The Basics of Building a Website

Building a website from scratch can be a fun learning experience, for both beginners new to code and more seasoned developers. There are a plethora of tools available for this task. Whether an organization is seeking to create a blog, storefront, or online portfolio, all businesses know at a web presence is vital to reaching a large audience and spreading brand awareness.

WYSIWYG Software

During web developer and design conversations, the term WYSIWYG will probably come up. This quirky-sounding acronym stands for What You See is What You Get. Some beginners prefer this style of web building, since it allows users to drag and drop visual elements to build a website. One of the most popular WYSIWYG editors is Adobe’s Dreamweaver software. Dreamweaver is robust, and does have a learning curve for those unfamiliar with Adobe’s products. It allows code input as well, for developers needing to make behind-the-scenes tweaks. Another popular WYSIWYG software solution is RapidWeaver, which combines drag-and-drop preset themes with SEO tools and more. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is extremely useful when used in conjunction with WYSIWYG editors. So make sure to hit up an HTML tutorial before diving into a new web project!

Online Templates and Content Management

A multitude of business use popular content managers such as WordPress and Blogger to easily publish new information to a website. You can try finding some web host or website reseller who offers these services at low-cost and sometimes free. They offer the ease of choosing built-in templates, with more advanced builds for a low cost. These tools also allow administrators to manually enter plugins, HTML, CSS, and Javascript elements, offering more flexibility to web developers. Again, a working knowledge of code can make the difference between a generic website and a spectacular one.

Coding from Scratch

While this route can require a time investment for research and study, learning code for web development will lead to a website with infinite customization possibilities. Having good FTP tools and text editors will aid developers who venture into coding a website from scratch. Check out Mozilla’s free tutorials on learning HTML5 and see what this language is capable of. For style sheets, explore the W3C tutorial on CSS3 standards. Explore different text editors, such as Espresso for Mac, Notepad++ for Windows, and more.


Having a keen sense of what’s new in web development and coding is very important. Standards change all the time, so continue to review developer spec sheets while building a project. The World Wide Web Consortium is has a host of free tools to validate markup, lists of browser compatibility, and cheat sheets. Designers should have different color catalogs bookmarked, like ColourLovers, to quickly look up color values. Check out blogs like ReadWrite, that list free ebooks on HTML and CSS development.


Investing some time and energy into coding can be extraordinarily fruitful for future web developers and designers. These skills can transform user experiences and web functionality for web sites built with WYSIWYG software, online content managers, or those coded from scratch.



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