Hand coding has always had its place in the world of web design. After all, the prevailing attitude among the professional design community has always been that not much can rival the quality of professionally written code from an experienced developer.
This philosophy dominated the web design world for years, and to a large extent still does, but not long ago something changed: themes, templates, and snippets of pre-written code came along. It quickly became the norm for designers to use a combination of hand-coded and pre-written code, as well as themes and templates. The benefits of this new method were immediately apparent – fewer coding errors and quicker turnaround times being two of the biggest.
Today, a similar trend is making its way through the world of web design: code-free site building. Not long ago, this technology was considered years away from being ready for professional use, but now it’s putting out gorgeously designed, cleanly coded sites. Could code-free site builders be the next big trend to change the world of web design?
Designers who remember the code-free, drag-and-drop, and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) site builders of the past are likely to be skeptical of the capabilities of even the most up-to-date code-free platforms. Although it probably seems too good to be true, the faults that riddled code-free tools of the past have been almost entirely eliminated, and in their place are new benefits.
The major gripe that designers have always had with code-free site builders is that they never produced clean code. And this was true of the early code-free site builders. Even if designers were able to produce a site that looked acceptable, the code beneath the surface was never quite right.
Today’s code-free site builders are completely different. For example, Webydo produces W3C valid code, which meets current standards and best practices. As such Webydo’s code is search engine friendly.
Passing off a finished website to a client can be one of the most frustrating and time-intensive steps in a project. Clients, as good as their intentions may be, are often hard to satisfy when it comes to making site edits and executing minor content changes.
Current code-free platforms mediate the client-designer relationship better than ever before by making each finished site logical to edit and easy to access. With point-and-click content editing, clients can log in and edit to their heart’s content – no more email exchanges over petty site changes.
Code-free platforms don’t just make clients happy; they help out designers, too. Before quality code-free platforms were available, graphic designers without coding experience were limited in their ability to serve web design clients.
Now professionals with serious graphic design chops can put them to use in site building without having to undertake the task of learning to code by hand.
Even though code-free platforms aren’t going to make hand coding obsolete overnight, it’s safe to say that they’re notably changing the way developers build sites, interact with clients, and exercise their skills. With the lines between hand-coded and code-free sites blurring more by the day, it’s not outlandish to think that web development could become largely automated as this technology moves forward.