Today is the day. You are gonna do it. No more filling your calendar with busy work to avoid it. No more excuses.
You can do this.
You know you have created the perfect Shopify store, and you’re thinking that it’s time to tell it to go live. Your finger is hovering over your mouse button, but you aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to tell your fantastic store to go live.
There are some key steps that must be completed before you make a Shopify store go live, and this article will make sure that you check all those boxes before taking action. Knowing that you have completed all of the necessary steps can make the go-live process easy and seamless for you!
If you are ready to find out everything that must be done before your Shopify store goes live, read on!
How to Make a Shopify Store Live
Shopify requires some basic web-building skills, and many people will find that the technical parts of the go-live process are the hardest part. This should not cause any major stumbling blocks, however, as there is a simple set of steps that can be used to make any Shopify store go live without accidental hang ups.
Always make sure that you are truly ready to tell your store to go live before you click the button. If you run into immediate issues with supplies, products, or excessive unexpected demand, you might be scrambling for weeks to get caught up!
Perhaps the most important step to consider in the decision-making process is to first evaluate your plans for the delivery procedure. Are you going to ship items yourself, or are you going to use a fulfillment company to do it for you? Depending on the type of products that you are shipping, you might find that a fulfillment service is much better for your needs.
Be honest with yourself. If your style of organization is more like an episode of Hoarders and a whole lot less like Marie Kondo, outsourcing may keep your business from tanking.
For many Shopify stores starting out, the process of shipping products is not that difficult. However, as demand grows, it might be hard to keep up. Make sure to think through the various scenarios you may face related to shipping. Nothing makes customers more annoyed than ordering something and then not having it delivered to them in a timely manner.
Fulfillment companies offer many kinds of contracts, so the right format for your unique needs is out there. Look into a variety of fulfillment models before settling on one, and then track your costs associated with using the service. Never be afraid to change things that are not working for your business model or that are costing you money you don’t want to spend.
Before You Tell Your Store to Go Live
There are some technical steps that must be completed before your store can be made live. These can seem a little daunting at first, but most of the involved menus are easy to find and you can always look for screenshots of the necessary boxes to fill in if you need a little more help.
Do not skip any of these steps, or your store will have technical issues when it goes live. If you have been doing some hype and promotion for your new store, users might be turned off when they show up excited to buy items and then cannot even access the site!
Make Sure That Your Domain is in Shopify
The path to follow to make sure your domain is entered correctly is Sales Channels>Domains>Connect. You will see a box for the existing domain, and you can paste in a new domain address or other information that is required to get the domain set up for you.
Update DNS Records
This is an essential step to make sure that your IP address is working properly. You will need to log in to your domain registrar and change the DNS records in the following manner: Replace the @ or the main A record with this IP address: 23.337.38.32.
You will also need to replace the www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com. (This is your store’s Shopify link without the http portion at the beginning.) If you need to find this link, it is on the “domains settings” page.
Take Out Storefront Passwords
Head on back to Shopify for this step! You will go to Sales Channels>Preferences>Password Protection> and untick “enable password.” If you skip this step, no one will be able to access your site when it goes live.
Don’t be a skipper. You learned how to follow directions in kindergarten. Every step matters, Karen!
Set as Primary Domain if Needed
While you are in the Domains menu, you can set up your primary domain. You need to ensure that you also check the “redirect all traffic to this domain” box. This will take the traffic to all other domains and redirect it to the primary site.
This step is essential if you are going to leverage SEO, making your store easy to find while simultaneously guaranteeing that it shows up in search results.
Add All Other Domains
If you need to add more domains, you can repeat Steps 1 and 2 as needed to include any other domains that belong to you. All domain names will redirect to the primary domain that you set in step 4.
You can also change any of these domains to the primary domain in this location with the click of a button. The number of domains has no effect on SEO, so do not worry about having lots of domains for that reason. Yep. Get busy and domain to your heart’s content!
Launch Day Checklist!
If you’ve reached this point, you did it!! Wehoo! When you’ve completed all of the above items, it is time to prepare for the launch itself! You will need to complete a basic to-do list in order to prepare your Shopify store for it’s go-live.
- Do a final content sweep and make sure that you look for spelling errors and other basic problems revolving around content. You can use Grammarly or another advanced spell-checking site to help you to catch common errors and punctuation problems. Make sure you’ve included all of the information that you want on each landing page and any other spaces that discuss your business.
- Be certain there are no missing pages or images. This is usually a fairly easy sweep to do, but if you have a lot of pages, it could take some time. Be meticulous here because stores that are missing links, images, or product pages immediately appear less than ideal for shoppers to make purchases from. You want to create buyer confidence, not cause buyers to be concerned about shopping in your store.
- Add coupon codes as needed and test their functionality. This can be a big nuisance to buyers if they were expecting to get a discount and can’t make their newly-offered coupon code work right.
- Check that all your included links are working correctly. This is especially important if you are linking to any of your own outside sites. A “404” error is very frustrating if you are trying to get information about a product and cannot learn more about it due to a simple issue with a link.
- Preview your theme one last time to see if things look logical and appealing to those who will visit your store. Even though you should’ve already made it through this part of the set-up process, it never hurts to take another look and see firsthand any issues that could affect sales.
Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed before you go live. Use the View Demo option if you want to experience your store the way customers will see it when they visit your Shopify.
- Make sure that your Google Analytics are set up in the analytics section of your store so that you can accurately track visitors and purchases. You will need this information when you’re trying to optimize your site, your social media, and any online connections you use to connect with your buyers. There is no way to get good data from sales alone, so don’t miss this important step.
Go Live Day Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle
Making sure that all of the moving pieces of your Shopify store are ready for your go-live day is often as simple as checking on all the pages in your store and making sure to handle the technical considerations in this article. Give yourself enough time to double- and triple-check your site so that you are not in a rush to correct things that need a little work.
At the end of the day, going live without having all of the pages, links, and functions set up correctly will just harm your business. Any excitement you had will take a backseat to your frustration, and rather than shouts of glee, you’ll be running out to Best Buy to replace the laptop you just threw out the window.
Deep breath. There is no need to pressure yourself into going live quickly. It is always best to make sure that everything is exactly how you want it before you hit that button.
Taking the time to get the technical parts of the process done properly and doing a last check to make sure there are no errors on your site’s pages is a good rule of thumb for the perfect Shopify go-live day!