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Sketch is a powerful, versatile, all-in-one tool for digital design. Some designers even prefer to use Sketch instead of Photoshop claiming that Sketch is faster and easier to use. Indeed, Sketch is a great platform used by web designers for creating wireframes, logos, concept pages, icons, and other web elements.
It’s incredibly popular among UI and UX designers because it features prototyping and collaborative design tools along with hundreds of useful plugins. Sketch is also a developer-friendly platform – you can invite developers to review your designs, collaborate in real-time, or convert a Sketch design to HTML code easily.
Manual Export vs Plugins
If you want to convert your Sketch file into code, there are a few ways to achieve this. And while the manual option might sound intimidating at first, it is a fairly straightforward process. You don’t have to be an expert in order to convert your wireframes into code and hand it off to a developer (or build a website yourself).
However, some designers prefer to use plugins in order to save some time or take advantage of additional features those plugins provide. That’s why we are going to cover all methods in this article.
Let’s cover the manual approach first and end this article with a list of the best ready-to-use plugins that will do almost everything for you. However, keep in mind that even the best plugin can not guarantee that the final result will be pixel-perfect.
More often than not, you will need to review the HTML and CSS files afterward to adjust the sizes and positions of some elements. This is why you might want to consider investing in a Sketch to HTML conversion service that we will also quickly mention below.
Write HTML Manually and Copy the CSS
Those who are familiar with HTML and CSS and want to control the conversion process, can build most of the HTML elements manually and then add CSS from Sketch. This hands-on approach is perfect for those who want to design a quick, responsive website themselves.
This approach won’t cost you anything, but it does require some knowledge of basic HTML attributes and popular CSS layout models such as Flexbox.
Step 1: Create your files and folders
First, you need to create a basic structure for your future website. Start by creating folders for your HTML/CSS files and assets. Then, use one of the HTML boilerplates freely available online to jumpstart your development. Below, you can find the most basic example of HTML5 boilerplate code:
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8"> <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"> <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge"> <title>HTML 5 Boilerplate</title> <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css"> </head> <body> <script src="index.js"></script> </body> </html>
Step 2: Write HTML
Next, you want to structure your HTML page, add external scripts, etc. Add the required HTML elements to your files and don’t forget to use meaningful names for your classes and ids. If you need a quick HTML refresher, here is a good HTML5 guide for you to check out.
Step 3: Add CSS
Sketch allows you to copy the CSS attributes of any selected elements. Just right-click on it and select Copy CSS Attributes. As a result, all attributes of the selected object will be copied to your clipboard.
This is useful if you want to copy exactly the same colors and styles, but if you want to have a responsive, user-friendly web page, you’ll still need to use a layout model such as Flexbox and replace the pixels with better unit measurements. Here, you can learn more about flexbox and this guide will explain how to create responsive, mobile-friendly web layouts.
Convert Sketch to HTML Using a No-Code/Low-Code Visual Tool
Desech Studio or a similar visual platform allows users to import sketch files to get the converted HTML/CSS files. Many of these tools have free plans with some limitations as well as fully functional paid plans. This approach will take less time than the first one, but keep in mind that the conversion won’t be perfect.
This is because the tool will try to nest elements and position them with CSS grids, so you still have to adjust the margins and sizes afterward. Alternatively, you might want to replace the CSS grids with something else entirely to create a more mobile-friendly, responsive web page.
Convert Sketch to HTML Using Plugins
Most web designers prefer to use Sketch plugins because they automate the conversation process for them. You may still need to do a few edits afterward, but most of the time, the right plugin will get around 90% of the work done for you.
Here are just a few of the popular plugins you can use to convert Sketch to HTML/CSS easily:
- Anima App
- Wondershare Mockitt
Investing in a Sketch to HTML Conversion Service
Finally, you can pay someone to do all the work for you. Keep in mind that professional agencies generally charge more than freelancers, but they might be able to deliver the results faster.
Either way, if you hire an experienced web developer to do the entire Sketch to HTML conversion, you can expect quality results and fast turnaround times. If you choose this method, you won’t have to do anything else besides a quick quality check at the end.
Quality Testing Checklist
Once you have your HTML and CSS files ready, it’s time for a comprehensive quality check. To make this process easier, we prepared this handy checklist that includes the most important things to check before deploying your website:
☐ All pages are present
☐ The website navigation works as expected
☐ All colors, fonts, and designs match the source file
☐ All assets are present
☐ All links work as expected
☐ The images are optimized for faster website loading
☐ The website looks good on different screens (phones, tablets, etc.)
☐ All images have alt text
☐ All files are using semantic HTML
☐ The website works in different browsers
☐ The pages load quickly
☐ Classes and ids of elements have meaningful names and follow the same patterns