This is the big moment! We have a list of things we know that we need to do and we’re just going to start doing them and get this site live.
Perhaps the most noticeable change (last second thing before going live) was finally losing the little colored squares in the upper left of modules and essentially extending them across the top of each module making a bar. Less random, more descriptive, more color.
We make one final commit into the Git Repo and push it up live. We go over to Beanstalk quick and literally watch the files move to the live server.
We go over into WordPress and activate the live theme under the Appearance Settings.
We flush the cache locally to make sure nobody is getting served resources files from the old design.
We notice a font problem when we check the site in Firefox, but we keep our eye on the prize by just moving forward with out checklist. Little bugs can be worked out over time.
We head over to NetDNA (our CDN) and flush the cache there too, further ensuring nobody is getting old resources. Ultimately, the file paths and names are different in this new design so there isn’t a huge risk, but it’s still worth doing.
We go over into the forums and also activate the new theme there. We ultimately have to log in via FTP to change the config file to enable Markdown in the forums. We do it through FTP just because for safety we don’t version control the config file that has stuff like database credentials in it.
We go into the WordPress admin again and publish the post that is all about the new design. Good practice right? Might as well have a public explanation of the new design as soon as it goes out, so if people are confused there is something there for them to find and read.
We turn on and off some plugins that are specific to this new design or that were only for development.
We have a quick heart-sinking moment where it appears the site isn’t rendering live. Our prevent FOUT technique was hiding the entire page waiting for Typekit fonts to load, and Typekit was being slow. We’ll have to remove that FOUT prevention stuff or do something different.
We get through our launch list and make tweak after tweak reacting to little things that we notice that need updating. A few rough moments, but not too bad. After all we’ve been working on this design for months now and are pretty comfortable with it.