I am close to launching a web site for a client that I performed updates and maintenance to which evolved into a slight redesign and re-organization of the content. I have made a demo version for the client to approve and I am now ready to push it live. Are there any technical or business considerations to take care of before deleting the old site and all of its dependencies and uploading its replacement?
This is a nice preflight check list: http://launchlist.net/
The only other thing I would add to it is to ensure that any broken urls from the old site are redirected (using .htaccess?) to the new equivalent page.
A lot of visits to a site are from search engine results, keeping those inbound links intact and telling the search engines they've changed is imperative for a redesign that alters url structure.
here's a snippet from a .htaccess file that does that:
RewriteRule ^making_visit\.html$ http://www.bclm.co.uk/visit.htm [R=301] RewriteRule ^making_visit1\.html$ http://www.bclm.co.uk/visit.htm [R=301] RewriteRule ^making_visit2\.html$ http://www.bclm.co.uk/opening.htm [R=301] RewriteRule ^making_visit3\.html$ http://www.bclm.co.uk/prices.htm [R=301]
I'd also make a full copy of the old site, put it on DVD and give it to the client, just in case...