Any aspiring Singapore web design seeking help from a forum about the “best”
web design software will immediately be greeted by two very different responses.
One will either be told to use a large, expensive, purpose-built design program
such as Dreamweaver or to use something they most likely already have- Notepad.
These are very disparate responses, and this article will explore some of the
general reasons this rift occurred.
The Two Sides
“Dreamweaver” and “Notepad” are the classic examples usually
provided, though they are not exhaustive. The central conflict is generally
between those who advocate the use of “WYSIWYG” programs and “text
editors”. WYSIWYG is an only slightly more efficient way to say “What
You See Is What You Get.” WYSIWYG programs employ a user interface designed
to provide an accurate or nearly accurate preview of the end output while the
content is being created. WYSIWYG web design programs endeavor to allow a user
to edit their site information as it might appear in a browser when published
to the web.
“Text editors” are simply that, small programs designed to edit text
documents, of which most web pages are actually built on a “nuts and bolts”
level. Very briefly, the web pages seen in a browser are simply lines of text
with “markup,” the “M” in “HTML.” Markup is the
series of tags that tell the browser what the document is, how to order it,
and in many cases, how to display it. In order to edit a web page using a text
editor, one has to know HTML. This is where the 2 web design camps diverge.
WYSIWYG programs are basically designed to bring editing to those who do not
Many Web design Singapore take the view that one must learn HTML in order to design,
and that WYSIWYG programs are, to quote a few common complaints, bloated, unnecessary,
and produce poor code. Using Notepad, or any of a similar crop of basic text
editing programs, seems to be a kind of “street cred” among those
designers that value this knowledge. Although the ever increasing feature set
(“bloat”) of many WYSIWYG programs cannot be denied, I found having
more tools available is generally not a bad thing. Further, anyone who levels
the “bad code” charge has probably not used modern WYSIWYG programs
like Dreamweaver 8. In the past there have been WYSIWYG programs guilty of producing
very bad code, FrontPage, for instance, but this is mostly a relic.
Novices are welcome to ignore these weak arguments and find a WYSIWYG program
with which they are comfortable. One of the key benefits of a good WYSIWYG program
is the ability to learn the code while using the program. Making changes in
a “preview” mode and watching how the underlying code changes is a
useful way to discover HTML. As a designer who started out using Notepad, I
moved on to Dreamweaver for another important reason, convenience. Knowing the
underlying code, I was able to quickly make changes in the “design”
mode with a good knowledge of what those changes did to the code. I could also
work in the “code” mode and see what the results might look like without
having to upload them or preview in a browser. Most modern WYSIWYG design programs
have strong underlying code editing systems, providing those who wish to use
them with a “Notepad” like experience should they wish to use it.
Modern WYSIWYG design programs also provide additional convenience of site management,
re-useable code, custom templates, and a personal favorite of mine, spell check.
Don’t be shamed into trying to learn HTML via a text editor if that’s not right
for you. Web design company singapore is a learning process and WYSIWYG software can provide an
excellent learning platform. The only thing to be afraid of is, perhaps, the
price tag of most WYSIWYG software. Notepad and similar text editors are certainly
economical. There is some “middle ground” in the debate. Some “advanced”
text editors do exist that are built with web design in mind and provide some
basic luxuries. There is also a wide variety of online site builders that automate
the design process beyond even that capable by expensive WYSIWYG software. There
is no “best” Singapore web design program, only the best program for an individual
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