How to Create and Maintain a Website

What is a website?

A website is simply a collection of pages (or even a single page) that:

Until recently …

Until recently creating a professional website seemed a task only for computer-minded people who knew how to code html but after scouring the internet recently I’ve found that with the huge presence of sophisticated online WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) webbuilders, people with no web skills whatsoever are creating their own good-looking (or not so good-looking) websites with relatively advanced functionality like e-commerce (shopping cart), for example. Although I know how to write HTML I have not used any html code to create this website.

How online wysiwyg webbuilders work

This site

This site uses the webhost Siteground, (www.siteground.com) which provides the WYSIWYG webbuilder, Zen Pro, (www.sitemagix.com). Many webhosts provide Zen Pro (with a rebranded name) as their webbuilder with various deals. Siteground, for example, charges a one-off fee, US$40, for the use of Zen Pro and a monthly fee of US$5.95 (or even less) for webhosting. Other webhosts don’t charge for Zen Pro but simply have a higher monthly fee, from around US$10 to US$20 (or even more) per month. You can pay a higher monthly charge for extra features such as e-commerce (shopping cart) and … . However, Siteground includes e-commerce in their base monthly fee.

Zen Pro is only provided through webhosts – you cannot buy it directly. Webhosts generally let you try the free version of the software, Instant Zen, which gives you a feel of how it works but it’s very limited.

Offline wysiwyg webbuilders

The best known WYSIWYG webbuilders are Dreamweaver and FrontPage. These are quite expensive just to build a small site and not the best suited in any case. Now there are offline webbuilders that are more like the easy online webbuilders – templates are provided, navigation bars and menus are automatically generated and so on and they’re not expensive.

The easiest-to-use lower-priced offline WYSIWYG webbuilder I’ve seen is WYSIWYG Webbuilder. You can download a free trial at(www.pablosoftwaresolutions.com/html/wysiwyg_web_builder.html)

For a list of of offline WYSIWYG webbuilders go to http://www.tucows.com/Windows/DevelopmentWebAuthoring/VisualWYSIWYGEditors/ for a whole list of wysiwyg webbuilders.

Pros and cons of offline and online WYSIWYG webbuilders

Overall, I would say the online WYSIWYG webbuilders are easier to use.

Online

Pros Cons
Don’t have to upload If you decide to switch webhosts it might be difficult to transfer pages (although not necessarily)
Generally, more user-friendly than offline editors You don’t automatically have your own copy of your site files and rely on your webhost not to lose them – of course, you can copy your files onto your computer
Often included in the price of the webhosting or low one-off cost There are usually limits on the page layouts, fonts, styles, colours etc. you can choose although this can be an advantage because it can guide you more into a consistent, harmonious appearance
Can edit from any computer with internet access

Offline

ros Cons
You have a copy of all your files on your computer and can switch webhosts easily Have to upload your files
Some offline webbuilders allow complete freedom in page layout, styles, fonts, etc. Generally, more expensive than online
Generally, less user-friendly than online
Slightly problematic to edit from any computer

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