My Biggest Issue with WebStorm Plugins versus Visual Studio

My Biggest Issue with WebStorm Plugins versus Visual Studio

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I don’t want to get involved in the “war” between Visual Studio Code (VSC) and Jetbrain’s products. VSC is really a fantastic tool, it is extremely fast, it is continuously developed and it has an unbeatable advantage: it is free.

Even though JetBrains products are cheap in my eyes, it costs money. For smaller projects and tests, VSC is also certainly sufficient. But if you work on larger projects, then the indexing of WebStorm is just extremely helpful. The IDE has so many possibilities, which one learns to appreciate only laboriously, but then simply no longer wants to miss.

Granted, you can also pimp VSC to enable all sorts of features, in principle, you can “simulate” WebStorm functionality to a very large extent. But, in my opinion, all these plugins are less integrated than the JetBrains products presenting that functionality “out-of-the-box”.

However, when I first started using WebStorm, I made a critical mistake with this Visual Studio Code experience, looking back:

I spent endless days searching for the best themes and plugins for Webstorm.

Why was that a mistake?

Many of these plugins may be useful, but with each update (and Jetbrains is good at rolling out improvements regularly and frequently), it naturally takes time for developers to adjust their plugins and themes. During this time, problems can arise that are not caused by your code, Vite or Webpack, but by these plugins. Sometimes improvements in the IDE are simply lost for the time being, or functionalities of plugins are already mapped in the standard with the latest release.

A few weeks ago I ran the IDE without plugins and discovered many subtleties of JetBrains, which I had overlooked until then, or which did not work properly through plugins. I am now much more productive, the IDE is also much faster therefore my recommendation is to be rather careful with the JetBrains products, and which plugins and themes you want to activate.

Sprucing up the IDE with a nicer theme and icon plugins only increases productivity to a limited extent, if at all. For updates, it is more important to me to be able to use the new functionalities right away and also the synchronisation of the IDE between several computers works better with fewer plugins. “Less is more” is therefore my experience when using JetBrains products.

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