If you ever created a web page from scratch, you may have used expensive, complicated software such as Dreamweaver or Expression Web. Or you may have crafted it by hand using a text editor. Either way, creating a modern web page is no longer as easy as it once was, because HTML has grown into a complex system that can be difficult to master.
Plus, all of your text formatting needs to be collected together as a style sheet and saved in a separate CSS file. And if you thought that plain HTML was complicated, you'll have a near-death experience when you take a look inside a CSS file for the first time.
There are, of course, lots of ready-made templates available, which means that you don't have to build web pages from scratch any more. But if you do want to, or need to, then check out a rather impressive system which is currently in free beta test mode. It's called Sketchbuilder, and you can think of it as a highly visual alternative to many other web page designers. You create blocks of text and headings, add images if required, move things around the screen until your page looks like you want it, and so on.
What makes Sketchbuilder different, and so interesting, that it's all online and runs in your browser. And once you've finished designing your page, you can view and download both your HTML and CSS files in just a couple of clicks, ready to use in whatever site you're working on.
The author makes no apology for the fact that the system isn't quite finished yet, and has a couple of bugs. But it's still a really interesting idea for anyone who likes playing with web systems, and especially if you want a head start in getting the basic layout of your page prepared.
Head to http://sketchbuilder.com and sign up for a free account to get started. And you'll probably also want to click on the union flag icon at the top of the screen too, unless you happen to read Russian.
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