Best JavaScript IDEs (Integrated Development Environments)

Mostly, used for frontend development, JavaScript gets quite a lot of attention from developers for its dynamic and high-level style, along with its popular frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue. In fact, it’s rather well known for its frameworks.

In this article, we’re going to go through a list of the best five IDEs for this popular programming language. And let me make it completely clear here, this is a highly subjective list. It’s by no means complete or written in stone. With that said, here is a list top five IDEs for JavaScript, in no particular order.

Microsoft Visual Studio/Visual Studio Code

I think many will agree when I say it’s one of the best IDE for frontend development. It also has a very popular free open source derivative Visual Studio Code, which can be considered a lite version. However, don’t let this cliché fool you – it’s a powerful editor in its own right offering some great features such as smart completion with IntelliSense, integrated Git-support, the ability to debug code straight from the editor, and so forth. Apart from JS, it supports over 30 programming languages such as Ruby, Python, C#, etc. According to a research, Visual Studio Code was the most widely used text editor in 2018.

Now, coming back to Microsoft Visual Studio, well, it’s a powerful IDE that is very resource-intensive and mainly used for serious software development in C, C++, .NET, and C#. It has excellent features like simultaneous editing planning and scaffolding. It spots industries best Code Intel and has inbuilt debuggers. In other words, it is a proper industry-grade IDE. 

However, for applications like JavaScript, it is excessive to say the least, which is why its little brother Visual Studio Code exists. One thing I forgot to mention above about VS Code was that it’s highly extensible with a number of customization options through its many extensions. 


Developed by JetBrains (a well known IDE developer), WebStorm is another popular JavaScript IDEs on the market. It is offered alongside other products, specialized for languages different than JS.

You’ll have to spend some green to get your hands on this software as it’s not free and costs $59.00 per year for an individual user. However, don’t skip it because of a paywall yet. While this solution from JetBrains isn’t exactly cheap, but it might be worth it, after all. Not in the least for its exceptional JavaScript IDE debugger functionality.

If you go checkout their “special offers” page, you’ll find that there are also discounts and free licenses for students and teachers, for training courses, coding schools, and bootcamps, for non-profit organizations and so forth. One of the reasons why I personally love this software is because it has one of the best supported and updated offerings on the market at the moment. So new and vital features usually make its way to the WebStorm first. For e.g., it was the only IDE with JSX (JavaScript XML) support when it first came out in ’15.

It has functional integration with GitHub and other popular Version Control Systems such as SVN, Mercurial, and Perforce. It also provides advanced coding assistance for Cordova, PhoneGap, React, React Native, Angular, Node.js, Meteor, and other popular JavaScript frameworks. Moreover, it has necessary syntax support for over twenty other languages.

A JavaScript and Typescript IDE at heart, WebStorm has many great features, including code completion, on-the-go editing, refactoring and excellent navigation. Its auto debugging and code testing functionality is considered to be the best on the market. Moreover, it has excellent smart template functionality too.

To put it simply, it’s the best IDE for frontend development available at the moment.


Built by GitHub, Atom is a free & open-source code editor and has the best GitHub integration. With capabilities for easy editing and project browsing in one single window, Atom also has a great deal of support from Facebook and can be used as an IDE.

You can download a lot of packages and templates for this application as per your need; you can change them or even create your own. It is extremely customizable, which is both good and bad. On the downside, it can be a very tedious task to set it up the way you need it, especially if you are a beginner. On the positive side, once you do a proper project set up, it helps the work immensely. It has the best user interface customization features, and you can make it look the way you want. 

Moreover, it has a real-time collab feature, which is excellent for such a powerful tool and is even better if you take into account that it is free. It makes it a unique proposition on the market.

At the moment, Atom looks like a strong contender for the best IDE for frontend development title.


A product of Adobe, Brackets is an open source code editor for the web, which is quite surprising as Adobe is known for premium pretty software for creative professions. Written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Brackets offers a native code editing experience for developers, without any compatibility issues.

It has been developed by people who know web design and frontend profoundly. This editor is very light and fast. Customizable to a certain degree, it has an excellently intuitive UI, making it perfectly suitable for beginners. Beginners also don’t need a vast set of features that other IDEs provide. Written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Brackets offers a native code editing experience for developers, without any compatibility issues. Moreover, it allows working on the code without opening multiple windows. 

Also, it supports syntax highlighting for a large number of languages and the most popular frameworks. However, some advanced features are only available for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.   

Speaking of Live Preview, this is the most critical feature of Brackets. It allows Brackets to be in sync with your browser and directly pushes code edits instantly, which is very useful in frontend.

Komodo IDE

Komodo IDE is a user-friendly multilingual IDE with rich features such as debugging, unit testing, custom workspaces, syntax correction (for most coding languages), a live preview and so forth. 

Unfortunately, its Code Intel works only for a handful of languages including Python, PHP, Tcl, Ruby, Node.js, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Another downside is pricing, ActiveState Platform pricing starts at $84/yr for individuals, which also includes a license for ActiveState’s Komodo IDE.

Nevertheless, with the vast number of features, Komodo can contend for the best editor for JS. 

Final thoughts…

To sum it all up, WebStorm is the best premium JavaScript specialized tool. Atom and Visual Studio should be on the top of your preference list if you are working on big and complex projects. Brackets is a great lite and beginner-friendly software, while, Komodo IDE takes the cake when it comes to user-friendly multilingual IDE with rich features.

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