Anti Web Builder Misconceptions

​Obviously, being a founder of BaseKit, I have some very weighted opinions about web builders. Is coding from scratch faster?

This week, I’ve heard some noise about the ‘misconception’ that WYSIWYG builders can make websites faster than traditional methods; coding from scratch. There’s an argument that coding a site from scratch is more efficient and, ultimately, faster…

I, on the other hand, have the complete opposite view; It’s a misconception that coding from scratch can build you a site faster.

What people always forget is that we almost never create a site inside a bubble. Most sites are created for a function rather than art; to be purposeful rather than just ‘be’.

A purposeful website would be a site created for clients to use professionally or for a group to raise awareness of there topic, charity or product. With this in mind, there will always be outside influences that affect the building of a website; change of design and layout, 11th hour functionality additions and generally a world of constant change in our clients needs.

Coming from a web agency that built websites and systems for clients, we felt strongly that there is a better way to build the solutions we were employed to create. 90% of the work we were doing was repetitive; PSD slicing, CSS perfection, cross browser compatibility issues, adding forms and hooking them up to databases, putting Google Maps in via Javascript and coding in the marker locations, etc. We wanted build a platform that meant we could to build once, so that we could deploy many. That way, we could become more efficient and start to put our time into the parts of a project that really added value to our customers. And add value to ourselves, as designers / programmers.

My point is that when it comes to building websites, is not just about being able to write code fast!
There are parts of the project that are never factored in when speed is considered. You need to look at the project as a whole and then weigh up if coding is faster…

From Design, to Code to Content to ongoing Maintenance.

“So…”, I hear you ask, “why didn’t you use a WYSIWYG editor when you were building sites for clients?”

This one is simple to answer and I’m sure resonates with every web designer out there…


The stigma of WYSIWYG editors is that they produce really bad code, which, in turn, would have cost us more time (than programming from scratch) to sort out the mess to get something half decent.

We looked at the many Page Builders that are currently out on the market and were shocked at the sub-standard quality results that most produce. On all levels; design, code, management and flexibility. Most are leaky and lacking. They don’t allow you to import your own custom designs have restricted layouts and do not even have the basic functionality to create even some of the simplest websites, i.e. creating custom forms and using data in meaningful ways. We simply couldn’t use them because we there was no way to obtain the quality our clients have come expect.

We wanted more for BaseKit; we wanted more efficiency but not at the expense of quality. This is our core aim for the team at BaseKit; We want to our enable our users to create websites that are professional, dynamic and produce compliant quality code.

We understand more than anyone that pumping out crap doesn’t help anyone!

The team are spending time perfecting the quality of BaseKit websites; we are cutting down the code up that is output, minifying our site size down and are aiming to get even the most complex BaseKit sites easily though W3C strict mode. It’s going to be bloody hard to create a coding horror with BaseKit once we’ve finished!

In Conclusion, I believe that WYSIWYG editors allow you to build websites faster than coding, BUT all the ones I’ve seen have massive quality issues that make the creating process anti-efficient. Coding in scratch therefore is perceived is faster but most forget about the other aspects of creating a site (basically, the client’s changing ‘needs’). BaseKit is a perfect platform to help us with visual perfection, reduce repetition and tackle change in scope.

WYSIWYG will ALWAYS be faster way to create websites when quality results are produced. A concept that is core to the BaseKit platform.

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