5 Best JavaScript Editors: Best Tools Ranked by Developers Worldwide

JavaScript has continued to gain popularity over the last decade; editors have played a significant role. Here are the 5 Best JavaScript Editors

5 Best JavaScript Editors: Best Tools Ranked by Developers Worldwide

JavaScript has continued to grow in importance over the last decade.

In fact, according to StackOverflow’s Insights, JavaScript has been the most popular programming language for the past 7 years, edging out popular languages including Python, C# and Java.

The State of Javascript survey in 2020, which includes responses from over 20,000 developers, reveals that five JavaScript editors stand out, accounting 95% of all usage!

1. Visual Studio Code

VSCode is the dominant leader in online JavaScript editors. Featuring cross-platform support on Linux, macOS and Windows, VSCode has built-in code completion for your node.js modules and JavaScript code.

As expected with Microsoft, Typescript is a first-class citizen. Git is seamlessly integrated, meaning you can make commits, reviews, diffs, and more in real-time without leaving the editor.

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight code editor built from the ground up for speed. Autocompletion goes beyond function completion and offers documentation and function argument information as you develop.

Microsoft has done an excellent job with community engagement, and VSCode has a vibrant developer community creating powerful extensions which save additional time. Sought-after features such as live preview and chrome debugging with dev tools are easily accessible through the extensions available on Visual Studio Marketplace.

In addition, if you want to get under the covers, the entire text editor is open source on github: https://github.com/microsoft/vscode.

2. Vim

One of the earliest and still very popular text editors, Vim is highly customizable and configurable with exceptional keyboard shortcut support.

Its long history and keyboard-dominated interface have produced a developer community with must-have plugins like prettier, ALE and powerful command line support, enabling you to leverage ESLint and Flow.

Vim is incredibly customizable, and no two JavaScript developers use it the same way.

If you started early with Vim, you might be very productive, but VSCode, Sublime Text or Jetbrains WebStorm is a better choice for those new to JavaScript development.

You can download Vim here: https://www.vim.org/download.php.

And if you want to try to dig around the internals of the editor, you can do so here: https://github.com/vim/vim.

3. WebStorm

Jetbrains popular WebStorm is a paid editor with a loyal following and is regularly updated.

Branded "the smartest JavaScript IDE," WebStorm lives up to the marketing by offering coding assistance across Node.js, HTML and CSS. It also supports built-in assistance with popular JavaScript frameworks, including Meteor, Angular, React, jQuery, vue.js and electron.

Github support is integrated within the IDE, and other version control options are supported through official plugins, including git integration, Mercurial, Perforce, and Subversion.

A built-in debugger for Node.js with test integration, tracing and profiling, and seamless command line tool integration round out this IDE.

Attention to detail and workflow optimization, including automatic saving of file changes, is a hallmark of WebStorm. Regular updates with new features and an Early Access Program make the paid subscription worthwhile for many developers.

4. Sublime Text

A commercial editor with a large user base, developers find the $80 fee for Sublime Text worthwhile due to its speed (partly derived from it being written in C++).

As with VSCode, a great developer and plugin community has filled in the gaps creating a robust editor environment for JavaScript.

Often referred to as a midpoint between bloated IDE and lean editors such as VIM, Sublime opens files fast and leans on plugins via package control to make it an excellent experience for JS development.

Leveraging Babel for intelligent syntax highlighting /smart code completion and gitgutter for diffs and pushes, Sublimelinter for seamless ESlint and JShint tie-ins make Sublime a fast, capable and lightweight JavaScript editor.

You can try Sublime Text for as long as possible, but you will be prompted to purchase the license. You can download the Editor here: https://www.sublimetext.com/3 OR can buy it here: https://www.sublimetext.com/buy?v=3.0.

5. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free source code editor for the windows environment. It is built with C++ and operates on top of Win32 APIs.

When I started learning to program during my initial development days, I used notepad++ editor as a go-to editor. It was a delight compared to the internal notepad editor on Windows.

Looks like Nodepad++ is still in the game and even rose from 10th position in 2018 to 5th in 2020.


Every developer is unique and creates thousands of diverse solutions to meet particular needs or niches.

Modern editors and IDEs have embraced plugin architectures which allow quick customization and leverage community contributions making it possible for generalized editors such as VSCode to meet more developers’ unique needs.

This enables seasoned developers to focus on their JavaScript projects rather than hacking their dev environment while allowing new developers to hit the ground running.