Launch day playbook

VIP Go platform specific

This document is for sites running on VIP Go.

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Overview #

This playbook outlines the considerations, from VIP’s experience, to ensure a smooth and successful launch. Please note that the points below are a guide only, and the VIP team will advise on the specifics of each launch.

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Scheduling #

After the project has been kicked off with VIP, we schedule launches as outlined below:

  • VIP requires that all launches are scheduled at least 5 business days in advance. We’ll need to get the date and time of the launch on our calendar to ensure that a Technical Account Manager (TAM) and a dedicated engineer are on hand.
  • VIP supports launches Monday to Thursday, 9am-8pm UTC. If a launch is requested outside these hours, we require a minimum of 10 business days’ notice to arrange for appropriate resources. Please keep in mind that an alternative date and time may need to be arranged, based on availability and the complexity of the launch.
  • If a launch needs to be rescheduled, the same notice period applies for the rescheduled date. For example, if a launch that was booked for tomorrow needs to be rescheduled, it will need to move at least 5 business days in the future.

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Launch steps #

  • At the scheduled time and date, everyone will join a StormChat (a single-use live text chat room).
  • VIP will be expecting to update the site to the production domain at that time, with the goal of having the site live within a specified time period (typically, 30 minutes – 1 hour).
  • For a typical launch, the site’s primary domain will be set, followed by QA and then switching DNS.
  • If the site is not live by the end of that time period, we recommend rescheduling the launch and addressing any outstanding issues via Zendesk support tickets.
  • If more extensive QA is required, VIP may recommend that the site’s primary domain is set at a scheduled time, with the change being notified in Zendesk. Then, all parties will convene on a StormChat for the DNS switch. There is also the option to use Maintenance Mode or another form of access restriction if a soft-launch is desired.

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Expected launch duration #

  • Additional complexities such as those listed below can be expected to add time to the launch:
  • When planning the launch, a TAM will outline the specific launch steps and expected duration.

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Pre-launch checklist #

  • A site needs to be free of issues and performing well at least 2 business days before the scheduled launch. If there are outstanding issues, or bugs are still being worked on, within 2 business days before the launch, VIP will need to reschedule the launch.
  • If a final database and/or media import is required before the launch, it should usually be performed at least 3 hours before the launch steps are performed. The exact timing will be advised by a TAM and will be informed by the duration of the initial import. If an editorial freeze is not possible during those 3 hours, any new content can be double-posted, or it can be imported post-launch.
  • One week prior to launch, the DNS records’ TTL (Time To Live) should be lowered as far as possible.

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