Do-it-yourselfers can still build a website

In the prehistoric days of the internet (about 30 years ago), if you wanted a Web page or website, you had to build it yourself.

This meant learning basic HTML, the scripting language that makes Web pages possible.

It was pretty simple back then: Learn a few HTML “tags” and you could pretty much design almost anything. Tags such as <b> for bold, <i> for italics, <p> for paragraph, <center> for centering content and images, <ahref> for links.

Pages were usually text heavy with maybe an image or two, perhaps a little GIF animation and, occasionally, a very small and short video.

Today’s internet is a complex, digital alphabet soup of coding and scripting languages: HTML, XML, CSS, PHP, ASP, SQL, noSQL, Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, JQuery, Bootstrap. The multimedia list of Web coding products and services grows daily.

Which is why there are many professional services available today to build custom Web sites and site support systems to take advantage of current digital technology and offer relief from having to worry about all the coding underneath.

What about the dedicated do-it-yourself crowd?

There are options for them as well. Only, instead of learning code, you learn to drag and drop.

Web sites such as Wix (www.wix.com), Weebly (www.weebly.com), Squarespace (www.squarespace.com) and others are Web building services that feature numerous site templates to choose from and the ability to customize a template by simply selecting, moving and arranging graphical “blocks” that provide desired functions.

You provide the content and images. No need to worry about the code — that’s automatically taken care of from behind the scenes.

If you’ve ever put together a PowerPoint presentation or rearranged icons and screens on a smartphone, you can build a simple website with these services.

There are, of course, some trade offs. In exchange for simplicity of use at little to no cost, there is a loss of some flexibility and options in design, format and function.

You typically have to choose from a collection of standardized templates. The range of customization may be limited and will vary from site to site.

Some interactive or multimedia features of larger, professionally built sites are not necessarily available in the drag and drop sites.

Still, for many individuals and small operations, it may be enough.

Below are some links that will explain more about simple website building services and which ones are among the best:

Keith Darnay has worked in the online world for more than two decades. His site is at www.darnay.com.

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