From our experience, I guess you could categorise the website design process into two sections: the design process that doesn’t use a wireframe, and the one that does. Having been on both sides of this fence, I have an understanding of how both of these processes work and although designing without a wireframe does work, I would have to vote in favour of them.
Wireframing, the creation of a „visual blueprint”, doesn’t have to be overly complicated. At the most basic level, I’ve seen wireframes that are simply are series of post-it notes with the user interface (UI) elements drawn on them. These are then placed onto a sheet of paper to show the structural layout. Compare this to wireframes produced through design software and you may see a slightly more refined wireframe through the latter, but no matter how you wish to create your structural model, the result is always the same. Simply put, it shows yourself, your client or another party where things will be located on the page.
This can be a real time saver if you are producing a website for a client. Going back to my days of being on „side A” of the fence, when producing a website for a client I never used to carry out any wireframing process back then. The whole process consisted of: gathering requirements, spec’ing out the website, creating the graphical UI and then building the website when the design had been agreed. The major flaw I found in this process would be the potential for the client wanting to change the main layout quite considerably. I’d have no problem if they јust want to tweak things here and there e.g. colours, make text larger, add some more images here and there, make the video a bit bigger (the usual stuff); but it was a whole lot more painful if they then want to move a number of things about on the page that directly affected the „page template”. Jumping over to „side B” of the fence and producing the wired layout for the site means that layout can be agreed beforehand in the knowledge that when the UI design is presented, you may then only need to update the usual stuff.