To kick off my blog I’d like to share with you my IDE (Integrated Development Environment) of choice for writing and editing all of my website code.
Now I have used Dreamweaver in the past and it is a fantastic product, but comes with a very hefty price tag that most beginners simply cant afford. A little over a year ago, I was scanning the internet for a alternative to the industry-standard Dreamweaver, and after a few days of relentless searching and trying out many different programs, I came across Aptana Studio which ticked all the boxes of the features I needed in an IDE and appeared to be a suitable alternative to Dreamweaver, and best of all, it was (and still is) FREE.
I have used Aptana Studio ever since finding it, and very soon weened myself off Dreamweaver altogether. For writing and editing code and uploading it to your server it is an awesome program, and comes complete with syntax-highlighting (colorization of your code, so that you can more easily read it), FTP, plenty of pre-written code snippets for you to play with and learn from, code-assist (this is where the program actually helps you write your code by displaying tooltips as you type), as well as a browser preview view of your web page. All of that is built into the one program, and the whole thing is extremely customizable so you can tweak it to your own way of working.
Now Aptana Studio doesn’t have the fancy WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors of Dreamweaver, but this is a feature I never used anyway as I always like to write my own code, so if that is a feature you rely on then Aptana Studio may not be for you, although you can still use if for editing your code and use something like Dreamweaver of NVU (free WYWSIWIG website editor program) when you really need to drag and drop things.
I would give Aptana Studio 5 stars out of 5 for being the best IDE currently available…and its free (I know I’ve already told you it’s free, but it’s such an amazing program for free that it just needed repeating again).