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Dreamweaver CS6 and Contribute

May 15, 2012 2:24 PM

Tags: #muse #contribute #creative_cloud #dreamweaver_cs6

I have spoke with several Adobe customer care reps and tech support. NONE of them have been able to answer even the most basic questions about the new Adobe Creative Cloud and how the newest software (including Muse) impacts web designer/developers who have web projects that are delivered to clients.

 

Here's the issue:

 

I create websites in Dreamweaver and have trained my clients to use Adobe Contribute to maintain the content on their sites. This has been working very well for a long time.

 

I recently signed up with Creative Cloud and am starting to use the new CS6 products (Dreamweaver CS6, etc.). But there is no Contribute CS6.

 

When I called to ask, I was told that "Contribute is being dropped and will be replaced with Muse." I was also told that any NEW sites I create with Dreamweaver CS6 will not work with clients using Contribute CS5 (or 4 or 3). So now what?!?!

 

One tech support person suggested that I "give all of your new clients your login/password to your Cloud account" so that they'll be able to use MUSE to update their new sites. When I asked about security, and whether with my credentials they would have access to ALL of my content in the cloud, including other client work, they said YES. (Is this just about the most stupid suggestion you've heard?!)

 

This is confusing at best, and here's why:

 

  • Currently my clients pay between $10-$20/month to pay for hosting on their existing sites; new clients will likely pay the same.
  • Previously they would simply *purchase* Contribute which would allow them to edit the content on the sites I've created for them which are based on locked templates with designated 'editable regions' for them to access.
  • So if Contribute is being abandoned, how do clients maintain their site content??
  • If they subscribe to the Cloud-based MUSE, it will cost them an additional $15/month. (as much as their hosting costs!!)

 

Questions that I still do not have answers for (since no one at Adobe seems to have a clue!)

 

  1. If I create the site with Contribute CS6, will clients be able to still edit content in defined 'editable regions' of their site pages using MUSE?
  2. Where will they host their site?
  3. Does a monthly MUSE subscription include hosting? and/or is that yet another separate charge for hosting through Adobe Business Catalyst?? and what is this combined cost?!
  4. All of these seems very cumbersome and not to the benefit of my clients or to me as a web developer using Adobe Creative Suite products?  and finally...
  5. HOW do I get answers to my questions? (I've spent a total of 5 hours talking to overseas tech support staff with 'Adobe' who read from a script and cannot answer ANY of these questions)
  6. Customer Care cannot answer ANY of these questions either

 

 

I need support and clarification.

 

Thank you!

 

Tim Liszt

LisZt Design | Claritas Consortium

503.504.0869

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 2:56 PM   in reply to lisztdesign

    1.  No Muse is not a substitute for Contribute, Business Catalyst is what Adobe will hope to take that role.  This is their hosted CMS solution.  I compare Muse to what Elements is in a sense to Photoshop.  It is for the non-professional to setup a website without coding.  It is not a content manager.

    2.  You can host a site wherever you want to host a site.  If you go with BC, then you host it with Adobe.

    3.  No.

    4. Is this a question?

    5. Not a strength of Adobe and one of my complaints about the "Cloud" that no support is included so you are not paying for any better level of support.  There was an open letter from Adobe VP Lambert Walsh ( http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2009/08/open_letter_to_our_customers_ o.html ), who by the way is still with the company per his LinkedIn profile ( http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lambert-walsh/2/b8b/123 ) .  Maybe you could reach out and let him know there is still an issue.

    6.  This isn't a question either.

     

    Contribute was a failed experiment by Adobe because it required to have your clients give an investment to not only the hosting but the tool as well.  Since Contribute was released, many developers have moved to CMS systems like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, Perch, PyroCMS, etc.  Then there are solutions like the BC solutions that give you a reselling platform and hosted solution in one so you don't have to get your own hosting as many of us have already done anyways.

     

    Muse is not, and will not be a Contribute replacement.  Also, DW CS6 still has the option in the Site setup for Contribute compatibility, but I assume that will only be compatibility with CS5 which was the last version of Contribute released. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 3:16 PM   in reply to SnakEyez02

    I don't see Contribute as a failed experiment. I think it was a fine product for its time and served a need very well while it lasted.

     

    It first shipped in 2002 and it's taken 10 years for Adobe to (rightly) discontinue it. Many have successfully used Contribute in that decade.

     

    It introduced novices to web content authoring where they could click Publish and see instant results online rather than emailing updates to a web developer and waiting hours or days to see the changes online.

     

    The web has clearly moved on to browser based CMS authoring and Adobe is moving with the market (or perhaps trying to pioneer) with its latest offerings (Muse, BC and Cloud).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 4:44 PM   in reply to lisztdesign

    They re-organized that site a bit.  Personally I liked the BC site before the Adobe-fication of it.  Easier to read and understand.  Now they are calling it a BC Partner Program ( http://www.adobe.com/products/business-catalyst/partners.html ).  Wish there was more to show you, but screenshots seem to be at a minimum now.  They must be running out of space for images on the server.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 4:44 PM   in reply to lisztdesign
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2012 4:44 PM   in reply to lisztdesign

    I totally agree with Tim Liszt!

    Most of my clients are NOT computer savvy when it comes to websites, nor do they have the time to invest to learn complicated content management. Contribute is easy for them to understand, especially because they can "see" what their website looks like when they make simple alterations like text changes or updating a photo. That's what is (or what was) so great about Contribute. And now it's being discontinued!!??

     

    Well here is more confusion with Adobe:

    I just spoke with the "sales" department because I don't know if I want to upgrade to CS6 if I can't use Contribute for my clients. The sales rep (overseas) also told me that any NEW sites I create with Dreamweaver CS6 will NOT work with clients using Contribute 5 (or 4 or 3). To which I replied... "Oh, well... looks like I won't be making a purchase today." Then she transferred me to "tech support" (also, overseas) to get a further detailed answer. Here's what he had to say...

     

    He said Contribute is NOT being discontinued and that Contribute 6 (as a stand alone program) will come out soon. Say what!???? I didn't believe him. He proceeded to tell me that the "sales" people do not have accurate information as they do, and he even spoke with his technical manager to confirm what he was telling me... which he insisted was true. He also said that my client CAN use Contribute 5 to make website changes if I create it with Dreamweaver CS6..... so basically the total opposite of everything Adobe Sales told me.

     

    So there ya go... is it true, or is it not true?

    Anyone dare to find out on their own?

     

    And MUSE does NOT replace Contribute?... is it true, or is it not true?

    Guess that depends on who you ask, too.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2012 5:18 PM   in reply to TheDebber

    He said Contribute is NOT being discontinued and that Contribute 6 (as a stand alone program) will come out soon.

     

    Reading this, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

     

    Nancy O.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2012 5:32 PM   in reply to Nancy O.

    Well according to the Contribute forum, it will live on in the short term as a point product

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4362566

     

    Adobe Contribute is not part of CS6 but it will continue to be available as a point product. The Contribute engineering team will continue to provide updates and enhancements such as compatibility with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Windows 8, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Office and other workflows which are important to Adobe Contribute customers. The future roadmap for Contribute includes support for HTML5 and compatibility with new versions of Adobe Dreamweaver.

     

    - Contribute Team

     

     

    If true, I'm surprised that Adobe still thinks it's worth investing time and money into it.

     

    It has well and truly had its day and is part of yesterday's web.

     

    It must surely be discontinued soon (assuming that Contribute 6 does, in fact, ship).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 17, 2012 6:19 PM   in reply to John Waller

    Well I (for one) hope they DO keep Contribute alive because I have happy clients...... so far.

     
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    May 17, 2012 7:13 PM   in reply to TheDebber

    It'll be OK for the next year or so but the web is changing rapidly and Contribute will not be part of the changing landscape in Adobe's long term planning.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 9:38 AM   in reply to John Waller
    If true, I'm surprised that Adobe still thinks it's worth investing time and money into it.

     

    It has well and truly had its day and is part of yesterday's web.

     

    It must surely be discontinued soon (assuming that Contribute 6 does, in fact, ship).

     

    I totally agree, John.  I think Contribute users should prepare now for its eventual demise.  

     

    • A real CMS solution is on the server for the life of the site. 
    • No stand alone software to purchase. 
    • Real CMS can be accessed from any web device.

    Most clients would probably be delighted if they could edit their sites without being tied to Contribute.

     

     

    Nancy O.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 10:32 AM   in reply to Nancy O.

    That's unfortunate. Clients are already delighted with the ease of use that Contribute provides, and that when they edit they can see it as though they are on the actual webpage.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 11:48 AM   in reply to lisztdesign
    • Maybe no standalone software to purchase, but there's an ongoing monthly cost above/beyond hosting.

    Only if you use a subscription solution like Business Catalyst.  If you use your own hosting & CMS solution, you won't have this problem.

     

    Get Simple CMS - (open source)

    PHP, no database required.

    http://get-simple.info/

     

    CMS Made Simple - (open source)

    PHP & MySql required

    http://www.cmsmadesimple.org/

     

    Concrete 5 (open source)

    PHP & MySql required

    http://www.concrete5.org/

     

    Perch (commercial - one time license = $54 per domain)

    PHP & MySql required

    http://grabaperch.com/

     

    e107 CMS (open source)

    PHP & MySql required

    http://e107.org/

     

    Content Seed - (commercial)

    Available in ASP or PHP

    no database required. 

    http://contentseed.com/

     

    WebAssist Power CMS (commercial)

    PHP & MySql required

    http://www.webassist.com/dreamweaver-extensions/powercms-builder/

     

    WordPress

    http://wordpress.org

     

    Joomla!

    http://joomla.com

     

    Drupal

    http://drupal.com

     

     

     

    Nancy O.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 1:59 PM   in reply to lisztdesign

    InContext Editing in Business Catalyst works like Contribute. It lets clients make simple content changes (update text, images, links and other content), but in a web browser rather than in a standalone application. You define editable regions in templates and you can set different permissions to edit the regions. Here's some more info:

     

    Training your clients to update their sites with InContext Editing

    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/businesscatalyst/articles/training_clients _ice.html

     

    InContext Editing for Business Catalyst administrators

    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/businesscatalyst/articles/ice_for_admins.h tml 

     

    Thanks.

    Charles Nadeau

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 2:43 PM   in reply to chucknado

    Looks like InContext Editing will also cost clients more than Contribute (at $50 per month!) since it is no longer a stand alone application. Not a good solution for my clients. And is this a sneaky way to get us to use Adobe's hosting services with Creative Cloud? I don't want to switch hosting companies.

     

    By the way... your first link on "Training your clients" took me to a broken page....

    Needed to remove the "http://" after ".html"

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 9:49 AM   in reply to lisztdesign

    Thank you for posting all my questions as well - CS6 Cloud has been sorely disappointing since its implementation. Using online storage is difficult at best since you can't drag and drop folders. Trying to move my business to the cloud is impossible with the current set up. Billing issues abound... and installations of software are tripping over CS5.

     

    In Adobe's effort to get a piece of the pie they perceive to be there, they have really muddied the waters for those of us working with small business clients on tight budgets. After reading all of this posting I still don't know which direction to head. Most attractive so far is HMTL5, CSS3 and Nancy O's suggestion of using Get Simple CMS.

     

    Adobe is very confused. Leaving me even more confused.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 10:20 AM   in reply to galyng

    I'm using Creative Cloud and my experience has been positive. 

    I guess it all depends on how you use it.

     

     

    Nancy O.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to lisztdesign

    Adobe Contribute is not part of CS6 but it will continue to be available as a point product. The Contribute engineering team will continue to provide updates and enhancements such as compatibility with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Windows 8, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Office and other workflows which are important to Adobe Contribute customers. The future roadmap for Contribute includes support for HTML5 and compatibility with new versions of Adobe Dreamweaver.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2012 10:32 PM   in reply to VikramGaur

    **A new release of Contribute is expected to come out soon **

     
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    Aug 8, 2012 11:20 PM   in reply to VikramGaur

    Great news! 

     
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    Aug 9, 2012 3:53 PM   in reply to TheDebber

    This is great news. Adobe Contribute is an amazing easy to use and intuitive application, its search engine friendly, secure and practically maintenance free. I recently won my biggest client ever on the basis of Contribute and trust me they are a serious, serious company who have already been down the Wordpress/Joomla/Drupal route (expect the sale soon Adobe).

     

    Clients are to the most part not technical geeks and have little understanding of security. Anyone who hosts websites understands the security risks of open source software and what can happen when its not updated by the client. For example when a new Wordpress patch comes out now I have to manually go though all the sites we have built on that particular platform and check my clients have patched the software, 90% of the time they have not and this is something I can not ignore. I also do this for free as I can't risk a hacked site crashing one of my servers as it screws everybody up on the server.

     

    The other issue that using an open source cms creates is that the client can manage their own plugins/widgets which are not developed to play well together and regularly crash sites (I had an entire video section stop working on a Drupal site recently because another plugin had been updated by a client).

     

    Like doing the CMS updates you can charge for repairing this kind of thing but to be honest its a hassle I don't need and I guess a lot of other people feel the same way.

     

    Business Catalyst is an Adobe hosted solution and does 100% have its place but when you offer hosting and build sites that range from small local businesses to huge companies then you need a solution that slots in anywhere, in my view Contribute does this.

     

    We need a new version of Contribute that will play well with HTML5 and CCS3 (nothing clever we just don't want it screwing the code up) and gives our clients some social media options (like buttons, share icons) and that will do us for a couple of years Adobe, keep up the great work.

     

    And thats my 2 pennies worth.

     

    Cheers

     

    Gary

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2012 3:33 AM   in reply to Gaz Yates
     
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    Oct 4, 2012 11:01 AM   in reply to Dominic Michael

    Will Contribute 6.5 work with updating sites created in Muse?

     
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    Oct 9, 2012 3:57 AM   in reply to bmlvail

    Yes, you can edit all the static contents of the html page.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 11, 2012 7:19 AM   in reply to Dominic Michael

    Ok, I'm been following this thread for awhile and I'm still not sure about DW CS6 and older Contribute sites. I hope someone here knows...

     

    Can I upgrade myself to DW CS6 and maintain my Contribute sites (that were built in DW CS5.5) and still keep my clients on Contribute 5... without breaking anything?


    Historically, I've seen DW upgrades break Contribute sites and I really don't want to deal with that kind of problem right now.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 8:29 AM   in reply to lisztdesign

    Well, it's strange sometimes the Decisions that Adobe makes... I know they make it to make the company profitable, but of course it hurts people using the product...

     

    I went to give a Joomla! training to some people yesterday and finally, we decided that, for their current need, Contribute was the best solution for them.

     

    They are Dreamweaver developer, but their client wants to be able to do some modifications... They are designers, so they want to use their own design (which was already approved by the client).

     

    Possible solutions:

    - Joomla! or WordPress: drawback: pain in the *** to import their design (built in Illustrator, I think); need to learn a new technology...

    - BusinessCatalyst: I don't know about their design, but the client already has a host and they have (I don't know if it's going to be on the same site or another one) ASP.NET pages (so, even for Joomla! or WordPress, we would need to make sure it works with their existing server...)

    - Contribute: Perfect: they already know Dreamweaver; they can use their own template and simply specify which areas the user can edit; the client keeps his/her current hosting provider/server.

     

    So, I have both Web Premium CS5 and MasterCollection CS6 (well, in fact, Creative Cloud membership) installed on my laptop, so we were able to test it: yes, you can create a site in Dreamweaver CS6 and the user will be able to edit it with Contribute CS5 (or course, the new client will now have the new Contribute 6.5 version, but it was a concern for some of you)...

     

    Will Adobe do like they did with GoLive! 9 (I think): release a new product because it was already near completion and then pull the plug? I don't know... It's just a shame they don't provide it with CS6 (Web Premium, Master Collection or Creative Cloud membership)... One way or the other, less people will use it if it's not included and it WILL at some point disapear (same thing unfortunately for LiveCycle Designer not provided with Acrobat XI anymore...)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 8:36 AM   in reply to lisztdesign

    P.S. Muse will NEVER replace Contribute (maybe in Adobe's mind a combination of Muse and Business Catalyst will, but not in real facts).

     

    Muse was created for print designers wanting to create a simple site, NOT for people wanting to edit an existing web site... So, the closest is using Business Catalyst (with, maybe, the InContext Editing of Dreamweaver), but I don't like the fact that you must change your hosting provider to use BC...

     

    If they would have kept ICE (InContext Editing) as a seperate product, like it was at first (and even free...), THAT would have replaced Contribute... But now, if you want to use ICE, you need to use it with Business Catalyst...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2014 10:37 AM   in reply to Nancy O.

    I know this is an old thread but I have to say the idea of needing to stop using Contribute and instead a database driven CMS is extremely bad information.  Many people have very small static websites that are in most cases a handful of pages.  A CMS is extreme overkill and recommending that would be ignorant and irresponsible.

     

    Not everyone needs a dynamic service driven website. Sometimes the average person just wants or needs simple.  I know there are plenty of companies that provde browser based editing of cookie cutter websites for free but that is often generic and unprofessional...sometimes people want to match their brand and have more control over the presentation.  I have played with these "free" website buillders because clients bought them and they are horrible.  Contribute works perfectly for the needs of the designer and client.

     

    Contribute is and has been an excellent solution to the average small business or personal website and designers who want to offer a way for customers to easily update their own static content.

     

    CMS's are great for large scale websites (we run one in our environment) and site that take advantage of web applications but to say that is the only future is silly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2014 10:47 AM   in reply to Nancy O.

    and Nancy every one of those are overkill for a simple static website.  Plus they are a hassle to update and design for compared to a simple static site.  Not everyone needs a CMS especially database driven. 

     

    Why for a simple static site do we need those compared to Contribute?  Why would I want the hassle designing a small site in one of these apps.  I use a CMS for my large clients who can take advantage of the features they offer but Contribute will always have its place for smaller sites.

     

    Infact I can design and build a small static site in a hour versus building a custom or trying to edit a wordpress theme.

     

    Makes no sense to believe the Contribute doesnt have a place going forward.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2014 10:59 AM   in reply to aaronyoung

    I will add this to the convesation for perspective.  Before we bought a CMS we had over 200 websites using Contribute since version 1.0.  In all those years we have seen only a few problems and user needing some help.  Most never even needed any training at all.  They would want us to come train them but we would say play with Contribute first.  They would call us back and say they didnt need training and how much they loved it. 

     

    Nearly all those 200+ sites still use Contribute today and only a handful have joined our CMS.  Of those handful every one of them has needed training to use it and call on a regular basis needing help of having difficulty using it.  It's not hard...its a powerful CMS and offers all sorts of stuff, but its much more complicated than the simple browse. click and publish of Contribute.  I have installed 6 different CMS's and non even come close to that level of simplicity.

     

    Adobe is foolish if they are planning to make Contribute disapear and I can see them doing that to try and push people into their cloud...Contribute will go away for the money...adobe wants more dough... not because the demand isnt there or its complicated to support or no longer a good tool.

     

    I was at the conference when Contribue was debuted in a private session.  The shirts we were given said "the end of hassle"  "</ Hassle>"...and it was so true.  We went from having to update every single clients website to turning that over to them.  200+ websites and only a handful of users needing help speaks for itself.

     

    Oh and we cant get people to leave Contribute for the CMS....its just too easy to use.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2014 7:12 PM   in reply to lisztdesign

    I agree aaronyoung... as you saw above.

     

    Though the best solution would be to keep Contribute, I don't think they will... So, the closest solution I found is DMXzone's extensions:

    - HTML Editor 3 (to have an "inline" editor) : http://www.dmxzone.com/go/18424/advanced-html-editor-3

    - The Online Page Edito add-on: http://www.dmxzone.com/go/18529/online-page-editor-add-on/ (requires the above) that enables you to turn any section editable

     

    There are other add-ons as well to manage images, files, Google maps and so on... Worth it to take a look (p.s. The client doesn't need ANYTHING (except, of course, a hosting company), so, in that regard, better than Contribute... It will require most of the add-ons if you want a complete solution, but you can charge more to the client, since he/she won't have to pay a software...

     
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