Website Launch Foo!
So I am writing a blog article about this website launch for a couple of reasons. First, because I work at ShipNetwork as the Senior Web Dev and was in charge of not only designing and building the site, but also leading this project across the finish line. So I'll be going in depth about this whole experience from start to finish. The other reason is based around why we even re-created a website from start to finish. ShipNetwork was formally known as Rakuten Super Logistics. A sister company of Rakuten. I'll be briefly talking my experience about that as well.
As you are lighting your joint, take a look at a video Webflow created that featured this exact website that I am about to talk about. You'll even get to hear a few things I have to say about Webflow Enterprise.
So to give you a little more context, Rakuten Super Logistics became ShipNetwork in August. Which creates a domino effect of things to do when a company name not only changes, but is also no longer apart of that company ecosystem & culture anymore. This company change prompted the marketing department a rebrand, new logo, and website redesign - the whole shabang. The timeline for all of this was just under 2 months. The reason being is because we couldn't do business anymore as Rakuten Super Logistics, so the sooner we had a new logo, rebrand, and a redesign - the sooner our sales team can get more leads. So there was a priority to get things up and going ASAP.
If you wanna read more about the specific details of this transition, check out the article PR newsire wrote HERE.
First thing the team and I had to accomplish was coming up with a brand identity. This created a foundation that we can refer back to as we created the logo and website redesign. After meetings, brainstorming sessions, and discussions with our executives we were able to finalize a completed branding package. This package gave me the colors, font, and the branding guidelines to follow for designing the website.
Because of the time frame, my approach on this design mock up needed to be a one of those 1 and done type of designs. Im not saying I designed the website with just 1 attempt, I just approached it like it was game 7 of the finals. The sooner I can get confirmation that these mock ups are good to go by our executives, the more time I have to build. This was my mindset. So I created 3 completely different styles of mock ups to help determine what the executives do and don't like. Helping me save a lot of time figuring out a creative direction that still corresponded with our new branding. Now, I didn't want to just create any typical design for the website thats just filled with a bunch of trendy dribbble layouts and random shapes. Being the thought leaders in our industry we have the advantage over our competitors since they (VERY OBVIOUSLY)look to us for ideas and changes to add to their website. So the bar needed to be set high. The three focuses for this design were the following:
- Conversion Focused
- Creative & professional feel
- Creating new trends in the 3pl logistics industry
Previously, Rakuten Super Logistics' website was in webflow. I had the pleasure of assisting with creating that website(Read more about it here on webflow's site). So it was a no brainer to build ShipNetwork's website in webflow. Here's every bit of technology and tools we use for this project:
- Finsweet Attributes
- Google Tag Manager
Lol, yeah pretty big tech stack there. Building this website in webflow was something I genuinely enjoyed. Bringing to life designs I created in Figma. Using Finsweet Attributes really saved me a ton of time when it came to creating CMS filtering and sorting. It's super lightweight and the documentation is A1. This is coming from someone who paid for Jetboost. Google tag manager is a no brainer. The less scripts in your global <head> tag, the better.
You would think that's it... right??
Well... check it out. Even after I finished building the site in Webflow this project wasn't done yet. I had to redirect the whole rakutensl.com to shipnetwork.com. That way any traffic that clicks or comes across the rakutensl.com site will be redirected to shipnetwork.com. Typically I would handle any 301 redirects inside Wefblow. But this time required an absolute URL redirect... not a page redirect. So in order to redirect this whole domain I went ahead and added it to the domain list. *pictured below* This simply redirected the whole domain to our new domain shipnetwork.com.