A HyperText Markup Language (HTML) builder is a piece of software that automatically creates HTML code for a designer who is creating a document or web page in HTML. This can involve a program that translates HTML from a visual state to line-by-line code, often called a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) program, or a program that specifically focuses on generating the HTML code for a single element such as a form builder. The resulting HTML code for many layouts is very complex, so most professional web page designers use an HTML builder for at least the initial design. This type of software also allows the effortless modification and creation of pages from simple templates that can allow a site to maintain a consistent appearance across multiple pages while also providing dynamic content.
For some HTML builder software, the main functionality is the real-time drawing of HTML elements as they are added to a document. This means a list or table can be created and edited visually instead of through code that bears no aesthetic relation to the final web page. This can remove unknown elements such as issues with positioning, text and background colors, and spacing through the use of images and HTML tags.
Another advantage of using an HTML builder is that complex formatting code, such as that used to wrap text around an image or the changing of font sizes in single blocks of text, can be immediately edited before being published to the web. Within websites that have their content updated manually, the builder software allows a single template to be loaded, edited and then published without any need to recode or reconstruct the basic formatting elements it contains. One potential problem with this type of workflow is that a single, common error within the basic HTML code for a page can be carried across multiple pages and might require multiple edits to repair.
Some advanced HTML builder software provides different levels of compliance with different versions of the HTML language standard. This can allow a designer to know which browsers or devices will be able to load a particular design. Based on this information, alternate versions of web pages can be created so all targeted platforms will be able to load a given site.
Using an HTML builder can simplify the creation of segments of websites that are often dense in the amount of boilerplate code required. User input forms, premade graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and specialized multimedia content all fall into this category. Instead of having to either type out all the required code each time with only a few changes or having to cut and paste potentially erroneous code several times, an HTML builder can generate the code dynamically as needed.