Pre-Launch Checklist

Before you can take your site live there are a few preparation steps to take.

1. Register a domain name with a supported provider 

Before you go live, you need a domain name registered with the registrar of your choice. Verify your registrar supports CNAME records for apex domains. Some registrars may call these ALIAS or ANAME records.

2. Test your site 

Make sure your site is running and configured as you want it to be, on your production branch. In particular, see the Routes documentation.

If you turned on HTTP access control during development, turn it off before launch.

If your production environment is on a Dedicated Gen 2 instance, ensure that:

  • Your code is up-to-date in both your Staging and Production branches. Those are mirrored to the Dedicated Gen 2 instances.
  • Your data in the Production environment is up-to-date and ready to launch.

Test the domain locally 

You can test your site’s behavior before going live by locally pointing your domain to the IP addresses for your project’s production environment. This can be particularly useful to check that a CMS is properly set up.

To change where the domain points on your computer, choose one of the following methods:

  1. Get the IP addresses of your project’s production environment by running dig +short $(platform environment:info edge_hostname).

  2. Download a suitable browser extension:

  3. In the browser extension, map your domain name to the IP addresses.

  1. Get the IP addresses of your project’s production environment by running dig +short $(platform environment:info edge_hostname).
  2. Open the /etc/hosts file with admin privileges using your favorite text editor.
  3. Add the IP addresses and domains for mapping to that file.
  4. Save and close the file.

After adding these lines, the file looks something like the following:

##
# Host Database
#
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
##
127.0.0.1	localhost
255.255.255.255	broadcasthost
::1             localhost
IP_ADDRESS      YOUR_DOMAIN
IP_ADDRESS      www.YOUR_DOMAIN

For example, if your IP addresses are 192.0.2.1 and 192.0.2.2, and you added both the example.com domain and the www.example.com subdomain the bottom of the file looks like the following:

/etc/hosts
...
192.0.2.1      example.com
192.0.2.1      www.example.com
192.0.2.2      example.com
192.0.2.2      www.example.com
  1. Get the IP addresses of your project’s production environment by running dig +short $(platform environment:info edge_hostname).
  2. Open the c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts file with admin privileges using your favorite text editor.
  3. Add the IP addresses and domains for mapping to that file.
  4. Save and close the file.

After adding these lines, the file looks something like the following:

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#  127.0.0.1       localhost
#  ::1             localhost</span>
IP_ADDRESS         YOUR_DOMAIN
IP_ADDRESS         www.YOUR_DOMAIN

For example, if your IP addresses are 192.0.2.1 and 192.0.2.2, and you added both the example.com domain and the www.example.com subdomain the bottom of the file looks like the following:

c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
...
192.0.2.1      example.com
192.0.2.1      www.example.com
192.0.2.2      example.com
192.0.2.2      www.example.com

Once your tests are over, don’t forget to delete the entries you added.

3. Optional: Obtain a third-party TLS certificate 

Platform.sh automatically provides TLS certificates for all sites and environments. These certificates are issued at no charge by Let’s Encrypt. In most cases, this is sufficient and no further action is necessary, though see the limits.

If you want to use a third-party certificate, ensure it’s purchased and active before going live. The main reasons to use a third-party issuer rather than the default certificate include using extended validation or high-assurance certificates. See how to add a third-party TLS certificate to your site.

4. Optional: Configure your CDN 

If you are using a CDN, either one included with an Enterprise plan or one you provide for a self-service Grid project, ensure that your CDN account is registered and configured in advance.

What’s next 

After you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to go live.