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Coding is everything when it comes to web development. So you simply have to get it right for better security and to avoid glitches in the future.
Luckily, there’s a very effective solution. Just like spellcheck helps you write error-free documents, web developers can use HTML editors to to avoid mistakes.
Everything is faster and easier thanks to HTML editors’ spell-checking, syntax highlighting, and auto-completion features, among others.
In this guide, I’ll look at the best HTML editors available. Some of these options are free. Try them out. You may find they let you accomplish more in less time, or give you the confidence to try something new.
#1 – Atom Review – The Best for Advanced Customization
Atom is a free, open-source code editor developed by the GitHub team and maintained by the GitHub community. It comes with enough packages and theme collections, runs light, and loads super fast, making this HTML editor one of the best you can find.
It’s a modernized WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editor available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and is built for collaboration. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced professional, Atom is everyone’s favorite with its premium feel and customization flexibility.
Think of it as an advanced text editor that has several features commonly limited to high-level coding programs.
It also comes with a hackable text editor! It’s a feature that enables developers to edit, extend, change, and share the program source code and design their own packages to improve Atom.
Multiple pane support is another feature I like. You can split the interface into as many windows as you need to compare and write code side-by-side.
Other features include syntax correction and highlighting, autocompletion, project management, and Teletype (users can collaborate with other developers in real-time).
Atom is entirely free of charge! So you don’t have to shell out any money to use this excellent editor.
#2 – Notepad + + Review – The Best for Front-End Developers and Web Designers
Fast working, time-tested, and foolproof, Notepad + + is one of the most popular HTML editors used by millions worldwide. It’s an open-code editor that offers multi-language support, which isn’t restricted to only HTML and CSS.
One of the primary reasons for Notepad + +‘s popularity is its feature-rich interface.
You get syntax folding, syntax highlighting, multi-view, document map, multi-document interface, auto-completion, bookmarks, and a fully customizable GUI. And even after this long list, there’s still more.
Notepad + + was developed for Windows-based machines, but Linux users can use it via Wine. As the name suggests, this editor is like an upgraded version of the Notepad software, which is already available in Windows by default. You also get its repository on GitHub.
A mobile version is also available, so you can work no matter when and where you find a problem.
Environmentalists would love Notepad + + as well. It has programs that run on less CPU power in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
Notepad + + is free for all! So no extra money or hidden costs for you to worry about.
#3 – Brackets Review – The Best for Beginners
Brackets is another widely popular HTML editor for programmers compatible with different operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux. It comes with a built-in package manager that allows users to search and install any supported package they like.
I highly recommend this open-source HTML editor for beginners due to its smart auto-completion feature that makes coding incredibly fast and accurate.
Bracket’s coding UI can be split into multiple panes, making writing and comparing codes between different files easy and precise. Its integrated file system browser enables you to access files within your PC.
Plus, it has a find and replace feature that allows developers to fine-tune the code when appropriate. This can be useful for novices and experienced professionals to ensure their website stays up-to-date.
Styling and customization are super easy and simple, so coding won’t ever get boring with Brackets.
The pre-installed syntax themes feature dark and flashy bright colors. With no shortage of packages on the platform, you can add as many features as you want, based on your use-case and preference.
Brackets is completely free! You can download it directly from the official website
Note: Support for Brackets ends in September 2021. You’ll be able to fork projects on GitHub or migrate to Visual Studio Code, a free code editor from Microsoft.
#4 – Sublime Text Review – The Best for Multi-Language Support
Sublime Text is the advanced version of Notepad + +. It comes with the standard features of Notepad + +, along with more modern ones to suit the sophisticated needs of the more experienced users.
You get cross-platform support, split editing, multiple-selection editing, proprietary command palette, and syntax editing to make web development simpler. The editor is incredibly powerful and promises high performance. However, you have a steeper learning curve ahead of you in exchange for this flexibility and power.
One of the more advanced features of Sublime Text is “Goto Anything.” Using this, you can find and replace the code within a considerably shorter period. The distraction-free mode is another great feature that displays only the code by hiding other elements.
You can use keyboard shortcuts to execute tasks quickly–provided you can remember them. Everything is easily customizable in the editor as well, whether you want to personalize key bindings to snippets to menus.
Sublime Text has a free version available that’s enough for beginners, but if you want access to all its features, you have to pay a one-time cost of $80.
#5 – Adobe Dreamweaver CC Review – The Best for Web Developers
Most of the other options work great for front-end development, but having an HTML editor that facilitates back-end development is also necessary, which is where Adobe Dreamweaver CC comes in.
Made by renowned company Adobe, this editor is hands down one of the most famous and influential options on the market. You get all sorts of plugins and premium features that you wouldn’t normally have access to with other HTML editors.
Whether it’s creating more responsive sites or editing the website code, Dreamweaver makes everything possible.
This editor is a closed source software, designed to work within the Adobe ecosystem. It supports both the textual and WYSIWYG methods, allowing you to choose between coding with a live visual presentation or take the traditional route. You can write code in any major programming language and enjoy access to creative cloud libraries.
Web developers would particularly love Adobe Dreamweaver CC. It automatically confirms the code and page accessibility, making it easier for developers to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and even reviews the end product.
Plus, the direct access to an abundant supply of assets in the Adobe ecosystem like graphics, layers, colors, words, characters, and much more, is another advantage.
Dreamweaver has a free version, but you can opt for premium plans as well. You have three options:
- Annual Plan, Payable Monthly – $25.99 per month
- Monthly Plan – $31.49 per month
- Annual Plan, Prepaid – $239.88 per year
What I Looked at to Find the Best HTML Editor
HTML editors—both free and paid—come with several cosmetic features. Based on your business needs, you’ll find some to be absolutely necessary, while others you may not need at all.
I’ve compiled a list of features that I think a good HTML editor should have. You may not need all of them, but here is what you should be looking for when choosing an HTML editor.
Color-Coding or Syntax Highlighting
HTML has a tag-based markup language. You need an HTML editor with syntax highlighting or color-coding features to light up these tags.
Doing this will help you identify the tags quickly, which, in turn, will make working with blocks of code easier.
Autocomplete and Suggestions
The autocomplete and suggestions feature helps to quickly fill in longer code at the press of a button.
The editor gives you pop up suggestions based on your work–all you have to do is click on it, and the code will autocomplete. Think of how you type text messages on your phone or when you do a quick Google search.
You can also automate creating closing tabs through this feature.
Find and Replace
I highly recommend looking for code editors with the find and replace feature, as it allows you to locate certain strings and replace them with something else very quickly.
Plus, HTML is constantly changing and updating standards and deprecation of inefficient tags. So, you’ll definitely find yourself wanting this feature sometime in the future to update your website.
Editors with version control enable you to see the previous versions of your code and rollback when needed.
As a result, you can store all the copies without making separate documents, and I know how crucial this is when you’re working with other developers.
The role of multi-cursors is simple: It allows you to write code in multiple places at once. In other words, you can edit code simultaneously.
This is especially useful when you want to add duplicates of the same tag.
FTP Support and Error Detection
Getting HTML editors with FTP support lets you connect to WordPress and upload changes you want to make without any hassle. As a result, you won’t find yourself logging into FileZilla or your preferred FTP client every time you want to update anything.
Live error detection is equally important.
HTML is a markup language and not a programming language, which is why it doesn’t compile. It also means you can’t test your code. With live error detection, though, you’ll know immediately whenever you write something incorrectly.
In addition to these, there are several other features like code folding and autosave that can increase productivity and accuracy.
Note: If you’re looking for a code editor with advanced features and platform integration, you‘ll need an integrated development environment or IDE rather than a text editor. While IDEs are similar to HTML editors, they are more beefed up designed for advanced developers.
HTML editors are a must for any web development and design toolkit. Not only can you create code faster, but it also simplifies the whole process by helping you avoid errors.
The only catch is to select an option that aligns with your needs.
You can select an option from my top picks or look for other alternatives in the market. Here is a complete list of the top picks:
- Atom – Best for advanced customization
- Notepad + + – Best for front-end developers and web designers
- Brackets – Best for beginners
- Sublime Text – Best for multi-language support
- Adobe Dreamweaver CC – Best for web developers
Try to look for prospective editors that include syntax highlighting and live preview. If you want something more sophisticated, a find and replace feature will be a great asset.