We are a team of 3 web developers, and currently use Dreamweaver on MacOS (for at least 10 years now) to manage about 100 websites of varying size and complexity.

We all love Dreamweaver, but would like to move to something else and avoid the subscription fees.

I notice quite a few nice options (I've sampled Sublime Text, CODA, and Brackets), but they all seem to be missing a good SFTP Sync.

I've scanned the internet, and StackOverflow as well, and have not found an answer for our particular scenario, so am hoping someone else has a solution for our situation.

Can anyone identify an editor or IDE that has minimally the following features?

  • MacOS compatible Text editor (with all the niceties) with code-hinting, autocomplete and syntax colorizing for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP (having these things for jQuery is a plus, but not a requirement). Note we do not need a design view.

  • Ability to keep LOCAL FILES synced with REMOTE SFTP files (open REMOTE file, edit and save it, and then local file gets updated with changes -- and not the other way around, which CODA seems to be able to do).

  • Nice to have would be something similar to Dreamweaver's Check-in/Check-out system.

Free or Paid options are ok (as long as its not a subscription-based payment).

It may very well be that we need to stick with Dreamweaver, or change our development pattern, but I'd like to explore current available options as they exist today before going down that road.

1 Answer 1


Sublime Text 3 with the SFTP plugin works great. Sublime is a one-time fee to register (US$70, which you really should do if you're using it commercially) as is SFTP, although you can use it for as long as you want with all the features (I think) without paying, although again, if you're using it commercially, I'd pay for it (US$30).

You'll need to install Package Control, Sublime's de facto package manager to install SFTP, but once you do there's a whole world of packages, plugins, color schemes, UI themes, etc. to explore. Sublime as-is has the great all-around features you'd expect from a programming editor (small, incredibly fast, support for a whole plethora of languages right out of the box, and more), but the plugins expand on Sublime's Python API to do just about whatever you want - compile Typescript, Coffeescript, JSX, LESS, SCSS, etc., run linters, have intelligent code completion, highlight CSS color codes with the color it represents, and much more.

The one potential downside for some people (not me and many others, though) is that almost everything is text-based - configuration files, tooltips, status bar messages, plugin dialogs, etc. This allows for a huge degree of control, and not having to wade through 47 different tabs to set the config option you want, but it's not as pretty as someone used to Dreamweaver might be comfortable with. You get used to it, though.

The other key thing to remember is that while Sublime can be really tricked out with all sorts of cool features and plugins, at the end of the day it is a tricked out code editor, not an IDE. It can't refactor your code, it doesn't organize your projects for you (you have to do that yourself, although the project feature is very nice), and the autocomplete and linters won't necessarily catch all of your errors like an IDE might. I don't see this as a downside, as Sublime is excellent at what it does, but you just need to be aware that while it has IDE-like features, it isn't one deep down.

Here are a few useful links:

  • The official docs - very useful, but not complete.
  • The unofficial docs - much more complete than the official ones, but there are a few gaps, as development has been at a very swift pace recently, with many new features added. Community-written, hosted on Github.
  • Package Control - I already mentioned it above, but it bears repeating. The place to go looking for plugins and enhancements.
  • The dev builds - once you become a registered user, you'll have access to these "bleeding-edge" builds. Updates come fast and furious for a while, then stop for 6-8 months or so. Use them to test the latest features. Generally pretty solid now, updates will be pushed very quickly if there are critical defects. I've been using them for about 3 years now. Make your own decision about whether or not to use them, the case could be argued either way.

And that's about it. Good luck!

  • Thanks. tried this for a few hours, and could not get it to work for my purposes. The ability to manage multiple sites (in my case, just over 100) seems daunting with this product. I can see quite a few benefits (text editor wise) for Sublime, but it doesn't match DW for multi-site (and team based) site management. I am stunned (and disappointed) that I cannot find another alternative. I supposed we will have to re-work our processes, or, stick with DW.
    – OneNerd
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 20:30
  • @OneNerd yeesh. I had no idea you were working with so many sites. Have you considered using something like Transmit to map servers as local volumes? I've been using that to connect to a couple of servers, but it seems to be pretty scalable. I've been using it for probably 3 or 4 years now, and I love it.
    – MattDMo
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 20:43
  • Will transmit give me the ability to sync a remote site to a local folder (in other words, using my local drive as the backup for the files on the remote server)?
    – OneNerd
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 21:18
  • What I'd like to be able to do is open the REMOTE file (from a filetree), at which point the LOCAL file is SYNC'd with the REMOTE file. Then after edits when I SAVE, both the REMOTE and the LOCAL file are SYNCed up. So, I operate from the REMOTE filetree, but LOCAL files get updated when I (1) OPEN and also (2) SAVE the REMOTE file. This is our current workflow.
    – OneNerd
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 21:43
  • @OneNerd this is sort of the way Transmit works, except that there is no LOCAL file - since REMOTE is mapped as a local volume, you perform operations on it just like you would on a file located on any other shared network server. When you save, you are saving directly to REMOTE, eliminating any possibilities of LOCAL and REMOTE getting out of sync, as there is no "LOCAL". It's a bit of change from what you're used to, but it may help actually improve your workflow.
    – MattDMo
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 22:39

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