HTML is one of the core technologies that underpin the web. It doesn’t matter if you are developing a simple website or enterprise level web app, you will need to use HTML in some capabilities.
Quite simply, HTML is essential for everything from creating basic email templates and formatting blog posts to creating full app frontends.
This is why HTML editors are so important – they give you an easy-to-use platform to make it all happen. In this post, let’s answer some of your burning questions about HTML editors.
1. What is the best HTML editor?
There is no such thing as the best HTML editor. All HTML editors have advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best HTML editor for you is completely about your unique requirements and preferences.
However, there are many popular editor options on the market, and some are better than others. For an HTML editor to be well appreciated by the web development community, it must have the features that developers need regardless of the type of HTML coding they do. Here are some of the leading HTML editors on the market today:
- Visual studio code
- Adobe Dreamviewer
- A cup of coffee
- sublime text
In addition to these editors, many professional integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Visual Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, and Eclipse also have HTML editing capabilities, especially at the code level.
2. Which HTML editor should I choose?
Choosing the right editor comes with your requirements. First of all, you should always consider the platform and hardware that your editor of choice supports. Text-based HTML editors such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text are cross-platform (compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS) and relatively lightweight. Notepad++ is a Windows application.
On the other hand, Adobe Dreamweaver is a resource-intensive tool with support for Windows and macOS. It’s also one of the most feature-rich tools and is seamlessly integrated into the broader Adobe Creative Cloud toolkit. Compared to Dreamweaver, Froala and CoffeeCup are both focused and lightweight HTML editors that provide you with every HTML editing feature you really need.
3. Does the HTML editor offer a free version?
Text-based HTML editors such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, and Notepad++ are free, open source tools that you can use on any number of devices and many platforms.
Adobe Dreamweaver, Froala, and CoffeeCup are paid proprietary solutions. They offer a limited free trial if you want to test it out. Froala and CoffeeCup offers a free online HTML editor for quick changes in HTML.
4. Why are text-based HTML editors different from WYSIWYG editors?
What you see is what you get, or WYSIWYG editors provide a live preview of the edits you make to the webpage or app. With the WYSIWYG editor, you can easily visualize your final output as you go. In addition, WYSIWYG editors use drag-and-drop interfaces. This means that you can quickly manipulate your HTML elements to create HTML interfaces without coding.
WYSIWYG editors provide a code-free development environment that gives you almost the same control over HTML elements as a purely code-based editor. WYSIWYG editors are excellent tools for both beginners and experts alike because the user experience is simple enough for beginners to use but rich enough of features to keep professionals happy. These features allow everyone to build HTML quickly. They also make WYSIWYG editors invaluable tools, especially in faster development environments.
On the other hand, text-based HTML editors offer a code-centric development experience. They may have the original live preview functionality, or support third-party extensions, but the live preview is not their main function. Text-based HTML editors focus on a code-based approach, giving you more granular control over your code base.
Text-based HTML editors also come with features like syntax highlighting, auto-fill, and code markup to aid in development. However, users need to be well versed with HTML to get excellent results.
Here is a breakdown of popular WYSIWYG and text-based HTML editors:
|WYSIWYG Editors||Text-based HTML editors|
A cup of coffee
|Visual studio code
5. What is the difference between a free and paid HTML editor?
It’s pretty simple—the free versions usually offer limited functionality compared to their paid counterparts. Free trials also tend to expire after a set number of days or uses. When this happens, the editor generally becomes unusable or severely limited in its functionality. On the other hand, the paid versions have features that are not available in the free version. In most cases, this includes the advanced editing and team collaboration features you need in a professional development environment. Finally, the free versions offer no support other than third-party resources such as communities or forums, while the paid versions include on-demand first-party vendor support.
6. What are some differences between HTML editors?
VS Code, Atom, and Sublime Text are developer-focused code editors. You can extend it to support most programming languages. While these tools ship with a minimal set of features, they are customizable. For example, you can quickly add HTML-focused extensions if you need pure HTML editor functionality. You can even configure them as full IDEs. The main advantage of these editors is their ability to configure to suit any development needs.
Notepad++ is also a code editor but it comes with all the features built into it. You can install it and start using it without any configuration. However, Notepad++ has limited extension support and cannot serve as a full IDE. It is a code editor designed for the purpose of making quick changes to files in your environment.
Froala is a performance-optimized front-end WYSIWYG editor with a 50KB GZIP kernel, loads in 40ms, and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. This tool also comes with rich text editing capabilities and the ability to edit code directly.
Finally, CoffeeCup is an advanced HTML editor that enables users to create and modify HTML interfaces. It also provides a complete component library and features such as built-in templates to simplify the development experience.
7. What is Markdown?
Markdown is a lightweight markup language for creating rich text using any editor. With Markdown, users create documents and automatically format documents in plain text.
Unlike other languages that require specialized syntax, Markdown uses simpler characters such as hashtags or asterisks to define the format. Markdown users create rich HTML without writing any actual HTML. It is ideal for publishing on websites without relying on HTML.
8. How will I know which HTML editor is right for me?
While none of the above tools is a bad choice, it always works for your requirements. Use a code editor like VS Code, Atom, or Sublime Text if you want a fully customizable experience and the ability to extend functionality beyond simple HTML editing. On the other hand, Notepad++ is ideal if you need to tweak your HTML occasionally and make some advanced changes.
Programs like Adobe Dreamweaver, Froala, and CoffeeCup provide full-featured WYSIWYG editors focused on web development that you can use for programming as required. They should top your list because of their versatility, especially if you are a web-focused user and have web-based projects. In the end, any tool that offers all the features you need without any compromise is the perfect HTML editor for your needs.
9. What is the best HTML editor for Android?
You can use DroidEdit and anWriter HTML editor for Android to edit HTML. However, its functionality is limited compared to desktop or web-based applications. Once again, your choice of HTML editor for Android boils down to your needs and preferences. Alternatively, you can use a free online HTML editor to edit your HTML code so you can see what the end result will look like. Froala Editor is optimized and compatible with mobile environments.
10. Is there anything else that would be useful to know?
If you are developing applications, you also need to consider your background languages and frameworks when selecting an HTML editor.
Next, you should explore all the additional features that each HTML editor offers. Each editor may have similar basic functionality but limited extensibility. As always, your final choice should come down to the features each tool offers to match your workflow.
For people who work on code-intensive projects rather than design-focused projects, integrated development environments can also act as HTML editors. This is especially true when the code changes are technical and not visible. You can get the best of both worlds by extending text-based HTML editors like VSCode to provide limited WYSIWYG capabilities and Markdown support. However, you can do the same with Froala out of the box.
I hope I answered all your questions about HTML editors and led you on the path to choosing the right HTML editor.
Are you ready to get started with a great editor now?
Check out the Froala HTML editor today.