I have a client who want's me to use Dreamweaver for a project. I've always used Photoshop and Illustrator for mockups and coded the CSS manually (Actually I use SASS/SCSS). Does using a program like Dreamweaver speed up the process or do I try to convince them that my normal flow works just fine.

  • 6
    Have they given you any reason why you should use DW? HTML/CSS is just plaintext so the production tool shouldn't normally matter...
    – Farray
    Jul 31, 2011 at 7:32
  • Good IDE (like NetBeans) will a little speed up your development. Not DreamWeaver. :)
    – daGrevis
    Aug 1, 2011 at 14:45
  • Although this question was answered, I'd say it's off-topic.
    – Hanna
    Aug 2, 2011 at 20:40

4 Answers 4


Wow thats crazy. First of all, would you go to your doctor and insist on which tools he used to perform your surgery? Or your dentist?

Or would you take your car to your mechanic and tell them which tools he should use to repair your alternator?

Of cours not. And your clients request that you use a particular tool over another to perform your job is just as ridiculous.

What I would suggest is that you dig deeper with the client to find out why they are making said request. Get to their reasoning behind it.

It could be that they have some expectation about the final product which they have the impression only Dreamweaver can produce (such as CMS functionality or maintaining the code themselves) in which case you'll need to educate them and manage their expectations.

As far as DW as a tool versus any other code editor - it's the worst. Don't use it. It's a bloated piece of software and it's auto generated code is very bad for several reasons I won't go into now.

You are much better off writing semantic, meaningful markup by hand.

Good luck.

  • 4
    I agree. It's not like InDesign vs. Quark, where one program won't open the other one's files. Code is program-independent. Talk to the client and find out what their reasoning is, and see if you can show them that you can achieve the same end using a different process with no loss of efficiency. Jul 31, 2011 at 13:18
  • 1
    The only consistency issue I can think of is that perhaps the client is used to a site being designed around Dreamweaver templates - AFAIK (from DW CS2, so out of date), that templating isn't portable - you need DW to use that templating
    – 410 gone
    Aug 1, 2011 at 7:44
  • @JAG2007: -> "You need to go deeper"
    – user541686
    Aug 1, 2011 at 11:29

There are aspects of DW that could be useful for the client. They are CMS-like features that allow you to 'lock' parts of pages so they aren't easily messed with by others so that the client can use DW to make manual updates themselves.

You can also set up sites to use Contribute, which the client may wish to use.

I wouldn't recommend those solution, but they are somewhat valid reasons for a client to request DW-friendly files.

All that said, as stated, DW edits plain text files, so you can certainly use whatever tools you want. If the above reasons are why the client is requesting DW, you can always do that as a last-step.


For the sake of good client relations, you absolutely must find out why they are asking for the site to be built in DW. While jag2007's answer is correct, keep in mind that you will lose more clients, faster, by being arrogant than because of any technical deficiencies.

From the client's perspective, there would be two reasons to ask for something so specific:

  • Some opinion leader told them this is what they need. (The OL could be the CEO's mentor, or the CEO's wife's favorite nephew. Tread carefully.)

  • They want to use DW for site maintenance, but don't realize it doesn't much matter how the code is created.

In a situation like this, your best bet is probably to smile, nod, and ask who will be using DW to maintain the site. If there is an answer to that question, get this person into the conversation and let them know they'll be able to fully maintain the site with DW. That may be all that's needed, and you can go ahead with your own preferred coding environment.

If they need templates (and they might, because outside of a CMS it's one of the most efficient ways to enable safe global site updates by less-experienced webmasters), you can either code these by hand or just go ahead and use DW. It actually has many efficiencies as a coding environment if you play on its strengths.

If they're clueless, and this all came from the boss's wife's second cousin's whiz-kid teenager, then nod, smile, build the site how you want and tell them they'll be able to work with it in DW without problems (which is true) without saying you're NOT going to build it in DW.

  • +1 & mega-booya to that last paragraph. "smile, nod, + honesty & discretion" = business lube.
    – Farray
    Aug 5, 2011 at 17:26

I've been using Dreamweaver for over six years, I finally dumped it two days ago. Every time I fired it up, I felt this sinking feeling in my shoulders. That's how bloated this thing is. If you're on a Mac, try TextMate.

It's exactly what I need, which is a lightweight editor that has the features I need that something like Notepad or Textedit won't provide- namely, color coding of the syntax and a web preview window that auto-refreshes in real time.

The thing I miss here from Dreamweaver is it's built in file manager. Though not the best, it allows me to sync files to the remote server, and even autosync on every save. I believe TextMate has some configurable options to hook it up to Terminal for file management, but I'm not familiar with any Linux commands.

  • I've been using Textmate, but just started using Sublime Text 2 yesterday, I highly recomend it.
    – user160917
    Aug 2, 2011 at 20:25
  • I love Espresso, it should have what you need.
    – citelao
    Aug 3, 2011 at 17:15
  • I would agree with it Dreamweaver being great for file management. But yes there are better alternatives for just coding because Dreamweaver has way too many things going on in the UI. I prefer Sublime.
    – JGallardo
    Dec 28, 2012 at 21:19

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