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However, that opinion is a bit outdated at this point.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
- How to Use Adobe Dreamweaver to Design a WordPress Blog Post, or Edit a WordPress Theme is a thorough tutorial, including information about setting up a local development environment and integrating the two technologies.
- Dreamweaver CC and WordPress 3.8: Core Concepts, from Lynda.com, is a five-hour video course that covers everything from responsive design to using Dreamweaver for deployment and testing.
- Build WordPress Sites with Dreamweaver is a detailed tutorial that walks through setting up a local WordPress installation and connecting it to Dreamweaver.
- Building WordPress Sites with Adobe Dreamweaver CC is a great tutorial from the Adobe blog exploring not just how to use Dreamweaver with WordPress, but also why you would want to. Lots of visual inspiration here, too.
- Dreamweaver CC Working with WordPress is a complete tutorial on building WordPress themes using Dreamweaver, with over six hours of video content.
- How to Set Up WordPress in Dreamweaver is a short video tutorial focused on getting WordPress and Dreamweaver to play nicely together.
- Establishing a Dreamweaver CC and WordPress Workflow details the specifics of how to effectively integrate WordPress and Dreamweaver into a sensible development process.
- Editing a WordPress theme with Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 is a four-part series on editing (not building from scratch) WordPress themes using Dreamweaver.
- Editing a WordPress Blog with Dreamweaver CS5 is a very detailed walk-through of what it takes to run WordPress locally and edit theme files in Dreamweaver.
- Using Dreamweaver for WordPress Design and Development describes the basic process of getting the two applications to work together, but also provides a lot of handy tips and practical examples of what might go wrong and how to make sure things go right.
- Editing a WordPress Theme in Adobe Dreamweaver is a short video tutorial that will get you started using Dreamweaver with WordPress.
- WordPress Theme Editing with Dreamweaver explains step-by-step how to set up a testing server, install WordPress locally, and integrate Dreamweaver. This article also deals with solving some of the common issues that come up when editing theme files from Dreamweaver.
- Converting a Dreamweaver Site to WordPress is not about working on a WordPress theme from inside Dreamweaver, but on converting an existing Dreamweaver site over to WordPress.
- How to Edit WordPress Themes Using Dreamweaver is a bit dated but provides good information for tweaking themes.
- ThemeDreamer is a Dreamweaver extension that helps you build and edit WordPress themes.
- WordPress Site Designer for Dreamweaver is a Dreamweaver extension that helps you build a WordPress theme visually with Dreamweaver.
Should I Use Dreamweaver with WordPress?
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.
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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.
- Dreamweaver Introduction and Resources: this will get you going with Dreamweaver if you are new to it.
- Hosting Dreamweaver Websites: Although sites built with Dreamweaver should work in any hosting scenario, we’ve put together information and short-listed recommended hosts that have Dreamweaver expertise.
- WordPress Hosting – Learn about and compare your choices for hosting websites built with WordPress.