Whether you like it or hate it, Dreamweaver is one of the most powerful and versatile web design and editing software on the market today. Whether you are interested in building web sites or designing multi-media messages, this could be the perfect tool for you and your business. Most professional designers working today have at least tried Dreamweaver software.
As with anything, there are both pros and cons. Your decision about purchasing this software should be based upon careful consideration of all the factors.
There is certainly much to recommend Dreamweaver design software. For example:
- Easy to set up: After opening your software, all that is needed is to name the site you are about to create and then tell the program which folder to find your files. If you already have some work completed, all of these files will immediately be recognized by the program.
- Openness and flexibility: Dreamweaver is great about allowing importing from or exporting to other programs if the site was created with different software or needs to be transferred. In addition, all the code is right there and easy to access.
- Complementary: The look and feel of the Dreamweaver software now matches more closely with the other products in Adobe Creative Suite (of which DW is a member). This makes it much easier to share files between it and Photoshop, for example.
- Easier navigation: The current version makes things much easier to work with. Move around between customizable work spaces by using a pull-down menu. Panels can be collapsed, resized and moved around with ease. There are even a number of preset views that allow different options.
- Dual Screens: View your work in both a code mode and preview mode. This will enable you to actually see how the site will look in a browser as you make changes. This, combined with features to include numbering the lines of code, makes it very easy to identify exactly where problems in the code are and fix them quickly.
- Fast: Dreamweaver design software updates immediately and executes commands and processes rapidly. This is a definite advantage, even if you are just doing a minor tweak.
- Creation process: It is simple to do many of the most common tasks. This includes creating a basic web page, publishing to your server, updating the site and managing things.
- Inspect option: This feature allows users to import templates and then edit all of their features. It will actually allow you to view the detail such as boundary, margins, padding and more. In fact, you can even view the code and styles.
As with anything, there are always disadvantages. Dreamweaver is not without its criticisms, some of which include:
- Not enough design help: This is referring to the selection of templates, icons and images to choose from. In fact, the selection is rather poor. Given all the other good things, it is rather disappointing, especially not having enough templates to choose from.
- Unstable at times: The program does have a tendency to crash from time to time. To be fair, a lot of this is due to operator misuse.
- Poor support options: Limited support is only provided for the 90 days after purchase. Then, users are forced to pay for help. $175 for five incidents seems a bit steep, not to mention the $1,200 for unlimited support.
- Learning curve: Make no mistake; the Dreamweaver design software will require a learning curve. For people that are not particularly technically inclined this curve can be rather steep. Be prepared to spend some time getting used to the program before you consider yourself knowledgeable.
- Price: The retail price tag can be a high investment unless you are a professional user.
- Reports: The reports are very simplistic and do not allow for much variety. They come out to like a spreadsheet.
- Design view can be wonky: At times, the design view may incorrectly display or place margins or columns. This could cause your work to come to a screeching halt.
- Strange looking interface: The user interface is a bit weird and confusing. It has a very crowded look and feel to it, with commands and buttons everywhere. This also contributes to some of the confusion and higher than expected learning curves.
- Reusable information difficult: There is no clear way that one can reuse server information. If you are in the habit of using multiple servers for sites, each one has to be set up manually, for each site that you create.
The final verdict on the Dreamweaver software really comes down to user preferences. After examining the above pros and cons, do you think this is something that will provide value? Dreamweaver is still the top choice of many professional designers. Yes, it may take some time to get used to it, but so did windows! The bottom line is that this software is incredibly powerful and useful for a wide range of personal and business applications. For those who invest some time and money into it, Dreamweaver can be the only website design software that will ever be needed.