It is easy. You don’t have to pull hair while trying to build a professional looking website. Thanks to something known as a WYSIWYG editor or website builder.
WYSIWYG (pronounced “wizzy wig”) stands for What You See Is What You Get. As the name suggests, this is a tool that allows you to see your site as it would look like in a browser while you are building it.
For people who are busy, don’t have the time and/or inkling to learn HTML, and don’t have several thousand dollars to pay a web designer, this is the best option.
But, WYSIWYG editors are not created equal. Some require that you have a masochistic streak. They can be that frustrating to work with.
My experiences with website builders/editors have been an encounter with the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Let’s take a look at some of the better ones, including their downsides and limitations.
Side note: This article assumes that you are willing to part with some money for a quality website builder that will most likely give the results you seek. If you’re looking for something good and for free please move on and good luck.
Website Complete: One of the easiest and cheapest. Great for someone starting out.
Comes with 400+ templates, plus a large variety of images. Spell checker, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and preview included plus is an interactive user guide that is easy to follow. Custom buttons and pages are easy to insert and edit.
Downside/Limitations: You can only publish your website as a package with in-built FTP client. Java not well supported. Works best with the publisher’s hosting.
Actual Drawing: Actual Drawing is a more full-featured low-cost website builder. The learning curve is a little longer due to these extra features, but once you get the hang of it you’re on the roll.
This WYSIWYG comes with in-built FTP, spell-checker and preview. Tables and forms are easy to insert and/or edit. Custom scripts and Java also easy to work with. Very good software, this one is.
Downside/Limitations: I found none, except the user guide which can be a little hard to understand.
Web Easy Pro: This one will give you some pretty neat results if building a small (two to three pages), simple website.
But, start plugging in custom scripts (Java especially) and it begins to… well, suck. Your page might not even be seen and you could find yourself spending too much time to publish just one page.
Web Easy Pro comes with a good variety of templates and images, as well as in-built FTP, forms and tables. Easy-to-understand user guide included, with examples.
Downside/Limitations: Not very flexible. Not easy to customize either. I particularly didn’t like the page-naming (example, yourdomain/yoursite/002.htm) though this can be avoided by creating your own templates.
123 WYSIWYG: I have left the best for the last. 123 WYSIWYG was created by a couple of internet marketers who know from experience what one looks for in a website builder.
The creators of 123 WYSIWYG had two main things in mind:
1) Ease of use 2) Great results.
This WYSIWYG is really easy to learn. Simply follow the 20-minute video guide while building your first site and you’ll have a nice-looking website in a pretty short time.
Another thing that makes it a winner is flexibility. On this, it might well beat some of the much more expensive templates out there.
Java and custom HTML codes can be plugged in easily (and work well) by cutting/copying and pasting, typing or drag-and-drop. Images easily inserted. You have choice of creating your own site from scratch, or selecting from the 100+ pre-made templates.
Preview included as well as an FTP that comes with the package.
If there is one WYSIWYG that I whole-heartedly recommend, this is it.
Downside/Limitations: I didn’t encounter any.
David Kamau, owner of http://www.mercantilecentral.com , has built several websites using WYSIWYG HTML editors. For resources and links on the software featured in this article as well as updates see reprint at: http://www.mercantilecentral.com/websitebuilders.htm .