calls for each page. However, one can compress all these relevant files by enabling this feature in the performance section.

CRON jobs?

These time-triggered actions can help in checking for updates, re-indexing the search mechanism, retrieving feeds, notifying other sites of updates and perform routine maintenance tasks. It is also recommended to configure CRON for security and performance reasons.

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