The importance of checking settings on your site prior to going live

When you have a new website built there is a number of tests that should be done prior to setting it live. It can be very easy to miss a simply setting that has been left ticked or unticked that has a big impact in the search engine results. For example, when a test in in development you may set up a robots.txt file to tell the search engines not to index the site. There is also an option in WordPress settings that you can tick to discourage the search engines from indexing pages. If when the site is set live this box is still ticked or the robots.txt file is not updated, then you will find that your URL’s do not get listed in the Google search results. If you are having a new site built and have already gain several great positions on the search engines from the previous site, you will lose all these positions until the issue has been fixed and Google reindexes the pages. Another common problem that can cause a sudden lose in rankings when launching a new site is that the old URL’s have not been redirected on to the new site. Ideally you want to keep the URL structure the same but if this is not possible you need to redirect the pages to the relevant new pages. Avoid redirecting all pages just to the home page as this is not good practice.