What's the best way to redesign an existing Webflow website?

I’m looking for some insight into the best way to redesign an existing Webflow website within my Team Account.

Situation:

We designed a Webflow website for a customer a few years ago. It’s now time to update the site which will involve not only a new design but a complete change to the content collections. The existing site needs to remain live until the new site is ready to replace it.

Two options:

  1. Take the existing site and start redesigning it. The problem with this approach is that the customer won’t be able to publish any updates to the site until the new site is completed and ready to be published, which could be 30 to 60 days. If we were to publish the site during the redesign, all the redesign work that is not completed would be published and the site wouldn’t look or function properly.

  2. Start a brand new site in Webflow. The problem with this approach is that we would need to purchase another CMS hosting plan, when the customer already has one. If we did it this way, I’m assuming we could remove the domain name from the old site and add it to the new one and the site would continue to work without any updates to the domains host records. Does anyone know if this would have any affect on SEO? In addition, we’d now have an extra hosting account that is paid for and not being used.

I’m wondering how other people approach this situation and what pitfalls may popup that I haven’t thought about. Any insights would be appreciated.

Idea - perhaps Webflow could allow Team Accounts to create a certain number of websites based on the CMS plan, without having to pay for hosting, until a domain name is added.

2 Likes

Hey @tobymacleod

I have two approaches that you could take for this:

  1. Design everything in another project (you don’t need to purchase a second CMS plan until you’ve done all the work) and once everything is ready change the domain to the new project. Don’t forget to follow the same URL structure you have in your previous project and if for some reason it changes then to create 301 redirects.
  2. Second approach would be to re-design the website in other pages (could be draft pages) so the work you do doesn’t show in the live project until you’re finish. After you’re done you can change the main home page and just wire everything up.

These are my 2 cents on the matter.

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@aaronocampo Thanks for the reply!

I started the redesign similar to your second suggestion. it’s working, but I wouldn’t do it this way in the future. It gets messy - lot’s of duplicate classes with slightly different names to differentiate between new classes and old ones.

I’d prefer to do your first recommendation, but I can’t add the customers content to the collections without a paid account as I hit the free limit.

In any case, it’s been a good learning lesson on how to work within the confines of the Webflow platform.

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I know what you mean.

I forgot to mention that in my second approach after finding that duplicated classes issue I started to add an identifier to the new classes like:

hero-section > n-hero-section

So that way I was always creating new classes for everything and once I finished the redesign and removed the old content cleaned up the old classes. Maybe something you can consider doing as well.

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I’m glad I found this post, and Aaron’s suggestions. Has anything changed in the two years since, or are these still the two best approaches to a site redesign in Webflow?