WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get), divested of all the technical jargons, may be described as a tool meant for creating web pages. WYSIWYG is so called because the finished page will appear exactly the way it was designed.

The program of course generates HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) tags requiring the user to point and click on the selected functions. The redeeming feature of WYSIWYG is it is not necessary for one to know HTML to create a web page.

All one has to do is to just drag and drop objects from the tool box onto the page, place them at a page position of one’s choice and when finished publish it to web server by using the built-in Publishing tool.

WYSIWYG web builder provides complete control over the content and layout of the web page. Basically WYSIWYG offers one an interface to build a website exactly the way it will look when people visit the website online.

Features of WYSIWYG Web Builder

WYSIWYG web building technique provides real flexibility to beginners and this web building technique with some great features is very popular among web designers. Some salient features are:

  • Knowledge of HTML not required.
  • Easy to use – drag and drop objects from the toolbox to any position on the page.
  • Can easily add, edit, copy and build web pages from a single file.
  • Possible to customize menus, toolbars, keyboard accelerators and tabs.
  • Built-in provision for making Photo Gallery with features like picture frames.
  • Template support is there – with more than 100 templates readily available.
  • Facility to rotate for shapes and images.
  • Allows one to re-use objects from other pages.
  • One can access plenty of drawing tools such as Line, Line + Arrows, Scribble, Polygon, Curve, Closed Curve, slab and tab menus.
  • Supports text object that may contain different fonts, colors, links and sizes.
  • Can publish the entire web site – be it a single page or a group of pages to any local drive or a web server.

There are a host of attractive features and it is not possible to cover them all in a short article.

Most web designers know the most common and widely used web design software packages are Dreamweaver, FrontPage and XSitePro.

Adobe Dreamweaver is the unanimous choice of many professional web designers because of its versatility and potential to create dynamic websites. The drawback is it requires a long time even to learn just the basics – more so, if people are new or inexperienced in web designing.

Microsoft’s FrontPage undoubtedly has a lot of features but the complaint is it adds needless codes to the pages it creates. Professional designers also say it is not as user-friendly as Dreamweaver and blatantly pushes one into using Microsoft server technologies to build dynamic sites.

The XSitePro WYSIWYG web design software from Intellimon Ltd is an application that has been developed aimed at the relatively new web designers in mind.

General Complaints about WYSIWYG

To drag, drop, point, and click one’s way to a Web template is nothing unique to WYSIWYG as there are numerous web software applications capable of these features. Due to the excessive publicity given about the simplicity of WYSIWYG tools, many people have started using them for their basic web design needs.

But qualified designers claim it limits one’s flexibility, creates sloppy code, and in many cases becomes inadequate to do the job the designer would want it to do. They also state that in the long run, the designer will save both time and money, and also obtain a much better design, by relying on own code instead of using a WYSIWYG.

Cleanly formatted HTML or any other code is critical for the success of web design. It is nearly impossible to achieve this level of quality when using a WYSIWYG. It is reported that WYSIWYG software generally enters the basic structure correctly, but numerous small lapses occur throughout a document created with these tools. This will mean no standardization and the pages will look different from one browser to another. This can also affect SEO.

If one is an experienced web designer and wants to create innovative websites using the latest technologies, then the only option is to use Adobe Dreamweaver. If a designer is not too much concerned about multiple features like what Dreamweaver offers, then FrontPage might as well be a good choice. For persons new to web design software, there can be nothing better than WYSIWYG.