I resisted switching to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code for quite a while. Partly because I didn’t want to pay for yet another editor. I had already paid for Sublime Text to upgrade to V3 and get full benefits. I ended up not liking it anyway! Then I had WebStorm which I got because I already had PHP Storm and liked it for WordPress development. Paid for that too. I mainly ended up working with the free code editor Atom, however. I loved it because of its UI and integration with Git. And the Github team created it, so that made it even more appealing. I have been deploying virtually all my Github repos to gh-pages, so using Atom just made sense to me.

But I found that Atom was becoming VERY SLOW. The bigger my projects got, the slower it became. Then I also noticed that sometimes when I switched branches, on switching, some files did not close. They would remain open and unsaved when switching back to master. It got confusing and potentially dangerous, because I would not know what was what. But this had never happened before. Probably I had upgraded Atom, and the setting related to this issue had gone away. That is another thing that I did not like about Atom. When one upgraded to the latest version, certain, but not all, settings would revert to default. I subsequently found out that there is a setting called Close File Deleted Tabs in Core Settings that makes sure that deleted files actually close. That helped. But in my case what was also happening, was that certain changes didn’t seem to transfer over locally on a git merge even though they showed up remotely! That’s because Atom was becoming SO SLOW. SO I knew that at least for bigger projects, I would have to start using something else.

Webstorm does not have the greatest UI. It also does not have the greatest assortment of plugins. But, it is really great for remote deployment, especially to hosting services. Connecting with FTPs is a snap and things like that. So I will definitely continue to use it for specific purposes. But I had to find something that would improve upon my daily development code editor experience. In desperation, I decided to check out Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. To my amazement, I found that the editor itself is 100% FREE! I had been under the impression that I had to pay for it. But that is not the case. So I immediately downloaded it and installed it. I am writing this blog post with it right now.

Visual Studio Code is available now for Mac. I know that in the past it was not. There is great documentation to get you started on a Mac. You can also sign up for Visual Studio Dev Essentials. However, if you already subscribe to a Microsoft product, i.e., Office 365 (I do), all you have to do is sign in with those credentials.

To download Visual Studio Code, go here.

To learn more about running VS Code on a Mac, please visit Running VS Code on Mac.

Have fun coding with Visual Studio Code!