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Adobe Dreamweaver is one of those tools that most people think all developers and editors use. It’s got great features like fluid grid layouts, but at the same time concerns like macros and shortcuts pop up in discussions about it. Whether it’s a tool for starter or production level projects, it’s nonetheless established itself in the industry!

Adobe Dreamweaver has been around for quite some time and is extensively used in a variety of industries. The question of whether it is a professional tool for production-level output often comes up in discussions, with some attesting that it meets their demands while others say it’s not exactly top-tier. Here, we outline the pros and cons of Adobe Dreamweaver as well as a couple of points of contention that end users will find important.

Is Adobe Dreamweaver still worth using?

What does Dreamweaver do right? It’s so, so easy. If you have 0 code experience and you want to build a website and get it online in less than an hour, you’ve come to the right place. The latest version adds some pretty powerful features including:

  • Fluid grid layouts that allow you to create mobile-responsive pages.
  • A CSS3 transition panel with a wide variety of properties and timing functions
  • Better jQuery and PhoneApp Build integration

It’s getting there. A lot of developers talk about it like it hasn’t changed in decades and that’s not true: it has changed and is changing, it’s just not doing it as fast as a lot of people would like.

So what’s wrong with it? Well first, it’s just not a great code editor. It can be used as one, but its main drawcard is the WYSIWYG editor, which just isn’t up to date. Other editors like Atom and Sublime are better for everyday coding—they’re designed to do that job and they create a much better environment for it.

It’s not really designed for modern workflows. A lot of its advocates trumpet its FTP client, but that client isn’t really built around modern workflows; nobody uploads straight from their code editor without review any more. It’s fun if you want to click a few buttons and have something appear on the internet quickly, but it’s not really in-line with professional practice. It’s not that it’s gone totally unchanged since 1996, but it hasn’t caught up with how websites are designed these days.

The big issue with Dreamweaver is that it came of age in a very different internet, the age when anyone that knew a bit of HTMlL was a qualified web developer and GeoCities sites were everywhere. It has not kept pace with modern developments. It was great when most pages were HTML with a lick of CSS paint, but with the modern reliance on AJAX calls and other advanced mechanisms, it can’t cope. You can crowbar them in, but it’s a lot of effort when you could just be using a more modern framework. There’s simply too much going on with a modern web page for a WYSIWYG editor to cope—it can only make simple pages, and simple pages aren’t good enough. It’s a great tool for hobbyists looking to improve their game or busy marketers looking to throw a page together, but it’s a straightjacket for a qualified web developer.

So that’s your answer. Dreamweaver: a ‘maybe’ if you don’t code, a solid ‘no’ if you do.

I do hope that Dreamweaver makes a comeback—I remember older versions fondly, it just hasn’t caught up.

If you’re looking for a modern WYSIWYG software tailored towards eCommerce, you need to read our breakdown of Shopify vs WooCommerce. On the other hand, if your first response on seeing this article was “Well I don’t need Dreamweaver!”, maybe you check out our careers page. We’re an award-winning web design firm with three international locations: the US, New Zealand, and India.