The Before & After Redesigns of Popular Design Blogs

There’s a lot to be learned by looking at before and after shots of a website’s redesign. You get to see what the designer or design team has learned about design since the last rendition, where they’ve identified problems and areas of the design that could be improved. The site’s look and feel is brought up to date with trends, and often more timeless improvements are made, such as base typography enhancements.

Examining these changes can help you take advantage of the designer’s learning through trial and error and other means and avoid having to make the same mistakes yourself. Here are 30 popular design blogs that have been redesigned over the past few years for your viewing pleasure.

WebDesignerWall

Before:

After:

Veerle’s Blog

Before:

After:

Tutorial9

Before:

After:

UX Booth

Before:

After:

InspiredMag

Before:

After:

Lord Likely

Before:

After:

Fudgegraphics

Before:

After:

WorkAwesome

Before:

After:

LINE25

Before:

After:

SimpleBits

Before:

After:

Francesco Mugnai

Before:

After:

Speckyboy Design Magazine

Before:

After:

1st Web Designer

Before:

After:

The Design Buzz

Before:

After:

Onextrapixel

Before:

After:

Abduzeedo

Before:

After:

UsabilityPost

Before:

After:

PVM Garage

Before:

After:

Wegraphics

Before:

After:

Janko at Warp Speed

Before:

After:

Visualswirl

Before:

After:

Web Design Ledger

Before:

After:

Think Vitamin

Before:

After:

Dawghouse Design Studio

Before:

After:

Spyrestudios

Before:

After:

AppStorm

Before:

After:

Cats Who Blog

Before:

After:

Under World Magazines

Before:

After:

Smashing Magazine

Before:

After:

Elite By Design

Before:

After:

Mashable

Before:

After:

Conclusion

Much of what you see here is designers keeping up with web design trends before their work looks dated. In the last year or so, many of the redesigns would’ve been about taking advantage of new technologies such as CSS3, allowing designers to accomplish completely new things, or just replace hacks that weren’t exactly standards-compliant with proper implementations.

But what you can see in each and every design is the process of designers learning and growing and honing their skills through iteration. Let us know in the comments your thoughts on where these redesigns hit, where they missed, and what you might have done differently.

Please note that this awesome post was originally published on WebDesignAid here: The Before & After Series: Showcase of 28 Famous Re-designed Weblogs.

(3 Posts)

Hannah is the founder and curator of moobileframes.tumblr.com, a collection of wireframes, sketches and user interface drawings that focuses on mobile applications. You can follow her @humbleuidesigns or on her Tumblelog (humbleuidesigns.tumblr.com).

Comments

  • I’m very much familiar with some of the sites mentioned here and have been following them for quite some time. And have been one way or another have been inspired to follow suit with redesigning my site. I definitely agree that most of them are taking advantage of advances in web technology. Web Designers Wall’s decision to make the site adjust its dimension automatically when viewed from an iPhone or iPad is commendable. Brilliant round-up

  • actually…Mashable just changed it again…

  • Chris Morata

    I think the CSS Tricks redesign(s) would’ve been a nice addition to the list.

  • Zoel

    thanx for your info, this is very nice and give me more than inspiration for my web design reources

  • Tim

    With the exceptions of Veerle’s blog and 1st web designer, I don’t think there are any real improvements in these designs. Some are worse, but most are just “the same”. You forgot to include Noupe, which probably has the worst redesign I’ve ever seen.

  • Hiyo

    Interesting how many of the redesigns seem to just make ads more prominent.

  • I really like this article one thing I noticed was in these redesigns that i’ve also been noticing in larger mainstream sites is simplicity a lot of them dropped their busy and element heavy backgrounds for something far more subtle, so focus is on the sites information rather than its busy decor. Minimalism is the latest trend

  • Toosleep77

    Phones. Gotta love em.

  • Good collection here.  Seems to me that most of these redesigns were influenced heavily by an increase in traffic. The old versions are almost all more “designed” with hard to read, but fairly cool content areas. They traded those looks in for white backgrounds, tighter navs, and more ads. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I feel like a lot of these examples are redesigns for increased interest in the content, not really for simply keeping the design trends current.

  • Interesting designs. Though some of the ‘befores’ look better then the ‘afters’. I am a consultant at Tenddeapact Solutions – Web design Ireland and believe in the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

  • Lana Tran

    I really like the new design of Smashing Magazine blog. Absolutely clean and clear to view and read articles. ^_^

  • I like the way most of the designs seem to be getting cleaner and less cluttered, better start on my website!

  • Some of the new designs actually look more dated to me than their old counterparts. Like Veerle’s blog and tutorial9 and simplebits (to name a few). Their intial designs were not only effective but also unique, while their new designs look like templates from 5 years ago to me.

  • its good WDL tweaked it, its one of my favorite blogs

  • james craig

     The old versions are almost all more “designed” with hard to read, but fairly cool content areas.

  • Their intial designs were not only effective but also unique, while
    their new designs look like templates from 5 years ago to me.

  • james craig

    I really like this article one thing I noticed was in these redesigns that i’ve also been noticing in larger mainstream sites is simplicity a lot of them dropped their busy and element heavy backgrounds for something far more subtle.

  • is it me, or most of these redesigns WordPress themes bought from Themeforest?

  • I liked WorkAwesome and Usability Post’s “before” more than the “after.”

  • My thoughts exactly.