While some of the following tasks assume you have an existing site and are creating a new version of it, many of them will apply to cases where you are building a site for the very first time.
1. Be sure to either maintain the existing urls from the old site onto the new or redirect the old urls to the new ones if you are going to change them.
2. Put up an “Under Construction” page while in the development phase or build the new site on a different domain used for development
3. Be sure to make a copy of the old site and import any of the content like articles and images that will be used on the new site.
4. Don’t delete any of the existing content like an article you feel is outdated. If using wordpress, just set the article as a draft. Consider updating the article to make it more relevant.
5. If you are building the site right on the existing domain (refer to #2) Be sure to block search engines from crawling the site during its development. This can have an unrecoverable negative effect on your marketing down the road.
6. Don’t forget to unblock to allow search engines to crawl once the site is completed
7. Submit the site and/or a sitemap to Google Search Console as soon as possible after completion
8. Choose a version inside the Search Console (ex. www or non www)
9. Create a Robots.txt file and submit it within Googles Search Console to identify areas of your site you do not want crawled by search engines. Even if you can’t think of anything that you don’t want them to crawl you should still submit one.
10. Run a link checker on your site to find any broken links and repair them before they start producing 404’s to google.