On one side, Webflow is a modern visual tool used for creating responsive sites without applying any coding. Its visual interface allows users to design and customize sites through a drag-and-drop editor and pre-built components.
Currently, Webflow is catered to designers searching for an appropriate tool for setting up visually astounding websites without coding knowledge or experience. The solution includes an array of design and interaction options while the clean code is automatically generated in the background.
On the other hand, Dreamweaver is a powerful desktop app with years of experience in the field, mainly used by professional web developers. The company offers a code-centric environment with essential features like code suggestion, syntax highlighting, and split-screen view for code editing and website previewing (see my collection of Dreamweaver examples).
To understand the key differences between Dreamweaver and Webflow, I suggest delving into the in-depth comparison between the two site-building platforms.
The basic similarity between Webflow and Dreamweaver is the same high-quality level of websites you can build with each. In both cases, you can start from scratch and customize to your liking (though coding knowledge is necessary for Adobe Dreamweaver users).
Also, I found out these two solutions share good customer support with tons of documentation on how their services can be most effectively used.
The primary difference between Webflow and Dreamweaver lies in the ease of use. Actually, Webflow is a perfect option for a starter website developer as it features a drag-and-drop editor and tons of pre-built elements. Meanwhile, to make the best of Dreamweaver, a user must be an expert in coding and have extensive knowledge of creating a website from scratch.
Other differences include Adobe Dreamweaver’s Windows and Mac deployment vs. Webflow, a SaaS platform. Webflow has a somewhat larger list of integrations, while Dreamweaver is a part of an all-inclusive Adobe Stock package.
And finally, the way these two solutions price their services is thoroughly different. At one end, Dreamweaver matches the pricing to clients, offering schools and universities the cheapest options. It also suggests a one-month free trial period for the individual and students & teachers customer groups. As for Webflow, the latter employs standard four-tier pricing, with the Starter offered free for a lifetime.
What Is Easier to Use?
Dreamweaver by Adobe is geared towards professional designers searching for a GUI tool equipped well enough to allow detailed and speedy wireframing of their site or mobile application.
Although Adobe claims its Dreamweaver product can be used by beginners equally effectively, the solution is, without any doubt, better fitted for professional use. It features a complex interface, perfect wireframing, and prototyping features that confuse any novice.
On the other hand, the interface of this website-building tool is pretty well-organized despite being highly advanced. All tools and widgets can be easily found if you devote some time to studying them.
As for Webflow, this is the direct opposite of Dreamweaver in terms of ease of use. It performs an excellent job of onboarding a new user. If you have experience working with a drag-and-drop editor, you can get into the design process while first-time users find Webflow’s tutorial useful.
The company’s editor looks pretty much like Photoshop’s, frustrating novice users. After all, it’s Dreamweaver, an Adobe product, not Webflow. It offers several design possibilities and plenty of functions not immediately apparent.
The website builder implements the already popular “Box Model” for constructing a box for every site element to superimpose them on top of each other later. As a result, the new website’s layout compromises text, image, and button boxes. This makes it much more straightforward and clearer to realize what you want to achieve regarding your site design.
So, although Webflow requires a few hours of familiarizing yourself with its possibilities and functionality before you start creating your site, it’s still way easier to use than Dreamweaver. The latter has been created with professional developers in mind only.
Design Options Comparison
When the review refers to comparing the design features of these two site-building platforms, we have a draw since both are powerful and ensure stunning results.
Webflow’s main perk is its Designer interface, where you build your website from the ground up. Whatever you do to your site, from adding and customizing elements to publishing it, is done from here.
The selection of elements you can add from the left-hand menu by simply dragging one and dropping where you want includes but is not limited to buttons, forms, images & videos, CAPTCHAs, carousels, search bars, text boxes, etc.
The available pre-built page layouts, which will speed up the site-building process even more, involve galleries, columns, feature lists, nav bars, etc. Once all the necessary elements are on the page, the Designer’s tools become available. They’ll let you tweak the look and feel of any element you have on your page with a few clicks only, like changing the background color, borders, fonts, etc.
As for the selection and look of Webflow templates, you will get multiple variations of your choice, all having the brand’s unique look and feel. All templates, free and paid, look modern and crisp and have a bold presentation that stands out in the market. All options are sorted by free/premium status, industry, and eCommerce functionality.
Now, going back to Adobe’s Dreamweaver product. In all cases, it’s worth remembering that Dreamweaver is not for the casual crowd. If you have experience with Photoshop use, you must have a solid idea of the general user interface of Dreamweaver since they both share a typical design. Yet, the latter rolls up more challenges at your feet.
The website builder offers two options for editing a site. The first is complete coding, where you must do all the work yourself. And the second option is the WYSIWYG visual editor. The latter features plenty of tools that will clutter the screen if it’s small.
To make the most of the builder’s options, use a computer with a larger screen or hide some to maximize the screen space if you are an expert coder and want to do the heavy lifting on your own. With the WYSIWYG tools, building a website becomes intuitive and comes with many expert tools.
Dreamweaver has two editing views: the Design View, which shows every single design element of the webpage, even those that are not visible to the front-end site visitor, and the Live View mode, which showcases how a typical visitor sees your webpage in the browser.
And finally, Dreamweaver is a standout platform in the industry because it allows mixing the two site editing options. You can split the screen with one window showing your code and the other presenting the WYSIWYG editor.
So, as you can see yourself, Dreamweaver is an ultra-complex platform with a maze-like interface. Yet, it’s also considered the most powerful in the market. On the other hand, Webflow is drastically easier to use yet appears pretty effective.
Website Functionality Comparison
Unlike many other website builders, Webflow offers CMS. With its content management system, you can create and manage content without applying any coding. This is especially great for content-heavy sites and blogs. To use this feature, populate “Collections” with categories via “Items,” which can be blog posts, an e-commerce store, products, or anything else suitable for inclusion in your website.
Webflow has e-commerce functionality, which is more decent than superior. Without add-ons and plug-ins, it can be sufficient only for a small online store.
Webflow also suffers from payment gateway inflexibility, lack of integration, and a somewhat clumsy user interface for viewing customers and orders. All this makes Webflow a poor choice for larger eCommerce projects but applicable to smaller ones.
In terms of SEO functionality, Webflow introduces several useful SEO tools. Perhaps the most outstanding one is the ability to generate metadata automatically based on your CMS Collections. This feature will save users time when publishing new content on the same structure.
Other handy SEO tools include a solid 301 redirects management system for easier migrating old URLs and web pages to new platforms and site audits for identifying and fixing SEO issues such as missing alt tags, broken links, slow loading speeds, etc.
As for the functionality of Adobe’s Dreamweaver product, it is definitely impressive. The solution is now integrated with the latest version of the Chromium Embedded Framework to let you establish modern HTML5 sites and showcase CSS grids, elements, etc.
The newly redesigned UI is streamlined, where clients can customize the workspace to show only the tools they need to code.
Git support is another feature that Adobe’s Dreamweaver stands for. It means you can manage all your source code in the software and perform all ordinary operations in the Git panel.
As for the integration, being Adobe’s product, Dreamweaver easily integrates with all other brand products, like Illustrator and Photoshop. Also, it’s integrated with third-party library upgrades and bug fixes, including OpenSSH, OpenSSL, LibCurl, Ruby and RubyGes, Xalan, and Node.
Dreamweaver has a flexible pricing system, varying depending on the customer type, including schools and universities, students and teachers, individuals, and businesses. Prices are the cheapest for schools and universities. You have to pay $14.99 per month for a single app like Dreamweaver. The plan includes 100GB of cloud storage and is appropriate for small workgroups and departments (institutional affiliation is required).
For students and teachers, the pricing of Dreamweaver, along with other products within the Creative Cloud stock like IIllustrator, Acrobat Pro, and Photoshop, starts at $19.99 per month. The offer comes with a one-month free trial period.
Individuals can use Dreamweaver at $20.99 monthly if an annual plan is purchased. Here, too, the one-month free use of Adobe Stock is valid.
And finally, business owners wishing to create an online presence through the professional site-building platform Dreamweaver will have to pay $35.99 monthly. Surely, if you own a big-scale business, choosing the Creative Cloud All Apps package, which involves over 20 apps, at $84.99 per month will be more expedient.
As for the pricing of Webflow, here we get a pretty standard system with four plans. The introductory plan Starter is lifetime free. It’s designed to let new users learn how to use Webflow and includes a brand domain, 50 CMS items, 50 form submissions, and 1GB of bandwidth. As for the cheapest plan, Basic, it’s priced at $14 per month if billed yearly. The tier provides 50 GB bandwidth yet is limited to only 500 monthly form submissions.
The “battle” between Webflow and Dreamweaver is somewhat unfair. The first one is undoubtedly one of the best no-code SaaS site builders out there. The site builder uses a drag-and-drop editor and has all features neatly organized (some learning curve is still mandatory, though).
It also has a comprehensive package of features, from hosting to eCommerce. All this makes it a perfect choice for starters who aim to build a new stunning site without applying a single code and are ready to devote time to learning the insides.
Conversely, Dreamweaver is a remarkable web development tool that combines visual design tools with code editing capabilities. It’s an excellent solution for experts who know a thing or two. Furthermore, the integration with other Adobe products (Dreamweaver is a part of the Creative Cloud system of Adobe) enhances its usability for web developers and designers.