Software developers need a powerful technology stack to create sophisticated websites and web apps that comply with modern requirements. You will not be able to write all the code for a complex web platform in a notepad. An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software solution that accelerates and improves the accuracy of coding, eliminating many manual operations, and boosting performance.

There are a number of IDE options available. Our list of the most popular web development environments will help you choose the one that best meets your needs. 

What is a Web Dev IDE?

An IDE is a platform that provides useful features for coding, editing, error detection, bug fixing and testing. Additional possibilities can vary, depending on the IDE’s purpose. But most solutions of this type offer:

  • Autocomplete
  • Interpreter
  • Compiler
  • Debugging
  • Syntax highlighting

best free ide for web development

15 Best Integrated Environments for Web Development

HTML Top 5

  1. Aptana Studio 3 is a freely available technology with a simplistic interface and access to a large number of helpful commands. Support for an extensive list of browsers prevents compatibility issues, allowing you to implement a wide range of web dev projects in a single environment. You can perform thorough testing and fix bugs before the app’s release. As for drawbacks, this IDE is relatively slow, not very stable and can be insufficient for complex tasks.
  2. Adobe Dreamweaver CC. You can use this high-performance environment by Adobe Inc to develop both the frontend and backend of web applications, taking advantage of easy integration with all other Adobe tools. It instantly displays code edits, allowing developers to see the results of their actions and reverse unsuccessful changes. This is especially beneficial for inexperienced programmers who often make mistakes and struggle to find them. At the same time, this technology lacks compatibility and has a cumbersome dynamic code.
  3. Sublime Text is a compact IDE with a powerful programming interface and plugin support. It runs smoothly on multiple platforms, allows for easy shifting between files, selecting certain elements and editing many code lines at once, and keeping your favorite tools on a convenient palette. Since the basic functionality is limited, you may need to customize your programming environment by adding third-party extensions.
  4. RubyMine is a product by JetBrains that is mainly tailored to Ruby but also super useful for HTML coding. It is easy  to navigate, autocompletes and refactors  code, helps software developers to organize effective workflow and ensures high compatibility. JetBrains releases frequent updates but annually charges $199-649. If you’re unsure whether it’s a good idea to invest in this IDE, use a trial version for free. Keep in mind that customization of RubyMine is limited and it takes up a lot of memory.
  5. PyCharm. Initially developed for Python, is a great tool for work with HTML. It is popular among experienced web developers who take advantage of flexible customization features to comfortably adjust their virtual workspace. PyCharm can be integrated with Git and Mercurial. This smart assistant automatically completes code, promptly detects and fixes errors and has user-friendly navigation. At the same time, users have detected some performance issues.

CSS Top 5

  1. RJ TextEd provides all the basic functionality required for CSS and HTML coding. You can preview, edit and autocomplete your code, and reduce development time by using some helpful templates. The syntax is conveniently highlighted. This IDE is open-source but doesn’t provide advanced features.
  2. Vim is a lightweight IDE that performs fast, even under high loads, and ensures high productivity. This advanced technology can be challenging to master for novices.
  3. PhpStorm is a commercially sold product by JetBrains, suitable for a wide range of projects. It helps programmers detect and fix mistakes early on, has a user-friendly interface and code navigation, and supports popular frameworks. You can choose additional components from a variety of available options to customize this IDE.
  4. Brackets is a freely available editor that has a straightforward interface, supports preprocessors and allows for previewing changes to the code in a browser. It takes little space and has a high performance which, however, can drop if you install a large number of plugins.
  5. Light Table is a lightweight IDE with a straightforward and flexible interface that lets you easily move elements at your convenience. The editor suggests code options and instantly visualizes how they work. You can connect your favorite plugins.

best ide for web development 2020

JavaScript Top 5

  1. Microsoft Visual Studio. No surprise that a product by tech giant Microsoft goes first in this list. MVS is a highly flexible environment that can be used for a wide range of projects, especailly web apps. It automates many manual processes, provides a simplistic and easy-to-master interface, and allows for testing apps for compatibility with different functional environments. This IDE is popular among both experienced and aspiring developers. But you need to pay a rather high price for the reliability and support of the popular brand – up to $2,900. Also, significant resources are needed for MVS to run smoothly.
  2. Komodo is an IDE with a straightforward and flexible interface. You can create software tailored to different platforms, take advantage of the autocomplete, advanced syntax checking and debugging features. Also, multiple users can simultaneously work in Komodo, simplifying and accelerating the software development process. You can use this technology for free for 21 days or acquire a paid version for $99 – $1,615.
  3. Atom is a cross-platform and freely available solution distributed by GitHub. You can acquire a basic IDE with several built-in themes and customize it depending on your needs, using free themes and features. Atom allows for easily shifting between projects and provides access to GitHub directly from the editor. The downside is relatively slow performance.
  4. WebStorm is an environment that provides straightforward navigation, autocompletes and effectively refactors code, fixes errors, can be connected to GitHub and Mercurial, and enriched with different plugins and advanced features. JetBrains, a company releasing this IDE, changes an annual fee of $129 – $649. The only drawback is high memory consumption.

These are the most popular and efficient environments for web development. Choose the most suitable options to conveniently arrange your virtual workspace and create high-end software products that exceed the expectations of your users.