Is Dreamweaver still Relevant in Web Design?
August 25, 2014
I like to start my articles with the conclusion – saves you time:
Dreamweaver is not relevant in modern web design. Why?
- To make good websites, you need to understand the code behind the sites. You need to learn code.
- Dreamweaver does have a code editor but there are many more capable code editors out there that are free or at least much cheaper than Dreamweaver.
- Because you need to understand code, Dreamweaver’s point-n-click tools are becoming relics of the 1990’s when web code was so bad, that tools like Dreamweaver were a godsend.
Let’s elaborate on the last point. Web design in the past, when the languages (HTML, CSS) were not as mature, the process of coding a website was rote; it was repetitious and mechanical. You had a lot of crappy tinkering to do, just to get a website up. In that environment, tools like Dreamweaver were welcome because they wrote the code for you.
These days, with the much better browsers (that read and process code properly) combined with highly effective web design frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap and JQuery, apps that try to hide the code from you (like Dreamweaver) are not that useful. In fact, they are counter productive because often times, the code they generate can get in the way of building a clean effective website or web application – it’s just too thick.
Browser Developer Tools Put another Nail in Dreamweaver’s Coffin
All the modern web browsers have a very powerful set of developer tools that allow you to see exactly what is going on in your pages codewise; you can even change (for example) your CSS on the fly and see how it effects the page without touching your underlying code. This makes for ultra fast development.
Dreamweaver has these sort of tools but you have to be in Dreamweaver to use them and they are not necessarily 100% accurate in terms of what the web browsers will display – you might as well test in the web browser since people visit sites with web browsers and not Dreamweaver!
There is nothing wrong with Dreamweaver if you largely ignore the point and click tools, and stick to the code editor. But if you do that, why bother forking out the big money for Dreamweaver, when you can find more effectively code editors like Sublime Text or Notepadd++ for free or for much much cheaper than Dreamweaver?