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  1. 1. User Experience
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Themes
  4. 4. Billing Practices
  5. 6. Pricing
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Adobe Muse Review

Not recommended unless you’re desperate for a "Photoshop for websites."

By Steve BenjaminsLast Updated Oct 25 2016

2 0

Review Updates

  • Mar 10 2016 New review published.
  • Oct 25 2016 Review published and updated.

User Experience Info

Anyone familiar with Adobe products like Photoshop will instantly recognize Muse — you get the sense Muse was created because users asked Adobe for a version of Photoshop that could export websites. It feels as though Adobe recycled Photoshop's interface for Muse— rather than setting out to build something thoughtful and new.

Muse editor

Right: Muse editor

Your Muse website is structured through the Plan section. Here you can drag and drop pages to order and create hierarchy. Here’s an example hierarchy:

Plan section

Right: Plan section

Notice the master pages? Master pages house the elements that you need to appear on all pages, such as navigation, logos, and footers. Master pages are a clever way to fix to a common problem. It’s slick and works well enough.

Master page

Right: Master page

You design pages by dragging and dropping elements. There is no structure to pages— you can drop elements anywhere on the page. Unlimited freedom is nice but the lack of structure can also become annoying. For example, I wanted an extra line of text to a paragraph and it ended up overlapping into my form:

Overlapping elements

Right: Overlapping elements

Sometimes there is just a lack of polish— for example to edit the form builder success message you have to notice that there is an invisible text box at the bottom of a form to edit— who would ever know that?

See that empty blue box to the right of the submit button? Double click it to customize the success message.

Right: See that empty blue box to the right of the submit button? Double click it to customize the success message.

The Muse website editor is overwhelming. There’s too much going on. In this screenshot (right) how many toolbars and options do you see? I see 8 toolbars presenting 60-ish options vying for attention. How are we supposed to know where to start?

The editor can be a bit overwhelming.

Right: The editor can be a bit overwhelming.

It may seem like I’m being dramatic, but when you compare the Muse website editor to a website builder such as Weebly, you start to see how unnecessarily complex the Muse website editor is.

Next to Muse, Weebly can seem practically zen.

Right: Next to Muse, Weebly can seem practically zen.

One of the frustrating parts of Muse is that it’s a downloadable, offline website builder. So you have to upload your website to Adobe Business Catalyst (which costs extra). The bright side is supposed to be that you can export your website and upload it anywhere— but if you do not everything will work. For example: forms will be broken…

Adobe Business Catalyst

Right: Adobe Business Catalyst

For most users I do not recommend Adobe Muse— most people would be better off with Weebly or Squarespace. But if you are a graphic designer whose been praying for a version of Photoshop that exports websites, you may find Muse helpful— just be careful what you wish for.

Website editor

Right: Website editor

Features Info

  • Blog

    No.  

  • Ecommerce

    No.  

  • Form Builder

    Form builder lets you create a variety of different fields: name, phone, text-fields, radio buttons, checkboxes (but no file upload). You can customize the form success message or send users to a custom page. Form results are sent to an email address— so make sure you don’t delete those emails! (Form results aren’t saved in any database where you could re-find the results.)  Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps

    No.  

  • Retina Ready

    By default Adobe Muse does not support retina images, but you have the option to set a "HiDPL resolution" under site properties that changes your images to be retina ready. It's disappointing that Adobe Muse wouldn't just automatically adjust images to be retina ready.  

  • Newsletter

    No.  

  • Membership System

    No.  

  • Design from Scratch

    This is Muse’s strength. There are no included themes, so the expectation is that you will be designing from scratch. There’s plenty that you can customize— you can change based on states, add scroll effects, set colors, shapes and icons and more. Unfortunately the interface is confusing— so taking advantage of all those options can be hard.  

  • Multi-lingual

    No.  

  • Restaurant Menu

    No.  

  • Donations

    No.  

  • Audio Player

    No.  

  • Podcasts

    No.  

Themes Info

There are no pre-made themes in Muse. Instead you design your website from scratch. Fortunately Muse has built in some solid support for design. For example you can make lots of customizations to blocks: set opacity, blur, border radius, border sizes, add drop-shadows, scroll effects and more etc.

Customizing a button's fill

Right: Customizing a button's fill

If designing your own theme from scratch isn’t your thing, then there is good amount of 3rd party Adobe Muse theme stores that you can buy from.

Muse-Themes.com

Right: Muse-Themes.com

Billing Practices: Good


I was able to buy and cancel Adobe muse.



Pricing


Plan Term Domain Name Total info

By Steve Benjamins

I founded Site Builder Report in 2012 to help people find the best website builder. In my spare time I make music (check it out!). You can also follow me on Twitter here.

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