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.
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.
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.
Using Mozilla’s open source code as a base, Komposer offers pound-for-pound the closest to a Dreamweaver experience outside of Adobes Creative Cloud. It strips the coding right out if you don’t want it – you can simply drag and drop and build your site like an online sitebuilder without the massive restrictions. Interface with FTP accounts, edit CSS seamlessly and knock out first class designs in a flash with this simple to use, free site builder. Top of the class.
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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