Site launches work best with our preferred hosts: BigScoots and WPEngine. These hosts provide one-click deployments from staging to live, ssh access, and wp cli access. We’ll perform the site launch on staging, and on approval we’ll deploy it to the live site.
If you’re hosted elsewhere, you likely have a staging environment which we’ll use for the initial theme build and site launch, but we may need to ask the host to do the push to and from staging.
We typically schedule launches for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. We never launch on Friday because we want to ensure we’re available in the days following the launch to resolve any issues that might come up.
Redesign launch for preferred hosts
At 8am Central on the scheduled date, we’ll implement a content freeze on your live website. At this point, you should not publish or update any content on the live site.
We’ll push a fresh copy of your live site to your host’s staging environment. We then add the new theme and plugins, and rebuild the staging site to match the approved design. This typically takes 3-6 hours.
You’ll have the opportunity to do a final review of the staging site before we go live. You can also make any last minute content changes, like building out a few Cultivate Category Pages.
When you approve the staging site, we’ll push it to your live site, completely overwriting your live site. There should be zero downtime during the site launch.
Any comments or content changes made on the live site after the content freeze but before the final launch will be lost, since we’re replacing the live site’s database with the staging site’s.
Redesign launch with staging
If your host does provide a staging environment, we will do the same launch as described above for preferred hosts, except we’ll ask you to contact your host for the initial push from production => staging at start, and then the final push from staging => production at launch.
Here’s a partial list of hosts that can provide a staging environment: WPOpt, Rocket.net, Cloudways, and Agathon. We encourage you to ask if your host can set up a staging environment.
Redesign launch with no staging
If your host does not provide a staging environment, we can launch the new theme directly on your live website.
We’ll upload (but not activate) the new theme and plugins, then complete as much setup as we can without activating the theme, like configuring menus and plugins.
We’ll activate the new theme and a “maintenance mode” plugin, which makes the site inaccessible to visitors temporarily. After configuring the theme (about 15-30 minutes) we’ll deactivate the maintenance mode plugin and complete the site launch.
Secondary Site Launch
Once we’ve built your theme using Go, Pro, or VIP, we can deploy it to additional websites that you own for a fixed cost of $2,500/site. This is essentially our Cultivate Go service, but using your own custom theme rather than one of our pre-built Go themes.
For each website we’ll create a Moodboard mockup that illustrates how the theme will look using that site’s logo and brand colors. Once approved, we’ll schedule the site launch as described above.