Is modular web design the secret to building scalable UI for your website?

January 15, 2024
16 minute read
tenscope linkedintenscope xtenscope whatsup share buttontenscope facebook

Staying ahead of the curve often means embracing change before it becomes the norm. Consider a downtown café, once a community hub, now struggling because it missed the online ordering trend. This isn't just about evolving consumer habits; it's a metaphor for the digital transformation in web design.

No graphic design nor marketing team could help the downtown café reach its target audience because they weren't focused on building a website. They didn't focus on a website strategy for their website that failed to see the turning tides. A website quickly improves or declines business more today than ever before.

So, what does that mean for your business?

Like that café's front window, your website must evolve with the digital world. Modules offer a flexible, efficient solution for a vibrant, competitive online presence. Think of it like Legos. Alone, a piece seems insignificant, but combined, they create something unique and engaging. Modular web design works similarly, filling the gap between costly custom websites and generic templates.

So consider this. Your web projects need multiple pieces, like the Lego starship you made as a child. Those pieces include a homepage, a landing page or two, service pages, specific modules, and elements across the site.

Does your current design and development process provide consistency across pages within the site without sacrificing quality? Can you create new pages, various types of content, or even a homepage with a completely new look and feel with a process that saves time and provides visual consistency throughout the website? Lastly and most importantly, can you do it without always needing web developers or page templates people can recognize as generic?

If not, your design might be hurting you rather than helping you. When updating the site you've spent hours on, the web design process you choose has effects you may not have realized. Failing to realize them will mean your prospects go elsewhere.

We understand the need for unique yet cost-effective websites with a particular design for your unique business. So, this blog post will introduce a new approach to website building. An approach to websites and platforms that will allow you to meet all your design needs with one module for each item required on a page. The best part is that using a modular approach allows you to reuse modules as needed... again and again and again.

Let's get into modular development and design processes so you can understand how websites and web platforms worldwide are simplifying their business design needs and how it could benefit your business.

What is Modular Web Design?

Within modular websites and pages, you have reusable components. These are known as modules, and each is a standalone element that can be combined with others to create a complete web page.

Imagine a set of building blocks, each with a specific design and function, like a contact form, a product gallery, or a customer testimonial section.

By assembling these blocks in various configurations, you can construct unique pages tailored to specific content needs while maintaining design consistency.

You could have them for any of the following:

  • Navigation
  • Hero images
  • Content blocks
  • Photo Galleries
  • Call-to-Action buttons (CTA)
  • Contact forms

Are you wondering why you may only be hearing about this now? The concepts of this type of site aren't new, but it didn't get attention until around 2017.

The method has roots in the architectural and manufacturing industries. Components are created separately and assembled in these fields to form a complete structure or product. Building a modular website in web design gained momentum with the rise of Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress.

If you've ever wondered why so many websites are built on WordPress, it popularized templates. A template contains a library of modules presented throughout a page in a specific order, and the Gutenberg editor used to build WordPress websites made using them simple. Essentially, these predefined spaces for text and images are modular components, but you can't choose pre-developed modules as needed.

So, as digital needs evolved, the limitations of traditional sites became apparent. Templates lacked the flexibility to cater to modern websites,' and most business owners started to dislike the cycle of design they bring, which is usually:

  1. Invest time and money
  2. Produce a pre-designed page
  3. Use it
  4. Recognize the need for change
  5. Hire web designers to make changes
  6. Develop the design as well
  7. Deploy it
  8. Repeat the cycle

Once you deploy, you hope the template will load accurately across different screen sizes and devices. If you have multiple blueprints, you also hope elsewhere on the website that they respond to various devices. We just outlined the conventional web design process. It involved a page-based design process. It was rigid in design deployment and very expensive.

All of this led to the evolution of a new web design method, a more modular one.

Now that you know what modules and site development are, let's see what they aren't so you understand the goal of modular web design projects.

What is Modular Web Design?

What modular design isn't

Contrary to some misconceptions, modular sites are not synonymous with using a set of predefined pages. While these offer a starting framework, they often come with inherent issues.

Think about it: have you ever wanted to update one singular item on your website? But then you log in to the admin only to find it would require a day's worth of work or paying a developer a small fortune?

Typically, a template sets a fixed structure for your website. Due to the assigned structure, you will see difficulties updating your website. It stifles your creativity, and your site feels off-brand.

The features of modular web design

In contrast, modular sites and apps allow businesses to break away from these confines. Instead of a single, unchangeable template, the approach to design allows businesses to use a collection of individual components. You can use these templates to make your page look however you want, whenever you want.

Each module functions independently, allowing for greater website design flexibility. You can move these parts around, add new ones, or remove what's unnecessary.

It's similar to building a Lego spaceship. The heart of this is flexibility because it enables designers and developers to craft sites that are:

  • Specific to your business needs
  • Adaptable to future changes
  • Simple to update
  • Fast to deploy

Because of the above, your website is optimized for its specific purpose. It could be to showcase a product, tell a story, or engage users with interactive elements.

Can you see how this transcends the 'one-size-fits-all' approach often seen in templates?

It recognizes businesses' unique brand identities, user engagement strategies, and content types.

You may wonder how this differs from traditional website design, so let's cover it to kill any confusion.

The features of modular web design

How is Modular Web Design Different from Traditional Web Design?

The modular approach represents a significant shift from the conventional approaches you might be familiar with. The design means you can create a webpage using existing modules.

Traditional web design often involves creating unique layouts for each page tailored to specific content and aesthetics.

Traditional methods offer bespoke solutions, but on the same token, this type of design also leads to a range of challenges, such as:

  • Inconsistent designs
  • Increased complexity
  • More maintenance

Let's explore some big differences between modular and traditional web design approaches.

How is Modular Web Design Different from Traditional Web Design?

Flexibility vs. fixed Layouts for web development

The most striking difference between modular and traditional web design lies in flexibility.

Traditional web design often follows a linear, fixed approach. Each page is crafted as a standalone project with a unique layout and design elements.

Although your site pages have distinctive properties, this often leads to design and user experience inconsistencies. Making changes or updates becomes time-consuming and complex.

However, a modular website approach simplifies your design process and ensures a cohesive look and feel.

Changes and updates become simpler and more efficient because you can choose your module and click publish. Sounds great, but how feasible is scaling your business with it?

Scalable and efficient website development

When it comes to scalability, the approach offers a significant advantage. Your website needs to adapt quickly and simplify scaling as your business grows and evolves. The design offers the addition of new content and features without a complete overhaul.

Scalability is less practical with traditional design unless you have a team of developers and designers. It's because adding new elements might require redesigning entire pages or sections.

Apart from scalability, you'll also see increased efficiency. Your designers and developers will only create a module once, and you can use it as many times as you want.

Can you see how it would help your brand be easily recognized online?

Consistency in branding and user experience for old or new websites

Maintaining a consistent brand image and user experience is important for any business. The modular approach inherently promotes a consistent brand image.

Repeatedly using the same module helps you build additional pages with a similar look and feel.

Traditional web design, with its tendency towards unique page designs, can struggle to maintain this level of consistency. Unless you put in extra effort and vigilance, of course.

A UI design system that can save you money

Lastly, web design in this fashion can be more cost-effective in the long run. The ability to reuse modules means less need for custom coding and design for each new page. It reduces your initial development and ongoing maintenance costs.

Traditional web design can be resource-intensive both initially and for future modifications. If you are running a small business, it could put a strain on your cash flow.

The benefits of a modular design approach

Smaller self-contained units for your website have many advantages.

Below is what you can expect for your website with this approach.

Module reusability is the biggest benefit of using a modular design approach.

Once a module is developed and tested, it can be reused across various projects and even in your design system.

You will reduce redundancy and speed up development for new initiatives. Modules are crafted to be versatile and generic, allowing easy integration into different systems without major changes.

In best-case scenarios, these modules are stored in an asset library. Then, you can take on new designers and developers without wasting time.

Accelerated time-to-market with modular websites

In the modular method, you employ parallel development and testing. It can help you get your products and services to market faster. It allows for swift responses to changing needs or unforeseen issues, too. Modifying or replacing individual modules rather than an entire system keeps your projects moving.

The benefit here is that in business, time is of the essence. The faster you are to market, the sooner you can gather data and build a product people love.

Iterative development instead of a template

Employing modular processes is conducive to iterative development. Developers can release modules step by step, gathering early user feedback for ongoing refinement.

It will minimize your time effectively launching a functional product that meets user requirements.

Although there are numerous advantages, there are some drawbacks. As with anything, there is good and bad. So, let's talk about the downfalls of using modules.

Can it assist with content strategy or updates?

Yes! Modular web design takes a new form and meaning with content. Although it cannot assist with topic clusters from SEO on Google, it can help update content. Modern or modular sites will benefit from quickly updating existing blog posts. For example, to update a post, you can simply click on a module and update it.

The challenges associated with modular designs and modular website builders

While the approach brings many advantages, it's important to recognize potential challenges in its implementation. Whether you are working with designers and developers or using a modular website builder, these challenges exist.

The biggest drawback is that it requires foresight and extensive upfront planning. You must consider various future content types instead of just creating pages for current content. Your designed modules must be sufficiently generic to accommodate these anticipated future posts. Yet, at the same time, remain flexible enough to adapt as your requirements evolve.

If you fail to plan, you will need to create new modules or update existing ones. It could translate into cost and time investments.

So, would your business benefit from this approach?

Who will see the biggest benefits of modular design in their business?

The modular website design approach is particularly advantageous for larger websites. That's not to say it won't benefit you if you have a smaller website.

A modular approach enables large organizations to develop new pages rapidly. It facilitates repeatability on a grand scale, streamlining the development process.

It also ensures a more uniform UX and UI across the website. Since all branding elements are integrated into the modules, each new addition seamlessly aligns with the site's overall aesthetic.

So, is it good for startups?

The answer is yes.

Startups need to create multiple website pages quickly and efficiently to gain traction in the market and on search engines. So, if you are a new business, you can still see benefits from the concepts of modular processes.

To see this in action, let's examine how a global tech leader, Microsoft, uses this in their business.

Microsoft's Use of Modular Web Design

In the tech industry, few names are as recognizable as Microsoft.

They're known for their wide range of products and services, which you likely use daily.

Microsoft has adopted this approach for its digital presence. They have seen many benefits as a result of this design choice. We are explaining them to you below.

Consistent User Experience Across Products

Microsoft has many products.

Just a few are:

  • Windows
  • Office
  • Azure

You'd think it would be hard to maintain a consistent brand image with so many products and services. It would be, but Microsoft maintains a consistent user experience across its platforms.

Their website can grow quickly to match their business

As Microsoft continues to grow and evolve, they can scale quickly. New products or updates can be integrated into their existing structures as soon as they launch, with modules added to their content and web pages.

Their product and service updates are nearly instantaneous

Microsoft often updates its terms of service and aspects of its products and services. With traditional web design, it would be difficult to maintain changes as quickly as they are implemented on their website. However, the modular approach benefits any company with vast information and resources on its website.

Microsoft illustrates how much a modular website or app could benefit your business.

While there are challenges, Microsoft highlights the benefits flawlessly.


Adaptability and efficiency stand at the forefront of modern web design. Yet, this is where modules shine with structured yet flexible frameworks.

Can we outrightly say it's perfect for your business? No. But we think our blog post clearly outlines its benefits.

Like any innovative approach, modules and their design are not without challenges. It requires a thoughtful strategy and careful planning to ensure all modules work seamlessly together. You'll need meticulous management of modules, especially as their number and complexity increase.

Are you looking to implement a modular design in your business website? If you need a little help, let us know by contacting us today. We will listen to your needs and requirements. Then, our team will produce a beautifully designed website that will save you time, money, and effort.

Or, if you need a bit more help deciding if a modular approach is right for you, feel free to schedule a consultation with us. For a specialized demo, simply click the yellow get started button at the top right of your screen.

Frequently asked questions

What is modular web design?

It is a method where a website is built using independent, reusable components or 'modules.' Each module serves a specific function and can be combined in various ways to create unique web pages, ensuring design consistency and ease of updates.

How does modular web design differ from traditional web design?

Unlike traditional web design's linear approach with custom-designed pages, it uses pre-built modules that can be rearranged and reused. This offers greater flexibility, consistency, and efficiency in website development.

What are the benefits of using modular web design?

Key benefits include increased flexibility, faster development time, ease of maintenance, consistent user experience, and cost-effectiveness. Modular design allows for easy scaling and updating of websites.

Are there any drawbacks to modular web design?

Challenges include the initial complexity of setting up a modular system, potential over-standardization leading to generic designs, and managing an increasing number of modules effectively.

Can modular web design improve website scalability and flexibility?

Yes, modular design significantly enhances scalability and flexibility. It allows easy addition of new content and features, and modules can be adapted or reconfigured to meet evolving business needs.

How does modular web design impact the user experience and interface?

It ensures a consistent and cohesive user experience and interface across the website. Reusable modules maintain uniformity in design, which is crucial for brand identity and user navigation.

Is modular web design suitable for all types of businesses and websites?

Modular design is versatile and can benefit many websites, especially those requiring regular updates and scalability. However, assessing specific business needs and goals for the best fit is important.

How does modular web design affect website development time and costs?

Modular design typically reduces development time and costs. Refusing modules speeds up the process and requires fewer resources, leading to cost efficiency, especially in long-term maintenance.

Can existing websites be converted to a modular design?

Yes, existing websites can be converted to a modular design. This process involves breaking down the website into modules and restructuring it for modular functionality, which can be a strategic move for long-term scalability and maintenance.

What are some examples of successful modular web designs?

Notable examples include Airbnb, IBM, Microsoft, and Google, all of which use modular design to maintain a cohesive, user-friendly, and adaptable online presence.

table of contents
tenscope linkedintenscope xtenscope whatsup share buttontenscope facebook
SaaS Onboarding:
The definitive guide

Navigating the complexities of user onboarding is a pivotal challenge for every SaaS founder. Our latest eBook is your roadmap to mastering this essential process.

Get the book

Add designers to your team in hours, not weeks.

Discover the impact of world-class design with our 7-day free trial.

Get Started