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Re-Designing a website

The obvious place to start would be to speak with the client and ask for their expectations and/or requirements.

It's no good re-inventing the wheel if they just literally want some colours and/or images changing.

With a "redesign" they would most likely want the website basically rewriting from scratch. The important thing is not to assume anything, but if this is the case I'd probably start with a simple CSS Grid Layout and go from there. It's nice, clean code.
Our clients at Wubur (the web development company I partially own) go for a variety of solutions. Sometimes we have clients that want a website made completely from scratch, and other times our clients want premade templates that are just heavily customized. It all depends on the client, but a lot of times our main focus is on backend logic & code. For example, a client may pay $500-1000 for some basic web design, but pay $3000 for a management portal - to help them organize their properties or tenants, products, etc... whatever it is they need their custom online software for.

When it's from scratch we usually sit down and talk about general look and feel before specifics such as colors, logo, etc.
We'll discuss "one page" options, multi-page websites, the differences between responsive and mobile-specific web pages, and much more. We start by creating basic elements such as a fixed header, 2 column display, a grid layout section, calls-to-action banners, etc. Once we establish a few types of elements & section types the client can help us understand their vision and preferences a bit more. Then we can bring it all together and assemble an actual full homepage... and then focus on content, images, colors, etc.

When we use templates we usually jump right into colors so we can customize the template a bit before showing the client. They're obviously aware it's a template, but a lot of clients struggle to truly appreciate a premade web page if the colors are completely different. This helps them envision the final result. Then we can move sections around, create our own custom sections, and start building out the content.
I've never did a Re-Design before.

I think that a Site should only be Re-Designed to keep up with Modern Design-Trends(Like Flat-Design). Another Reason for Re-Designing a Site is for improving the overall Quality and User-Experience(UX) of the Site itself. Remember that your Users are what keep your Site alive. If you do not focus on them, they will move to other Sites.

I also wouldn't be able to imagine how a Re-Design would work. I'm guessing that it would start by getting rid of the old CSS Code and then beginning with things like Fonts and Backgrounds then working your way up to more complex Stuff like Effects and Custom Video/Audio Players. If you were to look at a Site like Reddit, it's Design changed drastically from a kind of 2008-2011 Site to a more 2018 Site. Imagine all of the Engineers and Designers over at Reddit, trying to make sure that the Design is good and it's usable.

A Re-Design in my Opinion, should only to be improve the Quality of your Site if it's badly needed. If there is nothing wrong with it then don't go with it. If there is still nothing wrong with the Site itself but the Look is becoming increasingly outdated then I'd say a Make-Over could do.

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