I have a website that is build with asp.net web forms. I would like to refresh design (using css, html5, responsive design) and also change it from web forms to asp.net MVC.

To me this is more of a frontend project. Since there is already existing backend, it is "only" necessary to reuse it in MVC.

Should I first start with design update or MVC? This project if far more easier, than starting a new website from the start, or am I mistaken?

  • 3
    If this is not for training, start with justifying the project cost and ROI.
    – NoChance
    Feb 23, 2014 at 19:49

2 Answers 2


MVC, Webforms to me are very different in terms of design patterns. If the site was done well with webforms, then I would think you need to refactor backend logic since there could be a lot of logic done by webform controls like grid. You need to rewrite the logic here and authentication.

Again, it still depends on how good you are expecting the site, you still could use a lot controls in View which is bad, but you can do it, so totally depends on what you want.

Conclusion, if you want to have a good quality website using MVC pattern, you should go to check your Models (business logic) first, then apply the MVC concepts on them; if you just want to complete you task, you can go straight to use existing logic as much as you can in MVC, making changes only if it doesn't work.


Start with the task that adds the most value to the stakeholders (or users). If the site is difficult to maintain, and/or there are large backend changes coming up soon, then work on the backend first. If the users would benefit greatly from a redesign and the backend is not likely to change anytime soon, then start with that first.

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