4 Great Online Editors For Web Developers

Whether you’re a professional web developer or someone who maintains their own website(s), chances are you do most of your work on a desktop or laptop. Which makes sense, seeing as how there are any number of great web development tools for various operating systems.

But what happens if you need to make some changes to a site or design and are away from that desktop or laptop? And what do you do when you’re using a tablet or a device like a Chromebook? Since you’re developing for the web, there’s no reason why you can’t turn to the web for help.

It’s worth checking out one of the number of web-based code editors out there. They range from simple editors to full-blown integrated development environments (IDEs).

Let’s take a look at four online editors for Web developers.

Codey is a very simple but very effective editor. It enables you to connect to your web servers and create and edit files on those servers.

After you sign up and log in, you’re asked for the FTP login information for your web server.

Codey FTP settings

If you maintain multiple sites, you can add more than one server.

Codey’s editing interface is quite simple. In the navigation pane on the left, you can create a new file or select the file that you want to edit from a list. You’ll notice that there isn’t a toolbar that gives you one-click access tags or elements. You need to do all of your coding by hand.

Codey

ShiftEdit is a flexible IDE for web development. You can also use it for writing in plain text or Textile.

You can get files into ShiftEdit in a number of ways:

  • Creating new files
  • Uploading files from your hard drive
  • Importing a DreamWeaver site file
  • Connecting to a web server via SFTP
  • Opening files that are stored in Dropbox

ShiftEdit: selecting a server

As with Codey, you need to code by hand using ShiftEdit. Well, not always. ShiftEdit also has a Design View that acts as a WYSIWYG editor. It actually gives a good representation of what a web page will look like.

ShiftEdit interface

ShiftEdit has two versions: a free version, and a premier edition that will gives you more features, and which will set you back $5 (USD) per month.

Lying somewhere between Codey and ShiftEdit is JustEdit. Using JustEdit, you can write Javascript, HTML5 code, and CSS and view the changes as you type.

Editing with JustEdit

The editing interface is very basic. You need to code by hand, but there are three tabs – one each for Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The preview pane on the right shows how all three look together.

One useful feature of JustEdit is the Smart Phone view. As the name suggests, it gives you a peek at how your page or site will look when viewed with a smartphone.

JustEdit smartphone view

JustEdit also has another interesting feature: the ability to fork a project. You can take your code, make a copy of it, and then use that as the basis for another project. You can also fork code that others have shared and make a derivative work or just learn from what others have done.

If you do any C#, Javascript, or PHP development, then you might want to give CodeRun a close look.

CodeRun resembles a desktop IDE in both its looks and functions. Your work is built around the metaphor of the project. CodeRun builds the skeleton of the project, and has a project management pane that lets you add and remove files from a project, copy and upload files, and view files in a web browser window.

CodeRun

You can run your code, build it, and even download an entire project to your hard drive as a .zip file.

CodeRun keeps you honest by checking your errors in two ways. First, there is a real-time error list at the bottom of the application window. And there’s a built-in debugger. The debugger can be slow but it does a pretty good job.

Being away from your computer and your tools doesn’t mean that you can’t work on your web development projects. By turning to the web itself, and using the powerful and flexible tools that are available, you don’t have to miss a beat. You can work, and get things done, no matter where you are.

Photo credit: ppdigital