Web developers rely on powerful tools to help keep up with the ever-changing landscape of web development and design. Having programming software that is secure, up-to-date, and feature-rich are essential for creating websites, e-commerce sites, and web applications. To help find the right tools for the job, we are reviewing one of the top integrated development environments (IDE) from JetBrains, known as WebStorm. We will look at the IDEs top features, benefits, and pricing to help you determine if it is the right option for your solo project or team.
WebStorm IDE Features
WebStorm IDE has a wide range of features that help web devs enhance productivity and efficiency, including the following:
- Intelligent code editing
- Code search
- Code inspections
- Built-in refactoring
- Version control integrations
- Code debugging
- Code previews
- Build tool integrations
- JetBrains Ecosystem
- Platform support
Intelligent Code Editing
WebStorm also offers advanced code navigation and search, which lets developers easily jump back and forth between files, code snippets, classes, and symbols. Navigation also lets coders “Go to Definitions”, “Find Usages”, and search for files and text within their codebase and projects.
WebStorm’s code analysis and inspection feature works in real-time to analyze code, provide AI code suggestions, issue warnings about potential bugs, and highlight code errors. It includes a built-in linter and a group of code quality tools that help programmers stick to code standards and best practices for the individual support languages. This, in turn, leads to cleaner code that is easier to read and maintain.
Another great feature of WebStorm IDE is its built-in refactoring tools, which lets developers refactor code without worrying about damaging the codebase or breaking it. It offers automated refactoring, including variable, class, and method renaming. This code refactoring capability makes code maintenance easier and enhances code readability.
Version Control Integrations
WebStorm integrates with several popular version control platforms, including Git, SVN, and Mercurial. There is even a built-in Git client so developers can handle version control tasks within the IDE itself. Perform commit changes, merge branches, and resolve conflicts all from within one environment.
WebStorm has a live code editing feature developers can use that is great for collaboration, as it lets coders view changes to the code in the browser in real-time, without needing to reload the page. There is also a built-in preview for HTML and CSS files, once more letting coders work within one environment (aka, within the IDE).
Another great feature of WebStorm is that it also integrates with build tools and task runners like npm, Yarn, Gulp, and Grunt. This lets programmers run, configure, and manage build tools from inside the IDE, streamlining their workflows and automating common tasks.
Being a JetBrains product – whose notable IDEs include IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, and PhpStorm – WebStorm users have access to other tools within the JetBrains Ecosystem that they can purchase and add onto the IDE’s existing capabilities. JetBrains has a plugin marketplace that houses thousands of extensions created by community members, which include tools, integrations, and customizations to further expand a developer’s toolset.
WebStorm is cross-platform, meaning developers can use it on Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. Programmers get the same feature set regardless of operating system or platform, meaning they can hop between different systems if need be without worrying about losing functionality.
In the sections below, we will continue discussing WebStorm IDE’s features, narrowing in on its user interface and customer support before moving on to pricing.
WebStorm IDE User Experience
For the most part, WebStorm IDE has a clean user interface that is easy to navigate and won’t burn holes in a developer’s eyes. Its layout is well thought out and structured in a way that helps keep programmers organized. This is achieved through the use of several panes for the code editor, file explorer, and version control. Using this layout, developers can easily navigate their projects without needing to switch back and forth between screens. The IDE also has a dark theme that reduces eye strain and exhaustion after prolonged coding sessions and coders can tweak it to make it more appealing to their unique preferences.
From a performance and usability perspective, WebStorm is known to be highly performant, processing code and files with no problem. It has a minimal startup time and loading, and it smoothly handles even large codebases and projects. Finally, WebStorm has a built-in auto-save function that helps prevent lost work for developers who forget to save often.
Last up, WebStorm has a robust search and navigation feature which we touched upon in the features sections. It is worth mentioning again here because it does play into user experience. It increases productivity by allowing programmers to search for files, classes, symbols, and code snippets, which is very helpful when handling large projects.
JetBrains has a thriving community and is well-known in the developer world. Their products have an extensive library of documentation, featuring tutorials, guides, how-tos, and troubleshooting documents. Its community is also very active and developers having issues or looking for advice can find it through forums and other online communities.
If that isn’t enough, JetBrains does also offer support as well. If you need more of a visual guide, JetBrains also has a ton of video tutorials and webinars that can walk you through the ins and outs of the development environment and its features.
WebStorm IDE has several pricing and licensing options for developers and development teams, with individual and commercial options, including:
- WebStorm for Organizations: $159 per user, for first year
- WebStorm for Individuals:$69 for first year
- WebStorm All Products Pack for Organizations: $779 per user, first year
- WebStorm All Products Pack for Individuals: $289 for first year
The WebStorm IDE subscription for organizations starts at $159 per user, for the first year (save on 2 months) and gets cheaper for the second and third year. For individuals, the price is $69 for the first year, and you get a discount for the second and third year, billed annually.
The All Products Pack for both options comes with a plethora of developer tools, including 10 IDEs, 3 extensions, 2 profilers, and a collaborative development service.
WebStorm is also available for special pricing in some instances, including for students and teachers, non-commercial open source projects, and for non-profit organizations – to name but a few. Some of these special offers are free, while others offer a deep discount. You can find out if you or your team qualifies by checking out JetBrains’ Special Offers page.
Finally, WebStorm IDE does have a free 30-day trial if you want to test the development environment before committing.
Final Thoughts WebStorm IDE
In this IDE review, we learned that WebStorm is a powerful programmer tool that lets web developers and web application coders create software more efficiently and with fewer mistakes. The IDE also facilitates the creation of code that is more readable, maintainable, and reusable, thanks to the inclusion of intelligent code editing and code refactoring tools. In addition, when developers use WebStorm IDE for their projects, they have the ability to extend its functionality even further by integrating version control systems, build tools, and other extensions, making it so they can complete their work in one space, versus having to switch back and forth between multiple applications.
Finally, WebStorm also offers a thriving community, plenty of learning resources, and solid support, though all of this will come at a cost, depending on whether you are a single programmer or part of a software development team. That being said, its rich feature-set and benefits make it well worth the cost, especially if you are part of a mid to large size company. Even for freelancer developers the IDE is worth the cost of admission, as $69 for the first year is reasonable when considering all that WebStorm has to offer.