Adobe Dreamweaver is a desktop tool for visually designing a website. It is a front-end IDE (integrated development environment) that lets you quickly switch back and forth between viewing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a live preview of the current design.

You can also design and layout pages visually, using a powerful WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) mode that automatically generates code while you work.

Dreamweaver integrates well with other Adobe visual design tools like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. For experienced graphic design professionals used to working with those other applications, Dreamweaver provides an easy way to get into web design without having to master coding in three different languages.

WordPress is the most popular content management system on the web, powering over 25% of all public sites. WordPress separates content, functionality, and design; a WordPress site’s front-end design is determined by a theme. A theme is a collection of PHP template files that generate HTML output, and one or more CSS files that define the visual style.

Building a WordPress theme is usually an exercise in coding, and Dreamweaver was built specifically to help page designers avoid having to code. In fact, in early versions of Dreamweaver, PHP code caused display problems.

Additionally, Dreamweaver was oriented toward the creation of whole HTML pages, not page templates split up among a number of PHP files. Based on these problems, it would seem that Dreamweaver is not a good fit for WordPress development. In fact, the common opinion used to be that WordPress and Dreamweaver were mutually exclusive.

However, that opinion is a bit outdated at this point. Dreamweaver now supports integration with several content management systems, including WordPress. Editing template files is just as easy as editing HTML pages, and Dreamweaver’s code editor even includes syntax highlighting and auto-completion for PHP.

WordPress and Dreamweaver were both designed to make building web pages easier. They weren’t originally intended to work together, so getting everything set up does take a little work.

But if you follow any of the excellent tutorials we’ve collected for you and add in the excellent tools we found, there’s nothing stopping you from using your favorite page editor to design for your favorite content management system.

Tutorials for Working with WordPress in Dreamweaver

Should I Use Dreamweaver with WordPress?

Many professional web designers don’t like Dreamweaver and don’t think you should use it for building websites. These opinions are probably a little overblown, though.

It is certainly true that most professional front-end developers do not typically use Dreamweaver. However, most of the things people like to complain about in Dreamweaver have been fixed in recent versions.

WordPress is as popular as it is precisely because you don’t have to be a professional front-end developer to use it. You can get a well-built site up and running quickly even if you don’t know how to code. That is exactly why Dreamweaver became popular, too.

Using Dreamweaver with WordPress lets you build custom-designed themes without having to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. That doesn’t mean you’re a front-end developer, but it does mean that you don’t have to be.

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Further Reading and Resources

We have more guides, tutorials, and infographics related to coding and website development:

  • Composing Good HTML: this is a solid introduction to writing well-formed HTML and using HTML validator software.
  • WordPress Hosting – Learn about and compare your choices for hosting websites built with WordPress.

HTML Cheat Sheet

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