Top 5 Best IDEs for Web Development

Ashish Panchal
Oct 8, 2018 · 5 min read

As a Developer, it is very important to have right tools/IDEs to work. There are lot of IDEs available in markets, some of them are paid and some are free. Here, I have listed 5 top most useful IDEs, ranking them from usefulness and how easy to start working and if they are free or not.

I have included IDEs which are available in all three famous Operating Systems — Windows, Mac & Linux.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code

It is lightweight IDE that works really well and it’s really easy to download/install extensions that will customize the app to ones need. I’ve been using Sublime Text and Atom from long but once I started using Visual Studio Code, I became a fan instantly.

It includes lot features and some of them are:

  • It highlights your syntax and autocomplete with IntelliSense, which provides smart completions based on variable types, function definitions and imported modules.
  • You can debug your code directly from the editor. You may not need console.log() statement ever and can launch or attach to your running apps and debug with break-points, call stacks and an interactive console.
  • It also has Git integrated with it and other SCM Providers as well. You can review differences, stage files and make commits directly from the editor and push/pull from any hosted SCM Services.
  • If this is not enough you can install more extensions to add new languages, themes, debuggers and to connect additional services. Most exciting news is Extensions run in separate processes, so it won’t slow down your editor. Learn more about extensions.


Basically, Atom is a desktop application built with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js integration. It runs on Electron, a framework for building cross platform apps using web technologies. It is easy to customize and style Atom. Atom is a set of optional packages to bring IDE-like functionality to Atom and improve language integrations.

It has smarter context-aware auto-completion, code navigation features such as an outline view, go to definition and find all references. You can also hover-to-reveal information, diagnostics (errors and warnings) and document formatting. You can get all these features by installing the plugins in Atom. You can work with multiple/split Panes, built-in package manager to install plugins/ themes.

In general, it has everything you would expect from a IDE.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is almost similar to Atom, only major difference is that the Sumblime Text is a paid version. You can download Sublime Text and use for free, however a license must be purchased for continued using it. Currently, there is no enforced time limit for the evaluation.

It has so many good features like Goto Anything (Press ⌘ + P) to open files and instantly jumps to symbols, lines or words. You can select multiple words by Pressing ⌘ + D and change them at the same time, it also allows you to change lines, variables. Sublime Text has a powerful, Python API that allows plugins to augment built-in functionality. Package Control can be installed via the command palette, providing simple access to thousands of packages built by the community. Sublime Text also allows to change key bindings, menus, snippets, macros, etc, just about everything in Sublime Text is customizable with simple JSON files.

Projects in Sublime Text capture the full contents of the workspace, including modified and unsaved files. You can switch between projects in a manner similar to Goto Anything, and the switch is instant, with no save prompts — all your modifications will be restored next time the project is opened.


Brackets is a visual tools and preprocessor support, Brackets is a modern text editor that makes it easy to design in the browser. It’s built from the ground up for web designers and front-end developers. Brackets is a lightweight, yet powerful, modern text editor. It blended visual tools into the editor so you get the right amount of help when you want it without getting in the way of your creative process. You’ll enjoy writing code in Brackets.

Best feature of Brackets is, instead of jumping between file tabs, Brackets lets you open a window into the code file directly. For example if you want to work on the CSS that applies to a specific ID? Hover your mouse cursor on that ID, press Command/Ctrl + E and Brackets will show you all the CSS selectors with that ID in an inline window so you can work on your code side-by-side without any popups. Brackets allow you to connect to your browser in real-time. Means as soon you change your CSS or HTML, it will automatically reflect on the browser. Similarly, you can hover over CSS selector in the code to see where on the page it is being applied.

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA is specifically designed to maximize developers’ productivity. This is a paid IDE and available on all major OS. It indexes your source code and then gives real-time relevant suggestions in every context instantly. It’s on-the-fly code analysis is very good and reliable.

It’s Out-of-the-box experience offers Mission-critical tools such as integrated version controls systems and a variety of supported in-built languages and frameworks, means no extra plugins required. It also includes smart code completion suggestions like names of classes, methods, fields, and keywords within the visibility scope, the smart completion suggests only those types that are expected in the current context. The coding assistance in IntelliJ IDEA is not about only the editor: it helps you stay productive when dealing with its other parts as well: e.g. filling a field, searching over a list of elements; accessing a tool window; or toggling for a setting, etc.

IntelliJ IDEA is basically an IDE for Java but it also understands and provides intelligent coding assistance for a large variety of other languages such as SQL, JPQL, HTML, JavaScript, etc., even when the language expression is injected into a String literal in your Java code.

Originally published at on October 8, 2018.

Ashish Panchal

Written by

Front-end developer and Blogger. Love to learn and share my knowledge; Follow me on my tech blog —

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