I'll admit it. I'm a hard-core HTML hand coder. I use gedit to make my website. I'm using it right now to write this review. So, what do I think of Dreamweaver? I love it. Here's why.
Cascading Style Sheets. While you can do CSS by hand, doing it with Dreamweaver is much more fun. The behavior of CSS can be pretty mysterious at times, and Dreamweaver gives you the freedom to experiment quickly and easily until you get the exact effect you are after.
Templates. Dreamweaver templates let you set up a standard layout for a website and copy it to every page. Then if you want to make a tweak to that layout (or a complete redesign), just change the template and the changes are copied to every page in your site. A great alternative to frames which tend to be buggy. Powerful and convenient. No more making changes to every page by hand. This is reason enough to drop Notepad.
Hand Coding. Dreamweaver lets you hand code if you want. Sometimes it is easier. And Dreamweaver doesn't mess with your code. It leaves the formatting alone.
Site Synchronization. Like FTP Voyager, Dreamweaver significantly reduces website update time by only uploading the files that have changed in your site to your webserver. This is a huge time saver, even over fast broadband connections.
McFarland's Book. I couldn't have learned Dreamweaver without a book like "Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual" by David Sawyer McFarland. A fantastic book for learning all the ins and outs of Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver isn't perfect.
The main reason I still don't use DreamWeaver is the performance issues.
If you haven't tried Dreamweaver, you probably should. Especially if any of the points mentioned above grabbed your attention. It has a bit of a steep learning curve, but a book like McFarland's will get you over that in no time.
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Disclaimers: These are simply random observations I've made while using Dreamweaver. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this page in any way other than as a customer. All trademarks are owned by their respective owners. There are no ads on this page, and there never will be. Use this information at your own risk. I won't be held responsible for anything that happens to you as a result of reading this. Shake well before serving. The contents of this page are Copyright 2004, with all rights reserved by me, Ted Felix.Copyright ©2004, Ted Felix