Modular Web Design Manifesto

How Micro-Improvements Can Save You Time and Money In the Long Term


A few months ago, a manufacturing marketing director contacted me asking what I would charge to build a custom HubSpot module to display product features.

This feature callout HubSpot module would allow you to upload an image and plot clickable points over the image. When the markers are clicked, it displays more information on the side of the image.

I provided a proposal, and she kindly told me it was more than she wanted to spend. I understood but was disappointed because I knew I could create what she needed and enjoyed working with her.

A few days later, another customer contacted me requesting a module with the exact same functionality. But he also wanted the new functionality at a lower price point.


So the price was the roadblock, not the value being created…


So why are custom development projects so expensive compared to a marketplace theme or module?

Custom HubSpot development projects are expensive because they access expertise for a focused period of time to solve your uniquely specific problem. In addition, the client is purchasing the copyright and resale rights of the code being produced. So the module or theme cannot be resold or re-used by another client.

The problems I am trying to solve.

  • How can I help people without a HubSpot developer improve their websites at a lower price than custom projects or retainer fees?

  • How can I continue to work with people I like and mutually benefit from a long-term relationship?

  • How can I build & continuously improve modules people want, unlike marketplace modules that often sit stagnant because there is no financial incentive to improve them?


The cost of not acting on micro improvements

The cost of identifying areas of improvement on a website (micro improvements) and then not acting on them due to budget constraints can lead to a costly redesign later.

Think about all of the micro improvements that go undone on a website because of the lack of time or budget.

The micro improvement is so small it doesn’t make sense to hire a developer full-time, an agency on retainer, or a consultant.

So what happens? A non-technical person tries to do something themselves or, worse, nothing. It just collects dust. These micro improvements pile up over the years, and you start hearing the big heavy phrase...


“We need to redesign our website.”

So now the piled-up list of micro improvements becomes a general feeling. "I don’t like our website; it is slow, too busy, and unprofessional."

The company then hires an agency or tasks an internal team and tells them, "We want something fresh, clean, and modern." They want a solution for the general feeling and not the specific problems they identified over the years because they were not written down.

These problems (micro improvements) are just in someone's head and are not being solved during the redesign project.

So the agency creates a new design that looks clean, fresh, and modern but doesn’t address the underlying problems or opportunities for improvement. And in 5 years, the cycle continues.

macro improvements vs micro imrovements modules-1

A micro improvements approach saves considerable time and money because it continuously improves individual page components instead of deleting and redesigning an entire website.


So how can companies break out of the costly 5-year website redesign cycle? 

I firmly believe embracing a modular approach to a website can significantly decrease the need for a complete website redesign.

Like improving a car, you could purchase a new vehicle or replace a component if you want more performance. And if you find that component doesn't work, swap it out for another.

It's a new commitment to redesigning modules instead of redesigning websites.

What is modular HubSpot web development?

Common website elements known as modules are used as building blocks to construct pages. Each module is made up of various elements like text, buttons, and images. A page is built by combining numerous modules, which divides complicated issues into simpler parts to comprehend, explain, and create. These modules are reusable components that can be used in page templates or added to pages through drag and drop areas and flexible columns


A Call to Modules!

For developers and designers, embracing modules would help you focus on improving sections and patterns. Creating a tool instead of a full-page layout. This will decrease the burden of thinking through all of the design scenarios with page templates but instead begin to build a library of reusable parts and pieces that can be remixed, swapped out, and improved upon over time.

Another opportunity I see is for companies to support and work with a HubSpot CMS marketplace provider like me : ) so they create the themes and modules you need most. Having a long-term back-and-forth relationship of sharing feedback and improving products of value. HubSpot marketplace providers would highly value your ideas and feedback to motivate them to continue creating new products for the HubSpot marketplace.

Thank you for reading, and I hope I have encouraged you to embrace modular web design!
Jake Lett


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