Don’t Buy Dreamweaver – You’re Making a Huge Mistake

Don't buy Dreamweaver header

Ok. I’m going to get to the point here.

If you’re a high school publication looking to move online: Don’t buy Dreamweaver.

If you’ve already bought it and haven’t opened it: Return it.

If you’ve opened it and can’t return it: Sell it on ebay.

If you’re not allowed to sell it: Just cut your losses and stop using it.

When I’m approached by others who tell me they are moving online and looking for a bit of advice, I always have one question – What program are you using? Too often, ‘Dreamweaver,’ is the response. While Dreamweaver is a great program that can do some amazing things, it’s not practical for scholastic media.

It’s Expensive.

It’s Klunky.

It’s Machine Specific.

And it’s got a steep learning curve.

My recommendation is always to use a free, web-based CMS like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. They are all great, flexible options, that make complete sense right now for scholastic media.

They are free.

They are Web-based (which means students can work from home whenever they feel like it.)

They are Open Source and there is an extensive network of online tutorials and free resources to learn the programs.

And, did I mention it’s free.

We’ve talked about this quite a bit on this site, but I felt it might be better to take another approach to this and not beat around the push. “Don’t Buy Dreamweaver” should get the point across. If you’d like more info on WordPress, search the site and you will get quite a few options. A few you might want to pay special attention to are:

What is your staff using to build its site and why was that platform chosen?

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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