What is Modular Web Design?
Modular web design is a method or system of website development that uses independently created parts known as modules. These independently created modules usually contain generic elements and make web design easier to build. These modules could be combined and used with other modules to create a functioning website.
Unlike in using templates in design, a modular website is known to be ‘grid-based’. This means that a layout is divided into specific guidelines, margins, and spaces to give the website a more appealing aesthetic. Each of these grids could be fitted in with a working (but generic) module which could, later on, be customized to fit the need of the customer.
Advantages of Modular Web Design
There is a long, almost unending, list of benefits to modular web design. One of its biggest advantages is its flexibility. Unlike building a website through templates, modular web design can be considered more flexible and versatile. Compared to building a webpage through a template, website elements could be edited or modified to fit a specific need or requirement. Templates are more rigid when it comes to this. When a website is built through modules, a web designer could easily use the best components from a variety of sources to meet all the requirements of a website.
On top of that, one advantage that appeals most to both web designers and website owners is the fact that modular web design is budget-friendly. Using a modular method of creating a website will reduce the timeline it needs to build one. Reducing multiple elements also is less time-consuming. It also reduces the price. Furthermore, it allows a web designer to build a module library ahead of time and use it for multiple projects in the future. Also, this module library could be used to freshen up content and the overall look of a webpage. This makes future projects and updates requirements cheaper.
Since it is created at a much faster rate, modular web pages could be launched easily and quickly. It would be easier to add both new content and new pages through time. This, again, relies on the richness of a module library. Easily mix-and-match generic modules to create a working and functioning webpage.
The failure to create a well-planned module system could create a working, but problematic website. Here are some common issues for a mismanaged modular web design:
Endless modification opportunities but may lead to complicated bug-fixing
The idea of a modular web page is to create a cheaper website – both during the development and maintaining it during its lifespan. Ideally, modular websites should be easier to maintain.
There is one downside to this, on the other hand. Poor modularization and lack of proper planning can lead to code which is difficult to read. This will then lead to a string of crazier problems. Over modulization could significantly decrease the speed of a website, creating more load time, and affecting user experience. If a website’s user experience is rated poorly, bugs can become even more irritating than they truly are.
The key to avoiding this really is to create a good, fool-proof, plan, and flowchart. Strategic planning is essential in building a module-based website. It is best to anticipate how the website will evolve in the future, especially when it comes to content. This way, the flexibility of the modular design could be maximized to its full potential.
Over modularization could significantly reduce performance
Creating a modular web design strategy requires a good deal of familiarity. It may, or may not, be advisable for non-code designing. When there is no effective plan to create a modular web page, then overuse could become a major issue. Too much formatting freedom can possibly lead to over modularization. This could then lead to a significantly reduced performance.
Modular websites, those that are poorly planned, usually slows down the website. There should be enough consideration not only of the aesthetics of the website but its overall size. The size of the webpage as a whole must be considered in relation to the size of individual elements. Instead of dealing with the size (and loading issues) later on, it might be best to create a size budget and input modular elements based on this.
Saves on Schedule but Requires Capital Early-on
Just like all forms of modular design in various industries, modular web design will surely reduce the timeline required to build a website. However, there is a serious downside to this. Fitting bits and pieces together (which were not originally intended together) will require serious planning and strategizing. For a web designer who plans to create a modular website without an existing module library, this means that a good bulk of the capital will be required at the beginning of the project. This budget will not only go to creative planning but for purchases as well. These may be for trials, prototypes, and even betas.