Learning to code can be hard at times. Luckily, great programs called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website editors exist. You can literally design a website with a few clicks of the mouse.
There seems to be quiet a movement to get programs such as DreamWeaver to be used less – people think that they have problems!
It is for that reason that I compiled a few great reasons to use WYSIWYG editors to design your website – they are endless fun and produce great results!
Why WYSIWYG is PERFECT for Web Design
Forget Useless Web 2.0!
Whether you are trying to make a blog, forum, social network, you will find extreme difficult in trying to do so with WYSIWYG editors such as DreamWeaver (which is, ultimately, the best WYSIWYG editor for code, in my opinion). Who cares? They’re useless.
You can create your page with the thought of the uselessness of Web 2.0 passing by your head – it’ll die out soon enough. Want a PHP comments system? Forget about it – you better go find one on the internet because DreamWeaver won’t give you one with their WYSIWYG.
If you’d like to learn more about Web 2.0, please feel free to read the following resources:
Embrace Inefficient Code
The best part about WYSIWYG website editors is their ability to produce exactly what you want, while only costing you the efficiency of your code. Redundant code becomes apparent, and a lot more code is used than needed.
We actually have a term for what happens – tag soup. It comes in a variety of flavours, too – un-escaped character entities, code being repeated, and even improper HTML elements. Yum!
What does all of this mean for your website? Well, let’s hop into the next section and discuss the wonderful outcomes of inefficient, error-filled code.
Binders Full of HTML Errors!
You’ve probably heard it before – binders full of women. They’re no fun when it comes to equality. Binders full of HTML errors, however, are a great thing to experience!
As stated in the section above, WYSIWYG web design editors are meant to give you what you want, but aren’t always accurate in their process of doing so. They guess and use functions to produce the mark-up that they think works best, but generally don’t.
One of the things I’ve noticed while playing with editors such as DreamWeaver, are their occasional lack of closing tags, or even lack of quotation marks when ending certain attribute fields. Yikes.
What does this mean for your website? It’ll be slower, of course! Optimizing your website is something we do for a reason – inefficient and broken code makes the browser work harder to figure out what you want.
Even better, your SEO is at risk – search engines hate a slow website with bad code. I can only imagine how great it must be to not be indexed on Google – your visitor-count will increase ten-fold!
When WYSIWYG is Appropriate
It goes without saying that I used the slightest bit of sarcasm throughout this post – when it comes to coding a website (a design, specifically), WYSIWYG is never the best choice. I summed this post down to three points, but there were at least twenty more in my notes – there’s a lot of really good reasons to avoid them.
Learning to code isn’t difficult – anybody can do it with whatever available time they have. For HTML and CSS, I personally recommend using CodeCademy – they provide you with interactive tutorials for the easiest learning experience possible. I went in depth about more tools in my article Getting the Most Out of Coding.
There are very few applications that would ever need a WYSIWYG code editor such as DreamWeaver. The best reason would be throwing together quick mock projects for clients – otherwise, you don’t really want to touch them. If you’re wondering about WordPress, I do highly recommend it – there are WYSIWYG editors for writing content, but that’s about it – either you install code or know it for the rest of it.
As for the people who use programs like DreamWeaver to write code, and steer clear of the visual editor, I’d like to ask why. There are plenty of better programs. If you run on Windows, go ahead and grab NotePad++. Being a Linux user, I use Gedit – it’s all the same thing.
Do You Use WYSIWYG Code Editors?
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