i'm looking for a visual website builder that either runs on a local machine or is self-hostable, that I can provide to several people who have expressed a desire to have a website, so that I don't just install wordpress for them.

Something that produces plain HTML would be ideal.

I'm looking for, essentially, a static site generator with a UI instead of a markdown and templating based experience.

Publii really looks like a great option. I'm going to try to build a site with it, and then give it to some friends to try the same.

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@ajroach42 Where are you thinking of this being hosted? Suppose someone has a tool to build a single, static HTML page for themselves, it has to be hosted somewhere.

Are you imagining a service that provides hosting, and a tool to build the page with visual editing tools?

@ColinTheMathmo The webpages themselves will be hosted separately from the tool that is used to build them.

They might be on neocities or github pages or nearlyfreespeach or whatever other cheap or free webhost I point folks to.

If the tool for building the pages needs to be run in a browser, I'll host it on one of my servers. I would prefer a desktop application to a server based application, but I'll take whatever works for my friends.

I'm not sure why you're asking about hosting, though?

@ajroach42 I'm trying to find the scope of the question, because if I pass this to colleagues, they will ask similar things, and it would be nice to have the answers without coming back to you.

So it's literally just a tool, somewhere (local or otherwise) that lets non-web-savvy people build an HTML file for hosting somewhere as yet unspecified.

Yes?

@ColinTheMathmo Yep, that's what I'm after.

Dreamweaver for the modern era.

@ajroach42 Continuing to drill down ... if someone only wanted a single page then they could simply use Word and save as HTML, right? So for a single page, apart from the bloat, etc., something like Word is what you're looking for.

There are many problems with that, but it's on the right track in terms of ease-of-use and style of interface?

@ajroach42 So I found these:

weebly.com/uk and wix.com/

In what ways do they not meet your criteria? I know they don't, but they are services that let you design websites, and are clearly aimed at non-tech people.

@ajroach42 There is also this:

websitebuilderexpert.com/build

That seems targeted at answering your question.

None of these are what I would build for a non-tech person, but they are different offerings in a related space, so I'm wondering where the mismatch lies.

I'll stop now, and I'll let you know if I get any suggestions that differ significantly from this. I'm interested in your further thoughts.

@ColinTheMathmo both are hosted and run by external companies. I want something that runs locally or is self hosted.

I don't know weebly very well, but I assume that it, like wix, does not allow you to export your creation to upload elsewhere.

@ajroach42 My immediate thought is that companies need to make money, so allowing you to design a site, export it, go away, and never come back is not going to be something they encourage.

That might be why you're finding it hard to find something.

@ColinTheMathmo hence my search for an application I can run locally, or something self hosted and therefore likely open source.

@ajroach42 What about running something like tiddly wiki and exporting that ... is that possible? Would that achieve your aim? Feels close ...

@ColinTheMathmo Something of that nature could work, but it's still a shade more technical than I'm hoping for.

Going to explore something called Publii

@ajroach42 How much layout are you looking to permit? A few blocks of text and an image or two? Or something more comprehensive?

@ColinTheMathmo ideally more, but publii always to meet the minimum usability standard so far

@ajroach42
Wix is worse than most because it generates proprietary JavaScript in place of lots of its HTML to stop you exporting it manually!
@ColinTheMathmo

@ajroach42 And looking again at your original question, I'm assuming it would be multiple pages, and not just a single page.

As you say (while I'm typing this) Dreamweaver, but for the modern age.

Hmm. I'll ask a few people.

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