What is a Website Builder?
Online vs. offline
The main advantage of an online website builder is that it is quick and easy to use, and often does not require prior experience. Often a website can be built and be up and running live on the Internet quickly. Technical support is usually provided, as are how-to video and help files. This makes online website builders ideal for the beginner.
Sites are generally created using either HTML or Adobe Flash. HTML is a standard format supported by all browsers. Flash has a growing popularity, mainly since it has overcome some limitations such as not being seen by web crawlers such as Google and Yahoo, and thus being indexed. Flash is more resource intensive than HTML. HTML tools are divided into those that allow editing of the source code and those that only have a WYSIWYG mode.
Offline web builders cater to professional web designers who need to create pages for more than one client or web host. Modern offline web builders are usually both WYSIWYG and allow direct editing of source code and cascading style sheets (CSS) styling. They generally require at least a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. However, though they are more flexible than online builders, they are often expensive. However, some open source website builders may be downloaded free of charge.