Guidebook: The self-launch process

Preparing for launch

Complete code reviews #

Clients on Full or Enhanced code review levels will want to ensure that VIP’s theme and/or plugin review has been completed, and the PR workflow has been enabled.

If not receiving a manual code review, clients will want to ensure that VIP’s automated scan feedback on the codebase has been received and that you have resolved any concerns.

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Final import #

If a final database and/or media import is required before the launch, it should be performed at least 1 business day before the launch steps are performed. If a 1-business-day editorial freeze is not possible, and double-posting new content is not possible, please work with your TAM to schedule an import closer to your launch time.

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Lower TTL #

If DNS records already exist on the primary domain, the domain’s TTL (Time To Live) should be lowered as far as possible at least 24 hours prior to launch. This will ensure that downtime is minimized when the DNS is pointed to VIP.

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DNS changes (if hosting with us) #

If the site’s DNS is hosted by VIP, please share this information with us at least three business days in advance of launch, so that we can ensure everything is set up for your sites and ready to go for launch.

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Map domains #

Domains can be mapped at any time. If you will be migrating the site from someplace else, we recommend mapping the domain at least 24 hours before the launch.

Domains can be mapped to the environment via the VIP Dashboard. Start by clicking “Domains” in the left sidebar. After selecting the correct environment, click the blue + circle on the right hand side to add the new domain to this environment.

Be sure to input the domain exactly as you’d like it to appear in a user’s address bar — with or without the www. Both versions will automatically work, with our platform redirecting to the one you specify here.

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Configure SSL #

VIP requires that all sites have valid TSL/SSL certificates. We provide Let’s Encrypt certificates by default, which requires no additional cost or action from your side, and VIP will own the renewal process. Whole-site HTTPS is also enabled for all sites by default.

VIP also supports the use of a custom certificate instead of a Let’s Encrypt certificate, but only VIP can install it. If providing a custom certificate, please reach out to your Technical Account Manager at least 3 days before launch.

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Testing your site #

Before launch, ensure the site is fully tested. This should involve walking through all the functionality in the wp-admin, as well as monitoring PHP and query performance in the linked New Relic sub account.

Further reading

A site needs to be working as expected, with no launch-blocking bugs, at least 2 business days before the scheduled launch. If there are outstanding issues, or critical bugs are still being worked on within 2 business days before the launch, we recommend rescheduling the launch.

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Schedule your launch #

We want to ensure your launch goes as smoothly as possible. Please provide your TAM at least 5 business days’ notice for when you plan to launch your site. The supported VIP site launch hours are Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm (09:00 – 20:00) UTC. Launching during this time provides the most support coverage to help ensure any issues you may encounter during the launch can be discovered and fixed as quickly as possible.

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