I've heard that Dreamweaver has been improved significantly in latest versions.

Does anyone have experience in developing a theme or plugin using Dreamweaver? What are the pros/cons?

Thanks in advance


I guess the only real cons are it offers nothing that you cannot get with other editors, but without the massive bloat and pricetag.

An IDE comes down to a lot of personal preferences and feel, since you have a lot of choice, some people swear by Notepad++, TextMate, or Gedit, others prefer something with more PHP features like NetBeans or PhpStorm.

Here is a list of PHP based IDE's
A list of text editors

Personally I really dislike DW.


There is no valid reason why you can't use Dreamweaver CS5. All you need to be able to do theme/plugin development is a text editor. I personally can't say if it's any good or not. It's all down to preference really.

  • Totally agree, doesn't really matter. DW is just a tool. I did a write up on my thoughts for DW CS3 which still apply in CS5 IMO curtismchale.ca/reviews/… – curtismchale Feb 22 '11 at 15:14
  • @Curtis, I had the same experience with super-slow load times and haven't been back since. I just wondered if there were some amazing features that I'm missing out on with newer versions. Thanks for the input. – David John Smith Feb 22 '11 at 16:25
  • I think it get progressively nicer but overall I like a text editor like TextMate to Sublime over DW. Just way to much there that I don't need. – curtismchale Feb 22 '11 at 23:43

Yes, Dreamweaver CS5 is a very helpful tool for WordPress. This new version does allow you to preview your work in live mode when you setup a local site using WAMP or XAMP. There is quite a bit of setup and in the end I chose not to use it this way because I like to have an online development site where clients can proof their site. Doing it in live mode would mean I would have to install it 3 times, once local, twice would be on the dev site and the third time is on the permanent domain. I'd rather not do that.

So, what I do is use DW on my Dev site. It is very fast with my host provider to work remotely on the dev site with DW (inMotion Hosting). They have a super-fast installation of subdomains and WordPress. I have DW setup to automatically upload the file from within DW (not a separate FTP program) when I save the files. I do switch back and forth between DW, Firebug and Firefox as I develop and it works quite well for me.

DW allows me to have custom common snippets for CSS, HTML, PHP, and Wordpress items like loops, that I can add and apply with a click of a button. It allows me to upload files from within. I also downloaded a DW add on named ThemeDreamer that allows me to start code and it completes it if it detects it's a WP code element like bloginfo, etc. When I need to find and replace code throughout my site, I can do that quickly within DW. I can edit my sql database to replace my dev site's address with the permanent site. These are just some items off the top of my head.

In the end, it absolutely streamlines and saves me enormous time. I have built about 140 very custom small business websites using Wordpress and Dreamweaver this way. The workflow is smooth and fast for me.

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