Time for a rebrand? Top tips for a smooth site relaunch

rebranding a websiteFrom time to time your website or business will need some rebranding.

Perhaps that rebranding will simply mean changing a logo – but occasionally it could mean a new theme design, or a complete transformation of your brand identity (both online and off).

The process of a rebrand/rebuild can be complex, and often requires more than simply re-jigging your wordpress theme and updating a few plugins. With that in mind, here are some tips for a smooth and effective rebrand that should facilitate minimum disruption when it comes to the big relaunch.

Start with the launch in mind
  • Build your test (staging) site on the same (or a matching) server to the one you will launch on. This ensures your new site won’t hit any major configuration bumps when it comes to going live
  • Check server settings like your PHP version, and keep on top of WordPress and plugin updates as you build (fixing minor issues as you work on the new site is preferable to fixing hundreds after launch)
  • Be sure to noindex (discourage search engines from crawling) your test site whilst you’re in development, but don’t forget to turn that off when it’s go time!
Consider your offsite rebranding and interactions
  • Logo changed? You may want to image search your old logo and see where it shows up online. If it’s prominent on someone else’s site, contact them about replacing it.
  • Social media –  of course you’ll want to update your branding on all your social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Youtube/Google+/Tumblr/Instagram and so on), and image searching your logo can help you find the more obscure ones
  • Email Signatures – Many people forget to change these, but the last thing you want after a rebrand is to email new potential clients with an old logo and out of date information
  • Favicons – easy to change but easy to forget
  • Emails generated from your website – do these include logos or branding? Check for order confirmations, support ticket responses, and newsletter confirmations coming from an external provider like MailChimp or Aweber
  • Paypal – If you send customers to PayPal for payments you’ll want to change the logo they see whilst checking out. (To do this: PayPal > profile > my selling preferences > payment pages)
Take advantage of plugins to simplify the changeover

Tools like WordPress duplicator and theme test drive can minimise downtime on launch day;

  • Duplicator enables a simple install process by compressing any wordpress site into a single zip file, and making the re-install as simple as installing wordpress
  • Theme Test Drive makes launching your new site as simple as clicking ‘enable’ on your theme – perfect for simpler, theme-based changes
Backup as you go, and TEST TEST TEST
  • Use a WordPress plugin like WP2DB (WordPress backup to Dropbox) – to back up regularly behind the scenes whilst you work
  • On top of general browser testing and proof-reading – test any contact forms, purchases, or other interactions that users may make with your site
  • The more eyes you get on your test site, the quicker it is to spot issues. Get others involved before the launch.

Overall, rebranding a site can be relatively painless with a little forethought and planning. Just be prepared to fix those unpredictable issues immediately following your launch, and don’t launch on Friday afternoon!

Need help with your company’s rebrand? Get in touch and see how the team at Marketing Signals can help you smoothly transition.

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Gareth Hoyle

Gareth Hoyle

Gareth graduated in 2006 finishing top of his year in e-Business. Straight from University, Gareth started his own digital marketing agency from which Marketing Signals has grown. A commercial mind with deep technical understanding, he conveys comprehensive digital marketing knowledge in a straightforward and easily understandable way to stakeholders at all levels. An investor in people.