It has always been a hassle for business owners, entrepreneurs, or designers who want to get a website up and running as soon as possible. There are so many ways someone could get a website these days and it’s not always an easy feat to turn web design to code.

Fortunately, there are some resources and options out there that can help you make a website the way that works best for you. In this article, we’ll cover those options on how to turn web designs into code and will provide insights to help you decide which is the best for your business.

a person standing with with designs next to some lines of code
Illustration by OrangeCrush

What you need before you start

Before we dive right into how to turn design to code, you should know the scope of your project. What kind of website are you thinking of? Is it an e-commerce shop? Is it a blog? Is it a portfolio? Or a hybrid? Think about the scope of the website and the short- and long-term plans. It’ll help you figure out what key features and functionalities are a priority for your website and business.

person standing checking off something from a list
By felipe_charria

The other thing to consider is your budget. How much are you willing to pay for building the website? Static websites usually will cost less than more dynamic and animated ones. Keep in mind the more features you want, the more it’ll cost.

Once you have a scope and budget, figure out your timeline. Is it a rushed project or do you have more time to create your website? The most important thing is to have some flexibility and be realistic about your deadlines.

It’s advisable to have the web designs before stepping into the development of the website. The designs will be a blueprint of the features required such as a shopping cart, profile pages and other functions. But it’s not always necessary depending on which option you choose!

Ways to turn your web design to code

Once we have all the above prepared, we can discuss the two main approaches. The first would be hiring others to do the work. There are a lot of experts who are experienced in the field, whether that’s hiring a development company or hiring a freelancer. The second is to turn to yourself and do it yourself, literally learning to code. Though that might sound daunting, technology has come far now which makes it possible to create your own website without knowing any code!

Hire professionals

1. Hire development studios or agencies

If you have a decent budget and require high-quality work, it is always good to reach out to some of the most experienced and established studios. While they can be located globally across different countries, it’s really up to you if you want to work with an agency or studio remotely or find a local company. Though sometimes working with local development studios or agencies is easier for communication and in-person meetings.

Quotes might come at different prices depending on the country and scope of work. Ask for quotes from different companies, it’ll help give you an idea of what is reasonable and give you some options to pick from. Also taking some time to look at their portfolios will help identify the style of websites they have worked on to see if they match your business goals and needs.

two people sitting at a table marking ofs tasks complete for the web design project
Illustration by OrangeCrush

To look for other agencies, you can explore some inspirational websites such as those on Awwwards and scroll to the bottom of the website or look for the about page. Or take a look at websites you visit or competitors’ websites, usually, they will have who designed and developed the website at the bottom of the page in the footer. And of course, ask around!

Pros:

  • High quality
  • A multi-disciplinary team that can specialize in different areas from design, development to marketing
  • Knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies
  • Understand the pros and cons of different technologies
  • End-to-end service from start to launch and maintenance

Cons:

  • Higher cost
  • Could have a longer timeline

2. Hire freelancers

Freelancers are self-employed individuals who have their own rates and schedules. Like development studios and agencies, there are so many options out there for freelancers. The best course of action is to look at online freelancing platforms like Toptal, Upwork or Fiverr. To find the best fit, take the time to speak to the freelancer and make sure your goals are aligned. Also check that the freelancer you choose can deliver on what you need and want for your website.

Pros:

  • Relatively lower cost than development agencies and studios
  • Direct communication
  • Flexible with deadlines

Cons:

  • Varied quality and cost
  • Availability; if freelancers get sick no one else can cover for them

Do it yourself

1. Learning how to code

To turn web designs into code, one can learn both design and web development. This is perfect for those who have a low budget or want to learn the ropes and do everything from scratch. With so many languages and frameworks out there, the basic languages for websites would be HTML, CSS and Javascript.

person sitting at a desk with many web designs layouts in the background
Illustration by OrangeCrush

If you are doing it entirely from scratch yourself, take into consideration where you want to host your websites and whether to purchase the web domain with it. There will also be a higher learning curve when it comes to running and maintaining a server database yourself, such as performance optimization, security, caching, and other factors.

Pros:

  • Lower cost
  • High customizability
  • Gaining new skills
  • Full ownership of the website, able to make tweaks and adjustments whenever you need to

Cons:

  • High learning curve
  • Time consuming to learn, the project might take longer
  • Varied quality depending on proficiency
  • Quality not up to professional standards

2. Purchase and customize templates

While you may want all the flexibility that building from scratch can offer you, you might have a tight deadline or want a website fast. There are many website builders and CMS (Content Management Systems) where templates can be purchased (some free) with customizable themes.

To choose which platform matches your needs, you should look into what they include with the price such as website hosting and domain hosting.

a person thinking about the four template options in the background
Illustration by OrangeCrush

Here are some platforms with our guides to help you build your website with premade templates:

Pros:

  • Quick turnaround
  • Looks good after the initial setup
  • Really affordable, some templates are free

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Not unique
  • Additional costs for add-ons and features

Final words and tips

We have discussed the pros and cons of different approaches in turning your designs into live websites that will give you a better sense of your options to turn design to code. But choosing the right option will depend on your priorities, budget and timeline.

Do enough research and understand your goals before hopping straight in. If unsure of where to start, consult an expert and talk to people in the field to gain insights and basic knowledge of development and design.

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