Code

10 Awesome Code Editors For Web Developers

Whether your text editor preference is geared towards a more minimalistic and simplistic approach or a more robust, full-featured IDE (Integrated Development Environment) setting or somewhere in between, one of the programs mentioned in this article is bound to suit your web development needs.

1. Atom

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Developed by one of the leading software development platforms, GitHub Inc., Atom is a favorite among many web and software developers for its cross-platform, beginner-friendly and customizable interface. Atom has more than 6,200+ Atom “packages” such as Emmet to help expedite your code writing process or Beautify to improve the readability of your code, just to name a few. Although it’s not without a few minor hiccups—it’s been known to have a slower start-up time (in which you need to take into account the amount of plugins you install as well as the specification of your computer) but with its price tag at free, it’s definitely worth a try.

Atom
Image via Atom

2. Visual Studio Code

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Introduced by Microsoft in 2015, this open-sourced, MIT-licensed, multi-platform code editor has a variety of great features such as portability, IntelliSense (instant context-aware support to help with code writing), extension support (for HTML, CSS, JS, SASS) fast start-up and minimal lag. Visual Studio also has built-in debugging tools, Git integration for version control, customizable color themes and layout control.

Just like Atom, this application won’t cost you a penny to use and is always being developed and updated by Microsoft.

VS Code
Image via Microsoft

3. Sublime Text

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: $70 USD
  • Download

As mentioned in our previous article, Sublime Text remains a steady player and a favorite in the realm of code editors for its aesthetically pleasing, distraction-free interface, customizable themes and packages library. Its portability, IDE features such as snippets, auto-completion, macros, search and replace functionalities have also been favorites amongst its users.

Sublime Text 3
Image via Sublime Text

4. Notepad++

  • Platform(s): Windows
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Although its user interface lacks the modern feel of both Sublime Test and Atom, Notepad ++ is an open source application available to Windows users and is still one of the most used. With 120 “thumbs up” on Slant.Co’s product recommendation site, Notepad++ is lightweight and fast, provides syntax-highlighting for a range of programming languages, portable and includes multi-line editing to increase productivity. It also has a large directory of plugins.

Notepad++
Image via Andreas Viklund

5. Brackets

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Another favourite among web developers, and used in almost all of the coding tutorials here on XO PIXEL, is Brackets. This open-source code editor is intuitive, and beginner-friendly with a minimalist and lightweight interface. With features such as built-in live preview, syntax highlighting capabilities, Adobe PSD to code support and various extension managers, Brackets allows for a smoother and more efficient coding workflow.

Brackets
Image via Brackets

6. Geany

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

A no-nonsense, instantaneously fast text editor with a small but quick IDE useful for making quick notes or to tweak to a code file. Basic features of Geany include syntax highlighting auto-completion, auto-closing of tags (XML and HTML), file type support (HTML, C, Java, Python, Perl etc), code navigation and plugin interface.

Geany
Image via Altra Graph

7. PhpStorm

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: $53-$89 USD
  • Download

Subscription-based software PhpStorm is a powerful, full-fledged text editor and IDE suitable for larger and more complex web development projects. With IDE advantages and features such as code completion, error checking, Github integration, live templates, file navigation, front-end technology/PHP/DB/SQL support, this program helps its user to work faster and be more productive.

PhpStorm
Image via Atlassian Confluence

8. Textmate

  • Platform(s): Mac OS X
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

TextMate is a reliable, open source, graphical code editor with a simple GUI, more than 50+ language and file type support,  and extensible, language-specific bundles for various web development related tasks.

Textmate 2
Image via Upload Care

9. Komodo Edit

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Komodo Edit is a cross-platform, open-source code editor that’s easy to use, has a built-in file explorer and FTP client allowing developers to access remote files, seamless code completion and recognition capabilities. Although it’s more intensive compared to previously mentioned text editors.

KomodoEdit
Image via Active State

10. Vim

  • Platform(s): Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Pricing: Free
  • Download

Vim is advertised as, “rock stable and continuously being developed to become even better.” Among its features include an extensive, 15K+ plugin selection, extension support for hundreds of programming languages and file formats, tool integration and search and replace capabilities. Vim is by far one of the most challenging, yet highly configurable and more powerful modular text editing programs.

One of it’s most useful characteristic lies in its ubiquity, portability, and speed, allowing its user to run the program on most operating systems for remote work using the least amount of resources.

As stated by the Vim company itself, it’s mentioned that this program “isn’t an editor designed to hold its users’ hands, but a tool, the use of which must be learned.” There’s a larger learning curve with this program compared to others but if you’re willing to learn the text editor’s commands, mastering this program can result in a much greater productivity boost with regards to coding speed.

Vim
Image via KeyCdn

Conclusion

At the end of the day, code can be written in whichever text editor or IDE you choose, so long as you’re able to work effectively and productively. Don’t limit yourself to just one code editor. Try out each one to see which code editor is most suitable to your unique workflow.

Let’s Discuss!

What code editor do you use? Have you used any of the editors mentioned in this list? Are there any that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Featured image: #WOCInTech Chat

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Rosa Sucilan is a freelance graphic designer based in Toronto and an occasional blogger for XOPIXEL with a passion for continuous learning.

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Comments

  1. Nice article. I used to use sublime text but recently switched to Atom and never looked back. PHPStorm has a bit of a learning curve but I use it for all my major WordPress builds. Can’t beat git integration and sync with remote server.

    1. Thanks for your input Eric! Glad you liked it. I made the change to Atom as well and it’s been amazing so far.
      Yeah PHPStorm is great for WordPress and does have quite the learning curve but good thing there’s so many free online resources available out there to help make these applications less daunting to its current/potential users. 😀