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How to plan a responsive redesign of your website

You know that really huge update you've always wanted to make to your site but never have the time for? Like transforming it into a fully responsive site, refactoring the CSS, or rewriting all of its content?

You can find the time if you start thinking differently: if you had only one hour, what would you do to get you closer to your goal?

Before you do this, though, you need to get yourself and your team ready for when those elusive hours come around — think of it as a more comprehensive version of tidying your desk before you start working. Here are some things you can do to get on the right track.

See Inayaili de León Persson talk about realistic responsive design at Generate London 2015buy your ticket today!

01. Know your schedule well

List all the projects you've planned to work on in the next few months, define which ones have priority, what the deadlines are, and, most importantly, what can be deprioritised.

This way you will identify the pockets of free time, as small as they might be, when you can work on your project.

02. Define what you can and can't do

Knowing exactly what you won't have time to do in a first iteration is crucial. If you're planning to rewrite all your content, perhaps you need start only with top level pages.

If you want to make your site responsive, maybe forget about editing any of the content, even if it's not mobile-friendly (yet).

03. Plan things in chronological order

Some things will likely need to be done ahead of others, so start moving these blocks into a linear timeline to understand where you need to start.

For example, taking inventory of all the components used on your site will probably need to get done before you start refactoring the Sass files.

04. Focus on reusability

What things are good (or good enough) in the way you've built your site? Use these, for now, and it'll save you time to focus on what really needs to be improved in the immediate future.

05. Experiment in smaller projects

Making large updates to a huge site can be daunting, but you might be scheduled to work on smaller projects where you can test some ideas.

For instance, if you've always wanted to take picturefill.js for a spin, why not test it on the small site you're working on next week?

At Generate London on 17-18 September 2015, Inayaili de León Persson will talk about the nitty-gritty of a real world responsive retrofitting project, and provide useful tips that can be put in practice by other teams facing similar challenges. Get your ticket now!

See the author speak at Generate London (opens in new tab)

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