The 5 Best HTML editors in 2020

If you’ve ever dipped your toes into the world of web development, you may already be aware of HTML, or HyperText Markup Language. It is one of the oldest and most fundamental languages for creating websites, after all!

Whether you’re a newbie to the world of computing or you’re a seasoned veteran, it can help to have some basic HTML knowledge. You may find down the road that these skills come in handy if you ever need to manage a website.

HTML code can be written on basically any text editor around – from anything as simple as notepad, to full coding suites like Visual Studio. While you can use very basic editors for coding HTML, there are a number of benefits that come from using one of the editors that are optimised specifically for writing HTML code.

With the sheer variety of editors out there, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you. In this blog post we hope to help you understand the basics of HTML editors, and what some of our favourites are.

What is a HTML editor?

A HTML editor is any piece of software that allows the user to write HTML code. There are thousands available and they vary greatly in terms of functionality, features, and price. Essentially any text editor can write HTML code. But more often developers will choose a platform that’s designed for coding, due to the features and functionality provided.

There are two main categories of HTML editors – WYSIWYG, and Textual HTML Editors.

WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. As you may have already guessed, this kind of editor provides an interface allowing you to see exactly how the HTML code will look on a working web page. You don’t need to know any HTML code to use this type of editor!

Textual HTML Editors are the more traditional, tried-and-tested platforms for writing HTML code. As the name implies, these are text-based editors meaning you won’t typically be able to see a live preview of your HTML code on a working web page. You’ll only be interacting with the HTML code itself.

Many on our list today will feature a live preview, which could be considered WYSIWYG – but generally developers will use the textual editor.

Our top 5 HTML editors in 2020

Now that we’ve covered what HTML editors are, and the differences between the two main types of editors, we can get into some of our favourite HTML editors for this year.

As a general rule of thumb, the platform you should choose largely comes down to personal taste. As long as the application lets you write basic HTML code, then it can be considered a viable option. While each editor will come with the same basic sets of functions, they all differ in terms of visual representation, additional features, and so on.

With that in mind, let’s jump into it!

html-editor-notepad-logo

1. Notepad++

If you know anything about coding then it might come as no surprise to you that Notepad++ takes our number 1 spot for best HTML editor. 

You may already be familiar with Notepad, the note-taking application that’s been included with every installation of Windows for many years now. Notepad++ is essentially a more robust, flexible, and functional version of this vanilla Notepad.

Included with Notepad++ are a variety of features aimed at helping you to write code more efficiently. Some of these features include colour coding, line numbers, and auto-complete – to name just a few. 

Notepad++ can be downloaded for free in just a few minutes, with a very small download and installation size. You can even extend the functionality of Notepad++ further with plugin options adding yet more features. It’s easy to see why Notepad++ is the ideal choice for many web developers and HTML coders.

html-editor-atom-logo

2. Atom

Atom is a newer HTML editor that has soared in popularity in recent years. Launched back in 2014, Atom is a free and open-source code editor, developed by the team behind Github.

This application boasts a high level of customisation and flexibility, while giving a premium, high-quality feel to the editor. Atom’s interface can be tweaked and altered to your exact preferences, allowing you to effortlessly design your ideal coding environment. Live preview is also included, allowing you to easily see your code in action!

Features come in the form of packages, with 81 built-in and a staggering 8,700 downloadable packages to choose from. You can even build your own packages from scratch! As you might expect, Atom also features seamless Git and Github integration.

On top of all of this, Atom is built by developers, for developers. As well as being able to develop their own packages, developers can contribute, edit, and share their own source code with the community. Teletype, a real-time collaboration feature, is also supported here. Making project collaboration between developers even easier.

Atom is completely free to download from Github and is a solid choice of HTML editor for any serious web developer.

html-editor-sublime-text-logo

3. Sublime Text

Sublime is another more recent HTML editor that’s seen massive popularity amongst the web development community. As freemium software, you can download and use Sublime for free, but more advanced features require you to purchase the full license.

This HTML editor provides an attractive, simple interface with a focus on efficiency. One of the major selling points of Sublime is the split editing feature, allowing you to edit two different types of code on two monitors simultaneously. This simultaneous editing is hugely helpful for developers and can really speed up development of your projects.

Community contribution is another focus of Sublime, with users being able to develop plugins and download plugins from other developers for added functionality. Thousands of packages are available and they’re all open-source.

Although Sublime is a great option for developers looking to streamline their work, the freemium approach to licensing can be a roadblock. If you need advanced features then you’ll need to budget for the licensing costs, which is a turn-off for many. However if you only need the more basic HTML editing features, then Sublime is a great option.

html-editor-komodo-edit-logo

4. Komodo Edit

Komodo comes in two different versions: the free Komodo Edit, and the paid Komodo IDE. Functionally they are very similar, with Komodo Edit acting as the trimmed-down free version of the full Komodo IDE.

This free HTML editor provides a lot of robust features for HTML, CSS, and XML development. Although some additional programming languages are also supported. Some of these helpful features include auto-completion, debugging tools, and a customisable interface. This can be added to further with a library of downloadable plugins. 

Komodo edit runs very efficiently, as well as being lightweight and multi-platform. Regardless of your operating system, installing Komodo is a walk in the park.

Perhaps the most obvious downside of Komodo edit is the lack of advanced features when compared to it’s paid counterpart, Komodo IDE. For this reason, you may want to look at a different HTML editor if you’re serious about web development. If you’re just looking for an easy-to-use, fast HTML editor though, Komodo might just be the option for you.

html-editor-netbeans-logo

5. Netbeans

One of the older platforms in our list, Apache Netbeans is a free and open source integrated development environment (IDE). It can be used for developing in several languages such as PHP, HTML, Javascript, and C++.

While this platform is mainly specialised for developing in Java, it’s functionality and helpful tools make it a good choice for coding HTML as well. With this said, you can however expect to take some time learning how to use the program – it’s not necessarily as intuitive as some of the other options on this list!

Netbeans offers helpful features such as code templates and generators, as well as various project and team management tools.  Additional features are provided in the form of plugins, which can be freely downloaded from their marketplace. Developers can also write and share their own plugins there.

If you’re working in a large development environment with a need for version control and collaboration tools, Netbeans could be a good option for you. Otherwise, you may have an easier time with one of the other HTML editors out there.


In Conclusion

We hope after reading this you’ll have an idea of what you’re looking for in a HTML editor. There’s no right choice though – as we mentioned, any HTML editor will do the job. At the end of the day it’s down to your personal choice!

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