cPanel Code Editor vs Notepad++
Most basic hosting services offer a control panel, a very popular one being cPanel. It’s a simple and intuitive UI (despite the design seeming outdated) that allows you to manage your webmail, databases, files and more. Managing your files means that you don’t actually need to use an FTP client, which is nice. For many years I opted to use cPanel code editor to tweak my code. For more recent projects I’ve been using localhost and Sublime (on iOS) or Notepad++ (on Windows). [UPDATE: I didn’t realize that Sublime is actually available for Windows as well! I’ll need to check it out.]
Developing on localhost has it’s pros and cons. One the one hand, you can keep your files local and not have to worry about hosting. You can use a Virtual Machine to mimic a “live” environment, which is nice, plus you can develop even without internet access. On the other hand, developing locally at times does not accurately show you how your code will run on the web. So having to develop locally, deploy, test, and repeat can take more time. Personally, I like to develop online from the start, which is probably why I ended up using cPanel’s editor so much.
I’m now planning on uploading a project to GitHub. Like having company over for dinner, I want to make sure everything is tidy. cPanel’s editor exclusively uses spaces in it’s code. It doesn’t give you the ability to use tabs. Spaces vs Tabs is a whole different discussion (I personally think it’s left for people who have run out of things to argue about), but what I do like about tabs is that it’s a simple button on the keyboard that allows you to indent your code nicely.
So, for the sake of cleaner code, I’m using FileZilla as my FTP client so that I can use NotePad++ and produce cleaner code. Why am I blogging about this? Because I’ve had a few discussions with people before about “the best editor”, and while I’ve said to “just use cPanel’s” in the past, I think I’m changing my game now and leaning more towards NotePad++.