Site Launch Checklist in MODX Cloud

When you’ve wrapped up creating an amazing website in MODX Cloud, and it’s time to share it with the world, here’s a checklist of steps to take.

The Essentials

The basic steps below will ensure your site launch goes without a hitch, and site visitors see everything without error.

  1. Shorten the TTL on your main A-record—A shorter TTL—60 seconds if your DNS supports a value that low—should speed up the time for DNS updates across the Internet. Do this the day before launch if possible. (This is frequently handled where you registered your domain.)

  2. Double-check your base href tag—MODX Revolution sites often have base href tags in the header Chunks for their Templates. However, if you browse your site from different URLs or by mixing http and https, and your base href tag is cached, things may not work as expected. This is especially true for SSL sites which can result in "broken green bar" and browser security warnings.

    Always call internal system variables in base href tags uncached—they’re already loaded in RAM and there is no measurable performance penalty:

    <base href="[[!++site_url]]">
  3. Add your Custom Domain—Add your domain to the cloud. From the Add-ons tab for your MODX Cloud instance, click the slider on the first Custom Domains option to enable adding your custom URLs. Add them from the Domains tab.

  4. Adjust web rules—Make sure your site is only accessible to the one domain you wish (example 1 or 2), and add a few helpful headers to give your site a slight Pagespeed boost (example 4). If you’re using SSL, and you should, all make sure it redirects all site visitors there (example 3).

  5. Test using a Hosts File Entry—Modify your Hosts file to preview how your site will work when the DNS update propagates. Double check everything especially if you use SSL to ensure you don't get mixed content browser warnings. 

  6. Robots.txt—double-check to make sure your site is visible to search engines on the same URL as set in the previous example.

  7. Point your A-record to the MODX Cloud IP Address—Go back to your DNS server and update it to match the correct IP address for your Cloud instance. In the Dashboard, go to the instance in question, and find the IP Address on the first Summary tab. 

  8. Enable Analytics—If you're using tools like Google Analytics, make sure they're turned on for the production site. Many times the analytics profiles are configured differently for dev/stage and production URLs. 

  9. Restore your original TTL—When your site is live, you can set the TTL back to a longer value so DNS records for your site are cached longer. Between 300 to 1800 seconds is a good value for most moderate traffic websites today.

Recommended

The following items should be considered for most sites, but if you have a basic brochureware site or a non-critical project they may not be relevant.

  1. Serve via SSL—Most sites today should use an SSL certificate these days. Installing a custom SSL certificate in MODX Cloud takes just a few minutes. Don't forget to update your web rules to force-redirect to the right secured URL. (see above) 

  2. Set up an ESP—Prevent email deliverability hassles and infinitely improve diagnostic information for transactional emails by configuring an Email Service Provider. Email is a lot harder than it used to be…
  3. Add PHP Workers—Some sites will get lots of traffic. Adding PHP workers can help, and if your site ever experiences errors, a dedicated Manager Worker Pool can make sure you can get into the Manager no matter what.

  4. Set Up & Test Monitoring—use a monitoring tool to check to ensure your site is always online. Start by using the internal MODX Cloud URLs and when your site is live update to the production URLs; a good monitoring option is to use a content check for a string of words which should appear on a page being checked.

    Once the check is confirms your site is online, test its downtime alerts by changing the string check to something that is not on your page. Confirm the alerts function as expected.

    Note: Managed Cloud sites include monitoring, and proactive maintenance and downtime troubleshooting, as part of the service offering.

 

 

 

 

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