10 Best IDE for Web Development for Free

You have plenty of choices for IDE(Integrated Development Environment) when it comes to Web Development. To edit any HTML, CSS and JavaScript file, a simple plain text editor will work. However, using a better IDE allows you to enhance your workflows and reduce the efforts of writing every single line of codes.

There are many paid IDEs for web developers which have lots of features that can ease the efforts of writing and debugging codes for developers. Some popular paid IDEs are Adobe Dreamweaver, UltraEdit, CoffeeCup, and many more. However, not everyone can afford to pay for such IDEs. Thanks to Open Source that are many free IDEs and code editors available that you can use to develop a website or web apps.

Since there are lots of free IDE’s available, you might be confused to choose one. In this article, I will discuss 10 best and free IDE for web development in my opinion. These IDE’s will allow you to write code more efficiently with less time, easily debug your codes, preview and test your website and website.

Below is the list of 10 best IDE for Web Development:

1. Notepad++

Platform: Windows

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.

Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

Some Features of Notepad++ are:

  • Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
  • User Defined Syntax Highlighting and Folding
  • PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) Search/Replace
  • GUI entirely customizable: minimalist, tab with close button, multi-line tab, vertical tab, and vertical document list
    Document Map
  • Auto-completion: Word completion, Function completion and Function parameters hint
  • Multi-Document (Tab interface)
  • Multi-View
  • WYSIWYG (Printing)
  • Zoom in and zoom out
  • Multi-Language environment supported
  • Bookmark
  • Macro recording and playback
  • Launch with different arguments

Visit Official Site | Download Notepad++

2. Brackets

Platform: Windows/ OS X/ Linux

Brackets is another free and open source editor from Adobe. Brackets is a modern open-source code editor for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that’s built in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It also includes Live Preview features and Preprocessor supports due to which it’s more popular nowadays.

You get a real-time connection to your browser. When you make changes to CSS and HTML and you’ll instantly see those changes on screen. Also, see where your CSS selector is being applied in the browser by simply putting your cursor on it. It’s the power of a code editor with the convenience of in-browser dev tools.

Visit Official Site | Download Brackets

3. Sublime Text

Platform: Windows/ Linux / OS X

Sublime Text is a proprietary cross-platform source code editor with a Python application programming interface (API). It natively supports many programming languages and markup languages, and its functionality can be extended by users with plugins, typically community-built and maintained under free-software licenses.

Some of the features of Sublime Text are:

  • Column selection and multi-select editing
  • Auto-completion
  • Syntax highlight and high contrast display
  • In-editor code building
  • Snippets
  • Auto-save, which attempts to prevent users from losing their work
  • Customizable key bindings, a navigational tool which allows users to assign hotkeys to their choice of options in both the menus and the toolbar.
  • Spell check function corrects as you type.
  • A wide selection of editing commands, including indenting and unindenting, paragraph reformatting and line joining.

Visit Official Site | Download Sublime Text

4. RJ TextEd

Platform: Windows

RJ TextEd is a full featured text and source editor with Unicode support. It is also a very powerful web (PHP, ASP, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS) development editor. The functionality extends beyond text files and includes support for CSS/HTML editing with integrated CSS/HTML preview, spell checking, auto completion, HTML validation, templates and more. The program also has a dual pane file commander, as well as an (S)FTP client to upload your files.

Some of the features of this IDE are:

  • Auto-completion
  • Code folding.
  • Column mode
  • Multi-edit and multi-select
  • Document map
  • Annotation bar
  • Advanced sorting
  • Handles both ASCII and binary files
  • CSS and HTML wizards
  • Highlighting of colors in CSS/SASS/LESS
  • Advanced color hints that can convert between color formats
  • Dockable panels
  • FTP and SFTP client with synchronization
  • File explorer, text clips, code explorer, project manager…
  • Convert between code pages, Unicode formats and text formats
  • Unicode and ANSI code page detection
  • Open/Save UTF-8 encoded files without a signature (BOM)
  • Unicode file paths and file names
  • HTML validation, format, and repair
  • Tools available like syntax editor, color picker, char map

Visit Official Site | Download RJ TextEd 

5. Atom

Platform: Windows / OS X / Linux

Atom is a text editor that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core, that means that you can customize to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file. Download, install and start using it!

Atom has a built-in package manager, search for and install new packages or start creating your own all from within Atom. Atom comes pre-installed with four UI and eight syntax themes in both dark and light colors. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also install themes created by the Atom community or create your own.

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.

Some of the features of Atom are:

  • Cross-platform editing
  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart autocompletion
  • File system browser
  • Multiple panes
  • Easy to find and replace

Visit Official Website | Download Atom

6. Light Table

Platform: Windows / OS X / Linux

Light Table claims it to be the next generation code editor. It is an integrated development environment for software engineering developed by Chris Granger and Robert Attorri. It features real-time feedback allowing instant execution, debugging and access to documentation. The instant feedback provides an unusual execution environment intended to help developing abstractions.

The development team attempted to create a program which shows the programmer what the effects of their additions are in real-time, rather than requiring them to work out the effects as they write the code. Though the program began by only supporting Clojure, it has since aimed to support Python and JavaScript due to their popularity. The developers claim that the software can reduce programming time by up to 20%.

It was financed by a Kickstarter fundraising campaign and subsequently backed by Y Combinator. The Kickstarter campaign aimed to raise $200,000 USD and finished with $316,720 USD.

Some of the features of Light Table are:

  • Connects you to your creation with instant feedback and showing data values flow through your code
  • Easily customizable from keybinds to extensions to be completely tailored to your specific project
  • Embed anything you want, from graphs to games to running visualizations
  • An elegant, lightweight, beautifully designed layout so your IDE is no longer cluttered
  • Everything from eval and debugging to a fuzzy finder for files and commands to fit seamlessly into your workflow

Visit Official Website | Download Light Table

7. Visual Studio Code

Platform: Windows / OS X / Linux

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor which runs on your desktop and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js and has a rich ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Python, PHP) and runtimes. Visual Studio includes support for debugging, embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is also customizable, so users can change the editor’s theme, keyboard shortcuts, and preferences. It is free and open-source, although the official download is under a proprietary license.

Visual Studio Beyond goes beyond syntax highlighting and autocomplete with IntelliSense, which provides smart completions based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules. You can even debug code right from the editor. Launch or attach to your running apps and debug with break points, call stacks, and an interactive console.

Visual Studio Code is based on Electron, a framework which is used to deploy Node.js applications for the desktop running on the Blink layout engine. Although it uses the Electron framework, the software is not a fork of Atom, it is actually based on Visual Studio Online’s editor (codename “Monaco”).

Some of the features of Visual Studio Code are:

  • Intellisense, an auto complete feature
  • Built-in Git
  • Built in Task-Runner
  • Equipped with CLI named code

Visit Official Website | Download Visual Studio Code

8. Bluefish

Platform: Windows /OS X / Linux

Bluefish is a powerful editor targeted towards programmers and webdevelopers, with many options to write websites, scripts and programming code. Bluefish supports many programming and markup languages. See features for an extensive overview, take a look at the screenshots, or download it right away. Bluefish is an open source development project, released under the GNU GPL license.

  • Lightweight – Bluefish tries to be lean and clean, as far as possible given it is a GUI editor.
  • Fast – Bluefish starts really quick (even on a netbook) and loads hundreds of files within seconds.
  • Multiple document interface easily opens 500+ documents (tested >10000 documents simultaneously)
  • Project support enables you to work efficiently on multiple projects, and automatically restores settings for each project.
  • Multi-threaded support for remote files using gvfs, supporting FTP, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, WebDAV, CIFS and more1
  • Very powerful search and replace, with support for Perl Compatible regular expressions, sub-pattern replacing, and search and replace in files on disk.
  • Open files recursively based on filename patterns and/or content patterns
  • Snippets sidebar – specify custom dialogs, search and replace patterns or insert patterns and bind them to a shortkut key combination of your liking to speed up your development process
  • Integrate external programs such as make, lint, weblint, xmllint, tidy, javac, or your own program or script to handle advanced text processing or error detection
  • Integrate external filters of your liking, pipe your document (or just the currently selected text) through sort, sed, awk or any custom script
  • Unlimited undo/redo functionality
  • In-line spell checker which is programing language aware (spell check comments and strings, but not code), requires libenchant during compilation2
  • Auto-recovery of changes in modified documents after a crash, kill or shutdown
  • Character map of all unicode characters (requires libgucharmap during compilation)3
  • Site upload / download1
  • Full-screen editing
  • Many tools such as tabs to spaces, join lines, lines to columns, strip whitespace, etc. etc.

Visit Official Website | Download Bluefish

9. Aptana Studio

Platform: Windows / OS X / Linux

Aptana Studio is an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for building web applications. Based on Eclipse, it supports JavaScript, HTML, DOM, and CSS with code-completion, outlining, JavaScript debugging, error and warning notifications and integrated documentation. Additional plugins allow Aptana Studio to support Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, Perl, Adobe AIR, Apple iPhone and Nokia WRT (Web Runtime). Aptana Studio is available as a standalone on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, or as a plugin for Eclipse.

Aptana, Inc. is a company that makes web application development tools for Web 2.0 and Ajax for use with a variety of programming languages (such as JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, and Python). Aptana’s main products include Aptana Studio, Aptana Cloud and Aptana Jaxer.

Some of the features of Apatana Studio are:

  • Deployment Wizard
  • Integrated Debugger
  • Git Integration
  • Built-in Terminal
  • IDE Customization

Visit Official Website | Download Aptana Studio

10. Komodo Edit

Platform: Windows / OS X / Linux

Komodo Edit is a free text editor for dynamic programming languages. Komodo Edit is built atop the Open Komodo project. Many of Komodo’s features are derived from an embedded Python interpreter. Komodo is faster and easier-to-use. New integrations with build systems let you stay in-the-zone and get more done.

Some of the features of Komodo Edit are:

  • Integrated debugger support
  • Document Object Model (DOM) viewer
  • Interactive shells
  • Source Code control integration
  • Ability to select the engine used to run regular expressions

Visit Official Website | Download Komodo Edit

Wrapping Up

The above mentioned are some of the best IDE for Web Development that is available for free. Being myself a Web Designer, my personal favorite is Sublime Text, Brackets and Visual Studio Code. However, I do most of the coding in Sublime Text since it’s very to code due to auto-completion, code hints, built-in plugins and much more.

Which one is your favorite IDE for Web Development? Share with us through the comments below.

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