I'm wanting to create a website using CSS, HTML and JavaScript, and am looking for a software that will assist in detecting coding errors, e.g. missing tags and preferably have a preview screen of the markup.

The option of integrating server-side code or FTP with the IDE is not important at this stage, as I purely want to be able to create the look and feel of the website with this software.

I considered using Notepad++, but would prefer to have an editor more tailored to designing websites with these technologies.

If there are suggestions on suitable plugins or add-ons with the software, that would be good for this task would also be helpful.

I'm hoping to find something that is free, but am aware this is not always possible.

I'm using Windows 10 pro on an AMD A10-7870k with a 64bit quad core. I usually live in Visual Studio and Android Studio. I have used Dreamweaver in years gone by and tend to lean towards Netbeans over Eclipse, but have used both and am open to ideas.

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    I'm using NetBeans for a couple of years and am very content with this environment (using it for HTML/PHP). In my opinion it is easier to get started with, than with Eclipse. – martinstoeckli Apr 24 '16 at 18:07
  • @martinstoeckli yes I have netbeans and have just upgraded it. Please post an answer. I usually live in Android Studio and VS and naturally prefer netbeans to eclipse. – user21052 Apr 25 '16 at 0:37
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    It's interesting that on such a new site a question with 4 upvoted answers, has no votes. Well at least it has no downvotes! – user21052 Apr 29 '16 at 23:49

Adobe Brackets provides live previews of your pages and has a lot of convenient features for web developers. From their site:

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Also, there are plugins like W3C Validation to check for errors, but I think it has built-in checking as well.

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    this is really good. I'm using it for this stage of the development, where there's no php and I just want to get the design. thanks for that. – user21052 Apr 25 '16 at 23:35
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    @Yvette Glad to be of service :) – BalinKingOfMoria Reinstate CMs Apr 26 '16 at 2:05

When it comes to a free IDE for web development, I'd suggest Eclipse For PHP Developers

It is focused around PHP but you can code HTML, CSS, and Javascript and be able to preview your changes without having to look at a browser. (Although a browser like FireFox or Chrome is necessary to see headers, DOM, and etc.)

Another great suggestion is Sublime Text. It is not exactly an IDE but it is a very powerful editor that supports just about any programming language you can name along with an extensive plugin system. It has all the capabilities of an IDE such as syntax highlighting, corrections and suggestions. You can also preview your code with a plugin called, View In Browser.

These two suggestions are free and cross-platform. Eclipse is open source while Sublime allows you to create plugins as needed.

  • I will try all these suggestions, as I'm into making my life as easy as possible, and sometimes that requires more effort upfront with downloading and trying things out. – user21052 Apr 25 '16 at 1:05
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    Yes definitely. I use Sublime Text a lot. It's easy and powerful. The learning curve is less then Eclipse. It really just depends on your development needs. Both software are powerful. – NuWin Apr 25 '16 at 1:32

My choice for all kind of web development is NetBeans.

I like this free environment, it is a full grown development IDE, and it is very easy to get started with (setting up a new project is very straightforward). It has built in support for several lanugages like Java, PHP, Html with CSS.

  • thanks for that, yes I have installed some netbeans plugins and will be trying netbeans +1 – user21052 Apr 25 '16 at 7:10

I’d recommend you give some serious thought to PhpED. My response to Picking a PHP IDE and SVN package for professional software development? lists some of its features/benefits. PHPEd is not just a PHP editor. From their web site:

PhpED is the leading PHP IDE with Advanced PHP Editor, PHP Debugger and PHP Profiler, Code Insight, Database Client, Integrated Help System, full support for JavaScript, HTML, CSS, XML,SMARTY, XHTML and other.

It provides a preview tab to render your code as it would look in a browser. It’s relatively inexpensive for the “personal” version ($80 US) and offers a trial version for download.

  • very nice thanks, I haven't heard of this. Will look into it. – user21052 Apr 25 '16 at 22:00

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