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on July 19, 2005
I was never particularly interested in putting up a website. I was even less interested in learning the software necessary to do so. This package changed my mind.

My first exposure was in the spring of 2004. I took a class called "Website Design for Churches". The course required us to download the trial version of the software from the Macromedia site. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy Dreamweaver made putting together a simple site. Even someone who didn't care about doing it could do a creditable job. Once the basics were explained, it was easy and almost foolproof.

Upon completion of the course, I did nothing about site design for more than a year and then my church decided it needed a website. I decided to purchase a copy, get some books that give a more detailed treatment and my course (which was more about layout) and give it a try. I was blown away.

Dreamweaver lets people do easily that which anyone can do and it lets them do so with a minimum of fuss. It is a much more powerful tool than that however. It has capabilities to put together incredibly complex sites. Most of this is relatively easy and the Dreamweaver interface is what makes it so. The software takes care of most of the housekeeping tasks. It also has powerful tools to easily edit many sites at once through the use of templates. It took a little more effort to learn how to do this but the effort is well repaid when it comes to maintenance of the site. Cascading style sheets are a similar innovation although the syntax for this is much less intuitive than the use of the templates.

Anyone who wants to design websites could do much worse than choose this application. Even the most advanced users requiring the most outlandish results can get those results with this package, especially when add on packages are used.

This one made it easy!
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on October 27, 2010
I was very excited that I purchased Dreamweaver MX; Unfortunately, when my software arrived, it was broken. The CD had been mailed in a padded envelope, period. The person had not taken measures to ensure that the CD would not break. The CD was not sandwiched between sturdy cardboard to prevent the CD from breaking. Even though Amazon was wonderful in refunding my money in a timely way, I nevertheless did not get the software I wanted. I will not order from Amazon again.
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on January 10, 2017
Great product and service
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on February 12, 2004
I've been a Dreamweaver devotee since version 3. It was the first visual editor I felt comfortable with after doing hand-coding for many years. I thought it was time to give myself a break and just layout pages visually - a process I've become very accustomed to over the past, oh, five years.
I purchased MXStudio 2004 because I wanted to learn Flash and to get a new version of Fireworks - those alone were probably worth my $200. The Mac OS X version of Dreamweaver, however, is absolutely horrific. It's slower than Classic, slower than MX... it's just impossibly slow. In testing, I've found a web page to take 8 seconds from double-clicking it to being able to edit it. Resizing a window takes 2.5 seconds on average. This is all on a fairly quick iMac G4 running at 800MHz, with Mac OS X 10.3.2, the newest version of the operating system, installed.
The new features are nice - pasting in styled text from MS Word is extremely handy when many of your clients use that program (like mine). This is the first Mac OS X-native version of Dreamweaver I've used, so not starting up Classic is a huge benefit.
If Macromedia can figure out where the sluggishness is happening (and actually fix it!) , I'd be a much happier web designer. I just want a quick WYSIWYG web page editor that supports CSS well (Dreamweaver always has); the lack of speed with which this program carries out its tasks is seriously detrimental to my productivity, though. Doing a series of copying and pasting in notes from Word to Dreamweaver is just dog-slow... and it's not because Word is lagging on me.
Wait for an update, then see if things are better.
Edit: an update, 7.0.1, is now available. Macromedia touts it as the biggest incremental update to a program ever. I have to say it really does speed up the process. The program doesn't feel as lithe as shareware Cocoa programs designed for one app, but I doubt it would ever feel quite that good.
Overall, this update easily ups my score 1 star, and more likely, 1 and a half stars. Since we can't rate my half stars, I'm going to go out on a limb and increase my rating from its previous 2 stars to 4, because Macromedia seems to have tried so hard - and really delivered the goods with this update.
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on March 4, 2004
I have used (not owned though) every version of Dreamweaver. Yes, 2004 MX is slower to load, but once I get into actually using it, I notice no speed drop. I can't speak on the Apple version, but the PC one is very stable. I've only had it crash once. The interface is killer, I have always liked DW's interface, I think 2004 MX's is the most refined and best looking visually. It's also pretty easy to get use to, nothing is hidden to deep in the menus.
I love the Halo CSS template they added. It's a very nice skeleton to use on a new site. It's clean, easy to navigate and appealing on the eye. I'm not really too knowledgable with CSS now. But, everything I read about 2004's CSS support, is Macromedia has done a really good job implimenting useage for it. 2004 is not leaps and bounds above last years offering, in any catagory. But, if you've never used Dreamweaver and are interested, it would be a very smart purchase. Upgrading? If you use CSS extensively it could come in handy.
Personally, I cannot wait to see what they bring into the picture for MX 2005.
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on October 15, 2003
I've been designing with DW for a while now. The 2004 upgrade remains essentially the same, except for a few changes:
[1] The default is now CSS. If you want a tables based layout, you can still work with it but a change needs to be made in the preferences.
[2] The previous Dreamweaver MX supported CSS-P to a degree but editing it wasn't always easy. MM were obviously aware of Dreamweaver's rendering problems and for the new version, have borrowed upon Opera's rendering engine to do some of the hard work and it's now several magnitudes better.
[3] Secure FTP built in
[4] Microsoft Word and Excel copy and paste. Earlier version would lose the formatting when text was pasted inside DW. In this sense, DW now equals Frontpage
[5] On-the-fly cross-browser compatibility checking
[6] Some simple image editing like cropping and tonal adjustments without leaving the program
All this is fine and dandy, some of these features are also a god-send, but the CSS handling is a bit quirky yet. Surely, there must be a simpler and more intuitive way to do all this? There's far too much jumping around the interface required. Instead of providing one really inspired WYSIWYG way to do things, it seems to offer a multiplicity of mediocre alternatives, almost as if the programmers couldn't make their minds up and say, 'Hell, we'll put it all in'. That is a recipe for camels, not thoroughbred racehorses.
If you know your way around Dreamweaver already, you might welcome the new CSS editing facilities but 50% of the full price for an upgrade seems grossly excessive. I'm a bit disappointed that after all this time, Macromedia have produced something that is okay, but not great.
Besides, in the rush for an upgrade (now that GoLive is getting its own feet too) MM seems to have settled for some degree of bloat. My DW updated to 2004 MX is even more of a RAM hog than before.
Net net: I'd wait for the next version upgrade, by when hopefully MM would have tied in all these loose ends.
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on May 14, 2004
I'm one of those people who tends to upgrade their more expensive software every other version rather than every one. That being said I've used both DreamWeaver 2 and 4, but never MX (5).

I didn't notice a lot of improvement in version 4 over 2, so I wasn't that anxious to do the upgrade. But I have to say that I love MX 2004! I won't go into an extensive list of things that I can do in this one that I couldn't before, but suffice it to say, there are a lot of them.

The biggest improvements to me are the more integrated workplace and the ditching of the floating pallets. I hated the floating pallets! I used the drop-down menus instead because they bugged me so much! I also love the improved FTP/Site Management interface. Secure FTP, people!

The tool is slick and powerful. Well worth the cost to upgrades. The bad thing: It doesn't like my Amazon Associates code! It tags them as invalid HTML and ignores them when it uploads the site. As a result, I still have to edit those pages in FrontPage and upload the site using a traditional FTP client. Not good (this is why it only gets 4 stars).

Also, in the next version Macormedia should add an "as you go" spell checker or at least put a button for spell check on one of the button bars. This is another thing I use FrontPage for. I edit my more text intensive pages in FP and then import them into Dreamweaver.

Don't waste your money on the full suite, though. With the exception of DreamWeaver, none of them are worth the money. I'm glad I qualified for the Academic version (and discount).

The tools are overrated and over priced. If you're a web designer there are free or inexpensive tools that do what you need from Freehand and Fireworx. (I am no fan of Microsoft, but after trying several tools, I do most of my web photo editing in Picture It!) The one feature I use from Fireworx is the button creator. The rest of it's extranious. Flash may look nice, but it slows your site down too much for my taste. I almost always skip the Flash animation when I visit a website.

Bottom line -- Buy DreamWeaver, but skip the suite.

This is a review of the PC version.
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on June 8, 2004
I owned Dreamweaver MX, and then bought MX 2004. Overall I'm glad I did, but I could see how some people might not need to upgrade. I mostly like the changes in CSS. It's added some wysiwyg functionally for certain CSS stuff. It does seem slower to load though. I run it on a 1.0GHz Pentium M Tablet PC with 512 MB of RAM and it takes a bit to come up but after it does performance is fine. Then it also takes a while to close. I really enjoy using macromedia though and would DEFINITELY recommend it over Frontpage which I used before I switched a couple years ago.
Also, I noticed some people complained that MX 2004 takes a REALLY long time to load. I might add taht 7.0 was the original version released and then they released an upgrade to version 7.1 for free (that you can get at and it is supposed to improve "overall performance and stability" according to macromedia, but the version I bought came with v 7.1 so I never experienced 7.0. This could make a difference though.
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2004
I'm giving this a test drive with their free month trial. I love it already.
Web design is something very new for me. I'm a novice if there ever was one, to be sure. A few books, a few months of experience using Frontpage 2000, and little else is all I have coming to this program.
Even with my little background I already love it. There is a preciseness, a degree of control which I never found in frontpage. It is easy to use, though its significantly greater options make it more complicated at first to learn. I have yet to look at any book, and have already in a few days found my way around to do a basic page.
What is wonderful is I know that once I learn this, my only limitations will be my own skills. Frontpage always had a degree of distaste, for I knew it was a limited program.
As far as the negative reviews, which honestly made me consider whether to even try the trial, they're not up to date. Macromedia has released a very large patch, fixing most of the problems. I'm using a 850Mhz Pentium III with 380 mb of memory (a five year old computer, with a bit of updates) and I haven't the slightest bit of slowdown or other issues. It's clean and easy, and has expanded my web design world.
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on September 6, 2005
I've been building web sites and applications for a decade now and while I've occasionally played with dreamweaver, it has yet to drag me away from my reliable text editor. Working with a client who use dreamweaver templates extensively meant I had to purchase a copy to work on their site, so I took the opportunity to more generally re-acquaint myself with it.

Dreamweaver has come on a long way in recent years, but it still completely destroyed my CSS-based layouts where I made use of z-indexes for overlapping elements. I gather dreamweaver 8 will improve CSS-P support, and that's much needed. I tried using it for PHP coding but found the support to be rudimentary and the server integration very poor. Subversion integration is a must for me, and if I'm going to switch to a new IDE I expect it to work well with my local and test servers.

Where I do like dreamweaver is as a quick prototyping tool for new layouts. Its "wysiwyg" features do make the prototyping process simpler, but given my other frustrations I'm unlikely to load it up much.
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