In 2021, websites are a vital part of every business. They perform many tasks including providing information, explaining a service, communicating with a user, and converting leads. If you don’t have a good website, you are missing out. This leads many people to ask the question, “Is web design hard?” And surprisingly, that is a complicated question. Let’s start with defining what web design is.
What Is Web Design?
An essential part of a website is the design. Many people think web design refers to the entire process of building a website; however, this is not true. When a website is built, three main functions are used:
- Web Design: The overall colors, fonts, styles, images, and design layout.
- Web Development: The backend and functional part of the website. Many web designers are web developers too.
- User Experience: This is the navigation, page layout, and overall path someone will take throughout the website.
In most cases, a “web design” service refers to all of the processes in one. Most web designers are web developers and user experience experts as well. However, most web developers and user experience experts are not web designers.
Suggested: The Future of Web Design
Dedicated web developers and user experience experts are typically found within larger agencies. They are involved with large website (or web app) products.
For the rest of this article, we will define web design as the ENTIRE process of creating a smaller (under 200 pages) website.
Is Web Design Hard?
Now that we have a concrete definition, is it really that hard? The answer: it depends. Nowadays, there are multiple ways to create and design a website. Generally, it will fall under one of three categories:
- Website Builder
- Template-Custom Website
- Completely Custom
Let’s dive into each of these.
A website builder such as Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify is a platform built for the everyday person to create a website. Simplicity and usability are their number one goal. For a good comparison between the builders, check out this great guide.
Despite the differences between each builder, they all have some processes in common. You begin by selecting a template. A template is a pre-built website for you to copy. Thankfully, almost all of the themes are well-designed websites. The downside is other businesses have the same website design with different copy (text).
For many businesses, this does not mean much. Many business owners just want an essential website created in a few hours. For those people, the website builder is perfect. But, there are some downsides.
For one, you have limited capability in what you can and cannot edit. You have limited design and functionality options. Most of these services don’t allow you to download your website, meaning you are simply renting the website; you do not own it.
Let’s say you want a few custom options but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. Template-custom websites are probably the fit for you. Nearly 80% of web designers prefer this type of website.
These sites are built on the WordPress.org open-source framework. According to W3Techs, 40% of active websites on the internet are built on the WordPress.org framework. Using this framework eliminates most of the needed website development, leading to a faster creation time.
Note: Do not confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a builder service.
The web designer will purchase one of many (many) WordPress.org themes available on the internet. This allows the designer to have a starting point on the design. Unlike a website builder, the designer will make many custom alterations to this theme, making it exactly how the client wishes.
With this website, you own the website files meaning you can choose whichever host you wish. This results in cheaper month-to-month costs and faster website loading speeds.
This method is undoubtedly more complex and requires more skills and knowledge. However, the custom benefits and ownership make it worth it.
You guessed it; these have no themes or templates and have a custom backend. They are COMPLETELY custom. While this does give you free rein over every little detail, it also takes (potentially) years and tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars.
Many agencies won’t even offer these services due to the number of resources required. These websites are generally reserved for large corporations, and I would never recommend them for a small business.
How You Can Learn Web Design
Well, the best way to learn is by doing. Suppose you are looking to start a web design agency. In that case, I recommend finding friends and family who could benefit from a website. Build them a website for FREE. Your first few designs will not be worth much, and it gets you experience.
I would also recommend you pay close attention to websites when you surf the web. Pay attention to the navigation, colors, fonts, and overall feel. I would also recommend you check this course out.
Don’t feel like you need to learn how to make a custom-template website immediately. I know of many very successful people who just offer website builder sites. Find out what you prefer and grow from there.
In Conclusion: Is Web Design Hard?
I’ll say this, it is not easy, but it is not as difficult as it was five years ago. I think web design will continue to get easier. Still, nothing will replace someone with genuine knowledge of bringing a business more revenue through a proper web design.
Leave your questions for me below!
Hi! My name is Carter Stroup. I am the founder, president, web and SEO professional at Render Results. I have been a web developer for over four years and currently hold five professional certifications. My number one goal is to provide custom websites for an affordable price to help grow small businesses.