Coding is an essential skill for many digital creators. You don’t have to be a programmer to reap rewards from coding – writers, artists, and other creatives can benefit from knowing how to write code, especially HTML.
Today we’re talking about an essential tool for coders, especially if you’re looking to build a website.
Whether you’re a beginner or someone with years of experience, everyone can benefit from a good HTML Editor when coding. Today, we’ll explore the top options (and explain why our favourites are free).
Best HTML Editors That Are Free
Best HTML Editors You’ll Need To Pay For
An HTML Editor is a program built to write and edit HTML code – the basis for many websites.
While you can use any text-based editor, such as Notepad, to write HTML code, a dedicated HTML editor offers a host of features to help streamline the process of writing and editing code.
These features include syntax highlight, autocompletion, debugging, and more.
If you want to build a website quickly and sidestep the coding, we recommend you check our in-depth review of the best website builders.
Here are just some examples of when a HTML Editor can come in handy:
HTML Editor features, such as auto-completion, make coding easier because they input closing tags where they’re supposed to appear. That means you can write code faster and there’s less chance of an error due to a missing closing tag.
Overall, whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned programmer, a HTML Editor can make a huge difference in your workflow and output.
WYSIWYG is the acronym for What You See Is What You Get. These are HTML Editors that provide you with a visual preview of the code you’re writing.
These HTML Editors are great for beginners as they allow you to see what your HTML code will look like on the web, and it does not require any initial HTML knowledge. That means you can go in there without a lick of HTML knowledge and create a gorgeous webpage.
A textual HTML editor, on the other hand, is as the name suggests: a text-based editor and requires you to have HTML knowledge to utilize it. When you’re using a textual HTML editor, you can’t see a preview of the site you’re editing / creating, and therefore you need some working knowledge of HTML to get the most out of it.
However, one of the perks of a textual HTML editor is that it allows more freedom when creating your webpage.
There are loads of HTML Editors on the market.
We’ll be going over 5 great free ones and 2 great premium options.
Visual Studio Code is a free open-source HTML editor with a range of programming languages and robust features that can benefit a beginner or a seasoned programmer.
Visual Studio Code is a free open-source HTML editor that was created and maintained by Microsoft as well as support from the open-source community.
Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is stellar due to its clean and intuitive design as well. It works well for beginners while still offering a lot to more seasoned programmers as well.
We can speak from experience here -here’s what Bitcatcha’s own tech team had to say:
I can personally vouch for Visual Studio Code (I’m using it for HTML, it’s pretty awesome). It color codes everything and highlights errors, but is also free and has an extensive coverage of extensions (e.g. HTML, CSS, Apache; downloadable from their own extension market). You can also create an account for it and sync settings across devices.”
Visual Studio Code is my current go-to editor. Tons of extensions. You can customise a lot and it’s more intuitive than Notepad++”
And another great part of Visual Studio Code? You can also download an extension called Live Server. This will help reflect any changes in real time as you code your website. How neat is that?
Visual Studio Code is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Notepad++ is a free lightweight HTML editor with multi-language support, customization options, and a distraction-free UI.
This HTML editor is lightweight and even has a mobile version as well. Its repository is available in GitHub, and it also has third-party plugins. If you’re a Linux user, you can also use Notepad++ via Wine.
Notepad++ is a great HTML editor if you’re looking to level up your coding skills and its clean interface makes it perfect for those who prefer a distraction-free workspace.
Atom is a free open-source HTML Editor with premium performance, it has over 8000 packages available for installation as well as a host of features to satisfy any developer.
Released in 2014, Atom is a free open-source code editor that was developed and is currently maintained by the GitHub team. It was designed to offer a premium feel and experience without a price tag.
The software itself is customizable as GitHub strived to make it a hackable text editor. You can extend, edit, change, and share program source code as well as make your packages to make atom better.
Atom is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux devices.
Sublime is a free HTML text editor with a paid upgrade available, it offers Python API support and other features that can meet your development needs.
Sublime Text is a great HTML text editor that was developed by Sublime HQ Pty Ltd. It offers a free model with a paid upgrade available. This HTML Editor offers excellent support that ensures that it’s constantly updated.
You can also create your plugins for Sublime Text or use the ones created by the community. The free version is more than adequate for many developers but if you ever need more, the upgrade is ready and waiting.
Sublime is available on macOS, Linux, and Windows systems. You only need one license to use it on any system.
Komodo Edit is a free open-source code editor that offers multi-language programming, and a wide range of customization options.
While Komodo Edit is a free code editor from ActiveState, the Komodo IDE program is now available for free as a part of the ActiveState Platform. Komodo Edit is a simple code editor, while Komodo IDE is a more feature-packed program that offers a Revamped Code Intelligence, print debugging, and more.
Komodo Edit is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux devices.
Adobe Dreamweaver is a premium HTML editor that allows for versatile coding and also works seamlessly with Adobe’s current software ecosystem.
Adobe Dreamweaver is a premium HTML editor that was developed and managed by Adobe.
It’s fast, powerful, and versatile in its performance. You can use Dreamweaver for both front-end and back-end development. Dreamweaver is a closed-source software that was built to work within the existing Adobe ecosystem.
With Dreamweaver, you have access to Adobe’s wide range of digital assets as well as support and plugins that’ll make coding seamless. One feature which adds to Dreamweaver’s versatility is that it supports both WYSIWYG and textual HTML editing. You’re not restricted to one or the other, you get to choose.
Dreamweaver is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux (using Wine). It used to be a one-time purchase, however, it is now available as a part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud as a monthly or annual subscription.
The monthly subscription for the Dreamweaver app alone is $31.49 while the annual plan is $239.88. However, there’s an annual plan paid monthly for $20.99.
Nova is a Mac-native code editor by Panic that’s built to work exclusively on macOS devices, if you loved Coda then consider Nova an upgrade.
Nova is a Mac-native code editor that was developed by Panic, the same company behind the text editor, Coda. Nova is available for $99 and you also receive one year of updates and new features.
After the first year, you’ll need to pay $49 each year to keep Nova updated. If you’re looking to upgrade from Coda, you can do so for $79 instead of $99 and receive the same benefits.
Nova is a fully customizable editor with themes that you can write yourself. It even changes with your Mac’s light and dark modes. Mac is known for its simplicity in design and Panic sought to emulate that with Nova, offering a clean and sleek code editor that’s not only pleasing to the eye but also packs some power behind it.
HTML Editors are essential for web development and knowing how to use one would only add to any digital creator or anyone’s arsenal. They allow you to write code faster and help you avoid common errors when writing code.
There are loads to choose from, so before you make your choice, think about your needs, your budget, and your experience level before you download one.
Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered:
As with everything else in life, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to HTML editors, so consider your needs then choose the one that best suits you.
While most premium products usually blow the paid alternatives out of the water, that’s not the case with HTML Editors.
In fact, many developers are highly satisfied with free HTML Editors because they offer more than what they need to get the job done.
Also, many free HTML Editors have open source communities which means that they are constantly updated with new and interesting features and if there’s something missing, you can make it yourself.
Even with everything considered, if you find that none of these HTML Editors suit you and coding isn’t your forte, but you NEED a website then check out the best website builders on the market to do the work for you.
Orane Ennis is a writer with a passion for tech and how it will change the landscape of business. He’s most excited to see how augmented reality will blend the real and digital world in the years to come.