Why a PSD to HTML Conversion Tool Will Not Fully Replace a Front-End Developer Anytime Soon
Learn why a PSD to HTML Converter will hardly be able to beat a front-end developer in the foreseeable future
The world of web design and development has made tremendous progress over the past few years. New front-end frameworks such as Bootstrap 4 have greatly facilitated the web development process. Present-day websites are highly dynamic, responsive, and interactive.
With all these advancements and improvements, the initial stages of building a website are still the same as they were at the dawn of the Internet era. These are creating a design and converting it to HTML and CSS.
This workflow allows custom site creators to leverage the skills of experts in two different fields in order to build a truly unique, pixel-perfect product. Later, JavasScript developers add dynamicity and interactivity to the client-facing part of the website. Back-end developers, in turn, finalize the process by connecting the site to a database for data manipulation.
Can We Omit the Design Phase and Code HTML and CSS Straight Away?
The answer is, “No, this is not a good idea.” There are several reasons for this:
- A designer can create real one-of-a-kind masterpieces in a graphic editor such as Photoshop or Gimp, which have all the required functionality and capabilities. If you dive into HTML/CSS right off the bat without a visual representation of the future page, you will have a very hard time putting the elements together the right way.
- When using Photoshop and the like, designers can try different combinations of colors in search of an ideal mix that reflects the website’s theme and goal. This is much easier than adding color codes to all the elements of a web page in the HTML file first and reloading the page incessantly to see if a change meets your expectations.
- No HTML coder will be able to produce some visual effects without graphic software. Try to create lighting effects to transform images straight in the code, for example. You’ll find this mission impossible.
The bottom line: you need a graphic editor to create mockups for complex, unique websites. Photoshop has been and still is the best tool for the purpose. This is true even though there are lots of other tools like Adobe XD or Figma competing with the “dinosaur” of graphic and web design for supremacy.
Once you have a PSD file, you need to think of a way to convert this design to valid HTML and CSS code. There are three roads you can take to reach this goal.
The Hardest Way: DIY PSD to HTML Conversion
After purchasing a design on a premium website or downloading it for free, you might want to try your own hand at converting it to HTML and CSS rather than using a PSD to HTML Photoshop plugin or a PSD to HTML online conversion tool.
You have chosen to walk the roughest path. For one, if you have no front-end development background, this may take a lot of time. You have to read tutorials and practice what you’ve learned even before you write one line of code for your new site.
Not only do you need to actually build a page, you also need to test it in a variety of ways (in different browsers, on different platforms, and under different screen resolutions) in order to make sure it’s responsive.
Therefore, converting a Photoshop design into HTML by hand is definitely more trouble than it’s worth. Let’s take a look at the other two methods: using a PSD to HTML tool and hiring professional markup developers.
The Easiest Way: Use the Best PSD to HTML Converter You Can Find
The market always responds to the requirements that businesses impose on it. This is exactly what happened in the PSD to HTML conversion area. Companies needed markups quickly, quicker than most existing PSD to HTML conversion services could deliver.
That gave rise to a wide range of PSD to HTML software. Here are a few examples:
It all seems almost perfect, doesn’t it? Just upload a design into a tool like one of these, click a button, and here you go: your HTML file is ready.
However, businesses quickly realized that automatic PSD to HTML conversion by means of specialized software didn’t bring them the value they sought. The low price and short conversion time were overshadowed by serious drawbacks that every commercial or open source PSD to HTML converter contained. The following are the most conspicuous of these:
#1: When you convert PSD to HTML with an online tool, making amendments to the resulting code is a headache
Just use one of the tools to convert PSD to HTML and open the generated HTML file. If you have some development experience, you will be shocked by how terribly ugly this code looks. The page elements have their positions set in stone. That is, they are not positioned relative to other elements. Moreover, they have specific dimensions in pixels rather than in relative units.
All this means one thing: this code will easily break if you make the smallest amendments to it. The elements will cover one another partially or completely whenever a user scales the page up or down. This is one of the worst drawbacks of a PSD to HTML converter!
#2: A PSD to HTML converter produces Google-unfriendly code
Everyone who knows something about digital marketing will tell you how important it is for a site to be displayed among the first on a search engine’s results page. With standard, hand-coded web pages, developers implement the basic principles of Google-friendliness. For example, they make sure all images have Alt tags with appropriate keyword-containing descriptions. They also add data to meta tags and do other essential things to satisfy Google and the company.
When you transform a PSD file to HTML using a converter, no optimization like that happens. You will have to fix this problem manually — if you know where to look. What if you don’t? You will have to hire professional markup experts. This means more money and time.
#3: Automated tools for converting PSD to HTML creates bloated code susceptible to cyber criminals’ attacks
Even the best software generates incorrect, invalid code. A tag that’s not closed properly, an element not allowed by the document type, and other subtle and not-so-subtle errors can do a lot of harm:
- Different browsers deal with this invalid code in their own ways. This means that the page may not render correctly in a specific browser.
- Invalid code produced by a PSD to HTML converter app is like a magnet to hackers. They can get inside the page to wreak havoc.
- Bug-infested code produced by PSD to HTML converter software can deal a painful blow to your site speed.
The Right Way: Use a PSD to HTML Conversion Service Instead of a PSD to HTML Automatic Converter
As you can see, despite the latest technological achievements, PSD to HTML converter software is far from perfect. That’s why you should consider hiring a professional PSD to HTML conversion developer.
Only by working with a pro can you expect clean, bloat-free, pixel-perfect markup that renders perfectly on any device and guarantees excellent search engine visibility. This code also contributes to fast speed and smooth performance of your page. No PSD to HTML converter is capable of that.
The PSD2HTML front-end development team has 15 years of experience crafting beautiful web pages from the most complex Photoshop designs. Apart from the highest quality of the final product, we are famously known for the fastest development speed (2–3 times faster) few other conversion services can offer. We can bring your business real value, unlike an online PSD to HTML converter. Reach out to us today. We are always happy to help.