Web Design

Time To Put Dreamweaver Away?

13th April 2016
2 minute read

Adobe’s Dreamweaver is the most popular WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML and CSS editor in the world. Its easy-to-use interface, handy publishing tools and seamless integration with other Adobe apps like Photoshop and Illustrator makes it the go-to for many a web designer. But what if you want to code web without paying a monthly subscription? Here we’ll take a quick look at five alternatives, some free and some not.

Aptana Studio 3 – Free – Windows & Mac

A fantastic free, open source HTML5 compatible editor, which features revolutionary Intellisense – a code assistant that not only suggests matching tags, but also gives graphical indicators about how well supported each element will be in the major web browsers – a Godsend in these times of multiple devices and multiple browsers on every device. Whilst it falls short when it comes to PHP editing – and the Javascript debugging could be better – it’s a powerful tool at the best possible price point.

Coffee Cup HTML Editor – $69 – Windows

Offering perfect real-time previews of your website, Coffee Cup is a Windows-only application which features simple to use controls, fully featured website output and free hosting. The interface, whilst dated in appearance, is simple to use and most Dreamweaver users would pick this up in no time.

Microsoft Expression Web 4 – Free – Windows

Would you trust the people behind Internet Explorer to build your web design softwate? Not sure about that at first thought, but Expression Web is an incredibly feature-rich piece of kit. Video editing, photoshop import and an seriously powerful dedicated rendering environment called SuperPreview. Sadly it falls short when up against Adobe, and the slashed-to-zero price isn’t enough to convince me it’s a worthy replacement.

BlueGriffon – Free – Windows & Mac

A very easy to pick up app with another first class rendering engine, BlueGriffon has an intuitive wizard that helps you through the steps, meaning anybody can pick this up in no time. The interface itself is incredibly basic, looking not-a-million-miles from a Word Processor, but that’s exactly what some people are after. A raft of useful plug-ins freely available make this an attractive proposition, but it’s not quite as polished as Komposer.



There are myriad options for replacing Dreamweaver, but none quite match up to it’s power, usability and reliability. If you absolutely have to move on, look to BlueGriffon or Komposer – but if you can scrounge together enough for an Adobe CC subscription you’ll be much better off.

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