"WEB Design tool"
Installation can be quite painful, as you first have to download Adobe’s Download Assistant, then create an Adobe account to start downloading Dreamweaver (which is more than 270MB in size), and when the setup starts choose between trial and full mode. In trial mode you will have to login with your Adobe ID before you can install the software. Afterwards you will have to choose language and which components you want to include; two are available, Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit and Adobe Extension Manager. You can then proceed with the installation, which might take a while to finish since the overall disk space that will be taken up is more than half a gig, but you can see a completion percentage and an estimation of the time remaining. Supported operating systems are Windows XP, Vista, 7 or Mac OS X.
If this is the first time you launch a Dreamweaver product, you will probably get a bit lost and confused from all the settings, option windows, features and menus. For almost every option there is a menu leading to a sub-menu and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for you will have a hard time finding it. Depending on how you want to use the program (e.g. writing code in various languages or using the Fluid Grid layout feature) the interface changes with different options, tabs and windows appearing every time. It needs a lot of practice to learn how to use the program moderately good.
Fluid Grid Layout feature is probably the most interesting and helpful feature in the whole program. It is easier to insert a picture and position it yourself using the mouse than spending valuable time to code it manually, not to mention that this way you can edit your pages more accurately than testing and changing the code every time. When making changes in the layout, Dreamweaver automatically takes care of writing the code for you, using HTML5 markup language and CSS3 to control the style of the web pages.
A big percentage of guests in a website is using smartphones and tablets, so the website should be loaded and displayed properly in every device. Fluid Grid Layout has the option to change the size of your website so that you can fix any problems that occur from animation effects or fonts and with the Multiscreen Preview panel (which is a new feature) you can view how your webpage will look on different types of devices.
When you’re done with editing, you are able to upload your webpages and files directly to the FTP server that your site is located. You just have to specify the FTP address, the login details and the destination folder and Dreamweaver will upload them without problems.
The interface is too complex and difficult to get familiar with, especially for an average user who doesn’t have previous experience with Dreamweaver or other website design software. It is also too heavy for the average computer, resulting in frequent crashes and computer slowdowns.
SiteSpinner is an affordable and simple website building software. With it you can create or insert objects and move them with your mouse, without having to code anything - just like in Dreamweaver, although it has very few features compared to it. Another handy solution is CSSEdit, a program used to create and edit CSS style-sheets for making impressive websites, but it doesn’t work under Windows and Linux but it is just available for Mac OS X.
It’s pretty clear that when it comes to abilities, Dreamweaver is probably the best web design software that you can find. But if you’re not a professional or don’t have serious intentions of creating a website with high expectations, then it’s better to just look for a simpler and easier to use alternative instead.