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DIY Website Builders

DIY Website Builders

OK! Let’s have a little website lesson. A website is a collection of pages of information collected under one domain name (e.g. mpfix.co.uk). Each web page can contain pictures, text and links to other pages, and are created using a coding language called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a standardised system for tagging text files to achieve font, colour, graphic, and link effects on web pages. A website is stored on the servers of a web host, connected to the internet, so that you and I can use our web browsers to view those pages. I think that’s enough!

In the beginning there was manual coding typed in by hand, followed pretty quickly by WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors such as HotDog and HoTMetaL, and these have come a long way since the 1990s and web page editors are now really sophisticated, and really expensive! If you want a website today, you really have 3 choices …

Give your content to a web designer, who has bought the expensive software, and they’ll make you a good-looking website for somewhere between £500 and infinity. They’ll look after the domain name and do all the updating for an annual fee.
Register your own domain name and buy some hosting and make you own site using WordPress or similar, although you’ll need to be pretty tech savvy, and you’ll be tinkering with it every day for years.
Go to one of the myriad of DIY sites (WIX, SquareSpace, GoDaddy, IONOS etc.), and build your own using their online version of a WYSIWYG editor. DIY website builders are a way for regular people to design and build their own websites without using code. Tech knowhow is not required, whether you’re a business or a hobbyist. Why not? They’re free, aren’t they?

Well, yes, to a point. They do this by providing templates and letting you customise them as you see fit. If you want to enter basic details and leave it there, fine. If you want to change everything about it, you can, but you are limited to how many pages you can create and how much stuff you can do. These companies are in business to make money (no complaint there), and once you’ve got your free site up-and-running, it may be all you want. Most people, however, need more and eventually you’ll have to pay to get what you want with all the bells and whistles. If you want an on-line shop, then expect to have to pay from the start.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no gripe with this, you only get the best by paying for it. The choice as always, is yours, but if you

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Added: 12th July 2019

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