Last Updated: February 02, 2024
best Golang IDEs
Published On: October 26, 2023

With the support of numerous integrated development environments (IDEs), Golang has become a top choice among developers. Introduced in the year 2007, the open-source programming language, also popular as Go in the short form, emerged as one of the top-rated programming languages. It advocates for simple design, centralized modern architecture, competitiveness, etc. 

By using the IDE for Golang, developers find it easier to boost their efficiency and thus productivity. IDEs are specifically designed to help programmers in many ways to write code be it compiling, editing, or debugging. They can do it even into a single application. Choosing only the right IDEs helps you avail of these benefits.

Meanwhile, it’s not easy to select the appropriate Golang IDE, especially from the vast list of IDEs. In this blog, we have compiled a list of the best Golang IDEs and we will help to choose the best Go IDEs for you to make your software development process flawless.

What is Golang IDE?

As a software, Go is a combination of a range of programming tools used into a single graphical user interface (GUI). As mentioned, these tools enable developers to perform multiple tasks including editing code, debugging, compiling, etc. By using these tools, programmers can code quickly without complications of integration and manual configuration.

The majority of Golang IDEs support various programming languages. It enables developers to maintain several languages and codebases on a single platform. Some of the popular multilanguage IDEs include Xcode, Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, Android Studio, and others. Apart from this, some IDEs also support one programming language, including Vim-go (GO) and Zend Studio (PHP).

Features of Golang

The wide range of features of Golang is one of the key reasons for its fast adoption among developers. From syntax highlighting and concurrency support to integrated debugging, developers can leverage a range of features to boost their productivity and efficiency while improving their overall coding experience. Let’s have an in-depth overview of some of the top features of Golang.  

  • Code Completion

With Go, developers can avail of the liberty of intelligent code completions. As one of the most prominent features of Golang, it assists developers by letting them get suggestions for function names, variable names, even package imports, etc. It minimizes errors and boosts accuracy.  

  • Integrated Debugging

When it comes to debugging, it’s one of the most crucial aspects of developing software. With Go, developers find integrated debugging tools with top-rated Golang IDEs, including GoLand and Visual Studio Code. Be it inspection variables or setting breakpoints, it facilitates developers to perform everything.  

  • Syntax Highlighting

Syntax highlighting brings the possibility for programmers to distinguish different parts of code with the use of color. Thanks to Golang editor, it enables developers to do it hassle-free. The main purpose of syntax highlighting is to make code more readable, identify errors in real-time, etc. 

  • Code Navigation

Code navigation makes it easy for developers to understand and thus maintain any software projects without any hustle. GoLand includes features such as ‘Go to definition’, ‘Find All Occurrences‘, and ‘Find References’. These features help programmers understand the codebase and also the interconnection of different parts of programs. 

  • Version Control Integration

As one of the popular version control systems, Git lets developers streamline managing the source code. The computability of Golang with Git ensures easy collaboration and versioning. It allows developers to work efficiently in a team and manage any kind of changes effectively. 

11 Best Golang IDEs

Whether you deal with a large project or a smaller one, you can find the right Golang IDEs to carry your web app development process smoothly. Let’s delve into the list of top Golang IDEs that software developers leverage most frequently. Going through the below list will definitely help you pick the right option based on your specific project requirements.

11 Best Golang IDES

1. GoLand

If you are looking for a cross-platform IDE for Golang and have enough budget to spend, you can opt for GoLand. With a range of plugins and functionalities, GoLand, backed by a robust foundation of JetBrains, is a high-rated Golang IDE with features like debugging, code assistance, integrated terminal, etc. 

It’s available with a range of feature sets and developed specifically for Go developers. Be it user-friendly GoLand code navigation, debugging capabilities, or support for Git, GoLand boasts everything. 

Pros Cons
  • Code Refactoring Tool
  • Expensive
  •  Code Assistance
  • Hard Learning Curve
  • Code Navigation
  • Limitation of Language Support
  • Version Control Integration

2. Visual Studio Code with Go Extension

Developed and introduced by Microsoft in 2015, Visual Studio Code is one of the best Golang editors for multiple operating systems, including Linux operating systems, Windows, macOS, and others. Developers can leverage features including symbol search, code navigation, IntelliSense, etc. by integrating Visual Studio Code with Go Extension. 

Pros

Cons

  • Open Source
  • Complex Configuration
  • Customizable
  • Limited Mobile Support
  • Larger Numbers of Extensions
  • Not Appropriate for Larger Projects 
  • Cross-Platform

3. LiteIDE

LiteIDE is a perfect option for web developers seeking the best Go IDE with cross-platform support. It allows programmers to experience a smooth cross-platform collaboration. It’s another IDE that developers can use for a range of operating systems be it Mac, Windows, or Linux. Web developers can use it even without registration. 

Pros Cons
  • Fast and Lightweight
  • Limited Plugin Ecosystem
  • Dedicated Go Support
  • Limited Language Support
  • Cross-Platform
  • Smaller Community
  • Code Navigation

4. Vim with Go Plugins

Once developers install Vim, they come across a plethora of features to use. Some of the top features include advanced source analytic tools, intelligent code completion, easy import, etc. Being lightweight and fast, Vim includes the ability to handle even complex and larger workloads with a fast loading time and using less memory.

Pros

Cons

  • GoRun for Quick Execution
  • Lack of GUI
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Limitation of Ecosystem Integration
  • Vast Community Support
  • Limited Plugin Compatibility

5. Sublime Text with GoSublime

Designed mainly for Golang development, Sublime Text is a powerful code editor. It becomes more feature-rich and efficient when accompanied by the GoSublime package. It improves the coding experience of developers in multiple ways, be it error checking, syntax highlighting, streamlining the coding process, or quick navigation.

Pros Cons
  • Customizable Text Editing Experience
  • Ordinary Text Editor for General Purpose
  • Fast and Responsive
  • Less Built-in Features
  • Intelligent Autocompletion
  • Exacerbated Learning Curve
  • Highlights Syntax Errors

6. IntelliJ IDEA with Go plugin

Developed by JetBrains, IntelliJ IDEA with Go plugin is the most sought-after IDE for indexing, aside from its much-talked features like code generation, code completion, inspection, and others. It functions with a fast indexing strategy. For indexing, the IDE inspects the developers’ code and offers proposed methods through the virtual map. 

Pros Cons
  • Supports Multiple Programming Languages
  • Consumes System Resources
  • High Stability and Performance
  • Plugin Compatibility Issues
  • Availability of Both Free and Paid Version
  • Expensive

7. Atom with Go-Plus Package

Are you planning to use Atom? Well, you get an option to make your editing experience better by using the Go-plus package. With the Go-plus program, you can get quick feedback for syntax and thus can easily highlight the error. Developers can leverage the package to develop tools, create flows, covering tools, vests, etc.  

Pros Cons
  • Auto Code Formatting
  • Slow Startup Time
  • Code Navigation
  • Limited Community Support
  • Feature-Rich
  • Complex Debugging code
  • Highlights Errors

8. Eclipse with GoClipse

Eclipse, another well-known IDE, is available with multiple plugins – GoClipse is one of those. The plugin lets web developers edit source code with automatic indentation. Apart from this, GoClipse also works as a project builder and includes the ability to identify and correct errors quickly and report syntax. 

Pros Cons
  • Get Go Code Assistance
  • Limited Features              
  • Debugger Support
  • Less Popular
  • Syntax Formatting and Highlighting
  • Plugin Issues
  • Version Control Integration

9. Brackets with Golang Tools

When it comes to defining code blocks, Go uses curly braces {} rather than using brackets. Curly braces are useful to delimit blocks and also maintain consistency in code structure. Developers find it much easier to maintain a clean and uniform codebase, highlight readability, and easy to collaborate by following Go’s convention. 

Pros Cons
  • Highly Versatile
  • Limited Golang Support
  • Lightweight
  • Limited Extensions
  • Fully Customizable
  • Auto-completion Limitation
  • Syntax Highlighting

10. Theia

As a versatile Go IDE, Theia lets a web development company have an extensible and rich coding environment and supports various Go-specific features and tools that improve the overall development process. It includes various features including debugging capability, auto-completion, code navigation, etc. 

Pros Cons
  • Cloud Integration
  • Limited Ecosystem
  • Rich Ecosystem
  • Security Concerns
  • Modern Web Technologies
  • Integration Challenges
  • Vast Community Support

11. CodeLite with Go plugin

It’s another open-source IDE that comes with a Go plugin to facilitate developers to perform coding efficiently. It lets them perform development work hassle-free with features like autocompletion, code highlighting, etc. It’s the right option for programmers who are looking for a productive and user-friendly IDE. 

Pros Cons
  • Integrated Development Environment
  • Limited Third-Party Integration
  • Code Auto-Completion
  • Limited Language Support
  • Vast Plugin Ecosystem,
  • Small Community
  • Customizable

Things to Consider When Choosing an IDE For Golang

Choosing the right IDE, especially from a myriad of available options is not an easy task. You should always consider the type of projects to work on in terms of their complexity, size, etc. Besides this, you can consider several other factors to make the perfect selections. Some of these factors include; 

1. Language Support

You need to know that many IDEs support different programming languages. Make sure the IDE you select for the project supports the programming languages and technologies that you will work on. Whether you work on C++, Python, or Java, you should choose the IDE, which should align with your project’s requirements.

2. Platform Compatibility

The next factor you should consider is the compatibility of your IDE with the operating system, be it macOS, Windows, or Linux. Some IDEs are available with cross-platform compatibility whereas others are available to support a single OS. So, it’s also a great option to opt for cross-platform compatibility. 

3. Features and Customization

Features and customization capabilities are something that you should never forget to take into account when it comes to selecting the right IDE. Developers can excel in their coding, workflow, etc. by leveraging an IDE with customizable themes. Besides, you should also consider various other factors like debugging tools, autocompletion, plugins, or version control integration.  

4. Performance

While searching, you will come across many IDEs that are slow, especially on the old computer system, and resource intensive. Therefore, you should always opt for an IDE for Golang development which facilitates a responsive coding environment and ensures efficient development even without any crashes.   

5. Cost

Never forget to analyze pricing when selecting an IDE for Golang development projects. Of course, you will come across many open-source and paid options. You should always select the right one based on your projects and without compromising the needs of your projects. 

Conclusion

So, after going through the above list of 11 IDEs of Golang, you can already see they all are available with unique features. So, before selecting the IDE, you should always know about your project size, complications, requirements, goals, etc. 

Keeping these in mind will surely help you choose the right IDE that can help you write quality code with proficiency. Make sure you choose the IDE aligned with the best practices of Golang.

FAQs

Yes, Visual Studio Code is the right option for Golang because it is quick, lightweight, and extensive in nature. Some other reasons why this IDE is good include debugging support, formatting, linting, intellisense, etc.

Choosing the perfect IDE is vital as it improves the productivity of developers and enables them to complete coding work in less time.

Golang can replace Python only in some specific use cases and indeed your project’s needs. So, you can make the right choice between both for your project based on factors like ecosystem, concurrency, performance, development speed, etc.

Yes, the Golang programming language is the best choice for both the front end and back end, even though it’s most commonly used for back-end development.

The cost of developing a Golang app using Flutter depends on various factors like development team, project scope, development platform, testing, and more.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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