WYSIWYG – “What you see is what you get” covers website creation sites such as Wix, SquareSpace and similar website creation platforms that require no knowledge of how websites are created, coded or designed.

Generally used by Beginners and people’s first ventures into having a Website, or not understanding the value of a proper Web Designer.


  • Relatively easy to use. Pick a theme and upload your images and write your text for each page.
  • Attractive themes designed by professionals give the outward appearance of a professional site.


  • Generally for people that have little to no understanding of website principals, theory or lack investment capital to hire a Web Designer or Developer.
  • In most cases there is no means to export or save Data (no portability).
    Themes are used to style a site but there is usually limited ability to make any changes to the Theme.
  • Themes are created to allow the greatest amount of different sites to use a theme (generic). This is great from a marketing standpoint of the company leasing the theme but limits the end users as they have to “fit” the theme rather than create a site to complement the purpose and content of the customer.
  • Etc…


Easy to create sites but definitely not for any serious business that intends to stay competitive or stand apart from the crowd/competition.

The reasons against such sites is overwhelming, but the desire to get a cheap site or because of a person’s lack of knowledge, or aggressive marketing, these type sites are chosen.  Luckily, many of these sites have Export features for when a company is ready to move to a more flexible and robust website.

Here’s a list of what you can actually export from the leading WYSIWYG websites:

Wix: Nothing! WIX screen shot

Squarespace: Some but not all… Squarespace Screenshot

WordPress: Considerable amounts can be downloaded with plugins. Media Folder download provides all uploaded images. Depending on your Hosting Provider you should be able to get your raw data which can be used to recreate much of your website.

Other downsides of these type of websites:

  1. If you’re not doing the work yourself and are being sold a Website Design from a “supposed” Website Designer, you could find yourself without any real knowledge regarding what a website should or could do for your company. Anyone, especially those without any real skills in Design or Coding, can show a nicely styled site by using another Designers Theme and presenting it as their own. SGD Advantage - SGDesign is a Design Company. We have Designed hundreds of websites as well as Applications
  2. Support. Is there a real person you can contact to talk to about your site? Is there a Team of Support people standing by to make sure your site is always online?
    SGD Advantage
  3. The primary disadvantage is these types of sites are set up to get a beginner online and with an attractive site with the least amount of effort. The problem comes from a lack of knowledge that a real Designer brings to the table.  Additionally, too many Sales Persons can hide their lack of knowledge behind a Theme designed by a Professional. IF the person selling you your website did not also design that site, it’s rather disingenuous to take credit for the Design.
  4. Lastly, before heading down the path of a WYSIWYG website, talk to a seasoned Designer to make sure your needs will be fulfilled with these type sites.

For more information on our last redesign where we chose to use WordPress, click here.

Links to other website types: Custom WebsiteWordPress, Custom WordPress,  Summary of Websites