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Which is the best IDE for JavaScript development in 2021?

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ThemeSelection provide selected high quality, modern design, professional and easy-to-use Bootstrap HTML Themes, Admin Dashboard Template and UI Kits to create your applications faster!
Updated on ・10 min read

Ever wonder what is the best IDE for JavaScript development? Then here you are going to know about what is the best IDE for JavaScript Development 2021? Before we start the collection let's have a look at JavaScript and IDE.

Well, as we all know JavaScript is the most popular programming language on the web. It works exceptionally well with CSS and HTML to develop powerful front-end applications. With the introduction of NodeJS, the high-level, interpreted programming languages expanded their reaches to backend development.

Thus, It led to a surge in the development of a diverse range of best JavaScript frameworks, IDEs, and source code editors. An IDE is preferred over code editors due to the ability to debug code as well as providing support for ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) systems. Nonetheless, the difference between source code editors and IDEs has blurred in modern times.

You can also check JavaScript build tools.

Why use JavaScript?

Here are the reasons for using JavaScript:

  • It can enhance the interaction of a user with the webpage.
  • Easy to learn.
  • You can debug the application with ease.
  • JavaScript is a platform-independent language.
  • There is no need for compilation.

What is IDE?

An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, enables programmers to consolidate the different aspects of writing a computer program. IDEs increase programmer productivity by combining common activities of writing software into a single application: editing source code, building executables, and debugging.

Here are the features of the best IDE for JavaScript development:

  • It highlights the syntax.
  • You can quickly go to the definition of class or method.
  • Supports shortcuts for ease of access.
  • It provides easy to use user interface.
  • JavaScript IDE offers a real-time output of the program.
  • It provides many libraries for writing JavaScript code.
  • These applications can automatically complete the code.

Now, in this collection, we’re gonna take a look at the top 10 IDEs for JavaScript. Well, this is a highly subjective list. Thus, by no means we claim it to be a complete list. So, If you think we’ve missed something, let us know in the comments below!

Visual Studio Code

Visual studio code

Vs code (aka VS Code) is a product of Microsoft. It’s important to not mix this up with Visual Studio that is mainly aimed at .NET development.

This is one of the best IDEs for javascript development. It is very powerful and rich in features and most of all, it is free to use.

Features:

  • Support for multiple languages (JavaScript, TypeScript, etc.). Custom extensions can be installed on this to support ecosystems of C#, C++, Python, etc.
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto-complete with IntelliSense
  • Capabilities to debug code by attaching running apps and including breakpoints
  • Shortcuts to make coding efficient
  • A marketplace with extensions to support many extra functionalities (E.g.- Docker extensions)
  • Integration capabilities with Visual Studio Code Online
  • Version controlling via extensions

Pros:

  • Powerful multilanguage IDE
  • Nice built-in features like auto-highlighting repeating variables
  • It's lightweight
  • Helpful for quick script modification
  • Better UI, easy plugins, and nice git integration

Cons:

  • More advanced debugging features would be helpful
  • Including a built-in screen for package management
  • Its user interface is really intimidating to new and beginner users

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Alt Text

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Atom

Atom

Atom is an open-source IDE that gained a lot of traction before the introduction of Visual Studio Code. It is backed by GitHub which was another reason for it to become very popular. Atom is an Electron application.

Atom is similar to VS Code in many ways. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is free to use and is under the MIT license. It also has auto code completion, supports multiple projects and multiple section editing, etc.

Features:

  • It has an integrated package manager.
  • You can find, preview, and replace text typed in a file or across the entire project.
  • IDE supports the command palette to run available commands.
  • You can easily browse and open a file or project.
  • Quickly find and replace text as you type in the file.
  • This application can be used on Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Pros:

  • Git Integration
  • Cross-Platform Support
  • Multi cursor support

Cons:

  • Sometimes unstable
  • Lack of Code Execution
  • Slower than other top editors

Webstrom

webstrom

If you have been in the software industry for a while, there is no doubt you’ve heard of the IDE development company JetBrains. WebStorm is also a product of JetBrains which is focused on JavaScript development.

It supports many technologies and languages such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Angular JS, TypeScript, Node.js, Meteor, ECMAScript, React, Vue.js, Cordova, etc. WebStorm is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Features:

  • You can test your code with ease using tools like Mocha, Karma test runner, Jest, and more.
  • Trace (the process of verifying code manually) your JavaScript code with ease.
  • This IDE offers a wide range of plugins and templates.
  • It quickly rolls back to previous versions.
  • Coding style, fonts, themes, and shortcuts can be customized.
  • It offers a built-in terminal.
  • Integration with VCS (Veritas Cluster Server)
  • Parameter hints
  • Git integration
  • Intelligent Code Completion
  • Multi-line todos

Pros:

  • Like the product of the JetBean, the UI is very familiar as the famous IntelliJ
  • The JS static code scanning out of the box is very handy
  • Auto fix is also a very productive feature to mention
  • It by default has well integration with Angular, TypeScript, Vue, React

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ IDEA is another IDE by JetBrains. This has two editions; Community and Ultimate. The Community edition is free to use whereas the Ultimate editions require purchasing a license.

With a primary focus on maximizing developer productivity, IntelliJ IDEA is one of the most beloved IDEs. In addition to providing support for a number of programming languages other than Java and JS, the ergonomic design supported by the IDE offers ease of use.

One of the most amazing features of IntelliJ IDEA is its ability to automatically add tools that are relevant to the context. The integrated development environment offers a number of smart code assistance features for JavaScript development.

IntelliJ IDEA is capable to automate repetitive programming tasks to cut development time. The IDE offers advanced code completion, a built-in static code analyzer, and integrated version control.

Features:

  • Advanced code completion
  • Built-in static code analyzers
  • Deployment and debugging tools for most application servers
  • Test runner UI
  • Code coverage
  • Git integration
  • Supports multiple build systems
  • Extensive database editor and UML designer
  • Supports Google App Engine, Grails, GWT
  • Intelligent text editors for HTML, CSS, and Java
  • Integrated version control
  • Automates repetitive programming tasks

Pros:

  • Auto-completion

  • It has built-in support for version control, so whenever you feel like you need to backtrack to a previous state or version of a website you saved, you can easily do it

  • Plugin support is really great.

Cons:

  • The console that comes with the IDE is somewhat laggy.
  • There are some minor bugs

Sublime Text

Sublime Text

The latest version of Sublime Text is SBT3, which transforms the tool from being a source code editor into a pseudo-IDE. Sublime Text is cross-platform and offers a high degree of customization.

Sublime Text flaunts a clutter-free interface and significant speed boost. Enhanced pane-management, Go to definition, and Go to Symbol are some of the out-of-the-box features. For enabling syntax highlight for ES6 and ReactJS code, the Babel plugin is available.

Some important plugins that anyone using Sublime Text for JS development must use are DocBlockr, JSFormat, SideBar Enhancements, and SublimeLinter.

Features:

  • It offers a command palette for changing the syntax.
  • You can quickly go to the definition of class or method.
  • Sublime Text provides API to extend the features.
  • This tool supports shortcuts for ease of access.
  • Sublime Text provides a command palette to hold frequently utilized functionality.
  • It highlights the syntax.

Pros:

  • Sublime Text is powerful where you need it to be, but simple and out of your way at the same time.
  • Great keyboard shortcuts and multi-selection options
  • Great package manager installation process for easily extending functionality

Brackets

Brackets

Brackets is created by Adobe. This lightweight and fast JS editor offer built-in support for JavaScript. Brackets are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Function finding and quick project switching are some notable features it offers. With the help of these features, the users can search for different project files while typing in real-time. The Extract feature converts details from PSD into CSS.

Note: On September 1, 2021, Adobe will end support for Brackets. If you would like to continue using, maintaining, and improving Brackets, you may fork the project on GitHub. Through Adobe’s partnership with Microsoft, we encourage users to migrate to Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s free code editor built on open source.

Features:

  • Inline editors.
  • Live Preview — allows you to get a real-time connection to your browser; whenever you make a change, you immediately see the changes on the screen.
  • Preprocessor Support — This allows you to use Quick Edit and Live Highlight LESS and SCSS files.
  • A set of visual tools.
  • Preprocessor support.

Pros:

  • Simple User-Interface
  • Code Minification
  • Live Browser Preview

Cons:

  • High Launch Time
  • Difficult Project Management
  • Low Performance while working with large files

ActiveState Komodo IDE

ActiveState Komodo IDE

Komodo IDE provides advanced JavaScript editing, syntax highlighting, navigation, and debugging, but it doesn’t include JavaScript code checking. For that, you can always run JSHint in a shell.

Besides, Komodo supports dozens of programming and markup languages. With its wide range of programming and markup language support, including refactoring, debugging, and profiling, Komodo IDE is a very good choice for end-to-end development in open source languages.

Komodo has a code refactoring module for all of the languages for which it provides code intelligence: PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Tcl, JavaScript, and Node.js.

Apache NetBeans

Apache NetBeans

NetBeans has very good support for JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 in web projects, and it supports the Cordova/PhoneGap framework for building JavaScript-based mobile applications. NetBeans is available free under an open-source license.

The NetBeans JavaScript editor provides syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and code folding, pretty much as you’d expect. The JavaScript editing features also work for JavaScript code embedded in PHP, JSP, and HTML files. jQuery support is baked into the editor. NetBeans 8.2 has new or improved support for Node.js and Express, Gulp, Grunt, AngularJS, Knockout.js, Jade, Mocha, and Selenium.

Code analysis runs in the background as you edit, providing warnings and hints. Debugging works in the embedded WebKit browser and in Chrome with the NetBeans Connector installed. The debugger can set DOM, line, event, and XMLHttpRequest breakpoints, and it will display variables, watches, and the call stack. An integrated browser log window displays browser exceptions, errors, and warnings.

Features:

  • NetBeans integrates issue tracking with Jira and Bugzilla.
  • In the NetBeans task window, you can search for tasks, save searches, update tasks, and resolve tasks in your registered task repository.
  • NetBeans also has team server integration for sites that use the Kenai infrastructure.

Pros:

  • Powerful for Automation
  • Good Service Management
  • Impressive Refactoring

Cons:

  • Poor Integration Support
  • Consumes more system resource
  • Irritating Pop-ups

Eclipse

Eclipse

Eclipse is one of the best IDE for javascript development. Basically, full-stack developers use Eclipse for JavaScript coding. Although, for JS, you need to install some specific plugins.

The accurate performance of JavaScript Development Tools is the highlight of Eclipse. A brand-new Docker UI helps to build Docker images as well as containers with the Docker CLI. Another striking feature is automated error reporting. With this feature, the IDE can send the bugs found in the IDE to eclipse.org

Pros:

  • Powerful Project Management
  • Almost all packages support Git integration.
  • Advanced Debugging
  • Good Auto-Complete

Cons

  • Most changes require a reboot to take effect
  • Complex for beginners
  • Poor Customer Support

TextMate (for Mac OS)

TextMate (for Mac OS)

Powerful and customizable text editor with support for a huge list of programming languages and developed as open source. TextMate is a versatile plain text editor with a unique and innovative feature set. A rapidly growing community have created bundles for more than a hundred different "modes," including support for all major programming languages, writing prose in structured formats such as LaTeX, Markdown, Textile, etc., blogging, running SQL queries, writing screenplays, doing your budget, and much much more.

Features:

  • Multiple Carets
  • Scoped Settings
  • Version Control
  • Bundles

Conclusion:

So, here was the collection of the best IDE for javascript development in 2021. In this collection, we have gathered some of the best JavaScript IDE that can help you boost up your workflow with ease.

Well, there is no single JS source code editor or IDE that is a one-stop solution for everything. Thus, calling any single IDE best will be unfair as each one of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. Hence, before opting for one, you need to precisely underline all your requirements.

We hope the listing above will help you make a favorable decision. Also, do tell us your favorite IDEs in the comment section below.

Discussion (49)

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theonlytails profile image
TheOnlyTails

I love WebStorm. I've been in the Jetbrains ecosystem ever since I started programming, and they make such high quality products I don't want to leave.

Note: IntelliJ Ultimate and WebStorm are basically the same, except IJ is more general purpose for all kinds of programming, and WS is more focused on web development, as its name implies.

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houdinii profile image
Brian B.

I second this. There is just something about it. With VSCode, I always felt like I was in an abusive relationship where I had to do all the work. The words seem bigger and complex, it requires plugins to do almost anything any other IDE does. Webstorm though, it's constantly trying to explain itself with the option to turn off the training wheels. It's weird too because I learned more from the ide than the tutorials I was reading and that's not how I typically learn.

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theonlytails profile image
TheOnlyTails

I think that the most major thing that JetBrains IDEs have that teaches their users is inspections, simply because you're constantly being corrected and improved, up to the point where you don't need the IDE to correct you anymore.

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icecoffee profile image
atulit023

Vs code is so customizable that one day I believe some one will make an extension to add a refrigerator and bed in it 😂 and I'll be the one to stay in.
LOL

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themeselection Author

Hahaha...😂

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chrisherlein profile image
Christian Herlein

Nice post!

Blame me for old, but VIM is still the best ide, imho.

Cheers!

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kylereeman profile image
KyleReemaN

You know there is a vim plugin for like every modern ide :)

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erlanartykbaev profile image
eartykbaev

WebStorm + vim extension = my love

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themeselection Author

Thank you very much for your appreciation.🙂

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andreidascalu profile image
Andrei Dascalu • Edited

WEbstrom, Like the product of the JetBean :) that's what happens when you mix jetBrains and netbeans in the same post.

On the more serious side, that's my take on IDE's:

  • Anything JetBrains: great products, but I don't like their approach to marketing. They have dedicated IDEs per language which are awesome individually, but not cross-functional so overall I wouldn't pay for that (at least not yearly). VSCode delivers 75% of the features of all JetBrains products for no or very little cost (for PHP I use Intelephense that has a $10 lifetime price tag and does everything PHPStorm does except refactoring aid) and it's all on one (which for me matters, as I code in JS/Go/PHP/Python daily. Also, JetBrains products are still missing a usable way to code directly in containers.
  • VSCode: I like it, don't love it. For me it's the one IDE to rule them all when it comes to support/extensions and so on. With Microsoft's support behind it, there's an amazing community behind it that supports anything and everything. Come on, you have Reddit and Stackoverflow extensions to search while you code. Not to mention music player. And they had a good live/peer coding extension way before JetBrains added one to their stack. My only wish: dump Electron already. In years I've only had 2-3 issues with it, but I can see why other usage patterns could lead to problems.
  • SublimeText: I'd love to love it, but all my attempts to have it work as well as VSCode for all my needs resulted in an unstable annoying environment.
  • Eclipse: awful and slow. I've been using it on and off since college (back in early 200x) and it's never gotten any better.
  • NetBeans: have the UI. Also very limited. It's ok for JS & Java. Between Sublime/VSCode/JetBrains/IntellIJ, I have no idea how come it's still around.
  • IntelliJ: it may be the standard for Java, but in other directions it's merely ok.
  • VIM/NeoVIM: I used to love it, but gone are the days when I can muster the patience to configure it properly. I can barely get myself to look over what Powerlevel 10k has new, nevermind spend a few days tinkering to get what I need out of VIM for all my tooling.
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zekethedev profile image
Ezekiel Nwafor

I’ve heard a lot about jetbrains. I tried it a while ago but it didn’t stick. I was curious to really give jetbrains another go. Do you know of any resources to get a proper introduction?

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andreidascalu profile image
Andrei Dascalu

Sadly nothing comes to mind. When I got into JetBrains (via PHPStorm, but later tried PyStorm, Webstorm and Goland) it was based on recommendations and then I started researching on a case-by-case bases "how do I do X in PHPStorm" + just stumbling into features (and also some YouTube videos of how to use refactoring tools - which is still the most awesome JetBrains functionality that I've yet to see implemented in a useful way elsewhere, though IntelliJ has it for Java I think).

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themeselection Author

Thank you very much for your feedback.👍

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mrdanishsaleem profile image
Danish Saleem

My vote is for ATOM 🤩

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ivanjeremic profile image
Ivan Jeremic

You old

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ivanjeremic profile image
Ivan Jeremic

Trust me it is a buggy software and you can look at VSCode as Atom 2.0 without bugs and faster, it is anyway by the same company.

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mrdanishsaleem profile image
Danish Saleem

I will look at VS Code. But as speaking of buggy atom works prefect for me.

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eddsaura profile image
Jose E Saura

Atom was brought by GitHub, then Microsoft began with VScode.

Microsoft bought GitHub... you can guess the rest. It is the same software.

Much love

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mrdanishsaleem profile image
Danish Saleem

Yes, I guess so

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mrdanishsaleem profile image
Danish Saleem

Old is Gold 😉

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polyterative profile image
Vlady

Using anything less that webstorm/rider means losing time. I love em to death

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chrisczopp profile image
chris-czopp

Not necessarily, I think it hugely depends on other tools you're using and your dev process. The only feature of Webstorm which I like is refactoring, other than that I could use something much simpler, and I use it because it's just a habit.

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polyterative profile image
Vlady

search & navigation are the winners for me. I never spent more than 5s looking for anything inside that program using search. My colleagues always manually navigate...

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chrisczopp profile image
chris-czopp

yeah, the global search is also legit

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themeselection Author

Good one..!!🤘🏻

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huncyrus profile image
huncyrus

Vim! Emacs!
(joke)
IntelliJ & Webstorm & Sublime & VSC for me.
I prefer to let everyone use whatever they want and whatever the code require (for 4 line code do not need an IDE). But many real IDE provide more productivity (IntelliJ*).

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tomasfreres profile image
Tomás

I use VS Code as my main IDE for web projects. It's fast, easy to use and very stripped down. The UI doesn't overwhelm you with features, toggles and buttons. It's very clear that VS Code is a IDE aimed at web technologies built with said technolgies by people, that use it every day.

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themeselection Author

Indeed VS Code is the best one.👍

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hugekontrast profile image
Ashish Khare😎

Beginners drop the thought of using an IDE, let yourself get tangled with errors and ditch those fancy features. Be the true mason for your projects. What you want at most is a simple text editor like sublime or atom.
While I appreciate the time and effort of the author, who presented all options so vividly making this post completely justifying the title. Thanks for sharing!

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themeselection Author

Thank you very much for your review and feedback. We appreciate it.👍

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mrhabibi profile image
Mr.Habibi

I am currently using VSCode. But I still love Sublime text and Notepad++ because of its simplicity.

Please, sorry. The worst code editor ever that I have tried is Brackets (Adobe). I don't know why, try Atom instead of Brackets

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themeselection Author

VS code is indeed the best one. Yes, the sublime text is also a good choice...👍

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j_c___ profile image
J_C___

I've been using webstorm since college and I don't know what I'd do without it. I had a stint where I used atom and it was certainly less demanding on my computer but I couldn't resist going back to webstorm.

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vilimco profile image
Vilim Stubičan

In my experience, there is a huge distinction between IDE (JetBrains products, Eclipse, Visual Studio [not Code], etc.) and code-editors or text-editors with extensions/plugins (VSCode, Sublime, Notepad++ at the end of the day, etc.).

We tend to look at this from our own personal experience in development and not from the perspective of the tool: IDEs are developed with a lot of research on what is good and functional in regards to DevUX (and these are not just common guesses from implementors, there is a lot of market testing, focus groups, etc.).

When we are talking about editors, they will solve that problem and stop there. Plugins and extensions are community additions to this ecosystem and they also solve their problem while often ignoring the ecosystem in which they will be run (i.e., compatibility between different plugins/extensions).
In IDEs these things are already considered and integrated with the feature.

It’s the same as using a framework vs building your own: you will get all the tools for the problems that you might not be solving now for the adequate cost (either physical space, code requirements or price) vs solving every "current" problem with some approach (either coding it yourself or pulling some library that will solve that problem while fixing potential non-compatibilities between libraries).

My personal favorite: JetBrains tools (any of them)
I shifted from using literally 10 different tools to a single tool (PHPStorm most of the time for both frontend and backend, switching to other tools is other backend language is used).
It has one of the most functional and simple-to-use integrated support for Git.
It has integrated functionalities of Datagrip for all database functionalities.
It has always up-to-date debugging toolsets for supporting languages (yes, even JS on both frontend and backend that links directly to the code).
It has integrated support for linting (ESLint), transpiling (TypeScript), library specific supports (React, Vue).
Plus the whole Performance management that will track your personal bettering with shortcuts and other available functionalities.
And recently they integrated Code with me functionality for easier pair programming together with voice and video chat.

And yes, it is "pricey" but considering how much time you might spend on installing and maintaining different extensions whilst possibly missing out some new great functionality just because you as a developer are not exposed to certain blog posts or communities, the price is completely all right. Also, if we in IT cannot spend ~$400/year for our toolsets, we are (in my opinion) doing something wrong. :))

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uzair004 profile image
Muhammad Uzair

VS Code is <3

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manikbajaj profile image
Manik

Webstorm any day! I just love Jetbrains products and I've trued switching to Vs code many time but its just not that full blown IDE and I hate wasting time working around plugins!
WEBSTORM it is!!

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oskarcodes profile image
Oskar Codes

VSCode is actually just a text editor with a bunch of additional features, not an IDE. I do agree that it suits web development very well, but it isn’t really in the same category as the other ones.

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aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese • Edited

I don't know about the others on the list but in vscode, the ability to run Azure serverless functions locally and then push them directly to Azure within the editor (not a terminal window) qualifies it as a fully fledged IDE.

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kylereeman profile image
KyleReemaN

I like VS Code but I loooooove Webstorm

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Jitu Chauhan

I love to work with VSCode with GitHub repo. Recently we working on the Geeks UI Bootstrap 5.
Thank you for sharing this amazing.

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themeselection Author

Thank you very much for your appreciation. 👍

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farismecinovic profile image
Faris Mecinovic

I'm using WebStrom. Jetbrains member since I started on college. Loving their products, but WebStorm is whole another level of IDE

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themeselection Author

Yes, webstrom is a good option. 👍

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junihh profile image
Junior Hernandez • Edited

I don't know why but every time I read someone who says that VS Code is lightweight, I get a headache. 😩

By the way, Sublime Text is already 4 (and my favorite editor).

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sdiamante13 profile image
Steven Diamante

IntelliJ Ultimate Edition is required to do any Javascript coding. I am a huge IntelliJ fan, but have switched over to VSCode for this reason as I no longer have an Ultimate license.

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Предраг Николић • Edited

For people interested in Sublime Text, I would definitely suggest the LSP plugin and the LSP-typescript plugin.

Bonus tip. There is a development version of Sublime Text 4 for licenced users.

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themeselection Author

Thank you very much for your inputs.👍

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memoev profile image
Guillermo V.

Is WebStorm free?

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themeselection Author • Edited

Hi. No, It is not totally free. You'll have 30 days free trial then you'll have to purchase it.

Forem Open with the Forem app