From my very own experience, I reckon that you may categorise your website design process into two sections: the style method that doesn't utilize a prototyping tool, along with the the one that does. Previously being for both sides of the fence, I've an awareness of how both of these processes work even though designing without having a wireframe really does work, I might need to vote towards them.
Wireframing, the creation of a "visual blueprint", doesn't have to be overly complicated. At most beginner's, I've come across wireframes which can be simply are series of post-it notes with the gui (UI) elements stolen them. They are then placed onto a piece of paper to show the structural layout. Compare this to wireframes produced through design software and you may see a more refined wireframe over the latter, but it doesn't matter how you want to you could make your structural model, it's wise always the identical. In other words, it shows yourself, your customer or any other party where things is going to be on the page.
This can be a real time saver if you are to become a website for the client. Rediscovering the reassurance of my events of standing on "side A" of the fence, when producing a website for the client Irrrve never utilized to execute any wireframing process in those days. The whole process contains: gathering requirements, spec'ing your website, allowing the graphical UI after which building the website when the design was agreed. The key flaw I discovered within this process would be the risk of your client attempting to alter the main layout quite considerably. I'd have no problem whenever they only want to tweak things in some places e.g. colours, make text larger, add some more images here and there, make video somewhat bigger (the typical stuff); but it would have been a great deal more painful when they then want to move to produce about about the page that directly affected the "page template". Jumping to "side B" of the fence and producing the wired layout to the site signifies that layout can be agreed beforehand knowing that if the UI design is presented, you might then only need to update the most common stuff.
Being forced to Spell it out for Clients
Regardless if presenting a wireframe with a client though, I've had occasions where they'd be hesitant to sign this part off because that it looks very "blocky" and "plain". "Yes it does" can be my immediate response to this as these blocks determines where we're going to put things on the lovely page to ensure that when you get back to me later on when you've reviewed the graphical design, you cannot then notify me how come the navigation up here and not there? Trust me, I've had clients such as this in the past so even though producing a wireframe, there can be instances when you continue to must spell it out that is purely to find the layout correct to begin with, then we'll make use of the pretty tiny bit for it afterwards.
An Arsenal of Design Software
You don't need to necessarily know your path around Adobe software in order to produce some decent wireframes. I take advantage of an online tool, Cacoo, to make mine. This online software allows you to drag and drop pre-created elements to your page. This could save time and effort along the way.?
Like with everything web related, everyone may have their unique opinion on this topic, but my own, personal preference is to use a wireframe each and every time I'm designing a website. Whether it is for a client and my personal site, it does not matter mainly because it implies that the UI design is hasten because you're effectively working from a template.
When you're working on a job for a client, then planning to have Joe Bloggs sign over wires before you begin for the UI is a part of this design procedure that I'd personally call fundamental to making sure that you maintain good budget and personal time management over a project.