Your company is moving forward with a new website — new design, new content, everything to create a new look for your company and bring in new (and hopefully more!) prospective clients. But it’s been ages since you’ve implemented Pardot on your existing website and you want to make sure you don’t forget anything when transitioning to the new website.
No worries! You don’t need a full implementation to get Pardot running on your new website, just a few pointers. Below, you can find the nuts and bolts you need to remember as well as our best practice advice.
When to start thinking about what?Unlike implementation, where you start with the technical items and then move onto creating content, you have to think about integrating Pardot into your website in phases: Pre-Design, Design, and Post-Design.
Phase 1: Pre-Design
Audit your account and decide what to keep
Prior to redesigning your website, you need to take anything physically represented on your website into account. This would include whether you utilize Pardot Forms, Form Handlers, Site Search and Tracking code. What should be kept, kept and updated, or created from scratch? Embedding Pardot forms on your webpages requires adding an iframe code to your webpages where you want the Pardot form to appear. In this step decide if you can still use your existing forms, if they need to be updated or recreated.
You may have new code to send to your developer in the next step. If you use forms created on your end and integrate Pardot into the forms through a Pardot form handler, you will need to make a note of which form handlers need to be updated or recreated. You also need to consider if you want to use the same tracking code on your new site as your old. The tracking code sets the Pardot Campaign that the prospect is associated with. If you continue to use the "General" campaign, all new visitors to your new site will be associated with that existing campaign. Or if you create a new tracking campaign, new visitors can be tracked separately and associated with the new campaign. The latter method is recommend to see which prospects originated at which site. You will find more detailed information below on Forms, Form Handlers, Site Search and Website Tracking Code.
Phase 2: Design
Edit/create elements and give to developer
Edit and/or create your new marketing elements. Once finished, make sure your designer has all the relevant code and knows where to put it on your website. This may include:
- Website tracking code
- Iframe code to embed Forms
- Post URL code for Form Handlers
- Post URL code (for a third-party site search)
Phase 3: Post-Design
Complete restyling, check details
Once you’ve finished creating the new layout for your website, you will want to update or create new Layout Templates to be used for your Landing Pages, and Forms. You can use these Layout Templates to immediately update the look of existing Landing Pages so they match the new look of your site.
You may also need to update your Email Templates to reflect new logo, colors, or branding. But it’s not all about the look of your website — you may also have new organization. Also you may decide to create Page actions for certain pages on your new site. This allows you to take special actions on prospects who view these high priority pages. Once your site is up and new pages' URLs are established, visit our Page Actions article for information on how to set up Page Actions.
Perhaps your domain has changed with the release of the new website. There are several steps you need to take in Pardot to ensure your CNAME and links reflect those Domain changes. You will find more detailed information below on Layout Templates, Email Templates, Site Search, and Domain/CNAME change.
What do I need to take into consideration?
Forms and Form Handlers
Do you currently have Pardot forms embedded in your website or make use of our form handlers? You will need to update your form and form handlers for your new site.
- Forms - To add existing forms to your site through an iframe, go to Marketing > Forms. Click on the name of the form you would like to embed and click View HTML Code. You would then pass this code along to your designer to add the form to the desired location on your new website.
- In order to update the styling (such as font and color) of an embedded Pardot form, you can click Edit form and once in the Form Wizard, go to Step 3 (“Look and Feel”). Click on the Styles tab and edit the styling. Press Finish to save your changes.
- If you use custom CSS in Form’s Layout Template, you will likely need to update that Layout Template to match the look of the new website.
- Form Handlers - You will need to check/update the Success Location on existing Form Handlers. Then give your developer the form handler URL for integration.
Use Your Website's Site Search - You’ll need to create a third-party site search in order to integrate Pardot with your site search. For information on creating a new third-party site search, see this article.
Website Tracking / Campaigns Do you currently use our tracking code on your website or wish to start using it with the newly designed website? There are two approaches you should consider:
- Keep Using the General Campaign - If you currently use your “General” campaign's tracking code on your old website to associate all first-time visitors with the "General" Pardot campaign and you want all future visitors to your new website to be associated with the "General" campaign too, you can continue using the “General” campaign tracking code.
- Create a New Campaign - If you use campaigns to track ROI, then it is a good idea to create a new, separate campaign for your newly designed website. You can implement the tracking code for the new campaign throughout your website, which will tag visitors who convert to prospects while visiting your redesigned website.
In order to retrieve the tracking code to include on your website, go to Marketing > Campaigns and select the campaign with which you want to tag prospects. While viewing the campaign, click View tracking code. To create a new campaign, click Create new campaign in the top right of the campaign table and repeat steps above to retrieve the new tracking code to give to your developer. For more information, visit our articles on Tracking Code and Campaigns.
In order to update your Landing Pages to match your website’s new look, you will need to create new Layout Templates, available under Administration > Layout Templates. Once you have created your new Layout Template, you can update the look of existing Landing Pages by going to Marketing > Landing Pages and select Edit on a Landing Page you wish to update. In the Landing Page Wizard, go to Step 3 (“Content”) and select your new Layout Template from the Layout Template drop-down. Press Finish to save your changes. Layout Templates may also be used for Forms (if you are using custom CSS).
If you currently use Layout Templates for Forms, they will need to updated to match the new website. To create new layout templates to match the look and feel of your site, visit our article on Layout Templates.
Look through your email templates and decide if any need to be updated to reflect new logos, colors, or branding. You could also create new email templates if necessary. For more information on creating email templates, visit our Email Templates article.
Change of Domain - CNAME and Email Authentication Updates
CNAME: If your website's domain has changed, you probably want to update your CNAME record to match. First you must update the CNAME record on your DNS so that the alias reflects your new domain (for example, www2.newsite.com) and still points to go.pardot.com. Click here for instructions. If you want to make sure that links with your old CNAME work as well (in the chance that your prospects click on old links in old emails) then you can retain the CNAME record on your original website domain's DNS (if you are able to maintain your original domain) and you will create a second CNAME record on your new website domain's DNS that also points to go.pardot.com.
This allows the Pardot links with your old CNAME to still redirect to the respective landing page/form as well as create links with your new CNAME. Note that this will not work with vanity URLs, only the autogenerated URLs.
Once the CNAME record is updated on your DNS, you will need to make this update in Pardot by clicking your email address in the top right corner of any page > My settings > Edit Account > Change the "Tracker Subdomain" from your old CNAME to your new one > Save account. For more instructions visit our CNAME article. After updating the DNS record and Pardot settings, the links in the Pardot application for landing pages, forms, form handlers, content files, custom redirects, site search, and links in emails (moving that point forward) will be automatically updated to use your CNAME. As a best practice, you should make sure links posted outside of Pardot (Pardot links you have posted on your website, blog, social media sites, etc.) use the latest CNAME in the link. If you have any links saved in your Pardot layout templates that use the old domain/CNAME (especially for CSS files) make sure to edit the templates and update the links so they are valid and work properly.
Email Authentication: If your email sending domain changes along with your website domain change then you will want to update your Email Authentication records with your new domain and update your users' profiles. Under Administration > Overview > Email Sending Domain > Create new Email Domains > Enter in your new email domain > Save. Next you will need to add the new SPF and DomainKey records to your DNS. To do this, click Expected DNS entries > copy the necessary information — record's domain, type and entry value. Send these to your developer to add to your DNS.
Once added, revisit the Email Sending Domain table and click Check DNS entries. If present, green checks will appear next to each entry. For more instructions visit our Email Authentication article.
You will also want to edit your users and update the domain in their email addresses. Go to Administration > User Management > Users and Groups > Edit each user > change the email domain and/or email address > Save. You may also need to edit the users and update their CRM usernames if these have changed too. Make sure to visit your saved email templates and update the "Sender" of the emails. Found on Step 3 of the Email Template wizard, modify the email domain to reflect the new domain.
What do I need to do?
Here’s a handy checklist of items for you to mark as you complete the above steps. (This is just for your reference and will not be saved or submitted anywhere so check or un-check as much as you’d like! You may also download and print it out as a physical checklist during the redesign process.)Pre-Design
Are you using Pardot Forms or Form Handlers?
Are you using third-party site search?
Are you using an existing campaign or creating a new campaign?
Send your designer the following:
The final touches:
Update the following: