Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 Review

After a discussion on hand coding that almost got out of hand (ha-ha) I promised that I would give Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 an honest chance to impress me. So, for a month now I have been using an evaluation copy, both at the office and at home.

To sum up my impressions: Dreamweaver 8 is a decent piece of software for web designers and developers. It has several very useful features that can help increase your productivity. But unfortunately it has some flaws and peculiarities that make it unsuitable for the way I work, so using it actually slowed me down a bit. However, if Macromedia (or Adobe) were to fix the flaws I found, I would consider buying Dreamweaver.

Note: I tested the Mac OS X version of Dreamweaver 8. Some of my complaints may be specific to that version.

What I like

What I don't like

Dreamweaver is good but needs refinement

All in all, Dreamweaver 8 is a decent application, but its flaws outweigh its benefits, at least for me. I find it especially hard to deal with the unpolished GUI, the sluggishness, and the instability. So I will not be spending my money on a Dreamweaver license until it improves.

This is just my personal opinion. Dreamweaver may be perfect for you, so if you like it and feel it's worth the money, by all means buy it. And while you're at it, get Rachel Andrew's book Build Your Own Standards Compliant Website Using Dreamweaver 8, which explains web standards, semantics, and accessibility, and how to make sure sites built with Dreamweaver are standards compliant and accessible.

Posted on October 31, 2005 in Web General