Best practices for taking a site live

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

This guide introduces you to some of the things you should check when you have built out your Business Catalyst website and are ready to take it live.

Once you have upgraded your temporary site and added your domain name, follow the below recommendations to ensure your site is fully functional and ready for the public.

Check your domain names

As your domain name is the starting point of any customer interaction with your site, you want to make sure your domains are set up correctly. Business Catalyst allows you to add multiple domain names to your site, however there can only be one default domain name. The default domain is used for all system generated links such as your sitemap, and email campaign links.

The best practice with your domain names is to:

  • Set a default domain
  • Forward other domains to the default
  • Forward the system domains to the default

Set a default domain

To set the default domain for your site, do the following:

  1. Log in to the admin of your site, and then select Site Settings > Site Domains.
  2. Determine the primary domain name to be used for your site. Now if this has been set up correctly, you should have both the www and non-www version of your domain available. It is generally best practice to ensure your www version of your domain name is the default.

    If this is not the case, click Edit to the right of the www version of your domain name.
  3. Ensure the 'Set as Default Site URL' option is checked, and then click Save.

Forward all domains to the default

Unless you have your domain names set up as separate mini sites, it is best to forward all secondary domains to the default.

  1. Log in to the admin of your site, and then select Site Settings > Site Domains.
  2. Do one of the following:
    1. If you have already added your secondary domain, delete the records for this domain in the Domains section.
    2. If you have not added the domain, first click New Domain, add the domain name and then remove the records for this domain in the Domains section.
  3. Click New Forward.
  4. Select your secondary domain in the Domain to Forward menu, and then select your primary domain in the Forward to menu.
  5. Click Save, and then repeat for any other secondary domains.

Forward the system domain to the default

When you create a Business Catalyst site, you will have a system and secure URL in the format of and The domain can be redirected to your default domain to avoid users navigating through this URL.

  1. Log in to the admin of your site, and then select Site Settings > Site Domains.
  2. Click Edit to the right of the domain.
  3. Check the Redirect to default domain option and then click Save.

Checking the sitemap file

Once you have your default domain all set up, you can then check to see your sitemap file is using the correct domain name and URLs.

Note: if you have just updated your default domain, this can take up to a couple of hours before reflecting the new domain.

To view your site map, simply open your web browser and type the below into the address bar of your browser:

(Replace with your actual domain name


The resulting page should look similar to the above with your domain name showing in place of

Check the 'From' email address for campaigns and outgoing emails

Once you have set up your domain names and email accounts, you can then ensure that all outgoing emails from the system use the correct 'From' email address. This includes email campaigns and system emails such as invoice emails and workflow notifications.

Checking email campaigns

  1. Log in to the admin of your site and select E-Mail Marketing > E-mail Campaigns.
  2. Select any existing scheduled email campaigns from the list.
  3. Expand the More section and then ensure that the Email From Address field has the correct email address.
  4. Click Save or Save Draft.

Checking system emails

  1. Log in to the admin of your site and select Site Manager > System E-mails.
  2. Click Set Default 'From' Email.
  3. Enter the name you want to be shown when a system email is sent and the correct email address.
  4. Click Save.

Check Workflow notifications

Once you have set up your domain names and all your users, you want to ensure that your workflow notifications are sent to the correct users of your site. If you have not set up your workflow notifications or are not familiar with this feature, see Set up workflow notifications .

  1. Log in to the admin of your site and select Site Settings > Manage Workflows.
  2. Select one of your workflows from the list.
  3. Click the Add steps to this workflow tab, and then select one of the steps from the list.
  4. In the Role Responsible menu, ensure the correct role is selected.

    You can view manage your roles by selecting Site Settings > User Roles.
  5. Click Save Step and repeat this process for any other workflows on your site.

Test all forms on the site

This section is self-explanatory but it is recommended that you test all your web forms on your site to ensure that they are all submitting correctly. This is particularly important after you have made changes to your domain name.

Navigate to a web form on your live site, and submit this form from a customer point of view. Once you have submitted the form, log in to admin of your site and ensure that the submission is recorded in the live feed: live-feed.pngAlso ensure that the workflow notification (if set up) has been sent to the correct user.

Testing your online store

If you have set up an online store, it is best practice to make a test transaction on your online store.

  1. Create a one-cent product, and add it to one of your catalogs.
  2. Navigate to the live website and purchase the product using all available payment methods.
  3. Ensure that the order is created in the admin of your site. If using PayPal, ensure that the payment status is "Success.?
  4. Check that the invoice was emailed to you and is correct.
  5. Ensure that the site owner has received their order workflow notification.

Using the payment gateway's test gateways is possible. However, it often requires special credentials and card details to be used. To ensure your gateway is functioning correctly, it is best to test a live transaction.