Yesterday my dad informed me that a guy had created a community website all by himself. Being who I am, I replied with: “So what?” My dad then gave me a brief about his education background: the guy is a commerce student. Even then I stayed put and smugly asked him, “So what is the big deal?”
I am not undermining his efforts, but building a website has become easy now. All thanks to Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, etc. For the uninitiated, building a website used to be a tedious process because one had to write codes for everything, from buttons to text to images. All the alignment on the web page had to be done manually through coding by mentioning all the percentages and pixels. Only an experienced web developer could create a website that could be uploaded on the internet. (Remember all those God-awful web pages you developed in the Web Programming lab sessions?)
But then, WordPress was created. WordPress is an excellent tool. It’s free, meaning apart from buying a domain name and paying the web hosting charges, you don’t have to shell out anything (that is if you don’t use the premium themes). WordPress is easy to use. I mean anyone can use it to make a website or blog. You don’t have to write any code at all. It contains drag and drop features (*jaw drops*). Need a button? Just drag it on the web page. Need a form? Select from the different templates available. It is as simple as that. It is a blessing for people like me who can’t develop a web page without banging their heads against the wall. It gives us the power to focus on things that are much more important to make a website more happening such as content that will increase traffic or offers that will help drive sales, etc. WordPress helps save time, money and resources, all of which can be used for something better. So this leads to the most important question of all: Why are we still learning HTML5 and CSS3?
This is because WordPress is not an answer for web developers. Here’s why: Typically whenever someone needs a website built, this is what happens:
1. The client first contacts a graphic designer to get all the logos and other graphical content designed.
2. The client contacts the developer and gives him the specifics of the layout of the website and shares his idea of how the website should look.
3. The developer then takes all the graphic files from the designer and starts developing the website.
Now here’s the problem: If the client asks you to make a website, and the layout is not one of the themes available on WordPress, you’re done. This is exactly where HTML and CSS skills come in handy. All the templates that are available on the WordPress may be good enough for someone who is developing his/her own website, but they may not be useful in real life business situations. Also, how do you think all those themes were developed anyways? To unleash the power of Content Management Systems, one needs to know the inner workings of HTML and CSS so that he/she can design the desired themes better.
So the bottom line remains: It is pertinent for a web developer to have a thorough knowledge of HTML and CSS.