Why Web Designers Should Code by Hand

Now I admit I’ve always hand-coded web sites. While I have tried to use Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editors, I may not be best positioned to judge the relative merits of each method completely fairly.

However, I’m convinced that hand-coding is an essential skill for all web designers and producers. Here’s why…

  • Greater knowledge
  • Greater control
  • Greater speed

Greater knowledge

I’m not saying that you have to hand-code every little thing, every time. But having the hand-coding ability gives you the choice.

The biggest benefit of doing your code yourself, rather than letting software do it for you, is that you know exactly what’s going on with your code. In order to hand-code, you have to know your HTML, CSS, JavaScript etc. It’s you that makes it work, and it’s you that fixes the bugs. That means that, if anything goes wrong, you have enough knowledge at least to address the problem.

Some WYSIWYG editors put in their own code that can be proprietary (particularly notorious is MS FrontPage). You may not understand where this code is coming from, how it works, and how to fix it if it goes wrong.

Greater control

When I produce a web page template, I decide exactly what <div>s will be absolutely-positioned, which will be floating, which will be stretching. I instruct the page to set certain boxes at exactly so-many pixels in size. I have total control over every little element.

When you use a WYSIWYG editor, you simply don’t get the same level of control, unless you type all these settings into dialog boxes. And, if you’re going to do that, you may as well do it quicker by hand.

Hand-coding also lets you create smaller files than a software package. Visual editors used to be infamous for “code bloat” (adding many more tags and lines of code than are necessary to achieve an effect). While this has much improved over the past few years, no visual editor can create pages as small and light as a skilled hand-coder.

Client-side scripting

Regarding JavaScript and other types of script, some visual editors can enter useful and fairly flexible scripts. This can deliver some useful functionality with little effort or experience. However, the more experienced designer would not be happy using stock scripts. As learning moves on, people develop and share better scripts to do certain jobs. No-one should code everything from scratch every time, every coder has existing code or libraries of handy scripts they can include quickly. If you use a visual editor, you will need to supplement its stored scripts with variations or improvements of your own.

(Of course, visual programming is an exception to this rule. If you’re learning Delphi or various other languages, the idea is to type as little as possible, but the basic principles still stand.)

Greater speed

I’m convinced it’s faster to create finished, tidy web page templates by hand-coding than it is to use a WYSIWYG editor – if you also take time to learn the skill of touch-typing.

I’ve never seen a head-to-head shootout of a crack hand-coder versus a skilled Dreamweaver user, but I sure would be interested!

I can type fast, and I can navigate round web documents very quickly, thanks to handy shortcuts like Ctrl+F (Find) and Ctrl+M (“Find matching tag”, which will find the matching </div> for a starting <div>, for example) in my editor, ColdFusion Studio. I can include new blocks of HTML or JavaScript very quickly using stored snippets, inserted using keyboard shortcuts. I don’t believe there’s a WYSIWYG editor that can give me a matching level of speed, control and accuracy.


All the above depends on the quality of the tool, and the skill of the hands wielding it. There’s no doubt that there are times when visual editors can be used to great effect. My point is that, on the path to becoming a top web page designer, and even if you start with a primarily visual editor, you will need to use the keyboard more and more. So why not specialise from day one, practice your touch-typing and fully master your design!

Additional information

Recommended WYSIWYG editors

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver (the industry leader; can also be used to edit code by hand, plus comes with HomeSite+, an excellent hand-coding environment)
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2003 (now much more well-behaved and flexible than previous versions)
  • NVu (free, quick and dirty; fine for beginners)

Recommended text editors

  • W3C Amaya (free, open-source xHTML-compliant editor, haven’t tried it myself)
  • TextPad (popular)
About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben has over 20 years' experience in web design and marketing, and is one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written a bunch of books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally.In 2015, Ben created Open-Source Marketing, which promises to turn the practice of marketing upside down.. Find out more at http://opensourcemarketingproject.org

David - 4 years ago

Good article, I gave it a thumbs up from stumbleupon.

However, I disagree with some aspects. While I think every designer should start off with coding by hand for years until it becomes habit, there are so many benefits of using Dreamweaver or other software. I coded by hand for years until I tried out Dreamweaver, and I can make websites so much quicker now, and debugging websites is quite easier. Granted, I’ll still alter things by hand and add javascript myself, but I do think editors have a good place in a web designers arsenal.

Bob - 4 years ago

When starting out in web development, I agree, it is important to develop from scratch to make the mistakes that will ultimately lead to understand the technologies you use. However, true professional will code as little as possible by hand and use any and all frameworks that will keep hand coding to a minimum.

A ggod formula:

Rails + GWT + MySql/MongoDB/CouchDB/Amazon RDS

Ben Hunt - 4 years ago

David, I would agree with you today, although we use WordPress rather than Dreamweaver.

However, there’s no substitute for knowing your HTML and CSS etc. It’s like knowing music theory, or mastering the basics of anything like a golf swing.. If the fundamentals are there, your talent can go further.

Gregg - 4 years ago

Great article, David. I have been preaching this for years. Most WYSIWYG users who never hand coded before are baffled that you can actually developed without the need of a, let’s day, Dreamweaver or MS Front Page.

Bob, I understand your statement and I agree with to a certain degree. And yes, I agree, frameworks do make life easier for us “true professionals”. But the point David was stressing has nothing to do with frameworks.

And I will argue that David’s point could be applied to frameworks as well. One should really learn the programming language first in order to fully understand a particular framework.

Ben, sorry, I can’t forget about you now, right!? WordPress is not the same the as Dreamweaver. I’m not defending either, in my opinion, I think both should be banned! LOL! But, I do understand your comment as well.

David, thank you for the article.

Gregg - 4 years ago

Opps… Sorry Ben… I thought it was David that wrote the article… see, the mention of Dreamweaver can mess anyone up!

    Barry - a couple of years ago

    “the mention of Dreamweaver can mess anyone up!”.
    I certainly have to agree with this comment. WYSIWYG editors are not always able to be avoided. Ever have to modify a page created in one, and have to tidy up all the messy repetitive stuff just because you can’t stand to leave it that way?

Seb Smith - 4 years ago

Nice article. Can I recommend (in addition to your suggestions) Bluefish, which is free and open source. It’s a fairly good hand coding tool, with good code highlighting which is handy when coding and bug-hunting!

Sault Web Design - 4 years ago

You make a great point, I do not claim I never use editors or understand every aspect of every language out there but I code most of my stuff by hand. There are too many so called web designers out there now who dont know any code and are simply using editors. Than you get a client who wants something changed they dont know how to do, so they come to you and now you have to understand what these others did.

Hugh - 4 years ago

Macromedia Dreamweaver? When is this article from? Content management systems get more clients closer to what they really want than standard web sites do. They can easily take over the management with just some basic training. The priesthood of hand building, save for the most advanced sites is simply crumbling. It’s a little hard to believe, but rapid advances in technology are making hand coding pretty much unnecessary for run of the mill web sites. We can sing about purity or we can move on. I’m moving on.

Brad - 4 years ago

I could not agree more with the author. Content Management Systems, Frameworks etc, can never take the place of true knowledge. You will find that taking the easy route will eventually come back to haunt you and you will lose clients without knowledge. WordPress etc has made people consider themselves developers when in fact all they really do is learn a methodology and a software package. I been in the industry for 15 years and these are the people who come and go. Clients expect results when a problem occurs. What they don’t want to hear is its a “software” bug and I have a call out to see what can be done. DON’T BE LAZY!!!

Gregg - 4 years ago

Well said, Brad! BRAVO, BRAVO! =)

Kathy Lammermann - 4 years ago

I have never written any code or made a website, that is what I am researching and would like to be able to do. I don’t like the idea of some program doing it for me because then I really have no idea what is going on. These articles by Ben Hunt have been interesting and helpful to me. Thank you.

    James York - 3 years ago

    Well, do your research. I have never coded a website and I have been paid by hundreds of clients over 15 years to create hundreds of websites and I have not ever written ONE line of code… because I can’t.

    I CAN edit Html code and that can be important because programs like Dreamweaver or Expression Web can make mistakes that they do not recover from. So some editing is needed. That I can do.

    I would suggest this:

    1) learn Photoshop (any of the more recent versions are fine as you rarely ever have need for the full set of bells and whistles in recent versions anyway.

    2) learn either Dreamweaver or Expression Web – I use Expression Web because I always have. No coding needed.

    3) learn SwishMax (www.swishzone.com) which is a Flash authoring program. I won’t go into why Flash is valuable, is STILL valuable and will remain so vs. your attempting to do in CSS what Flash does better and far easier.

    4) learn WordPress and then make your websites a combination of both Html and WordPress working together. Work in “design mode” and not code-mode as it is far more interesting to look at and work with. You will have lost no functionality at all.

      Ben Hunt - 3 years ago

      Actually James, I half agree with you. My thinking has changed over the past few years.

      I no longer believe that all web designers should code by hand. It’s slow, it’s expensive, and it’s unnecessary.

      Platforms like WordPress and Shopify mean you really can start from a very high-quality platform, and it makes sense to proceed with minimal customisation.

      However, I still think it’s important to be able to code HTML and CSS, even when you’re taking advantage of other developers’ packaged products.

      It’s like being a chef.. A top chef doesn’t make all his own sauces, peel all his own vegetables etc., day in, day out. He has sous chefs to do that for him. If the head chef had to make everything from scratch every time, the restaurant would only be able to serve a few people each session. It’s just not efficient or necessary.

      But he still knows how to do it. And if something goes wrong, he knows it’s gone wrong, and he knows how to fix it.

Paul - 4 years ago

Quite arrogant to think that hand coding a website is the Holy Grail. Having said that anyone serious about their craft should also try improve everyday. In the real world clients could care less about how you make their website, as long as it does what they want it to do. Anyone who wants a hand coded site and all the support that must necessarily go with it, have a developer on staff. Try tell a small business owner that his website will cost more because you’d prefer to hand code, and you will be quickly shown the door.

    Ben Hunt - 4 years ago

    Actually I agree. These days, I would advise the vast majority of site owners to use the “prior art” of pro designers and developers – and use WordPress themes.

Avinash Arora - 4 years ago


However, there’s a key difference that most (new) coders won’t see: Don’t re-invent the wheel

If you want a blog, don’t script it from the ground up, there’s lots out there that have been developed for years that will be better than anything you can do alone.

Visually though, I recommend doing it yourself at least once or twice before you start diving into the mod-frenzy of taking themes and editing. You’ll never understand someone else’s work like you will your own.

Valeria - 3 years ago

I’ve stopped doing websites some years ago except for my daughter and friends. I am very happy to have found someone who thinks like me and says it much better, especially this : “When you use a WYSIWYG editor, you simply don

    James York - 3 years ago

    That is simply not true. You lose no control at all in design mode (non-coder-mode) at all. I think you guys believe this because you have not tried it.

Prashant - 3 years ago

Nice Article. First of all anything that is hand-coded is excellent in terms of speed, quality, etc. But every designer should have a framework to start every project. This does not mean every one should download boilerplate and start coding directly inside the files. Instead, one should have their own version of boilerplate according to the projects he/she gets and use that as framework. Tools like Aptana Studio and Dreamweaver boost up the speed.

    Ben Hunt - 3 years ago

    These days, I would say designers should know how to code (by hand), but I completely agree that frameworks are the way to go.

T. Brooks Consulting, LLC - 3 years ago

I design all my sites by hand using HTML, CSS, Javascript and jQuery. I agree with everything that has been said as far as the quality of the finished product. No two sites look alike, whereas I can tell a WordPress site in a second. I understand that WP is quicker to use, but I just don’t have that detailed level of control. Yes I could create my own WP template, but how much would I have to tinker with it to get sites that look different for each client? And there’s the issue of clients paying for what they’re getting… I couldn’t call myself a web “designer” if I have some automated process doing all the work! However, WP is so popular that I may decide to offer it as an option in the future in addition to my hand-coded sites.

    Ben Hunt - 3 years ago

    I disagree that you have to do all the work to call yourself a designer.

    If you hire an interior designer to create a beautiful room, they don’t hand-carve every item by hand. They select and combine pre-designed components to fit the requirements.

    James York - 3 years ago

    Well, you do BOTH. I create Html websites with sub-folder with WordPress installed on that sub-folder only. That way, I can design the entire website uniquely, perhaps each page different from all the others in the Html portion of the site.

    Then, when it comes to certain functionality that is often provided FREE in a plugin in WordPress, I do that on a page in the WordPress folder. I get total, unique control over the design of every page which can be totally different from all the other pages AND access to the the 20,000+ mostly free plugins with WordPress.

    And I create WordPress themes that match the design (mostly) of the Html site so it is pretty much seamless as you move from Html to WordPress and back and forth as needed.

    Best of both worlds. No need to choose one over the other and you get access to HUGE collection of wonderful plugins that cost nothing or nearly nothing.

James York - 3 years ago

Wow. I sure do disagree with this. I am a designer, not a coder. I cannot imagine why anyone would prefer to look at text in a text editor rather than a design-oriented page. I would say the same to someone who said that coding in PostScript is better than designing in QuarkExpress or InDesign for print. Who writes PostScript code??? (Or, write code for an image rather than use Photoshop’s design features, or, write code for Illustrator rather than using Illustrator’s design interface.)

One big reason is this: websites are never done. They get changed all the time. Going back to the design itself is easy to deal with a website you did 6 months ago. Looking at code and figuring out what you did is… why do this?

You do NOT get better control. I have no difficulty with control at all and I cannot code as I am not a coder. I can place anything at all within 1 Pixel of where I want it and what I do works consistently in all major browsers and is fully compliant with Html-5 and CSS-3.

And, I do not subscribe to the notion that CSS has to control everything. Why? It gets really complicated and especially awkward after 6 months have passed and changes are needed, and, where, perhaps, all the pages are different.

I do full drag and drop design for Html pages and position anything on a page where I want it. I can move any item anywhere on the page without disturbing the page’s other items at all, or, I can link them together and move them together… precisely together in drag and drop mode (in centered, left or right anchored positioning -or- a combination of all three on the same page.

You can see how this is done at: (FREE) http://skyboroteaching.com/free_tutorials.htm – be careful not to assume you know this. Watch all the tutorials and then decide.

    Ben Hunt - 3 years ago

    James, I really believe you can get no greater control than is offered by CSS.

    Your argument doesn’t really hold up.. “Don’t say that WYSIWYG doesn’t work till you’ve tried it. By the way, I can’t code myself.”

    One major drawback of visual editors is that they can’t tell what areas are meant to be expandable. So isn’t there a risk of creating a design that’s too constrictive, with the resulting problem of stuffing your content in to fit the design (which is the wrong way round)?

      T. Brooks Web Design - a couple of years ago

      I agree with Mr. Hunt. Visual editors are often a “one size fits all” solution whereas with css you can pretty much do anything you want. If the template you’re working with doesn’t want you to drop Box A next to Box B, you won’t be able to do it unless you’re able to tweak the css code. I’ve tried drag and drop and WYSIWYG templates, and, because I’m used to the detailed control I get from hand coding, I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration.

      Although I do like the idea, Mr. York, of creating your own WordPress templates because, like you said, you have the best of both worlds. You’ve truly “designed” the template yourself, but you have the ease of use of using that template over and over again. As long as all of your clients’ websites don’t look exactly the same, I think this is a great idea that can save a a web designer a lot of time.

James York - 3 years ago

I wish to have my thoughts be helpful. I made some movies to show how these ideas work for webpage design found at: http://skyboroteaching.com/free_tutorials.htm – I created them to be helpful even though I now realize they are off the beaten trail altogether.


I have no idea what you mean by an “expandable area” at all. I really suggest you watch the movies I made on using Layers.

Also, I think I am the only person on the planet who uses drag-n-drop layers for webpage design and no use of nested DIVs within a container DIV at all (I have come across no one else at all). I gave up on container DIVs holding all content because they are inelegant, awkward, inflexible, and unresponsive to changes in page layout without just starting all over again. I believe that having a single container DIV is something that is truly not worth the time it gets especially when far better alternatives are available (fully compliant, work in all browsers, etc.)

The Layer/Divs are a method of creating webpages that is elegant, generates far less code, CSS code is far shorter, renders very fast in all browsers, is nearly identical in display in all major browsers, is easy to change things without breaking the container-div system (as there is none).

And it lets a designer create doing what they are used to doing: drag and drop things around on the page to suit (pixel by pixel if that matters) positioning.

I understand that some people like to write Html & CSS code and that certainly is one way to do it. I have found that there is more than one way to “skin the cat” in creating webpages. I love my drag-n-drop method. As making a living doing this work is increasingly difficult, I tend toward easy, fast, and client-responsive and ease of changes after it “was” all done.

Paul Nulty - a couple of years ago

This is a really interesting post as I am using wordpress and I do feel that I should learn at least some basic coding skills. Thank you

Rae - a couple of years ago

I totally agree! I’m in my first year of college for emphasis on web development and I think the best way to fully understand the dynamics of scripting is by hand. Not only do you have to remember code, but you get to make those common mistakes that make you a more efficient and careful scripter.

Steven - a couple of years ago

Agreed! I’ve been a major notepad proponent ever since my first web designing class.

Rey - a couple of years ago

I didn’t go to college and learned software engineering, database design, web design, css, javascript, php, ajax, made a full running system by hand just to end up using word press or the like. Just no!

    Ben Hunt - a couple of years ago

    Sounds like you’re taking the Luddite angle here Rey..

    “I put in the hard work to learn these skills, and I’m not going to let some machine come along and do it more efficiently! It’ll put us all out of a job!”

    Well, no, it won’t. There are applications now that take a lot of the repetitive donkey work out of website production, and if we’re smart we should use them.

    That just leaves us more time and energy to focus on what really matters… The creative problem-solving process of making our content great!

      Cheryl Vargas - a couple of years ago

      I’m a web design student and my professor made your article required reading for her class that starts on January 16th, 2014, this is January 13th….she’s like that. Anyway, she wanted us to understand the pros and cons of learning HTML, CSS and JAVA from the discussion you’re having on this post.

      So far, I’ve learned that from the folks that have been hand coding for years, its hard for them to let that go and to embrace technology. It’s almost like there’s a little resentment that software came along and made it easier for folks (without coding backgrounds) to build websites.

      What I take away from the brewing controversy, is to learn code so you can recognize bad code and have better control over the wysywig tools you may use; have the ability to fine tune templates and wordpress themes and to be able to fix elements when things go wrong.

      Sure people have gotten away with not knowing any code for years, but it sure seems from this thread that I’m glad I’m taking HTML and CSS and that learning to code will make me a better designer. And I will take the advice of “not reinventing the wheel” in those instances where using my time efficiently warrants it. And as Ben Hunt says, use my time for making my content great and also creating exceptional design.

      Very educational thread.

      Ben Hunt - a couple of years ago

      Thanks Cheryl.

      These days, all new cars are run by computers. To analyse most issues, you plug them into another computer, which talks to the car’s computer and spits out results.

      So, most of the time, you don’t really need to be an artisan mechanic any more. However, if you are, you can do more, and you understand more, even if you don’t use those artisan skills every day.

      You might say the same for a music producer, or a chef.. You don’t *need* a classical foundation, to know all the theory, but if you do it opens up the full world of possibilities.

      The same goes for HTML and CSS. It doesn’t mean you *have* to code everything by hand (I’m all in favour of pragmatism), but it certainly helps when things get interesting.

James York - a couple of years ago

Well, by golly, if you want to write code then do it. The argument that you have more control is bogus. But, if you have clients who will pay you to hand write Html/CSS code, then more power to you.

I design websites and I deploy them as well. I wish to earn more than $5/hour too. Why would I write code to do a slider/rotator when I can buy it for under $30.00 and have 50+ options for how I want it to work? I deploy that in super fast time, clients love it, and I charge for it. Now why write the code yourself when it is available for a few bucks in most cases with great user-interface.

I create WordPress themes myself with ZERO code writing and they are dynamite and clients love them. Why write code???

I have found that code writers generally are not good designers at all. And visa versa is true too. EXCEPT, after years (20+) experience creating websites, I have developed a fast, responsive (to clients’ needs and changes) creative, and powerful approach using layers. Fully Html5/CSS3 compliant!

Most work for creating websites takes place in Photoshop anyway – the design is what sells not coding. I have not EVER had a client who cared about coding. They care about design, text flow, copy writing, pictures of products looking good, etc. So, I give them what they wish.

    Ben Hunt - a couple of years ago

    Hi James.

    Actually, as time has gone on, my views on this have changed.

    Nowadays, I’m much more “don’t code unless you absolutely have to”.

    I think we’re heading for a time where there will be two types of designers: resource creators, and resource users.

    Think of it like putting a room together using IKEA furniture. One designer designed the pieces of furniture, which are then mass-produced. Another person comes along and selects the bits they need to make the room they want. That’s how web design will be.

James York - a couple of years ago

Oh, you mentioned FrontPage… gee whiz, that is OLD software. But, the special code you saw that was odd was code that renders at server side using FrontPage Extensions Software on the server. Way back then, that set of server-side services were great! They still are except that Microsoft has abandoned them.

But we are w-a-y past FrontPage nowadays. Expression Web (Microsoft’s website design/create program) is now in version 4 (and SP2 as well.) Also, now abandoned as we await what will no doubt be a coder’s delight of wedding Visual Studio and Web Authoring into one package… bet they make it coder heaven, complex, hugely steep learning curve and all that.

You want to write code? Well, Expression Web 4 is a very good code authoring program with lots of snippets, self-created snippets, inteli-code generator, and all that. My guess is that it is one of the best coder-writer systems available (just don’t turn on/or-use the WYSIWIG/Designer part (which is what I use.)

    Ben Hunt - a couple of years ago

    (This article is quite old now)

      Cheryl Vargas - a couple of years ago

      But still relevant, Ben. :-)

Walt Chamberlain - a couple of years ago

I’ve coded my sites from scratch for years. Currently I blog with WordPress and although I enjoy it’s speed and flexibility, I constantly fall back on my coding skills when the shell has problems doing what I want it to do.

John Thomas - a couple of years ago

The advantage to hand coding is that your code will be as small as possible, meaning it will load more quickly than the equivalent mess that WordPress or any other CMS creates… just look at the HTML source of most sites, it’s a terrible, bloated mess, full of a huge number of unnecessary styles – most elements have two or more styles styling them, all because of bad coding in the CMS.
My sites are all immaculately coded, clients with no HTML experience are able to edit the HTML themselves, because my code is so clean. Obviously they can’t do everything themselves, they can’t produce new images for backgrounds, etc. but they don’t need to.
HTML and CSS is pretty easy nowadays, now that we don’t have IE6 etc. to worry about, with their inability to render CSS properly.

    T. Brooks Web Design - a couple of years ago

    Yes John, there is something to be said about “clean code”. It’s SO much easier to work with, and in general the pages do load more quickly. More often than not I see “template” and WordPress sites with unnecessary, bloated code, and the same tags and elements in duplicate and triplicate. My clients find it easier to make text changes in the html on my sites than they do trying to figure out how to use WordPress or some template program.

John Thomas - a couple of years ago

ps James York, if you actually knew how to code, you wouldn’t have had to come up with that ludicrous method of page layout…
“I gave up on container DIVs holding all content because they are inelegant, awkward, inflexible, and unresponsive to changes in page layout without just starting all over again.”
Why would you want to change the page layout of a site? Surely you design it properly in the first place, and then never change the layout afterwards, unless you are doing a complete redesign? Your visitors won’t thank you for it, if you change the location of everything.
Why are DIVs “inelegant, awkward, inflexible”? If you knew how to code, you wouldn’t have any of those problems.
For what it’s worth, I never start a new site using a blank HTML and CSS file, I simply copy a previous site I’ve done, remove all the images of course, then create a mockup in my graphics program, then change the size of all the various DIVs to fit the background images I’ve created, and then customise the CSS, etc. and remove any unused CSS styles.
Just look at the source HTML of most websites and you’ll see a ridiculous mess, which takes longer to load, and thus means your Google ranking may be lower than a hand coded site.
Far too many people are just trying to excuse their own ignorance by making out that a CMS is wonderful.

John Thomas - a couple of years ago

ps James York actually said “I have not ever written ONE line of code

John Thomas - a couple of years ago

Here’s an example of the mess of code on James York’s site – THIS is why you should hand code, so your code doesn’t end up like this:


INLINE styles!! Tables for layout!! Need I say more?

    Cheryl Vargas - a couple of years ago

    Yeah, I visited his site after seeing his link a few times in this thread. I don’t know ANYTHING at this point about coding, but I was taken aback by the RED and the color of the text on the page, which my professor says is a no-no.

John Thomas - a couple of years ago

This comment page obviously doesn’t accept HTML code then… sorry about the blank space above.
Just go to http://www.skyborough.com/default.htm and view the source…

James York - a couple of years ago

Well, I say again: I do not code at all. I have been creating 100’s of websites for over 15 years. My websites work consistently in all browsers of all ages.

I am very aware that “TABLES” are frowned upon and I do not care. They work. But I do not use them for basic page layout, I use them for other reasons. There ARE other reasons and they are good reasons. Also, there is no comment on W3C about NOT using tables at all. Tables have a use and they are quite helpful.

The basic page layout is done in Layer/DIVs which are wonderful as they allow drag-n-drop design, over-layed layers on layers on layers, which is instantaneous and requires zero fussing with CSS to get the nested DIVs to behave after a change… and as you know, ONE pixel can break a nested div structure. My Layer/DIV use enables freedom from coding altogether and works extremely well. And, I can center, left or right align all page content or have a mixture of all three on the same page easily. I use child/parent Layer/DIVs too and they make design changes a piece of cake.

I have never done a website that did not go through constant changes and I can deliver all the changes a client wants easily and quickly and without having to spend several hours re-fixing broken nested-DIV-structures. I just hate that whole nested DIV thing and wonder how it ever got into practice. But, one thing is for sure: it is ONE way to create a webpage, it is NOT the only way!

I run my more recent websites through the W3C Validator and regularly achieve ZERO Html-5/CSS-3 faults. My legacy sites do have errors but they work and I am not being paid to change them.

And, I can change a webpage in seconds, while my client is on the line, make changes (drastic changes!!!), re-post to host, and client refreshes right then and there and it is done if they like it. I can add another column or two more columns or move one column to the left from where it was on the right in seconds (drag-n-drop)… and I do not write any code to do it. It is fast, reliable, easy to do, works consistently in all browsers (and I mean it is consistent!!!)

In-line CSS happens and I forget to remove it. But, it is a big “so what?” as it works just fine. Frankly, I would think it would be interesting to you all as it enables you to satisfy clients’ needs for changes easily and quickly without having to charge more. You do not get stuck into a single-use-end-result nested-DIV thing’y ever!!! As there is NO single container DIV on my pages at all and no nested-DIVs at all either.

As I said: single-container-div-nested-div structure is ONE way to create webpages. It is not the only way (as validated by W3 validator)… so??? My way requires zero programming and it may have some faults according to you guys… of course, you never have a few faults, do you???

I create CSS menus with drop-down boxes, rotators, Google web fonts (or Adobe’s), sliders, video, flash elements, interactive popups and a whole slew of stuff and NOT ONE LINE OF PROGRAM CODE TO DO IT.

And, I mix WordPress and Html together on one site to gain benefits of both platforms along with creating my own WordPress themes… and not one line of program coding to do it…

And as for “responsive” CSS. I use a mobile hosting provider, I get Html code for one-or-all desktop webpages and it directs incoming viewers to the mobile hosting. They do a wonderful job of translating my desktop sites into 25+ different mobile devises (they are all different in some way) and for $6.49/month I have mobilized whatever client wants their desktop site to be mobilized… it takes about 1/2 hour to do this. AND NO CODING IS NEEDED!!! (Well, I do have cut and paste some Html code into the pages… geesch!) So, by all means, do it the hard way. It is Ok with me.

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