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. These are typically intended for users to build their private site. Some companies allow the site owner to install alternative tools (commercial or open source) - the more complex of these may also be described as Content Management Systems;
  • software which runs on a computer, creating pages offline and which can then publish these pages on any host. (These 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]

Geocities was one of the first more modern website builders that didn't require any technical skills. Five years after its launch in 1994 Yahoo! purchased it for $3.6B. After becoming technically outdated it was shut down for good in April 2009.[4] Since then the market for do-it-yourself website building tools has evolved with companies like Weebly, Wix.com and Webs.com. Together, these three companies host more than 100m websites.[5]

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.[6][7]

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.

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]

SitioSimple Silex Webydo Web Start Today Wix.com Yola uCoz Jimdo Edicy IM Creator Moonfruit Odoo Weebly Doomby Webnode Webs Wordpress.com
Platform HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML HTML HTML HTML HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML 5 HTML HTML HTML HTML HTML
Disk space Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 20GB 1Gb 400Mb 500Mb 10GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 250Mb 100Mb 40Mb Unlimited
Max upload file size Unlimited Unlimited 20 Mb Limited 15MB 15Mb 15Mb 5Mb 50Mb 20Mb Unlimited 20Mb 5Mb 15Mb 8Mb 40Mb 50 MB
Custom domains Yes 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 Non-free
Reseller platform Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Number of templates 450+ 10+ 25+ 900+ 450+ 100 258 77 49+ 94 84 13+ 100 100+ 16 X 300+ 200
User management Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backups Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No Non-free No No
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 5Gb Unlimited 1Gb Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1Gb 100Mb Unlimited
Template builder Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Partial Yes No Yes No No No No Non-free
Template editor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Partial
Password protection Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1 page Yes No Yes Yes Non-free Non-free Yes Yes Yes
Blog No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes widget Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forum No No Yes No Yes widget Yes No widget widget Yes Yes widget Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email forms Yes widget Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Photo albums Yes widget Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Comments Yes widget Yes No Yes Disqus Yes Yes Yes Disqus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Site news Yes widget Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
FTP Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No Non-free No
File catalog Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes Partial
Article catalog Yes No Yes No No No Yes No No No No Yes No Partial Yes No Yes
Site catalog Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No Yes No No Yes
Statistic Yes widget Yes Partial Yes Partial Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polls Yes widget No No Yes No Yes No Yes widget No Yes widget Yes Yes No widget
Online games No No No No No No Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No
Tests Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes No Yes No No No
FAQ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes
Chat widget widget Yes No Yes widget Yes No No widget widget Yes No Non-free No No No
Guestbook Yes widget Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
E-shop Yes widget Yes 5 items limit Yes Partial Non-free 5 items limit External service provider Widget Yes Yes Yes 5 items limit Non-free 5 items limit Non-free
Site search Yes Google Yes No Google Google Yes No Yes Google Google Yes No Yes Yes No Google
Portfolio Yes Partial Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No Yes No No
Widgets Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Force Ad : Front End No No No Partial No Partial Partial No Partial No Yes No Partial No Banners No
User Ad Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free
Number of pages Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 3 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 15 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 8 40
Websites per account Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 5 Unlimited 5 Unlimited 1 Unlimited Unlimited 1 1 2 Unlimited Unlimited 1 Unlimited
OpenID Yes No No No No No uID Yes No Yes No No No No No Unlimited
Meta tags Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Custom logo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RSS No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RSS import Yes widget Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No widget widget Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Email Yes No Yes Yes Non-free Non-free No Non-free No Non-free Non-free No No Non-free Non-free Non-free Non-free
Cost Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
Support Yes Community Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Non-free Non-free Yes Yes Yes Non-free Yes
Mobile Site Yes widget Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Gadgets Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Site map Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
PHP Yes node.js No No No No Non-free No No No No Yes No No No No No
Newsletter Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Non-free Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No
Parallax Scrolling Animation Yes widget Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes

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. ^ "Yahoo! buys GeoCities". CNN.com. January 28, 1999. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Website Builder Market Report 2014". WebsiteToolTester.com. September 17, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ "How to Build a Website With Wordpress, Wix, or Shopify". Retrieved July 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Website Building Software". Website Tutorial. Retrieved April 6, 2013.