WYSIWYG, which stands for “what you see is what you get”, is an acronym used to describe certain computer applications used when designing print media or web pages. In the case of website design, WYSIWYG editors are multi-beneficial. Not only will they help you to prevent a coding headache, but they can also help you to design websites without ever having to learn how to code in the first place.
Though often imperfect and occasionally limited in what they are able to do, WYSIWYG editors are a viable option for those who wish to make a website with little to no coding experience. Because WYSIWYG editors focus entirely on the visual aspect of designing, you can create a website without the need to code anything by hand. In fact, you won’t even need to understand why or how it works.
There are a number of applications that provide a WYSIWYG experience for creating websites. The most popular and well-known of these is arguably Adobe Dreamweaver. Though Dreamweaver allows the user to work from the Code View, Design View, or a Split View, entire websites can and are created in the WYSIWYG style Design View.
Obviously some WYSWYG editors are more intuitive than others, and as such, some will require more time for you to become fully familiar with the interface. This initial period of learning, however, tends to be shorter than actually learning to code websites by hand. This makes WYSIWYG editors a popular choice for those who are on a tight schedule or haven’t taken the time to learn the necessary coding languages to create the website they desire.
A word of caution however – most WYSIWYG editors are unable to create clean code behind the scenes. Because of this, it is common for websites created using a WYSIWYG editor to load slower than websites that were coded by hand. WYSIWYG editor created websites also have a tendency to appear different in different browsers and though not always an issue, is something that you should at least be aware of.
Because WYSIWYG editors allow you to work in a ‘what you see is what you get’ environment, anyone can design a website regardless of if they know how to code by hand or not. So long as you have access to a WYSIWYG editor like Adobe Dreamweaver, you will be able to create a website without ever having to learn or understand any coding languages.