Editors, and the WYSIWYG type (What You See Is What You Get) are the way you can build and edit your websites without having to learn any HTML code – and that makes life a whole lot simpler!
But what exactly are WYSIWYG editors, and how do they work? What are the benefits of using them – how can you use them to produce a professional-looking website, and what problems might you find with them?
The problem is, to design and build a website from scratch using HTML code is tedious, and you can’t immediately see the results of what you’re doing.
These types of editors, basically, attempt to show your webpage as it will be displayed in the browser. They are similar to word processors, in that what you see in front of you as you type on the page will be exactly as it appears on the published website.
They are great if you are a beginner who wants to experiment with your options before/whilst learning code – although they are not just for rookies – experienced designers use them too.
You don’t have to spend weeks, or even months, learning HTML code. The basics of coding are easy enough to grasp, but gaining enough knowledge to be able to competently construct a website – well, that’s a different matter.
Editors are time-saving, by-passing the complex coding needed to create tables, animation, links, images, video and audio.
All WYSIWYG editors give you the option to view the source code at the click of a mouse, so you always have the option of modifying the HTML if you want to.
WYSIWYG editors are notorious for adding unnecessary, bloated coding, which can mean a slower loading site. This can also cause search engine optimization difficulties. If you are not familiar with coding, it will be hard to troubleshoot problems.
They can become out-of-date quickly, so updates always have to be available.
Editors are best used with templates, but if you want to totally customize your webpages then you may struggle. Having said that, some of the best website design software packages come with editors that allow you to easily customize your websites almost to your heart’s content, without any hassle.
There is a wide range of WYSIWYG editors available, both free and paid for. The free versions won’t have as many functions and you may find them limiting and frustrating as you gain experience. The more expensive programs, such as Dreamweaver and FrontPage, produce good results but need a steep learning curve.
The best solution to designing and editing your websites is to find a WYSIWYG editor which is integrated with design software – that way, you get the best of both worlds.
With a design program like this, you will be able to quickly construct a good-looking website without tearing your hair out, manage all the changes you want to make to it, publish it, and then simply focus on your content.