WYSIWYG vs. Manual Coding in HTML

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There are two common methods for writing HTML documents: What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) and manual coding. A WYSIWYG editor shows you a rendered web page as you edit the page. You do not see the actual HTML. When using manual coding, you see the HTML, but you must load the document in a web browser to view the rendered page.

WYSIWYG[edit]

The primary advantage of WYSIWYG is that the designer has immediate feedback to changes. There is no delay between making a change and seeing how the page will look when rendered.

The primary disadvantage of WYSIWYG is that the designer is no longer using HTML. The designer makes a change in the editor and the editor changes the HTML in the background. If the editor fails to make a change properly, the designer may not know how to edit the HTML manually to fix the error. Even if the designer does know HTML, most WYSIWYG editors create enormous amounts of unnecessary HTML code that makes manual changes very difficult to perform.

Manual Coding[edit]

The primary advantage of manual coding is that the designer has complete control over the HTML. It is possible to keep the HTML code clean, documented, and easy to maintain by other HTML authors.

The primary disadvantage of manual coding is that the designer must save the document and load it in a web browser to see changes. Many web designers keep the text editor and web browser open at all times to reduce time required to save and view the altered documents. It's also more expensive if you're paying someone.


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