Free Web Design Software Similar To Dreamweaver

If you’re looking for a free web design software similar to Dreamweaver, look no further.

Dreamweaver is an incredibly popular and powerful web design tool that has been used by professionals for years. It offers a ton of features and customizability, which makes it very useful in creating high-quality websites.

Unfortunately, Dreamweaver is only available for purchase as part of Adobe Creative Cloud. While this can be a great option if you’re looking for a complete suite of tools and resources, it’s not always the best choice for everyone. If buying Creative Cloud isn’t an option for you, don’t worry—there are still plenty of free options out there!

14 Best Adobe Dreamweaver Alternatives 2020 Wpshopmart

Free Web Design Software Similar To Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a powerful IDE (see Glossary) that web designers use to edit code and build websites, however, at £14.29 a month excl. VAT (as of 29/04/15) it is an expensive investment that some designers are not willing to pay. Instead, there are a number of similar alternatives that offer the same capabilities and are free to use.

Having investigated a number of different programs I have compiled this list of my Top 5 Free Alternatives to Dreamweaver. It must be noted that this is a list of personal preference, as I’m sure some readers will disagree with my choices, nevertheless, this list is intended to be a quick summary of great programs and what they offer.

1.      Microsoft Expression Web 4

Microsoft Expression

Simple and convenient interface with intuitive features makes Microsoft Expression a strong contender for Dreamweaver

 (Figure 1)

Microsoft expression is my personal favourite. Its simple design is similar to early versions of Dreamweaver, (see figure 1) with a large document view that surrounded by convenient buttons and design panels including tag properties, and CSS selectors to easily format the document. The toolbars are familiar from other Microsoft programs such as Word which allows easy navigation that is fairly self-explanatory. Like Dreamweaver, users can switch from design view, code view and split view, and margins and padding can be moved directly in the design view, which is a bonus.

The added features are a great assistance such as: Intellisense; which offers auto correction and code completion as you write your code; and a unique selected style preview that allows users to preview the style of their text (see Figure 1, Arrow). There are plenty of other features to help fine tune a website including an integrated debugging tool and, and intelligent SEO refinements to help create a great website.

The reason Microsoft Expression is my personal choice, (other than having used it for so long) is the ability to move toolbars and choose different design panels to completely customize your workspace which is rare feature among free HTML editors.

Unfortunately Microsoft expression is on compatible with Windows PCs and not Macs. There is a lack of drawing tools, and it does not support SVG images, however it does support all other common image formats. It has been criticised for not having a Wizard set up and tutorials for users that a new to web development however, I personally prefer to start a project from scratch and there are an abundance of forums and customer made tutorials online.

Visit Website: Microsoft Expression

2.      Aptana Studio 3


Aptana is an efficient IDE for experienced developers that write code by hand to create impressive websites and mobile applications.


(Figure 2)

Aptana is an open source web development program that is similar to Microsoft Expression. It supports the same common web coding languages and has many of the same assisting features including: Intellisense, debugging tools and SEO refiners.

One drawback is that it does not offer a WYSIWYG editor (see glossary), instead you write the code manually. In this case Aptana is best for experienced web developers that know coding from memory however it is full of hints and tips to help develop your coding skills.

There are a number of free add-ons available, including ‘Titanium’ which allows users to develop mobile programs and apps which has become a major aspect of modern developing. The Aptana Cloud allows you to back up projects and the recent Jaxer JavaScript server allows users to create impressive and complex websites.

Unfortunately Aptana does not support RSS, Atom or Xpath, and does not offer an internet explorer preview for Mac or Linux users, yet this would not be a major issue for most users. My biggest issue with Aptana is that it does not have a spell check which is a minor feature but improves a program’s efficiency.

Visit Website: Aptana Studio. 3

3.      Maqetta


Maqetta is a simple drag and drop program aimed for designers that have little web developing experience.


(Figure 3)

Maqetta is a brilliant HTML editor for designers that are new to web coding. Designers can assemble a mock-up web page on number of user interface’s including iPhone, Android, and Desktop using a simple drag and drop interface. There are plenty of tutorials that introduces new users to web development and offers number of custom themes so that beginners can familiarise themselves with web development without having to start from scratch.

Maqetta is focused on design and simplicity and runs on a simple Java server therefore its developing capabilities are not as sophisticated as the other programs in this list. It will write code as you drag and drop aspects of your website however, this may need to be further developed and debugged by more experienced developers with more intelligent programs. Nevertheless, Maqetta offers a ‘download to zip’ feature so that projects can easily be stored and sent to developers to finalise your webpage or application.

Visit Website: Maqetta

4.      BlueGriffon


BlueGriffon’s utilities makes it quick and easy to build and publish a website instantly, however many features that are readily available in other programs have to be purchased as extensions.

Blue Griffon

(Figure 4)

“BlueGriffon has been developed by the same people who brought us Firefox. Like the previous editors it supports all common coding languages and offers helpful features including spell-check, and a mark-up cleaner to fine tune your code.

Its stand out feature is The ‘New Wizard’ option that allows users to quickly lay down the basis of a new website, choosing the back ground, positioning, title and scrolling properties in a simple dialogue box (see figure 5). Once your website is finished you can then easily publish it to the Web using the “FireFTP” addon.

Blue Griffon Wizard

(Figure 5)

Although websites can be designed and published very quickly with BlueGriffon, there seems to be a lack of customer support other than the BlueGriffon User Manual which cost 7.50€. The majority of BlueGriffon’s other features have to be purchased as extensions including the eye-drop application (see glossary) that I believe is a necessary component with a HTML editor to maintain synchronicity throughout a website. These added features are readily available in other HTML editors therefore it doesn’t seem necessary to invest in BlueGriffon.

Visit Website: BlueGriffon

5.      Komodo Edit


For someone looking to just write code without a WYSIWYG Komodo is by far the most user friendly program I have come across.


Komodo Edit is the slimmed down free version of the popular editor, Komodo IDE. Although it is not as powerful and does not offer as many features as its parent program, it is still a strong contender in this list of alternatives. It supports all common computer languages including the more recent Go and CoffeeScript and offers plenty of helpful features that I haven’t seen in other HTML editors.

Komodo is not a WYSWYG program, however for someone who knows how to write code, or is keen learn, Komodo is your best option. There is plenty of support with an extensive user manual and plenty of online forums to guide you through its functions. It has all the features you’d want in an Editor, such as, Code Completion, code warnings for incorrect code and an internal debugging system. Some simple but really helpful features include the code browser that helps user easily find specific lines of code and a handy code marker that indicates what line of code you are editing.

Komodo offers multi-user support so that users can share their work with other developers. This is particularly helpful when training someone to show them how to write code or to correct their mistakes.

Visit Website: Komodo Edit


 Microsoft Expression Web 4Aptana Studio 3MaqettaBlueGriffonKomodo Edit
DescriptionCustomizable Workspace for experienced DevelopersEfficient IDE for developer who can write code manuallyFor designers that don’t know how to codeFor Firefox fans who want to get a website setup in break neck speedSophisticated program that supports all web languages
Supports Common Language *(see glossary)Yes (Does not support XForms)Yes (Does not support RSS, Atom or Xpath)YesYesYes
Allows Flash AdditionYesYesYesYesYes
Built in BrowserYesNoNoOnly FirefoxYes
Code CheckerYesNoNoNoYes
Spell CheckYesNoNoYesYes
SEO RefinementsYesYesNoNoNo
Free Software UpdatesYesYesYesYesYes
Develop Mobile ApplicationsNoYesYesNoYes
Code/Design/Split ViewYesJust Code ViewNo Split ViewYesJust Code View
Customise WorkspaceYesNoNoNoNo
Drag and DropNoNoYesNoNo
Wizard Set UpNoNoYesYesNo
WYSIWYG EditorYesNoYesYesNo
Drawing ToolsNoYesYesNoYes
Customer Support8/107/108/104/107/10
Ease of Use Rating7/107/10 (Need to know code)9/108/108/10 (Need to know code)
MediaSupports All MediaSupports All MediaSupports All MediaSupports All MediaSupports All Media
ImageAll common formats (No SVG)All common formatsAll common formatsAll common formats (No SVG)All common formats
Supported Operating SystemsMicrosoft Windows, and Linux.Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

free wysiwyg html editor

When it comes to HTML editors, you have two options. You can either opt for a typical text-based editor or go with a visual HTML editor such as WYSIWYG.

Some of the most widely used text-based HTML editors require you to enter the code manually.

While we don’t have many complaints with such editors, they are nonetheless old school and thus relatively inefficient when pitted against their counterparts. This is perhaps why most developers today, especially amateurs, choose WYSIWYG editors for programming.


What You Will Learn: [hide]

HTML WYSIWYG Editor Review
Frequently Asked Questions
List Of The Top HTML WYSIWYG Editors
Comparing The Best WYSIWYG Editor

1) Froala (Recommended)

2) TinyMCE

3) Atom

4) Adobe Dreamweaver

5) Brackets

6) NicEdit

7) Setka Editor

8) CoffeeCup HTML Editor

9) Kompozer

10) Visual Studio Code

11) CKEditor

Recommended Reading
HTML WYSIWYG Editor Review

[image source]

WYSIWYG, an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get,” is a type of editor that allows developers to visualize what the result of their project will look like while it is still under development.

With a WYSIWYG HTML editor, developers can immediately witness the impact of changes they’ve made on a live website or app while it is being developed. A huge advantage of such editors is that you don’t need to know any programming language when using them.

However, finding a good WYSIWYG editor can be challenging, as they are a dime a dozen.

So in this article, we would like to assist you in your search by recommending the best WYSIWYG HTML editors available in the market today.

Pro Tips:

First and foremost, choose an editor that seamlessly integrates with the type of app or website you are developing.
The editor should possess a comprehensively structured mark-up.
Being able to customize the overall aesthetic of your editor is a huge plus. So look for editors with a customizable UI.
Ensure your editor facilitates advanced code pasting functionality.
The most preferred WYSIWYG editor comes with accessibility-checking tools tailored to established standards like Section 508 and WCAG.
An editor that facilitates real-time online collaboration is a significant bonus.
Fact Check: As of 2021, HTML/CSS is the second-most-used programming language by developers worldwide, according to Statista’s report. JavaScript is the most widely used programming language, with 64.96% opting to leverage the language for their developing endeavors.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) What are the best free WYSIWYG HTML editors?

Answer: Based on popular opinion and our research, we can confidently claim the following to be some of the best free WYSIWYG HTML editors:

Adobe Dreamweaver
Q #2) What are the two types of HTML editors?

Answer: There are two main types of HTML Editors, a text-based kind and its visual alternative known as WYSIWYG, an acronym for “what you see is what you get.”

While the text-based editor allows developers to type in their code manually, the WYSIWYG editor will enable developers to preview the changes they’ve made to the app or website while still under development.

Text-based editors are relatively complex and often used by experienced developers. WYSIWYG editors, on the other hand, require no prior programming language knowledge. A novice developer can use them even if they don’t know how to code.

Q #3) What is an HTML editing tool?

Answer: An HTML editing tool facilitates the creation and further editing of codes used to develop applications and websites. There are two types of HTML editors.

A text-based editor is used to edit the source code directly. On the other hand, the WYSIWYG editor visually represents the edited document depicted on the web browser.

Q #4) How do I open HTML in a browser?

Answer: You can easily view the HTML code of any web page on a browser by doing the following:

Open the page whose HTML code you want to view in your browser.
Let the page load completely, and then right-click on it to open the typical right-click menu.
On the menu, you’ll find the option to “View Page Source.” Click on it.
A separate source page will open that will show you the HTML code of the full page.
Q #5) What are the most prominent advantages of HTML?

Answer: The advantages are:

HTML is easy to understand and doesn’t have a steep learning curve.
Almost all browsers around the globe also support HTML.
It is elementary to edit.
It can integrate easily with other programming languages.
HTML is a lightweight language.
=>> Contact us to suggest a listing here.
List Of The Top HTML WYSIWYG Editors
Here is the list of some impressive, free and best HTML WYSIWYG editors:

Froala Editor (Recommended)
Adobe Dreamweaver CC
Setka Editor
CoffeeCup HTML Editor
Visual Studio Code
Comparing The Best WYSIWYG Editor
Name Best For Fees Ratings
Froala Light weight and easy to set-up Free web version, Basic: $199/year, Pro: $899/year, Enterprise:$1,999/year Star_rating_5_of_5
TinyMCE Full-featured and open source Free, open-source version available; Essential: $29/month, Professional: 80/month, flexible custom pricing Star_rating_5_of_5
Atom Fully customizable Free Star_rating_4_of_5
Adobe Dreamweaver Support of multiple programming
languages $20.99/month as part of Adobe Creative Cloud Star_rating_4_of_5
Brackets Free Star_rating_4_of_5
Detailed review:

1) Froala (Recommended)

Froala is best for lightweight and easy to set up.


Froala is a lightweight WYSIWYG editor with one of the most visually stunning rich-text editors in the industry.

The editor is written in JavaScript and is widely known for its clean and quickly comprehended UI design. Developers mainly prefer the tool because it facilitates real-time collaborative editing. The tool also comes with many framework plugins and offers detailed documentation to simplify the coding process, even for users with no coding knowledge.

The tool is also considerably faster than most of its contemporaries. Its rich-text editor can initialize in less than 40 ms.


Real-time online collaborative editing.
Easy to customize the rich-text editor.
Supports seamless server integrations.
JavaScript editor is compliant with WCAG 2.0, WAI-ARA, Section 508.
Verdict: Froala earns the top spot on our list because of its lightweight, fast, and easy-to-setup nature. The platform comes with over 100 intuitive features and many powerful framework plugins to make coding considerably simple. This editor also works in almost every language and thus has our stamp of approval.

Price: Free web version, Basic: $199/year, Pro: $899/year, Enterprise: $1,999/year

=>> Visit Froala Website

2) TinyMCE

Best for the full-featured open-source editor.


TinyMCE is blessed with one of the most advanced rich-text editors in the industry. With this tool, you get a WYSIWYG editor that is easy to customize, flexible, and well designed, keeping developers’ convenience in mind. The tool also provides users with a myriad of tools to make designing a website simple.

You get dedicated functions for adding tables, colors, media files, editing fonts, etc. The editor also integrates seamlessly with all known frameworks. Developers get in-depth documentation to make the coding process as simple as possible.

You can deploy the tool in self-hosted, hybrid, or cloud-based environments.


Add editable HTML5 audio and video elements.
Real-time collaboration.
Easy file and image management.
Link and accessibility checker.
Verdict: TinyMCE is a full-featured WYSIWYG editor that is flexible and fully customizable, and that offers a wide range of features to help developers design a professional-looking website or app. This rich-text editor has been used by huge companies to significant success and can help you accomplish the same.

Price: Free, open-source version available, Essential: $29/month, Professional: $80/month, Flexible custom pricing.

Website: TinyMCE

3) Atom

Best for the fully customizable editor.


Atom is a desktop HTML editor written in JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and Node.js. Atom is known for its fully customizable interface. Users can tweak the entire aesthetic of their editor and add in entirely new features with the help of HTML and JavaScript. The platform comprises a flexible autocomplete feature, which allows users to write code faster.

It is also very easy to find, preview, or replace text in your file while working on a project with Atom. The editing process is made simpler as Atom allows users to split their interfaces into multiple panels to simultaneously compare and edit files.


Cross-platform editing.
Online real-time collaboration.
File system browser.
Seamless GitHub integration.
Verdict: Atom provides users with an interface that allows them to customize entirely with the help of four UIs and eight built-in syntax themes. The platform is compatible with all known operating systems and comes jam-packed with features that simplify website design for developers. Atom is undoubtedly one of the best free editors.

Price: Free

Website: Atom

4) Adobe Dreamweaver

Best for support of multiple programming languages.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver is an intuitive coding software that allows editing in CSS, PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and more. The platform comes with a ton of built-in, ready-made templates and layouts to make designing a website simple. The simplified coding engine comes equipped with several visual aids that you can leverage to execute quick and error-free coding.

We especially like the Multiscreen Preview feature, which you can utilize to identify and fix screen-compatibility issues. Dreamweaver comes as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud. You’ll have to pay for the latter’s fee to have full access to Dreamweaver and all its features.


Fluid grid layout.
Multiple built-in templates.
Preview and edit the site in real-time.
Clutter-free, streamlined UI.
Verdict: Although Dreamweaver makes designing simple because of its redesigned UI and tons of built-in templates, novice users can take time getting used to the tool. As such, we recommend Dreamweaver to advanced developers.

Price: $20.99/month as part of Adobe Creative Cloud

Website: Adobe Dreamweaver

5) Brackets

Best for open source editor.


Brackets is yet another open-source WYSIWYG HTML editor that shines because of its modern design and lightweight nature. The tool comes with one of the most intuitive Live Preview features. Whatever changes you make to your HTML or CSS code will be immediately reflected on your screen.

You also don’t need to jump between file tabs when using Bracket’s editor. You can simply open the window to view a code you wish to work on. The platform also comes with a ton of extensions and plug-ins, which you can use to do everything from customizing the look of your interface to automatically compiling files.


Open-source and free to use.
Live preview.
Preprocessor support.
Inline editors.
Verdict: Written in JavaScript, Brackets is an impressive open-source HTML editor that is lightweight and easy to use and comes with a plethora of extensions. Its ability to let users preview their changes to HTML code while still working on it makes the tool worth trying.

Price: Free

Website: Brackets

6) NicEdit

Best for lightweight inline content editing.


NicEdit is a cross-platform WYSIWYG HTML editor that developers can use to edit website content easily. Written in JavaScript, the editor integrates seamlessly with any app or website in no time and facilitates the conversion of standard text to rich-text editing.

We like how lightweight this tool is and how it makes editing fast and simple. Regardless of whether or not they are proficient in coding, any developer can use this tool to design their websites.


Open source and free.
Facilitates rich-text editing.
Fully customizable.
Quick initialization of editor.
Verdict: NicEdit should satisfy developers who don’t possess a thorough knowledge of HTML coding. The tool is easy to understand, lightweight, customizable, and extremely fast. Its proficiency for editing is only heightened because it is entirely free to use.

Price: Free

Website: NicEdit

7) Setka Editor

Best for easy online collaboration.


Setka is a fascinating content editor who seamlessly integrates with any CMS and makes website design possible without coding. The tool allows you to arrange text and images and adjust your website’s visual elements efficiently. You get a ton of ready-made templates that allow you to personalize the content you publish on your site.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Setka is the ability it provides users to collaborate live on a particular project. You can add comments, source images, and do much more together with your team of developers.


Optimized remote team collaboration.
Tons of layouts and built-in templates to choose from.
Drag-and-drop editor.
Image editor.
Verdict: Setka is an ideal no-code editor for developers who would like to personalize significantly or rebrand the layout of their website or mobile application. The tool provides various tools that all work together in tweaking the look and feel of your website or app. We especially recommend it because of how convenient remote-team collaboration is on this tool.

Price: Started: $150/month, Pro: $500/month, Customized enterprise plan

Website: Setka

8) CoffeeCup HTML Editor

Best for multiple live preview options.

CoffeeCup HTML Editor

CoffeeCup HTML Editor is full-featured and allows developers to create websites quickly.

What earns this tool a place on this list is its intuitive Live Preview feature. You can either opt for the Split Screen Preview option to get a preview of your web page below your code or select the External Preview option to get your web page displayed on another window or monitor.

Whatever option you choose, you can easily preview the changes made on your website while it is still being developed. Aside from that, the tool gives you full access to a wide range of templates that you can easily import into your editor with just two easy clicks.


Code auto-completion.
Components library.
Tons of ready-made templates.
Multiple Live Preview options.
Verdict: With a wide variety of features at your disposal, editing with CoffeeCup is as easy as a walk in the park which offers multiple preview modes. This way, you know what your editing efforts entail as you continue to develop your website or app.

Price: Free version available with limited features, $29 for the paid plan

Website: CoffeeCup HTML Editor

9) Kompozer

Best for creating stunning websites with powerful CSS capabilities.


Kompozer strongly emphasizes the visual look of a created website. The tool harbors most of the elements you will find in popular HTML editors like Dreamweaver to make the process of website editing simple and quick.

The tool is compatible with almost all browsers and allows users to jump between WYSIWYG editing and HTML tabs seamlessly. The tool facilitates the easy integration of tables, forms, and templates into your site. The tabbed editing feature allows developers to work on multiple web pages simultaneously.


Powerful web authoring system.
Integrated file management via FTP.
Easily create style sheets.
Extended color picker for personalization.
Verdict: Kompozer is an ideal tool for developers who want to quickly make professional-looking sites with minimal to no coding at all. Users can easily switch between its WYSIWYG editing and HTML editing modes at their convenience. You also get all the tools you need to personalize your website or app.

Price: Completely free

Website: Kompozer

10) Visual Studio Code

Best for open-source code editing.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free, cross-platform HTML editor that offers many great features.

The editor is fully customizable, as you can completely change its layout, color scheme, and font style. Its Smart Completion feature takes function definition, variable types, and imported modules to help edit.

You can also debug your code directly from the editor with the help of an interactive console, call stacks, and breakpoints. Aside from HTML, Visual Studio Code also allows you to code for other languages such as JavaScript, Python, PHP, C#, and more.


Extensive template and plug-in options.
Easy code debugging.
Built-in Git command.
Intelligent automatic code completion.
Verdict: As far as visual editors go, Visual Studio Code is counted among the best. It allows you to edit, manage, and debug code via a fully customizable UI. You will have absolutely no problem deploying and hosting your HTML site from within this editor.

Price: Free

Website: Visual Studio Code

11) CKEditor

Best for being customizable and editable.


CKEditor is often lauded as one of the most advanced WYSIWYG editors on the market, and rightly so. It comes equipped with a clean UI and features that add to the phenomenal UX it offers. It facilitates quick and efficient online collaborative editing.

It is also easy to create and preview document versions via this editor. You can instantly view the changes made in the editor in preview mode. You can also quickly generate PDF and Word files out of your edited content using CKEditor.


Flexible image upload.
File management.
Better structure content with pagination.
Collaboration support for all rich-text features.
Verdict: WYSIWYG HTML editors do not get any better than CKEditor. In it, you have a tool that is quick to load and easy to set up. Plus, you get to edit on the fly alongside your team remotely. CKEditor allows you to control each aspect of your content’s progress.

Price: Free for up to 5 users, Standard plan: $37/month for up to 25 users, the Customized program is also available

Website: CKEditor

WYSIWYG HTML editors are preferred mainly by developers as they help to create websites without any coding knowledge. Over the years, we’ve witnessed many visual HTML editors find varying degrees of success in the industry. Only some have won the hearts of developers, most of which have found their way onto this list.

A WYSIWYG editor will allow you to preview and anticipate what your project’s result might look like as you’re still working on your website or app.

The best WYSIWYG editors are lightweight, provide tons of customization options, and are quick to load.

As such, if you are looking for a full-featured WYSIWYG HTML editor that is easy to set up, then look no further than Froala or TinyMCE. If you are looking for free, open-source editors, then perhaps you can try Atom or Brackets.

Research Process:

We spent 13 hours researching and writing this article so you can have summarized and insightful information.
Total editors researched: 25
Total editors shortlisted: 11


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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