There was a time when every page on the internet was poked out, one HTML tag at a time, by a lonely person with a serious sleep deficit, lit only by the blue green glow of their fishbowl monitor.
Then we realized that this was a staggeringly rote task that ought to be left to a computer. So we built these systems that put forms in front of you, took your text, stored it in a database and then put it on display for your visitors, all dressed up in the finest HTML. And that was fun.
But reinventing these systems every time you had a new website to make started to look like one of those rote tasks first discovered in paragraph two above. So they turned into re-usable applications that just had to be tweaked to meet the needs of a particular site.
So that’s what site building is. You take an existing application and make it do what you need done for the site you’re working on. Only because people’s goals for their sites have gotten so complex and varied over the years, these tools have also grown in their complexity.
So it takes quite a bit of skill and technical knowledge to do this right. And it helps if you have a solid understanding of what a useable, findable website looks like.
I have all that.
My preferred site building tools are Drupal and WordPress, though I’ve done many others, including NationBuilder and Joomla.