The intersection of performance and speed

Top 5 IDEs and code editors for Node.js

Jane Elizabeth
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Our IDE series continues with Node.js. This week, we’re celebrating the open source JavaScript runtime for building scalable network applications. Here are five of our favorite IDEs and text editors for Node.js!

Node.js 10 dropped earlier this year, bringing stability and incremental changes to this powerful JavaScript runtime. Node’s main claim to fame was the asynchronous approach to network applications. Node.js is able to handle many concurrent connections when needed for optimal performance and speed.

Here’s our usual disclaimer: this list is a matter of personal preference. We can’t cover every IDE and text editor out there, there’s just not enough time in the day. Like last week, we’ve gone to some lesser known, Node.js-specific IDEs to avoid another top 5 list of the usual suspects. However, if we did mention your absolute favorite IDE for Node.js, let us know in the comments below!

In no particular order, here are our top 5 IDEs for Node.js!

Eclipse Che

It’s not a JAXenter list without an Eclipse mention. Eclipse Che is a developer workspace server and cloud IDE built for teams and organizations. Eclipse Che provides workspaces that include runtimes and IDEs, a RESTful workspace server. It also offers a browser-based IDE as well as plugins for languages, framework, and tools, and a full SDK for creating plugins and assemblies.

Eclipse Che boasts rich Node.js features including IntelliSense, key bindings, and refactoring that make adopting Che a seamless process. The Node.js ready-to-go stack comes with a Node.js debugger module installed and configured. Additionally, the Eclipse Che documentation is truly something to behold.

More information about Eclispe Che can be found here. Eclipse Che is open source and freely available.

SEE ALSO: Node.js 2018 User Survey: Docker is still number one and Go reaches new heights


Codenvy offers cloud workspaces for dev teams, making it possible to develop code with portable Docker runtimes. Some might consider this cheating to have this on our list as a separate entry, as Codenvy is built directly on top of Eclipse Che. However, Codency brings enough unqiue functionality to Node.js developers to deserve its own spot on this list.

Codenvy allows developers to create workspaces from production that are defined by their existing Docker and compose files. The “dev mode” configures the runtime, injects root-privileged terminal, language services, and SSH access, followed with a debugger. For Agile teams, Codenvy automatically offers a number of tools to make it work, including issue management, version control, and more.

More information about Codenvy is available here. Codenvy offers a number of pricing tiers, from a free version for individual developers and small teams, as well as a fully supported suite for enterprises.


We went over Brackets before, as part of our post on the best IDEs for JavaScript. Brackets is an open source code editor for the web from Adobe. It is written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, so Brackets offers a native code editing experience for Node.js developers.

Thanks to the Brackets – Node.js integration, developers are able to take advantage of the many Brackets features. They can run multiple Node.js processes inside the Brackets editor with console output. It also lets them run current Node.js files and projects as well as npm and gulp scripts. The jump to require command uses “Jump to declaration” and opens the required file. Brackets even offers code hints from actual directory content, Node.js built-in libs and project packages from package.json. There’s even a Node.js debugger!

More information about can be found here. Brackets is free and open source.

SEE ALSO: Node.js 10 is here!




Okay, yes, WebStorm almost always hits the list if it’s a JavaScript-based technology. How could we not? WebStorm is undeniably one of the most popular JavaScript IDEs out there. This powerful IDE for JavaScript development comes with a number of useful features like smart coding assistance, c ode completion, error detection, and refactorings for a number of languages like JavaScript, React, HTML, and CSS.

WebStorm 2018.2 has a few Node.js tools that make it really useful for any developer. The latest release includes support for Node.js specific tools in Linux. This includes a debgugger for any applications in WebStorm, as well as other developmental tasks like running tests, using linters, and build tools. Plus, Thanks to the new Reconnect automatically option in the Attach to Node.js/Chrome debug configuration, developers can debug Node.js apps that use nodemon. When the node process is reloaded after the change, they don’t need to restart the debugger to continue debugging.

More information about WebStorm can be found here. There is a free 30-day trial.


Aptana rounds out the list as we heavily lean in to the Eclipse-based tools this week. Recently rebuilt from the ground up, Aptana Studio 3 lets developers build web applications quickly and thanks to the flexibility of Eclipse.

Aptana’s core features include a HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code assist, Git integration, and a built-in terminal. The deployment wizard provides support for one-shot setups as well as a keep-synchronized one. It also makes it possible to push applications to hosting services like heroku. Most importantly, Aptana comes with an integrated debgugger that lets developers set breakpoints, inspect variables, and control execution.

More information about Aptana can be found here. Aptana is a free, open source tool.

SEE ALSO: Ryan Dahl is fixing his Node.js design regrets with Deno

Honorable mentions

Here’s the section where we mention those IDEs that are perennially gracing our top 5 lists. Of course VS Code offers a great deal of Node.js support and tools, including a debugger. Vim’s extensibility and customization extends towards JavaScript, making this a good fit for developers who really like to build everything to their own exacting standards. Along the same lines, the hackable Atom has a number of Node.js packages.


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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3 years ago

Lately, I’ve been using the brand-new Coder IDE. It works entirely in the browser, so you can code on pretty much anything (e.g. laptop, tablet, phone). I’d put it in the top 5 for Node.js specifically because there’s no setup on Coder — make a .js file, and Node.js is ready to go. Plus, Coder can host your server for free at a URL. Spin up a server instantly, and you can share it w/friend

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc
Reply to  kelsey
3 years ago

Thank you for the tip, we’ll have a look at it.

Yoshioka Tsuneo
Yoshioka Tsuneo
3 years ago

Thank you for the nice article about Cloud IDE with details!
We have another Cloud IDE PaizaCloud( ). It’s quite quick to launch, and is like desktop development environment.
I just hope you to check it out.

Thank you !

3 years ago

No mention of emacs, is this intentional?

2 years ago

My choice is Codelobster IDE –