Website builder

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Website builders are tools that allow the construction of websites without manual code editing. They fall into two categories: online proprietary tools provided by web hosting companies, typically intended for users to build their private site; and software which runs on a computer, creating pages offline and which can then publish these pages on any host. (The latter are often considered to be "website design software" rather than "website builders".)

History[edit]

The first websites were created in the early 1990s.[1] These sites were manually written in HTML.

Over time, software was created to help design web pages and by 1998 Dreamweaver had been established as the industry leader; however, some have criticized the quality of the code produced by such software as being overblown and reliant on tables. As the industry moved towards W3C standards, Dreamweaver and others were criticized for not being compliant.[2] Compliance has improved over time, but many professionals still prefer to write optimized markup by hand.

Open source tools were typically developed to the standards, and made fewer exceptions for the then dominant Internet Explorer's deviations from the standards. The W3C started Amaya in 1996 to showcase Web technologies in a fully featured Web client. This was to provide a framework that integrated lots of W3C technologies in a single, consistent environment. Amaya started as an HTML and CSS editor and now supports XML, XHTML, MathML, and SVG.[3]

Online vs. offline[edit]

Online website builders typically require customers to sign up with the web hosting company. Some companies provide examples of fully functional websites made with their website builder. The range of services varies anywhere between creating basic personal web pages or social network content to making complete business and e-commerce websites, either template based or, on the more flexible platforms, totally design free.[4]

The main advantage of an online website builder is that it is quick and easy to use, and often does not require prior experience. Often a website can be built and be up and running live on the Internet quickly. Technical support is usually provided, as are how-to video and help files. This makes online website builders ideal for the beginner.[5]

Sites are generally created using either HTML or Adobe Flash. HTML is a standard format supported by all browsers. Flash has a growing popularity, mainly since it has overcome some limitations such as not being seen by web crawlers such as Google and Yahoo, and thus being indexed. Flash is more resource intensive than HTML. HTML tools are divided into those that allow editing of the source code and those that only have a WYSIWYG mode.

Offline web builders cater to professional web designers who need to create pages for more than one client or web host. Modern offline web builders are usually both WYSIWYG and allow direct editing of source code and cascading style sheets (CSS) styling. They generally require at least a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. However, though they are more flexible than online builders, they are often expensive. However, some open source website builders may be downloaded free of charge.

List of online website builders[edit]

Website builder comparison[edit]

Silex Webydo Web Start Today Wix.com Yola uCoz Jimdo Edicy IM Creator Moonfruit Weebly Doomby Webnode Webs Wordpress.com
Platform HTML 5 HTML HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML HTML HTML HTML HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML HTML HTML HTML HTML
Disk space Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 20GB 1Gb 400Mb 500Mb 10GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 250Mb 100Mb 40Mb Unlimited
Max upload file size Unlimited 20 Mb Limited 15MB 15Mb 15Mb 5Mb 50Mb 20Mb 20Mb 5Mb 15Mb 8Mb 40Mb 50 MB
Custom domains Yes Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Yes Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free
Reseller platform No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
Number of templates 10+ 25+ 900+ 450+ 100 258 77 49+ 94 84 100 100+ 16 X 300+ 200
User management Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backups No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Non-free No No
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 5Gb Unlimited 1Gb Unlimited Unlimited 1Gb 100Mb Unlimited
Template builder Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Partial Yes No No No No No Non-free
Template editor Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Partial
Password protection No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1 page Yes No Yes Non-free Non-free Yes Yes Yes
Blog No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes widget Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forum No Yes No Yes widget Yes No widget widget Yes widget Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email forms widget Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Photo albums widget Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Comments widget Yes No Yes Disqus Yes Yes Yes Disqus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Site news widget Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes
FTP Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No Non-free No
File catalog Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No No Yes No Yes Partial
Article catalog No Yes No No No Yes No No No No No Partial Yes No Yes
Site catalog No Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes No No Yes
Statistic widget Yes Partial Yes Partial Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polls widget No No Yes No Yes No Yes widget No widget Yes Yes No widget
Online games No No No No No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
Tests No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No
FAQ Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No Yes
Chat widget Yes No Yes widget Yes No No widget widget No Non-free No No No
Guestbook widget Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
E-shop widget Yes 5 items limit Yes Partial Non-free 5 items limit External service provider Widget Yes Yes 5 items limit Non-free 5 items limit Non-free
Site search Google Yes No Google Google Yes No Yes Google Google No Yes Yes No Google
Portfolio Partial Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes No No
Widgets Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Force Ad : Front End No No Partial No Partial Partial No Partial No No Partial No Banners No
User Ad No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free
Number of pages Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 3 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 15 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 8 40
Websites per account Unlimited Unlimited 5 Unlimited 5 Unlimited 1 Unlimited Unlimited 1 2 Unlimited Unlimited 1 Unlimited
OpenID No No No No No uID Yes No Yes No No No No No Unlimited
Meta tags Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Custom logo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RSS No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RSS import widget Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No widget widget Yes Yes No No Yes
Email No Yes Yes Non-free Non-free No Non-free No Non-free Non-free No Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free
Cost Free $7.90/Month Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
Support Community Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes
Mobile Site widget Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Gadgets Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Site map Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
PHP node.js No No No No Non-free No No No No No No No No No
Newsletter No Yes No Yes No Yes Non-free Yes No No No Yes No Yes No

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Lawson (August 9, 2005). "Berners-Lee on the read/write web". BBC News. 
  2. ^ "The History of Website Development". Website Builders World. Retrieved November 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Amaya Home Page". World Wide Web Consortium. December 9, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Website Building Software". Website Tutorial. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Build a Website". Creating A Website. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Collection of Web Design tools