Website Builder Review: Dreamweaver CC

In today’s post, I’d like to to talk a little bit about Adobe’s Dreamweaver CC program for building websites.

While Dreamweaver has a bit of a checkered past, leaving many designers still believing its the same clunky software that wrote dirty code ten years ago; I’ve found that it can be used to do a lot of the grunt work coding with CSS and simple database connections to make your work flow a lot faster. The program is not without its flaws but I like it.

Adobe has updated its Dreamweaver Creative Suite program and integrated it into its Adobe Creative Cloud to form a (sort of) new experience in the form of Dreamweaver CC. Will it live up to all the hype? In this piece, I’m going to give you a few of my favorite features of the newer program as well as explore some of the cons to help you decide if it’s worth the switch.

Dreamweaver CC

Adobe ruffled more than a few feathers with the announcement that the company would no longer be selling their Creative Suite line of web development software but would instead “lease” their programming with a paid monthly subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Dreamweaver CC is the updated, fully integrated version of Dreamweaver CS that you will find on Adobe’s Cloud.

Dreamweaver CS, as you may know, is a powerful tool for web designers. We use it to create new websites or redesign already existing ones. Given that the Internet is constantly evolving; the programming we use to create new sites must evolve as well … enter Dreamweaver CC.

New Features

  • Updated support for modern web design standards, maturing the previous HTML5 and CSS3 features.
  • A new template feature called Fluid Grid Layout options.
  • Completely overhauled CSS inspector. (Ok not actually NEW but, it saves a lot of time.)
  • Integrated Edge Web Fonts.
  • Ability to sync your settings across computers.
  • Cloud integration with all of Adobe’s other web design tools.

I’d like to go through a few things I really quite like about Dreamweaver CC …


Cloud Integration:
One of my favorite things about Dreamweaver CC is the integration with other programs on the Cloud. You can be working on adding an image in Dreamweaver, hop over to Photoshop with your image, edit it, and then move right back into Dreamweaver CC with the image. It’s great to have all the Adobe Suite programming accessible in one place.

Embedded Open Source Fonts:
Dreamweaver CC has it’s own fonts and Google web fonts integrated into the program.

CSS Designer Panel:
The newly upgraded CSS panels are really nice as well. It combines the traditional CSS panel with a new visual design properties panel allowing you to view and set visual properties.

Source Code Pro Font:
It’s a new font for the source code view which makes it easier to tell different characters apart such as the number ” 1″ and the capital letter ” I”, makes quite a difference.

Fluid Grid Feature: Fantastic feature as many people now use their phones or tablets to view websites. It allows the content of your site to automatically rearrange itself depending on the specific screen it’s viewed on.

And of course, a few things that aren’t so great …


Database Features:
The database features have been removed and a lot of web designers have been complaining about this but Adobe allows you to plug in extensions to get around this so it isn’t as big a deal as some make it.

The UI has been improved but it can be buggy and there is a noticeable lag between actions. It’s not a huge problem but it can become annoying. Also, although the UI has been simplified, it can still be confusing to navigate. It definitely takes a little getting used to.

Default Responsive Layout:
This is a bit dated and the Adobe OS can be a bit sluggish.

Having to subscribe to the Cloud instead of owning the stand alone programs may not sit well with those users who are happy with the older version. There will be no more updates for the stand alone programs.

More about Creative Cloud Subscription

Many people are up in arms about having to pay a monthly or yearly subscription to access their creative tools. This is understandable but once I ran the numbers, I found it to be pretty much equal to buying the stand alone programming but with the added bonus of getting access to the other programming. You may think, “Well I don’t use the other programming features such as Photoshop …” but as fast as the internet evolves; you will. Embedding video and the like will become a must as users already prefer a more passive experience to their web browsing. There’s also the added benefit of saving your work to the Cloud; saving precious space on your PC.

Bottom Line

In the end, after researching and reading comments from users and the like; I feel that Dreamweaver CC can only improve from here. The UI has improved so much that building a site seems almost effortless while still supporting users that prefer to hand code. Do I think you should invest in the product if you’re only a casual user? Probably not but for professional web designers there isn’t any other program out there that aids in the building of a site better than Dreamweaver CC.

4 / 5 Stars