Note: I no longer offer web design services as of January 1, 2017. However, I still provide website creation advice as part of my consulting services.
More often than not, my web design clients don’t know how to manipulate HTML code.
Nothing wrong with that— once upon a time (back in 2002) I was also a beginner and I used Microsoft FrontPage to create my first website graphically.
Nothing fancy, but it helped get things done.
FrontPage is no more, but other website builders have come up over the last decade.
Weebly is an example most of you will recognize. If you don’t know what is a website builder, you can find a brief overview here.
However, if a client asks me what to use for a website builder, I would say: WordPress.
The 4 points below illustrate my views.
1. WordPress widgets and customizations make graphical website building easy
When I design a website for my client I generally configure custom widget that they can rearrange to their liking under the Appearance -> Widget sidebar menu, located inside the WordPress Dashboard.
WordPress themes are also graphically customizable through an header image uploader and a background custom color option. Generally, these options appear under Appearance -> Customize or Appearance -> Theme Options.
Another useful addon is the Microthemer Lite plugin for the visual editing of WordPress themes.
2. The WordPress visual text editor is WYSIWYG and CSS can help
WordPress comes natively with a WYSIWYG editor for posts and pages, but I will make an effort to make it even easier for my client by writing a custom CSS for the text editor that resembles the main WP theme.
Thanks to this CSS, my client can ‘preview’ his post or page as they write it.
3. WordPress Dashboard and basic editing tools are intuitive
It’s easy to navigate the basic WordPress Dashboard, and most plugins come with very visual tools and interfaces these days. You can get a glimpse of what I mean here — some Dashboard plugins are downright easy to use!
4. WordPress basically stays the same
The Weebly interface has changed since I last used it back in 2008. WordPress has also changed, but it is basically the same software with the same structure and the same tools.
This is a plus point for the end user, who doesn’t have to learn how to use an upgraded system from scratch (like Joomla! for example).
These 4 points state the reasons why I advise clients to use WordPress for a website builder. What’s your take on the matter?
Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit (cc) Paul Evans