On October 4th, 2018, Adobe customers woke up to the sad news that Adobe had announced the discontinuation of Adobe Muse. In this Adobe Muse review, I'll explain what this means for Muse users and suggest some alternative Adobe website builder programs to consider switching to.
What is Adobe Muse?
Adobe Muse allows users to create great looking websites without any coding knowledge. But while other website builders like Wix use a simple drag-and-drop design, Muse is closer to a fully-featured design tool. Its interface is similar to other well-known Adobe programs like Photoshop or Fireworks. This is a powerful site builder with support for advanced features like eCommerce stores. It allows you to export static HTML websites that can be uploaded to external web hosting services. Muse is offered as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud package, and prices start at $20.99/month.
Why is Muse Closing?
The market for a program like Adobe Muse has disappeared since it was first released. Adobe's 'End of Service' statement explains that website design trends 'have led us to evolve our strategy'. With Muse, Adobe was targeting beginner website creators and professional designers. The first-time website designer portion of the market has mostly been snapped up by easy to use drag-and-drop website building services like Squarespace. Meanwhile, graphic designers are now commonly choosing to partner with developers to create complex websites. In short, Muse has been driven out by the success of competitor services. Google Search analysis shows Muse's declining popularity:
What Does this Closing Mean For Me?
In the short term, the shutdown won't have much of an impact. Here are the three key dates:
- March 26th, 2018: Final release of Adobe Muse
- May 20th, 2019: Last bug fix update
- March 26th, 2020: Technical support ends
Because Muse runs offline, you can continue building with it indefinitely. The Business Catalyst feature, which allowed for temporary website publishing, will stop working entirely though. Furthermore, using Muse after bug fix updates end could result in websites with security vulnerabilities.
Adobe Website Builder Alternatives
Although Adobe Muse use won't be heavily restricted, it's advisable that you begin transferring your website development to a new platform as soon as possible. If you don't want to spend hours working out how to operate a program with a similar learning curve to Muse, you should consider switching to a user-friendly non-Adobe website builder. However, if you are a die-hard Adobe fan, there are still several options available to you:
For most users, Adobe Spark will be the ideal replacement for Muse. It lets you create single page websites that look great on different browsers. Like Muse, Spark allows you to design your own graphical page elements and even comes with Android and iOS applications so that you can design on the move. A limited version is available for free.
Although it's unable to generate website ready code like Adobe Muse, Adobe XD is a good alternative to consider for compiling complex websites and web-ready applications. It's a powerful design tool that integrates with other Adobe platforms and can be used to create advanced mobile applications. It's available to download for free and is an excellent platform to use for collaboration with web developers.
If you used Adobe Muse to share your photography or artwork, Adobe Portfolio will be an excellent replacement product to consider. Like Adobe XD, it's free to use and gives you the freedom to create great looking gallery pages. Like Muse, it works well other Adobe products. For example, you can upload directly to Adobe Portfolio from within Adobe Lightroom.
Adobe Muse Review: A Sad Goodbye
It's a shame that a fully-featured and useful website builder like Adobe Muse had to be shut down. Still, all good things must pass, and given the number of alternative Adobe and third-party website builders, most users won't struggle to find a good replacement platform. What are your thoughts on the termination? Comment below with your Adobe Muse reviews!
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