Adobe Dreamweaver - The Dinosaur with a Few Tricks up Its Sleeve
Written byBranko Krstic
Updated · Nov 16, 2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our.
- Stable and powerful
- Awesome for responsive design
- Doesn't require too much coding
- Compatible with many other apps
- Steep learning curve
Most of today’s website builders are rather new, but this doesn’t mean that older ones are gone or irrelevant. The most notable old tool, which has been going strong since 1997, is Dreamweaver.
But can it stand the test of time and find a target audience that doesn’t intersect with WordPress, Webflow, and other powerful alternatives? Stick with us to find that out in Web Tribunal's detailed Adobe Dreamweaver review!
What Is Adobe Dreamweaver?
Dreamweaver is a website builder that’s rather specific because of its combination of code and WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web design principles. Although it looks simple at first glance, its primary target audience includes professional web designers, ideally those that are already using other Adobe Creative Cloud tools.
How Does Dreamweaver Work?
Adobe DW lets you combine the best of both worlds to create responsive sites more quickly. It has a visual editor and a code editor, letting you either use one of them or combine both. Whatever you do in the program’s WYSIWYG editor, it directly translates into code and vice versa. This saves you precious time and enables you to work on what you prefer.
Ease of Use
Although it does sound easy to use in theory, do not be fooled. In order to fully utilize it, Dreamweaver still requires you to know at least some coding basics. On top of that, if you haven’t used Dreamweaver software or other Adobe tools before, it will certainly take time to learn, and you can expect the learning curve to be pretty steep.
Its GUI may be very intuitive, but it is also very complex and has numerous features. Just like its price suggests, Adobe Dreamweaver is a program for professionals.
How to Use Dreamweaver?
You can get it on the official website, where you can opt for a trial version first. The installation program features a guide and will help you with all the steps.
As soon as you start Adobe Dreamweaver CC for the first time, it will ask you if you have used it before or not. If you haven’t, it will further guide you through an interface setup procedure, then let you create a new site or use a sample. You can then use the Manage Sites option in Adobe Dreamweaver to review the options you need to connect to an FTP server. For that, you will need an external hosting provider beforehand.
It would be nearly impossible to list all features of Adobe Dreamweaver in this review, so we’re going to focus on the main ones.
Stable and Powerful
After more than 20 years on the market, you could expect Dreamweaver to have a great reputation and rare to no hiccups. You would be right, as it’s not only powerful but also stable, which is further warranted by all the updates. Due to it being subscription-based, the updates are free and very frequent. By having the latest version of Dreamweaver at all times, you can follow the latest design trends.
Great Responsive Design
To Code or Not to Code?
Thanks to the aforementioned live preview, this is entirely up to you. The important thing is that Dreamweaver is great for web designing and coding. Its highly intuitive WYSIWYG interface, which offers lots of freedom and numerous drag-and-drop integrations, makes web page design much easier.
Whatever you do there, the software seems to translate it into code. The user-friendly code editor with an autocomplete function makes programming with Dreamweaver fun and easy. The editor also colors programming languages differently so you can differentiate HTML from CSS at a glance.
Numerous Applications to Integrate
As part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud application suite, it’s not surprising that Dreamweaver works with other Adobe programs quite well. You can take only a fragment of a Photoshop file and import it.
Other website design and hosting tools, such as WordPress and Drupal, are also welcome. You can use Dreamweaver to edit a site created in one of these tools.
You can create a Git repository, which is an awesome way to bring collaborators up to speed with your Dreamweaver web page. This also helps work around conflicts in case more than one person is working on a project at the same time.
Lots of Templates
Packed with built-in templates and whole sites dedicated exclusively to web designs, Dreamweaver offers free, easy to use, and easy to edit solutions to users with all levels of experience. With templates, you can get the hang of the program more quickly, learn interactive design, or pick up the newest web design trends.
Although the software could be better in some aspects, the majority of Dreamweaver reviews are not affected by this.
Tough to Learn
If you’ve never used any Creative Cloud application, most notably Photoshop or Illustrator, you might find it difficult. If you really want to learn to use Dreamweaver, make sure you have basic coding experience. Knowing what the interface of most Creative Cloud applications looks like is bound to help, too.
However you turn it, this is a very expensive tool. Sure, the price matches its pro reputation, but Dreamweaver subscription costs are still too high, especially in comparison to free services such as WordPress. On the other end, you would need to work with hosting for WordPress to use the app. Meanwhile, Dreamweaver lets you design everything in the cloud or on your own computer and push code to production in any way you want, which can be both a practical and price advantage.
This program requires a very powerful PC, as it will eat away your RAM. There are many tabs to pay attention to, which just further accounts for this. That also makes using the software on laptops and smaller screens pretty unpleasant, something you don’t want to see in an Adobe Dreamweaver review in 2022.
The Undo Function
This one of the most important functions, and it’s still not working perfectly. You won’t have any problem with it when coding in Dreamweaver, but web design might suffer. People usually have issues with it when using the Photoshop page element integration feature.
First of all, there is a free 7-day trial version if you’re unsure whether you want to buy Dreamweaver. This is handy because the program is quite expensive. However, if you do decide to subscribe to Adobe DW, you will get additional benefits.
You get 100 GB of cloud storage, as well as Adobe Spark, Adobe Portfolio, and Adobe fonts. Additionally, Adobe will provide you with the latest version of Dreamweaver at all times, offering free updates with new features.
You can subscribe for a year right away, cutting the Dreamweaver cost for the following year.
Before you opt for any of the paid plans, you can get a free month of Adobe Stock. It can enrich your Dreamweaver websites by adding high-quality, royalty-free stock photos. This software otherwise costs $29.99 per month.
As a household name, Dreamweaver has had more than enough time to perfect its support, and fortunately, it did exactly that.
The help page on its official website is huge, offering guides and tutorials for newcomers, as well as a FAQ section. If that’s not enough, it can take you directly to the Adobe Dreamweaver CC community forum, where you can ask other users for help or advice. It is easy to use and you can filter posts by topic.
This page also allows you to contact Adobe employees via chat. They are kind, helpful, and fast, but you will need to have an Adobe account beforehand. You probably won’t need to rely on this option, but it’s always good to know that it exists. There is also a Dreamweaver subreddit, but it has few active members.
Dreamweaver User Reviews
Although it’s fallen out of favor in the last few years because of Dreamweaver alternatives, such as WordPress, people still seem to love it. It’s currently mostly used by professionals, namely those that have been on it for years, but that’s not a small chunk of web designers. They are all satisfied with the program’s layout and how easy it is to use it in conjunction with other Adobe software. The drag and drop interface is great, and so is the customizable code coloring of programming languages.
It’s not easy to say what other users think about it because it is hard to find a recent Adobe Dreamweaver review on Reddit. Still, contrary to popular belief, the existing Dreamweaver reviews are positive.
The main concerns that users have are its price and the Undo function, which could be better.
When to Use Adobe Dreamweaver
If you’re new to web design, you should avoid using the Dreamweaver website builder, as it’s a bad first choice; its complexity and peculiarities can be overwhelming.
However, if you’re an experienced designer that wants to create a website quickly, whether with or without using templates, this is a solid option. Knowing how to use Photoshop and/or Illustrator further cements this. You also don’t need to use code all the time.
Otherwise, you’re probably better off using some of the more popular alternatives to Dreamweaver.
Adobe Dreamweaver Alternatives
It is hard to draw a direct comparison between Dreamweaver and the tools listed below because each software approaches web design from a different angle. Consequently, they appeal to different audiences.
Dreamweaver vs Webflow
Both of these website builders are very complex and meant for professionals, but Webflow withstood the test of time much better. It’s by far the better choice for nearly anything unless you have used Dreamweaver or other Adobe software in the past.
The only advantage of Dreamweaver to Webflow is that it has a better code editor.
Dreamweaver vs WordPress
Dreamweaver has no chance against WordPress, quite possibly the best DIY website builder. It’s both easier and cheaper to use, and it still offers more than enough features for advanced users. Like Webflow, it’s much better for website scaling.
Dreamweaver vs Adobe XD
Adobe XD and Dreamweaver are very different programs. While Dreamweaver is a website builder, XD is a prototyping tool that you can use to collaborate with web designers. There is no winner here. It is up to you to decide what you are looking for.
Dreamweaver has aged well, but not well enough. This Adobe Dreamweaver review shows that the software falls short as soon as the talk about complexity and price starts. It is not the best do-it-yourself website builder and it can’t measure up to WordPress, which trumps it in every aspect.
Still, if you’ve found yourself being part of its target audience, go for it.
Dreamweaver‘s drag and drop feature and its code editor can definitely be considered great strengths. It’s a much better program than it used to be years ago and it receives frequent updates.
It is, but mostly by professionals and designers that have already been using it for years.
Yes. As a matter of fact, professionals make up most of its audience, being the target users themselves.
Not at all. Even though it helps you with whatever you’re trying to do, it’s pretty tough to use and requires time to learn.
Besides the difficulty, its main disadvantages are its price, system requirements, and the Undo function that doesn’t work everywhere.
It costs $31.49 per month, but much less if you decide to subscribe for a year right away. You can find many details about pricing in the dedicated section of this Adobe Dreamweaver review.
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
Your email address will not be published.