Dreamweaver and WordPress are just tools, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The decision to use one, both (as I do) or some other tool (which I also do) should depend upon your goals. As a trained web designer/developer, knowing both Dreamweaver and WordPress enables me to create and manage websites effectively. Being a good choice for many applications, I myself use WordPress on blogs and small websites for a number of clients. Be aware that there are specialized areas such as e-commerce that are really specialties unto themselves and best left to experienced developers. I have found that large websites done in WordPress run much slower than Dreamweaver websites because each php command interacts with the database, adding quite a bit of overhead. WordPress also utilizes plugins, that many of these are unreliable or could even contain malware and this could take down a large website.
Using Dreamweaver – HTML, CSS, uploading files to your server, etc. – is truly the basic building blocks of web design/development. Knowledge in those areas allows me to manage/maintain small, static HTML sites and also gives me more site management flexibility. Managing more complex sites, especially ones based upon a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress is something that requires more experience and I tend to go to Dreamweaver for these.
To be more technical, the more you know about HTML and CSS, the more successful you’ll be modifying a WordPress theme. You should be aware, however, that the HTML/CSS in WordPress is much more complicated than what you’re likely to build on your own in Dreamweaver (CSS beyond the basics is fairly complex and also evolving). When you get to the point of making major changes to an existing WordPress theme (or creating your own) you’ll also need to become somewhat familiar with the PHP scripting language on which WordPress is built. However, once you start making changes in WordPress, things get very complex very quickly. The first level of changes – modifying the appearance of a theme – requires a fairly good understanding of HTML and CSS and I think Dreamweaver is a great place for those skills.
WordPress is first and foremost a blogging tool. Of course, many people are starting to use it to manage their entire site, but most of the time you can tell these sites because they look like blogs. They might have 1 or 2 static pages, but typically the blog is the most important part of a WordPress site. If that’s what your site is, then this is a good solution. With Dreamweaver you can build any type of site you want using just Dreamweaver. You won’t have the built-in tools for blogging or CMS like you do with WordPress, but you have the flexibility to build anything you like.
However, Dreamweaver is for building a website. It puts in the beginning and end tags, shows you where your coding mistakes are and allows you to drag and drop images and shapes that you can then assign properties. WordPress DOES NOT do this. If you need to edit the file, you need to be very familiar with PHP and jquery. Dreamweaver is for developing a hard-coded website, as you have much more control on a Dreamweaver website. WordPress may not be great for every site, but if you are doing a simple website that is driven by images, WordPress is the way to go and it’s end-user friendly.