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HTML No More

Do you want to build a website, but don't want to learn HTML? The new version, HTML5, has some cool capabilities, but with the wide range of different approaches to building websites, you need HTML no more. So if you want to go HTML-less, start here.

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There are four key ways to build a website without ever touching HTML5 or any other programming language.

Web Host-Supplied Web Builder With Templates

Virtually all web hosts that sell shared hosting (pun intended) provide a web builder that includes templates. Web builders tend to offer a wide variety of template choices to suit a variety of needs. Users can choose whether or not to employ templates. If you do choose to use a template so you don't have to use HTML, you will find that they range from being very much pre-determined (or restrictive, depending on how you view it), giving the user few choices but getting a website built in very little time, on the one hand, to being far more open, only providing a basic structure that the user can adapt amply to his or her own use, on the other hand.

At the pre-fab end of the extreme, getting a website set up may entail nothing more than a little dragging, a little dropping, and a little typing as the user goes about four tasks:

  • selecting a color scheme
  • choosing a font
  • providing images to replace placeholder images that are in pre-set locations
  • writing your own text to sub in for placeholder text.

Web Host-Designed Shopping Cart or Ecommerce Solution

Although free, open-source shopping carts may require some (or even extensive) programming, shopping carts or ecommerce solutions developed by a web host are often demand no programming skills or HTML knowledge of the user. For example, the GoDaddy Quick Shopping Cart is an estore template that requires no programming to set up a website. The three levels offered determine how many products you can have in your catalog, how many images you can have for each product, and the amount of disk space and bandwidth are reserved for your use on a shared server.

With solutions like the GoDaddy Quick Shopping Cart and other comparable offerings from other web hosts, a user can get a business up an running quickly, without needing knowledge of HTML and without having to make a lot of decisions in order to get a site that just works. One benefit of this type of solution is that—depending on the web host—you may be able to use it to add a shopping cart to an existing website, as well as to construct an entire website from scratch. In this type of solution, credit card acceptance, accepting PayPal payments, and customer choice of shipping options are all likely to be available.

Free, Open-Source Web Apps With Themes and Templates

A number of free, open-source web applications of several types allow the user to build a website without HTML or other coding knowledge. These include blogs, like WordPress, Xanga, and Blogger, all of which have a free, hosted option. With WordPress and Movable Type, you can also use them with a web host of your choice, and use widgets, plug-ins, and templates—free or paid—to expand their capabilities. There are also Content Management Systems (CMS's), many of which are available as free downloads through web hosts, via tools like Simple Scripts and Fantastico De Luxe, CMS apps like Mambo, Joomla!, and Drupal all have templates that allow building a website without HTML knowledge.

WYSIWYG Boxed Software

The preceding three options all focus on website building options that are done through the medium of your Internet browser. If you prefer to work offline, with software that is on your computer, you can choose boxed website development software. Adobe Dreamweaver is an example of this type of software. Like a number of other products, it allows the user to choose whether to use an HTML programming interface or a WySIWYG What You See Is What You Get) interface.

Check Out HTML5

If you want to know what you're missing before you bail on HTML5, you can review the list of features on the W3 Schools website here: http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_new_elements.asp and check out the introductory tutorials they offer here:: http://www.w3schools.com/html5/default.asp Even if you choose to avoid HTML5, you may wish to stay open to the possibility of using it in the future: it can be a useful tool to build a website that will meet your needs.


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