Building the website you want can be a dream come true. But some software can make the process an absolute nightmare. This even goes for well-made, flexible software. If something has a high learning curve or is prohibitively expensive, users like us are going to see these as blatant downsides, if not just unnecessary headaches. Adobe’s Creative Suite- including their site-builder, Dreamweaver, have proven that some things aren’t worth the price for most people. This is especially apparent given there are better options out there. And many of them, like WordPress, happen to be free.
Still, not every software is in direct competition. If you have the money and the skill, Dreamweaver and WordPress can work together quite harmoniously. But this is only for a select few functions. So let’s look at Adobe Dreamweaver vs WordPress and how you can get the most for your money. Click through the table of contents to jump to each section.
Table of Contents
What’s the Difference? Some Dreamweaver and WordPress Basics
Not all website creation tools are the same.
When it comes to making your dream website, there several different approaches you can take. Some people are skilled enough with code to build an entire site from the ground-up with coding languages like HTML. Others opt for a much more straightforward approach with drag-and-drop builders like Wix or Squarespace. It usually comes down to a user’s skill level and whether they prefer simplicity or flexibility. However, the most popular and effective approaches strike a good balance between both.
So where do Dreamweaver and WordPress fall in these categories? They both feature functionalities like premade themes, plugins, extensions, and more we’ll cover later. Both allow you to customize your site visually or directly via code. However, there is one key difference: Dreamweaver is an offline site builder, whereas WordPress is a CMS for your site’s server.
Essentially, WordPress has inherent online functionality and server integration. Meanwhile, Dreamweaver is just software for putting together a site’s code. Any time you actually want to publish or update a site, you’ll have to go through extra steps to upload it yourself.
This can make Dreamweaver a flexible tool for creating site elements as well as whole sites. But, this also means that you need to have an extensive knowledge of coding languages to get anything done. Meanwhile, WordPress’s interface lets you build an entire site without the need to touch its code. If you want a good-looking site quickly, WordPress is your go-to. Plus, if you are confident in your coding ability, WordPress allows you to customize code too. Coding is just not a necessity for WordPress, unlike Dreamweaver.
What Do They Do? WordPress vs Dreamweaver Functions and Features
Your site’s abilities depend on those of your site-builder. Let’s look at how Dreamweaver stacks up with WordPress.
As a CMS, WordPress has several tools built-in. These can allow you to easily build your site, update content, track data, and much, much more. On top of that, WordPress boasts the most robust- and constantly growing- library of plugins and extensions. On top of that, WordPress is built for regular updates. With its dedicated blogging functionality, you can effortlessly add new posts to your site. And as an online CMS, you can constantly update your site at any time.
As far as visual editing and site design, WordPress has plenty of options. As mentioned, you can choose from a huge selection of themes- both free and premium- customize tabs and widgets, and much more with the interface. In addition, you can even start digging around in the site’s code and customizing from there should you feel confident and inclined.
On top of all of this, WordPress is also free to download and completely open-source. This means it’s accessible, flexible, and has a ton of support from developers and the community.
As an Adobe product, Dreamweaver cannot boast the same freedom or accessibility. We’ll get more into the cost later, but for now, know that Adobe software can be prohibitively expensive. Plus, it lacks the open-source nature of many other site-builders.
When it comes to practical features, Dreamweaver is much the same as WordPress. Its main selling points are in its editor and extensions. However, there are some distinctions in these features between these pieces of software. While WordPress themes give you a functional site from the get-go, Dreamweaver’s basic themes are mostly for visual layouts. Any deeper functionality requires some significant skill with coding.
On top of that, Dreamweaver’s starting themes are extremely limited in selection. The same goes for its plugin and extension library. Dreamweaver’s theme selection can be expanded, but it requires external templates from other site services and creators. As we will discuss, this can be an advantage for those already using another software. However, it also means that Dreamweaver has trouble standing on its own as a site-builder.
When it comes to plugins and extensions, WordPress has Dreamweaver beat. WordPress’s main selling point is its plugin library. Independent developers can create and expand WordPress’ functionality through this system with add-ons. The WordPress library remains the most popular and extensive collection of plug-ins on the market. Meanwhile, Dreamweaver has a very limited number of plug-ins. Most of these are also dedicated only to the integration with other Adobe software. This can make for a pretty restrictive ecosystem, as opposed to the expansive one you get with WordPress.
Is Dreamweaver Worth it? (The Money, That Is)
Adobe software comes at a very steep price.
Like other Adobe Creative Cloud software, Dreamweaver comes at a much higher cost than other, comparable software. Even when Creative Cloud apps compete with software that only requires a one-time purchase, they still charge for a monthly license. You do have a few money-saving options when purchasing year-long plans. However, there is no tiered pricing plan like most other site-building software.
You can purchase a monthly plan for Dreamweaver for $31.49 or commit to a full year at $20.99 per month. Your only other option is to buy it as a part of the entire Creative Cloud suite. This is a much better deal if you are interested in other Adobe software but still demands a hefty $52.99 per month. For most people, Adobe is prohibitively expensive.
By comparison, WordPress is famously cheap and accessible. In fact, WordPress CMS software is completely free! You can download the entire system, including themes and plugins, all at no cost. You may eventually have to pay for things like hosting and certain plugin licenses, but theoretically, you can use WordPress to create a whole website without paying a cent.
What’s the Deal with Web Hosts? Deciding Between Dreamweaver or WordPress Hosting
Unlike overpriced software, web hosts are worth the cost.
I know I just discussed how WordPress lets you create a site at no cost, but that was more demonstrative than anything. Sure, you can create a website for free with WordPress. But if you want to create a truly great site, you’ll eventually need to put some money forward. While you can save plugin licenses and extension costs for later, one thing you want to consider at the start is a web host.
Essentially, a web host provides server space to store your site’s data for visitors to access. They are also in charge of server maintenance, security, and updates to support your site and its associated software. Luckily, there’s plenty of great options for hosting out there. In fact, many even dedicate themselves exclusively to WordPress site hosting. This means that you’ll get specialized support and the latest updates for WordPress when using a web host. And when it comes to WordPress hosts, no one beats WP Super Host.
With the latest security and a dedicated support team, WP Super Host lets you rest easy knowing your site is in good hands. Plus, it comes at a competitive and flexible cost. Check out the pricing page to compare plans, including custom quotes.
Were you to use Dreamweaver, your costs would double. You would not only have to pay for their software but hosting as well. Plus, since Dreamweaver is offline software, you would have to do all of the hard work of uploading and integrating your site’s code for use. On top of that, you need to do this every time you want to update your site, rather than editing on-the-fly. Still, for as prohibitive as Dreamweaver can be, some skilled coders can put it to good use.
Can’t We All Get Along? Using WordPress with Dreamweaver
You don’t necessarily have to choose between Dreamweaver or WordPress.
It’s a little bit unfair to directly compare Dreamweaver to WordPress. The two are not mutually exclusive techniques. Believe it or not, there is actually a way to use Dreamweaver along with WordPress. Essentially, Dreamweaver doesn’t have to be used to create entire sites. More than anything, Dreamweaver is a software for editing site elements. Instead, you can use its code editor to simply create site elements and themes. While you can do this in WordPress, some might prefer Dreamweaver’s straightforward approach to coding. Most of the time, if you want a custom theme, you would have to hire a web designer who knows the ins-and-outs of WordPress software. But if you are a skilled coder, Dreamweaver can be a powerful tool for enhancing your site.
To Sum Up
Dreamweaver can be a great tool if you have the skill and money. As with most things, the question is not “is Dreamweaver good?” but rather “should I use it for my needs?”. Unfortunately, Dreamweaver’s price and learning-curve are far out of most users’ ranges. So in the debate between Dreamweaver vs WordPress- in cost, usability, and hosting- WordPress wins hands down.