StatusCake

Ditch The Shackles – The WYSIWYG Editor!

Sometimes the easiest solution isn’t the best solution – and unfortunately a lot of Developers start their career on the wrong path thinking otherwise.

When I first was learning how to make websites I loaded up the latest version of Adobe Dreamweaver (then Macromedia) and started designing away – adding tables (This was awhile ago!), some animated gifs and yes, on occasions – even some midi files. The sites that were made were predictably a splurge of awfulness that were by all counts an serious offence to the eyes – but they were my own sites and even now I have a special place in my heart for those sites as they got me into an industry I love.

I was making these ‘Dreamweaver’ sites with a few years and what did I learn? Absolutely zilch. Nadda. Not a darn thing! Sure the end result looked impressive for someone who couldn’t code (or clearly could design!) but all I was doing was using menus, dragging and dropping pictures and in general having the code written for me by the underlying editor. It was all too easy to produce these sites and think I had no need to learn how to code, the end justifies the means if you will.

This was the single largest mistake of my development life and yet one I suspect quite a few young programmers made and even to this day still make. If I could go back to 14 year old me and make myself open up Notepad and just attempt to code everything from scratch I would – and it would not of taken me years longer than it needed to learn the wonders of CSS, HTML and Javascript.

So why is it that even now colleges and schools all over are still teaching kids to use Dreamweaver before actually teaching them to code. Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG editors are great tools and heck I even use them to do this day for prototyping – but they are tools that are meant to assist your coding, not replace it.

So what’s my point? Un-install your WYSIWYG editors until you can build the exact same site without needing them. Creating your sites from scratch will take longer, you’ll likely even have more trouble – but in the long run… in the long run you’ll thank yourself. Editing your own code is a darn sight easier than editing some of the garbage that editors generate for you, and beyond that you can be more creative when you remove the shackles.

Did you fall into this trap? Let me know in the comments!
Daniel Clarke, StatusCake.com

Share this

More from StatusCake

How To

Using Social Media for Affiliate Marketing

7 min read Today, social media uses a wide range of different social networking platforms to help its users with the creation and sharing of ideas, information, personal interests and hobbies by establishing virtual networks. Affiliates can benefit from these groups that use web-based applications to communicate, interact and connect.

man-and-woman-on-website
How To

How to Improve User Experience

4 min read One of the biggest eCommerce questions – how do you improve user experience? Here are all the top tips for a better UX design to help you drive revenue.

woman-astronaut-flying
Product & Updates

How Page Speed Affects SEO

2 min read We all know page speed is crucial but not just for you brand – it affects SEO so hugely that it can make your pages drop in ranking.

short-reads

How to Reduce Bounce Rate

5 min read Learn what bounce rate is and how it is measured, what a good bounce rate looks like, and the actionable steps you can take to improve the bounce rate on your website.

man-on-bike
short-reads

What Causes Website Downtime?

3 min read Website downtime no longer needs to be this big mystery that keeps you up at night. Here are the top causes for website downtime AND how to fix them.

short-reads

Over 40% of Online Advertisements are Too Large and Slow Down Websites

2 min read Large ads have been a major issue with online publishers who have been struggling with how to curtail what many call “fat ads.” The oversized ads have a major impact on the ability of website visitors to see them as they can’t view them if they don’t load properly.