For the last 4-5 years I have been using Dreamweaver MX for most of my website design and Internet work. It was a great program in the beginning because I could create a page using tables in the design view, and then I could look at the code, and Dreamweaver MX would tell me the code that they used to create the page.

So if you are looking at learning HTML and how to make websites with tables, Dreamweaver is a great choice.

I recently upgraded to Dreamweaver 8. There are a number of key difference in this upgrade which make it 10x better than it’s predecessor: Dreamweaver MX.

Websites Transfer:
The first thing that I noticed when I opened my Dreamweaver 8 for the first time is that it saved all of my sites from my earlier Dreamweaver, so I didn’t have to spend a couple hours transferring all of my sites to the new Dreamweaver. I didn’t actually have to do anything to start working on my website design or making corrections on the Internet. It was good to go.

File Activity Box:
The second this is when you are uploading something using MX, you can’t do anything else. So if you have a couple videos to upload, a pop up window appears and you can’t use Dreamweaver at all as long as that pop up window is in your way. You have to wait for them to finish uploading before you can do anything. In Dreamweaver 8, the window that pops up is entitled “Background File Activity.” And it is just that. It works in a separate screen allowing you to edit open documents and continue working. (Note: Your computer can only have one connection to an FTP site at a time, so while you are uploading something you can’t do anything else with the same or another remote server.)

Server Disconnection Notice:
On of my biggest annoyances with Dreamweaver MX, is that while I was working on a website design or Internet page, the connection to the remote server would get lost, and it would lag my whole computer for a couple seconds and then give me a pop up that read: “You have been disconnected to the remote server.” Then when you clicked the cancel button, it would try to connect again. Truly a large waste of time for everyone. Thankfully, they removed this pop-up window in Dreamweaver 8. Now your connection to a remote host can last for hours, and if you get disconnected, the button will become unselected, and thats it!

Use of stylesheets:
As any Search Engine Optimizer knows, tables and commands can be some of the worst things for a website as they can clutter up your code, and make it difficult for search engines to index your entire site. In this new Dreamweaver 8, not only does it understand CSS very well in the website design view, but it you can tell it to format your page with CSS or depending on your preference. This is a great tool, because Email Newsletters should not use CSS includes, as they will sometimes get lost. So if you’re doing a newsletter, you can just switch over to the tag for any visual work you need to do in the design section. It also knows all of the CSS commands, making it easier to learn new CSS!

Error Detection:
Dreamweaver 8 now has a great HTML error detector. It will tell you almost immediately any obviously incorrect tags you have on your page. A great tool for creating HTML and CSS Valid Pages.

So as you can tell, if Dreamweaver MX was okay, Dreamweaver 8 is AMAZING! and I can’t wait to see what Adobe has in store for us with Dreamweaver 9! On that note, I cannot believe that Adobe has bough Macromedia! One of the two largest Internet program creator are now one. From PDF’s to Flash, you get it all from Adobe now… But thats a subject for another post.

Until Then,
-Ashton Sanders