24 Best Text Editors for WordPress Developers
WordPress developers who have been around the block a few times typically have a set of go-to tools. You know, those essential, must-have resources that they take with them wherever they go and use on every project.
A good text or code editor is like that. And while you certainly can write code in TextEdit, doing so means you have to put in a lot of extra (and repetitive) work. And that’s time you could spend on other things. Like, I don’t know, developing more websites, for instance.
So in an effort to help you save some time and round out that toolbox of yours, we’ve put together a pretty dang comprehensive list of the best text editors out there right now that WordPress developers know, use, and love.
There’s something for everyone here and while the primary feature set is always the same (input text into a blank field) the differences are in the details.
Before we dive headfirst into the list, let’s first look at what features you might want to prioritize when selecting the right text editor for your web development projects.
Determine What Features You Need from Text Editing Software
When entrenched in the process of building a website, it’s important to have the right tools on hand. You know you need a good text editor to code a site but what you might not be so clear on is what features you should be looking for when making a selection.
Not every text editor includes all of these features so hopefully this breakdown will help you prioritize which features you need and which ones you can give a pass to.
An easy-to-use interface
This feature is one you really shouldn’t compromise on. After all, why would you pick a text editor that has a clunky interface that’s unintuitive and difficult to navigate? I know I wouldn’t. This is why free trials are so important. They give you a chance to take various text editors for a test drive to see which best meshes with your work style and preferences.
This is another feature that is likely going to be on your must-have list. Basically, version control refers to a software’s ability to save multiple versions of a file so you can revert back to an older version if you make a mistake. If you’re just starting out, this might not be so important to you but as you progress, version control is pretty standard fare in code land, so make sure your chosen text editor has it.
Support for applicable development languages
This is an incredibly helpful feature that highlights the various parts of code syntax in different colors so you can understand the structure of what you’re viewing at a glance. This makes it all-around easier to read the code and make edits. It also helps you spot errors and make sure you’ve closed all of those brackets!
While it might not be necessary for everyone, autocomplete is a helpful feature that can save you a significant amount of time when coding sites. Once you type in some code, the text editor will predict what you want to type next, which can save you some effort in typing familiar bits. There are only so many expressions in coding languages, so once you input a piece of text, the options for what you want to type next are limited.
While not always applicable to WordPress developers, FTP upload support can be a nice feature to have. It saves you a few steps from having to download your site’s files in an FTP client, edit them in a text editor, then re-upload them in the FTP client. With FTP support built-in, you save a few clicks and a few headaches.
Search and replace
I’m pretty much convinced that every developer is going to need search and replace support in their text editor of choice. I mean, if you make one small mistake or need to make one edit multiple times, search and replace is a total life saver. You don’t want to have to spend ours scanning through code to identify each instance and manually correct it, do you?
Does it fit your budget?
The last thing you need to consider is cost. There are many free text editors out there right now, so you don’t even need to spend any cash to get a viable solution here. However, if you need more advanced features, more language support, or just want to upgrade from what you currently have, several premium options also exist that range in price quite dramatically. It’s a good idea to research the market, figure out price variability, and then come up with a budget you can feel comfortable with before choose a product.
Best WordPress Development Text Editors
Now, without further ado, here is an alphabetized list of 24 text editors you can use in your next WordPress web development project.
Aptana is free.
Interested in Aptana Studio 3?
Another useful text editor to consider is Atom. It features a modern interface that’s easy to learn and that can be customized in a number of ways. This tool allows for cross-platform editing, includes a package manager and comes with several helpful features that make writing code easier like autocompletion, find and replace, multiple panes, and a file system browser.
Perhaps best of all, Atom is completely free.
Interested in Atom?
BBEdit is still another professional text editor choice. It’s made for Mac and offers all the tools you need to write website and software code. In fact, many of the included features are targeted at those who need a high-performance editing experience, including search and replace across several files, grep pattern matching, syntax coloring, code folding, code completion, project definition tools, and function navigation. It also includes FTP and SFTP open and save functions as well as support for AppleScript, Mac OS X Unix scripting, and HTML markup tools.
A free trial of BBEdit is available. But after that, you can expect to pay $49.99 for an individual license.
Interested in BBEdit?
Bluefish is another great choice that’s actually quite powerful and works well for web developers and programmers, alike. It supports numerous languages and is open-source so you can get to work using it immediately. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD operating systems, and offers more features than we could ever hope to discuss here.
Some of these features include a clean and speedy interface, a multiple document interface, project support, multi-threaded support, search and replace, a snippets sidebar, external program integration, external filter integration, undo and redo, a character map, auto-recovery, an in-line spell checker, FTP upload and downloading, fullscreen mode, and more.
Bluefish is free.
Interested in Bluefish?
If you’re looking for a truly modern text editor that embraces the visual approach, Brackets might be a good fit for you. You can easily design websites within your web browser and even integrate with Creative Cloud Extract to build CSS from a PSD file. The text editor itself is lightweight and includes an abundance of features.
For instance, it has inline editors that allow you to open windows for the code you want to work on without having to jump between tabbed files. Basically, you can view the code output and interact with it as you edit the code without having to fiddle with multiple windows. As you make changes, the Live Preview feature lets you see what affect they’re having on the site. And there’s also preprocessor support, for a greater streamlined workflow.
Brackets is also free.
Interested in Brackets?
Another excellent choice is the Buffer Editor, an iPhone and iPad app. It’s ideal for code and text and makes it easy to write and review code and even make notes about it. It includes FTP, SFTP, SSH, and Dropbox support and is speed optimized to ensure a seamless workflow.
You can get Buffer Editor for $2.99.
Interested in Buffer Editor?
Some other important features include customizable snippets, code folding, split ending, file navigation, multiple cursors, Vim keybindings, live preview, language documentation, find and replace across entire projects, and much more.
You can download Chocolat to test it but the full app costs $49.
Interested in Chocolat?
Coda 2 is one of the best text editors out there right now because of its excellent interface, ease of use, and all around powerful feature set. It makes it simple to manage local and remote files, and offers a live preview that promises to be “pixel perfect.”
It includes a ton of features but what’s greatest here is how it does the staples right, including code folding, syntax highlighting, autocomplete, find and replace, indentation guides, auto tag closing, fast commenting, and more. It also has Coda Pops, which lets you create colors and gradients using simple controls. It has fantastic file management and lets you open files using FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3, and WebDAV. You can track local changes and even use Git or Subversion.
The included WebKit Preview allows you to see what your code will look like live and includes a debugger, profiler, and web inspector for your convenience. AirPreview lets you preview pages on your iPad or iPhone, too. Plus, there’s the Sidebar, Clips, an HTML validator, a Code Navigator, a built-in Terminal, and a MySQL editor, just in case it didn’t include enough features already.
You can get Coda 2 for $99.
Interested in Coda 2?
CodeAnywhere is an integrated development environment that offers plenty of text editing goodness to warrant a spot on our list. It’s cloud-based and allows you to connect to your code wherever it resides using FTP, SFTP, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. It supports 75 languages, and includes features like code completion, linting, multiple cursors, code beautify, cross-device and cross-browser support, multiple color schemes, multiple layouts, and more.
You can get CodeAnywhere now. Plans range in price from free up to $40 per user per month billed annually.
Interested in CodeAnywhere?
CodeRunner2 is Mac-exclusive text editor that allows you to run code in nearly any language. The app is lightweight but it comes packed with tons of features so you’re certain to accomplish what you need to in no time, flat. This app can run code in 23 different languages and is extensible to work with other languages as well.
It works with multi-file projects, supports advanced code completion, fuzzy search, tab-selectable placeholders, documentation snippets, and more. It also comes with code templates so you can get started building your next site faster. Other features include theme support, automatic indentation, a file navigator, bracket matching, a symbol navigator, word completions, live run stats, and software updates.
You can get CodeRunner2 for $14.99.
Interested in CodeRunner 2?
Code Writer is a text editing app that is designed for Windows and works quickly and effectively. It comes jam-packed with features all with the intent of speeding up site creation. It supports over 20 file types and uses color efficiently to help users better identify tools within the app. You can use more than one document at a time and it supports a tabbed interface for your convenience.
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Other features include syntax highlighting, code outlining, formatting, color previews, auto-case correct, find and replace, document print support, touch selection support, keyboard shortcuts, file associations, theme options as well as control over font size and family, word wrap, and other view details, and full documentation.
Code Writer is free.
Interested in Code Writer?
CoffeeCup offers numerous web development tools but The HTML Editor is of primary concern here. This text editor offers a beautiful interface that’s easy-to-use and includes plenty of features that make wrangling code a breeze. It’s actually designed for beginners and pros, making for a nice balance in the UI.
This text editor includes features such as auto updates, tag references, code completion, SEO optimization, a split-screen preview with code highlighting, file opening options from remote, local, and live web servers, projects, a full-fledged components library, structured data and semantic web support, and more.
There’s a free trial available. Otherwise, The HTML Editor costs $69.
Interested in CoffeeCup: The HTML Editor?
DroidEdit Pro is another tool that might be worth putting in your code arsenal. It’s a code and text editor for Android devices and brings a whole slew of features to the table. Besides the obvious perk of being able to edit code from anywhere on any Android device, this editor also provides connection capability with Drive, Dropbox, FTP, SFTP, and Git with more services to be supported soon.
It also includes syntax highlighting for nearly 200 languages, several themes, Emmet support, which turns simple expressions into full HTML, search and replace support, extra keys, root, and more.
You can get DroidEdit Pro for $2.49.
Interested in DroidEdit Pro?
Another text editor you might want to consider if you’re Mac-based is Espresso. This tool is designed to speed up workflow and includes features for standard edits and more intensive coding sessions. For instance, it comes with support for multiple coding languages, contextual autocomplete, smart snippets, code folding, live styling, live preview, and a site inspector. You can even push your changes to your live server using Sync or the Quick Publish feature.
You can get Espresso for $75.
Interested in Espresso?
ICEcoder is a browser-based text and code editor that makes it easy to create websites from anywhere. You can test your code on live servers, too. It works with most common programming languages and can be customized to suit your needs.
Just a few of its features include the ability to work online or locally, multiple cursors, over 25 themes that allow you to customize the look and feel, and the ability to create your own theme with a CSS file. You can also use the find and replace builder to modify text across multiple documents, use the secure login, type boosters like Emmet, tag wrappers, and close tag completion, code hints, database management, and more.
A single license for ICEcoder costs $10.
Interested in ICEcoder?
Here’s another text editor option that you can easily use for any web development project. It includes support for multiple languages and includes several features that make writing code easier including auto complete, multiple selections, a toolbox, a project manager, as well as a markdown viewer and a track changes function.
This editor also supports multiple skins and icons for a custom look. Komodo Edit is free.
Interested in Komodo Edit?
Light Table is kind of a work of art. This text editor is definitely easy on the eyes and allows you to connect to your code in ways you haven’t been able to before. It’s lightweight and minimal in its layout, so your work is intuitive as it should be. It works by providing instant feedback to show you what works and what doesn’t. It also allows you to embed anything directly into the editor from visualizations to graphs.
You can customize it to suit your workflow, including your preferred key binds to debugging preferences to commands. It also includes watches, inline evaluation, keymaps, behaviors, a plugin manager, and on top of all of that, it’s open-source.
Light Table is free.
Interested in Light Table?
Notepad++ is a text editor that offers support for numerous programming languages and is designed for the Windows platform. Every process is streamlined and simplified while the user interface remains intuitive. This editor is lightweight and was created to use as few resources as possible to operate.
Some of its many features include syntax highlighting, code folding, Perl Compatible Regular Expression, search and replace, a document map, auto-complete, multiple document support, a customizable GUI, zoom, bookmarks, macro recording and playback, a WYSIWYG mode, and more.
Notepad++ is open-source and available for free under the GNU license.
Interested in Notepad++?
Sublime Text is another text and source code editor that makes it simple to edit code and modify websites. It has a handy “Goto Anything” feature that allows you to open files from anywhere with just a few keystrokes and has a ton of shortcuts to optimize workflow. It also allows for multiple selections so you can make changes across many lines of code at once.
Other features include a Command Palette that lets you modify settings like indentations and syntax; a distraction-free mode; split editing that allows for side-by-side editing; a project switcher; cross-platform compatibility; and the ability to customize anything including keybindings, menus, macros, auto-completions, snippets, and more. There’s also a plugin API for further development.
You can evaluate Sublime Text for free but a license must be purchased for long-term use. Licenses are $70 per user.
Interested in Sublime Text?
Textastic is a text editor designed specifically for the iPad and includes support for the iPhone and Mac OSX. This editor supports over 80 file types and numerous programming languages. It’s lightweight and quick, so it won’t bog down your device or hold up your work.
Other features here include a cursor navigation wheel, code completion, and additional keys for easier code entry. It also allows for uploads and downloads to external servers using FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and Dropbox.
Textastic costs $7.99.
Interested in Textastic?
TextMate is a great text editor for Apple users that’s ideal for professional coders and newbies. This editor is specifically designed for coding tasks by providing you with total control over your project’s files. It’s not an IDE but it supports so many helpful tools like macros, snippets, and a scoping system, you’d swear it was one.
The interface is clean and minimal, the program itself is lightweight, and feature set is robust. Some of the features offered here include search and replace across a project, auto-indent, clipboard history, column selections, auto-completion, bracket auto-pairing, CSS selectors, dynamic outline, file tabs, code folding, function popups, recordable macros, the ability to run shell commands, support for 50 languages, file switching, syntax highlighting, visual bookmarks, and more.
A single user license for TextMate is $56.
Interested in TextMate?
Another editor worth checking out is TextWrangler. It’s dubbed the “little brother” to BBEdit and offers a reduced feature set without compromising performance. It doesn’t have version control and it doesn’t have all the HTML and CSS Tools BBEdit does, but it does offer a general purpose text editing solution that works well, is lightweight, and won’t get in the way.
Perhaps the biggest draw here, is the fact that TextWrangler is free.
Interested in TextWrangler?
UltraEdit is another great text editor choice that prioritizes list and column editing, multi-caret editing, and multi-select for a simplified experience. It includes powerful search features like a regex search, filters, and search options to navigate across full projects.
It also supports syntax highlighting for hundreds of languages, an integrated FTP, smart templates, find and replace, multiple file support, window splitting, and more, all of which is designed to maximize screen space and streamline your work processes. A free trial of UltraEdit is available and a single license will cost you $79.95 and includes a year of free upgrades.
Interested in UltraEdit?
The last text editor we’ll talk about here today is WeBuilder, which is effectively an all-in-one code editing solution for web devs. It’s quick to set up, fast, and offers a clean interface that’s easy to learn. It supports numerous languages and comes with tons of features that allow you to navigate your code with less effort.
WeBuilder is free to download, but it does require a one-time fee of $49.95 for continued use.
Interested in WeBuilder?
There are many text editors out there that WordPress developers can use. Way too many to include here, in fact. But this collection will hopefully give you a well-rounded view of what’s available, what’s good, and what features you might want to prioritize when making a selection. Whether you’re brand new to WordPress web development or all of this is old hat, there’s something for everyone here.
Now I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite text editor? Please share your thoughts below.