Web design in the days of 90s was plain and simple coding where one would code up a page in HTML and then put it online for others to view. You would have simple few web pages consisting of your website.
Then came 2000s and what followed was people designing websites in Photoshop and taking those files people would slice up their HTML based on the designs and have a great looking website.
Well this worked very nice and people were really enjoying it. But the time taken to deliver a single website was too long and hence a single website design firm could at the most do 10 websites per month with the available resources.
Thus as in manufacturing, commodity market and other industries automation has came into existence so in web design similarly it also had its fair share of automation.
Initially people focussed on easy online website builders but those website builders were clunky, took lot of time to load and then weren’t SEO friendly as well.
Hence the need to have something robust, something you can own of as a website and not have a hosted solution on other’s platform and dependant on them and something you might keep on changing and upgrading in future was needed.
Thus was CMS i.e Content management system came into existence and with them came the market for themes.
Initially every CMS had their themes but with more and more popularity and ease of using WordPress, WordPress themes became a reality and became super easy to manage and create websites.
Thus with more easy website creation people and website designers had to focus their solutions on the whole on other things as well:
1. Hours: Hours needed to create a website design was now far less than before as themes would reduce the time taken to create a website.
2. Focus on content presentation: Focus changed from website design to more of presentation and presenting a nice website with nice content became the focus so website designers would now focus more on presentation like the mobile look and feel and how the content would appear on various devices.
3. More profitable: Doing websites became more profitable as the sites can now be done quickly and easily. Hence more income could be generated. Also people with lesser technical knowledge can also now create websites in no time with such tools in hand and have customers satisfied with their existing skills. All they had to do was get a theme and create such a design according to the theme which will suit the client requirements.
4. Hosting: Hosting was more important and as sites became bulkier hosting had to be more powerful and hence it also evolved with various types of hosting being offered like VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, and simple shared hosting for very small websites. Even dedicated WordPress hosting which would run the CMS faster were also launched. Now website designers can also take the hosting part and have their clients hosted on a common self hosted VPS solution suitable for WordPress thus making more profits online while selling websites.
5. General updates and maintenance: General updates and maintenance contracts can also be done with clients for managing and maintaining their websites and doing regular changes to their sites for a fee.
6. Managing their social streams: Management of social streams was also focussed more on and this became an integral part of doing website and design as social streams and social profiles look and feel became more important and
7. Optimizing for search engines: Optimizing for search engines became more and more necessary and hence every website designer was focussing on giving solutions to their clients which had SEO included and this became a reality with WordPress as this CMS was very SEO friendly and hence WordPress themes as a SEO tool also was projected.
8. Mobile: Mobile also became more and more powerful and people started using the smartphones more than ever and hence WordPress themes started evolving and included responsive into their codes. Thus responsive WordPress themes was marketed more than ever and became more and more important.
Conclusion: Just like any other industry website design also evolved and has moved from just doing simple few web pages to a whole package and this has become a reality thanks to available free WordPress themes which have brought down the time taken to develop a website.