If you might want to develop websites for other people, or enjoy taking your own site to its fullest potential, the most recent reviews say Microsoft Expression Web is much easier to learn to use than Adobe Dreamweaver. Expression Web is ideal for Microsoft Office users, but also now integrates with Adobe Flash and Photoshop for a complete pro-level system. You can make a simple website without doing any hands-on coding, but you can also learn to use all the current web technology. Reviews especially praise Expression Web for elegant use of CSS (cascading style sheets). Mac users should opt for Adobe Dreamweaver (*est. $400) since Expression Web is Windows-only.
We found the best review of Microsoft Expression Web 2 at PC Magazine, where editors not only review major web design software, but rate it as well. The review at WPDFD.com compares Expression Web 2 with only three other programs, but takes ease of use into account more thoroughly. Reviews at PC Pro (a U.K. magazine) and at the Australian version of PC World are especially useful in comparing Expression Web 2 with Dreamweaver CS3. Unfortunately the CNet.com review covers only the first version of Expression Web.
Microsoft Expression Web is the current Editors' Choice -- not only less expensive than Dreamweaver, but easier to use. Expression Web 2 also earns praise for its CSS, accurate WYSIWYG editing and overall elegance, but lacks support for Secure FTP and browser-based scripting that works in all browsers -- requiring server-based PHP or ASP.NET instead.
Review: Microsoft Expression Web 2, Edward Mendelson, June 11, 2008
2. WPDFD.com Web Page Design for Designers
This head-on comparison at Web Page Design for Designers evaluates four website design software programs by using them to recreate a website that was done in HTML. Editor use only the WYSIWYG features in each program. CoffeeCup Visual Site Designer proves best for beginners, but Expression Web 2 also does very well and offers more features, yet is much easier to use than Dreamweaver.
Review: Tomorrow's Web Design: Popular Design Software Challenge, David Rodriguez, April 18, 2008
3. PC Pro
This British magazine favors Dreamweaver for "the widest and deepest web standard support" and rates Microsoft Expression Web 2 a point lower (five on a six-point scale). Version 2 of Expression Web earns praise for its integration of Flash and Photoshop, but Dreamweaver CS3 has broader Ajax implementation.
Review: Microsoft Expression Web 2 Review, Tom Arah, May 2008
4. PC World (Australia)
The latest version of Microsoft Expression Web earns praise here for its integration with Photoshop and Flash, earning a rating of four out of a possible five. An earlier March 2007 review of Dreamweaver CS3 calls even the earlier Expression Web "a giant step up" from FrontPage" but notes that experienced FrontPage users will need to "set aside a day or two to get up to speed."
Review: Microsoft Expression Web 2, Michael Burns, June 30, 2008
This review covers the earlier version of Expression Web, giving it the same lukewarm rating as Dreamweaver CS3, with both losing points for being hard for beginners. The review is especially critical of Expression Web for lack of technical support.
Review: Microsoft Expression Web, Elsa Wenzel, May 21, 2007