Tag Archives: WYSIWYG

Dissuading Clients from WYSIWYG Interfaces

Microsoft and Apple have a lot to answer for. Yes, Xerox PARC created Bravo, seen as the first WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface, but Microsoft and Apple made WYSIWYG the expected interface putting content into a computer. What we called “word processors” were actually desktop publishers, giving users the ability to see on the screen something very similar to what would come out on the printer.

That user expectation crept into the world of web designers with HotDog, WYSIWYG content management systems (CMS) and phrases like “above the fold”.

At the time none of us were thinking about screens as their own medium. WYSIWYG refers to paper. “Above the fold” refers to paper. Websites have nothing to do with paper and WYSIWYG should have no place in creating websites.
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Why we chose WordPress for floate.com.au

Some would call it a bold step while others would just outright question its validity but we chose WordPress as a platform on which to build our new website because it’s the best tool for the job.

When Josh and I ran Soupgiant, we built it on the strength of using WordPress for organisations that needed an easy to use, yet robust Content Management System. WordPress has been a lot more than just a blogging platform for a long time.

Using WordPress means that, as developers we don’t have to compromise our coding ethics (building accessible sites with semantic code) to implement any particular design and that designers don’t have to compromise their aesthetics to deal with any system restrictions.

When developing a site using a content management system (CMS), the long term goal is ease of content entry. Often this ease is achieved using a WSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get).

WYSIWYG editors have a mixed reputation, the cost of the word-processor type interface is – frequently – some of the worst HTML code on the internet. The WordPress core developers have put a lot of work into improving the visual editor to produce clean HTML.

We developed an in-house framework for developing with WordPress. A project begins at our standard starting point and is customised from there, rather than beginning from scratch each time.

From day one, we could focus on creating the custom content types required for the selected works section of this site and coding a mobile first responsive website.

If we choose to add more features to the Floate site, WordPress is extendable with plugins and we’ve found that it can be used for most website requirements.

WordPress is easy for us to develop with because of all the work we’ve done with it in the past. More importantly, it’s easy for people uploading content to use effectively.

None of this is to say WordPress is the best solution for every website. It’s very flexible, and becoming more so every day, but if another CMS is more appropriate, we will use it. If, in the future, we find a better CMS for our own website, at least we know WordPress makes it easy to get all of our content out and in a format that other systems can use.

We used WordPress for our new website because we believe it really is the best tool for the job. It gives us ease of use and a large amount of control: those things are important to us.