I mentioned not so long ago that we were going to be doing some rebranding.
You’ll see this happening slowly until the new site launches, then it will be a little bit faster.
The kind of things that are going to change on the outside are:

  • Email signatures
  • Web addresses
  • The logo’s colour scheme
  • Email addresses (not sure about that yet!)
  • Print ads
  • Online ads
  • Links back from other sites

We’re not dumb. In fact we always try to hire the best and the brightest, so we’re not going to be doing away with anything. If you are used to going to a particular URL to access a service of some kind it will still work. It might redirect to a new one, but the old links will still work.
If we do change email addresses over to the .eu domain, which we will probably have to do at some point, all the old ones will still work (I still get mail on about 5 variations of our main domains as it is!).
The thing that is going to be the most painful is how the search engines handle matters.
When we launched our current website about 3 years ago (can it really be that old?) we changed all the URLs and pages around completely. We didn’t have any choice, as we were changing the site’s backend completely.
The earlier iterations of the Blacknight company site didn’t have a “backend” per se, unless you call notepad / dreamweaver / editplus / vim backends. (If you want to see them they’re on archive.org – though you’ll need to do some detective work to guess the domain!)
When we moved to using Typo3 as our CMS all the inbound links were lost except to directories eg pages that were accessible via a “/”.
We had to work hard with the developers (2Bscene) who were also assisting us with SEO to get things sorted out. Thankfully Tom Doyle knows his stuff and we were able to maintain our pagerank and get reindexed quite quickly.
This time round we will have to be very careful, but we have learnt from our past experiences and our past mistakes.
Taking a hit in terms of SEO is something we won’t be able to avoid entirely, though we will be trying our best to minimise the impact!