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Adobe Muse vs Dreamweaver

We have decided to compare two website builders, which are quite popular in the web design niche. These are Adobe Muse and Dreamweaver. These are the products of one and the same company, which are rapidly developing within the Creative Cloud package and are provided via the paid subscription. They notably differ from each other. The programs are not direct competitors, but they serve the same purpose – creation of quality responsive websites.

Overview Comparison Chart

Ease of Use:4/53/5
Overall Score:4.4/54.0/5

Adobe Muse is the desktop app, which comes with a visual editor for website development. It can be used with no coding knowledge at all. The essence of the program implies the ability to get the codes of web pages that are further designed in the editor.

You will eventually get readymade elements and a set of tools to change web page design. This approach differs a lot from that offered by Dreamweaver. What we get in the first case is a web page with a manually written code, while the second approach allows getting a code of the previously designed web page, which can further be uploaded to the hosting. This is the essence of the web design approach of both website builders.

Adobe Dreamweaver is a website builder that works well for web designers, who are good at code writing. The service allows simplifying and speeding up the web creation process. Code highlighting, preview of changes in the real time mode without the need to refresh the page, availability of code editor design themes, fast code operations (replacement of code parts, tips, templates), pre-processor support to speed up the work. These and other options are offered by Dreamweaver – the desktop software for professional web designers.

Muse app was launched much later than Dreamweaver (2011 and 1997 correspondingly), being an evolutionary approach to the process of web development. Its visual editor is much easier to use. Muse can be used by people with no programming knowledge at all. On the other hand, though, this feature may be insufficient for complicated projects. Anyway, manually written codes allow for more freedom of actions, requiring higher proficiency level from a web designer. So, which tool is more preferable and for whom? Let’s compare both programs in detail to draw the conclusions.

1. Ease of Use

  • Adobe Muse. This is a comparatively simple program, which comes with an interface that is familiar to all Adobe Photoshop users. The essence of working with the system goes down to the development of future web page template layouts, addition of widgets with the readymade functionality, content design and upload. If you have ever worked with Photoshop, then you will be able to master Muse web page editor with ease. The principles are the same.

    The main complexity is that a user has to be a web designer. Understanding the program features only is not enough. You need to use them properly. It won’t be easy to gain decent result without any experience at all. The program is quite convenient and advanced. It’s easy to use it. It works well for newbies, because it allows using other templates to compensate for the lack of web design experience.

  • Dreamweaver. The interface structure of the program has more common features with other Adobe programs, considering the specialization of the software. Minimal user requirements imply HTML and CSS knowledge. As soon as the app is installed, you will be shown a short but informative video about the major program features. The system of tips during the code writing process, an opportunity to change code parts, lines, error checkouts, syntax highlighting and other things will notably speed up the work, allowing you to avoid serious mistakes.

    Dreamweaver Editor

    Generally, you deal with the advanced code editor, which comes with a visual editing feature and the preview option provided in the real time mode. This is the best software used to write website codes, which was developed with the needs of professionals in mind. It doesn’t work well for newbies.

Muse vs Dreamweaver. Interfaces of both apps are pretty simple for experienced users. The difference is that you need programming knowledge and web design skills to use Dreamweaver, while Muse implies the awareness of design basics only. Due to this, it’s much simpler to master Muse. Both systems abound in tutorials and manuals. It’s possible to learn the services if you have the desire to do that – the background is quite powerful. Generally, Muse is a more preferable variant in the contemporary world. It is simpler, quicker and more affordable.

2. Feature Set and Flexibility

  • Adobe Muse. The software works best for the creation of landing pages, portfolios and business websites. The program supports plugin and widget installation, which allows expanding the system functionality.

    Muse Insert Widget

    It’s even possible to create an online store with a blog or online payment acceptance options. Tight Adobe products integration matters a lot here as well: you can drag the graphics directly from Animate or import from Illustrator, add designer fonts from Typekit Marketplace etc.

    Adobe Muse vs Dreamweaver

    To start working with the system, you have to create the map of your future website, which consists of template and web page structure. Then you have to add widgets like comments, maps, social network elements, sliders, readymade galleries, menu etc. Right after that, you may fill the widgets with the required content, namely pictures, texts, links, buttons, figures, videos etc. Muse offers powerful website creation features. The major success key is your web design talent.

  • Dreamweaver. The software allows writing HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript codes. LESS and Sass pre-processors are supported as well and are needed to launch web page codes without the need to use command prompts for external compiler setup. Generally, convenient result preview and quick CSS style coding are available here as well.

    When typing the symbols, you will see HTML attribute and tag tips, CSS features and rules, access to the color palette, file manager and other things related to the completion of your task. It’s also possible to edit CSS properties directly from the HTML file by choosing the required block (this is the “quick editing” function). You can use code templates like that for media queries, for example, add your own code parts and setup keyboard combinations for quick code adding.

    Dreamweaver Features

    This range of features makes it possible to add values in a quick way and with minimum amount of mistakes. If you have any doubts, you can read information about any CSS property. You can share the work results with the entire team by using the in-built Git project version control system. All the changes you make can be tracked in the real time mode in your browser or the incorporated preview tool.

Muse vs Dreamweaver. Theoretically, Dreamweaver is more functional than Muse as it allows creating any website element by means of code adding and editing. However, this requires coding skills. As a result, newbies won’t be able to get the most out of the software functionality. This makes its advancement insufficient for the majority of users. Muse is quite another matter. It can be used by people with no programming skills at all or by those, who are aware of web design basics. It’s much simpler to reach decent result here, which makes Muse efficacy much hire for 90% of users. Both systems come with the in-built FTP manager, which makes it possible to upload the readymade website to the hosting.

3. Designs

Adobe MuseDreamweaver
Number of Themes:CustomCustom
Free Themes YES YES
Paid Themes Cost:$30 in average$75 in average
Responsive Design YES YES
Sort by Industry: YES YES
CSS Code Editing: YES YES
  • Adobe Muse. There are no readymade templates here. You should draw them on your own, although, the web abounds in versatile templates designed by other users to meet any taste and requirements.

    Many web studios draw templates for Muse and there are special layouts to fit any web page type. You can order a unique template from a professional web designer. Generally, Muse is a great choice for independent creation of designs of any complexity levels. It can be compared to Photoshop for all web pages. This is a perfect app for professional web designers and for newbies.

    Muse Themes

    You can initially select the width of a page (responsive or static), create templates (standard web page parts) and design the content part by means of using widgets and tools like those available in Photoshop.

  • Dreamweaver. Obviously, it you, who is responsible for creating your website templates here. The program does not contain any presets or readymade designs, being an advanced web creation niche for them. Yes, you can use basic readymade HTML layouts to create one-page websites with diverse element arrangement, for example. You can find the code on the web. There are such services, which will provide you with the required web page layouts in the form of a code. This means that you can use any external code in the program.

    Dreamweaver Themes

    Finally, Dreamweaver is a very convenient and advanced code editor. Take and use what you want – there are no limitations here. Professionals draw templates in Photoshop and then create web pages in Dreamweaver. This is the right approach. For those, who are looking for simple solutions, the program doesn’t work at all. For such users, SaaS service or Muse will be a much better solution.

Muse vs Dreamweaver. Both systems encourage DIY website development. They are created with the needs of experienced users in mind. However, there are many versatile templates and designs that are specially developed for Muse. They can be bought, custom ordered or downloaded from the web. As to Dreamweaver, there are no templates specially designed for the system as this is a pro-oriented platform. Offering its presets to users can be compared to teaching Mohammed Ali the basics of boxing. Have you decided to use Dreamweaver? Then you are already a web design pro.

Adobe Muse Website Examples – see th best sites made with Adobe Muse.

4. Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, there is nothing to compare here. Both systems are Adobe supported. You will find the unlimited number of text FAQs and video tutorials at the official website of the company. Apart from that, there are many third-party created tutorials, communities and forums devoted to Dreamweaver and Muse. Thus, the product-related knowledge base is almost unlimited.

5. Pricing Policy

Both programs are provided on the basis of Creative Cloud subscription. Basically, we deal with a subscription fee for a specified term of use. Annual plans are around 40% cheaper than monthly plans. The cost of Dreamweaver constitutes $240/year, while that of Muse is $180/year.

Adobe Muse Pricing

Both programs offer 7-day free trial. To start working with the platforms, you need to download them, access your Adobe account and activate the Trial version.


The times of Dreamweaver popularity and writing codes from scratch are gone. This approach pays off in those situations 99% of web developers won’t face at all. For example, if you are a web designer with a 20-year expertise and you are ordered a project with unusual unique design and exclusive functionality. These are exceptional cases for coding pros. There is a rich number of solutions, which can speed up and simplify the achievement of decent result. Muse is one of them.

Visual editors have excelled manual code writing in terms of efficacy for a wide range of users. Muse can boast immense popularity in the web design niche, availability of hundreds of useful plugins and dozens of readymade templates. Tight integration with other Adobe products and the talent of a web designer make it possible to create stunning websites with Muse. If you can work in Photoshop, this program will certainly appeal to you.

Muse is also a nice choice for professional web designers. It performs several standard functions at a time. You can be sure about the quality of a code you will eventually get. The websites feature excellent functionality and are well-indexed by the search engines. Generally, Dreamweaver is not the best solution for newbies, while Muse can be mastered with the lapse of time. You can explore the system pretty well during a month to become a developer of creative websites. To sum it up, our top choice is Muse. This is a contemporary approach to website development. It is simpler, more affordable and efficient in use.

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