Should You Bother Learning HTML to build Webpages?
by Leslie Pinczi
The most popular method to build webpages today is to use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) software.
Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver are prime examples of WYSIWYG
software. Both programs allow you to create webpages as though you were creating a document with your
favourite word processing software like Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Its as simple as entering paragraphs,
headings and inserting clipart or images.
[ See below for a couple of excellent alternatives. -UT]
WYSIWYG software like those listed above are prefect for beginner webpage builders who want webpages
constructed quickly without having to learn HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language).
All webpages are brought to life using HTML codes, regardless what webpage building software is used. WYSIWYG
programs simply create the HTML codes as you construct a webpage (in the background, without you knowing), so you
don't need to understand them.
This is without a doubt the biggest advantage over any other type of webpage building programs. It means that if
you can press keys on a keyboard, you have what is required to create your very own webpage!
However, most WYSIWYG programs don't give you absolute, total control over webpage design (ie, exactly the way you
want the page to look). There are design limitations.
For example, you may want to place headings, sub headings and a navigation menu in a particular arrangement on the
webpage, but no matter how many times you try, the program won't permit such placement or position them correctly.
This is one big disadvantage of WYSIWYG programs if you desire a custom look to all your webpages.
Knowledge of HTML, however, can assist you to overcome such design shortfalls in WYSIWYG programs. How is this
possible? Let me explain.
If you understand HTML codes, then you understand why webpages appear the way they do in a web browser, such as
Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. This is powerful stuff because the moment you change/modify HTML
codes, the webpage will take on a new design/appearance.
And don't forget that HTML codes are exact, giving you total freedom over how everything appears on the webpage.
Most WYSIWYG programs allow you to view and modify the HTML codes. As you can see, knowledge of HTML is
The downside to HTML is the learning curve. It takes time to understand how HTML works and why, but once you know,
using HTML to create totally custom designed webpages is easy. For the beginner, HTML can be challenging, but don't
despair because there are HTML tutorials available that teach you basic and advanced HTML in a matter of days!
So the question is - Should you bother learning HTML to build webpages? The answer - yes and no.
It is obvious that WYSIWYG software speeds up production of webpage development regardless of your knowledge on how
to build webpages. However, to further refine and tune your webpages exactly to your liking, it is usually
necessary to add and modify HTML codes. So yes, HTML is worthwhile learning if you are unsatisfied with the
webpages produced by WYSIWYG software.
There is little point learning HTML if you are 100% satisfied with the webpages made with WYSIWYG software.
One thing is certain. Using WYSIWYG software and learning HTML codes is the answer for those of us who want
webpages made exactly to our requirements. Learning HTML is not as hard as you think. To get started, simply search
any major search engine like Google, Yahoo or MSN using the search phrase "html tutorials", its that easy!
About the Author
Les Pinczi is the creator of interactive HTML learning software to help you learn how to create a web page in hours!
Better Website Builders
- This is a slick online
tool that will allow you to
create websites quicky without having to know a lick of HTML or CSS. Pretty easy to learn,
especially if you actually look at the online documentation! Also comes with hosting and
the entire Wealthy Affiliate
- This is a nifty WYSIWYG editor that is easier to use than FrontPage
or Dreameaver, though maybe not quite as powerfull as Dreamweaver. No knowledge of CSS or HTML is
needed, though it's helpful sometimes. Comes with an excellent tutorial. By the way, this
site is built with XSP.