What is CodePen?

CodePen is a collaborative live coding environment where users can showcase their code, receive feedback and gain inspiration from others.

CodePen is a playground for the front end side of the web. It's all about inspiration, education, and sharing.

Need to build a reduced test case to demonstrate and figure out a bug? CodePen is great for that. Want to show off your latest creation and get feedback from your peers? CodePen is great for that. Want to find an example of a particular design pattern for you project? CodePen is great for that.

CodePen PRO takes things further with features like Collab Mode which allows you to pair program in real time and Professor Mode for allowing a group of students to follow you as you teach code and chat with each other.

CodePen Awards

CodePen currently scores 91/100 in the Code Editors category. This is based on user satisfaction (89/100), press buzz (74/100), and other relevant information on CodePen gathered from around the web.

The score for this software has declined over the past month. What is this?
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CodePen Review

Editors' Review by the Code Editors Software Review Team

CodePen is an online code editor tailored for the front-end community, providing free and premium social development environments for different users, particularly front-end developers and designers.

As an online code editor, CodePen enables users to create and publish their websites, share and learn code, and discover new lines of code from more than 1.8 million front-end developers and designers. The fully integrated front-end code editor allows users at varying skill levels to build and deploy HTML, JavaScript, and CSS code for a wide variety of projects. The online tool also gives them the ability to isolate different test cases, allowing them to learn and debug lines of code.

CodePen comes with an integrated development environment (IDE) that also allows them to create, test, and discover front-end code for any type of project. The CodePen IDE features a simple drag-and-drop function for uploading code. It also comes with auto-complete features, live previews, and easy website deployment. Users will have access to CodePen’s active community of developers and designers, allowing them to share their work as well as browse for inspiration or existing code created by other developers in the community that might help them with their project.

CodePen offers a robust and secure space for software designers and developers to build, test, and discover front-end code. The tool enables users to get their work done quicker and more efficiently by building and designing entire projects. The software also lets them isolate specific lines of code to test animations and features. The Pro version of CodePen will provide users with the privacy they need when building their projects.

CodePen is well-suited for projects that are being worked on by an entire team. The software has built-in chat functionality that allows users to collaborate and work on any project seamlessly. Multiple team members can write and edit code simultaneously with ease. The code editing tool also caters to aspiring developers and designers looking to hone their coding skills and gain more experience. Users can learn and get discovered by participating in CodePen Challenges.

CodePen Features

CodePen is equipped with a wide variety of features and capabilities, especially in the Pro version. The following are just a few of the features and tools that this online code-generating and editing platform has to offer:

Presentation mode

CodePen’s presentation mode allows users to participate and be a part of an active front-end community of designers and developers. This feature is a special view mode that is specifically designed for sharing work. It enables users to show a Pen on a screen like an overhead projector, for instance, where there is limited space. Presentation mode is quite useful for those in need of quick access to how the screen is displayed or presented. It provides users with control over the screen layout, preview size, color themes, and font size.

Presentation mode offers on-page controls to help users customize their display while reducing the on-page UI to maximize the available space for code and preview. This feature is only available in CodePen Pro. When a user is a Pro member, all their Pens will come with the presentation mode function automatically. All they need to do to access presentation mode is go to a Pen that they own, access the View Switcher menu, and open the Presentation Mode link.

Collab mode

Collab mode is another CodePen Pro feature specifically designed for collaborative work. It enables multiple users to work together on a Pen simultaneously. Anyone familiar with collaborative editing using Google Docs will appreciate this feature, as it serves the same function. Collab mode works as a real-time pair programming solution, allowing two or more individuals to work on the same project remotely. The best part about this function is that it’s not a bandwidth hog, meaning the solution does not consume as much bandwidth as video-based collaborative tools.

When in Collab mode, every character entered, every line of code that is chosen, and every configuration that is modified is reflected on everyone’s screens instantly. This allows every member of the team working on the same project to receive updates in real time. As mentioned, Collab mode is a Pro feature. That means users who want to access Collab mode must be signed up as Pro members. Users must be on a saved Pen that they own to participate in a Collab mode session. Users can access Collab mode from the Change View dropdown.

Professor mode

Professor mode is a good feature for those looking to share their knowledge and expertise with several up-and-coming developers and designers. This function gives a group of people access to live classrooms where they can watch and learn from the user as they write code in real-time. Users looking to teach code to eager minds can appreciate this feature. Just like in Collab mode, every change will instantly reflect on the viewers’ screens.

The number of people who can watch a session at one time depends on the type of subscription that the Pro user has. For instance, a Starter Pro subscription will have a maximum of 10 viewers, while a Developer Pro package can accommodate up to 35 viewers. A Super Pro subscription, on the other hand, will support up to 100 viewers.

The best part about this feature is that when a virtual classroom is full, for example, individuals looking to join the session will automatically receive a message telling them the classroom is full. However, when someone leaves and a slot becomes available, those on the waiting list will automatically be let in.

Live view mode

Live view mode is a mode that provides a real-time, full-page view of the user’s Pen. Again, just like in the Collab and Professor modes, every change made to the Pen will instantly reflect on the live display. Essentially, updates occur as the user writes or edits a piece of code, similar to the preview function in the Editor. However, unlike the preview function in the editor, this URL can be opened in a different tab or window, a different browser, or even a different device or computer.

Live view mode is especially useful for cross-device and/or cross-browser testing. Instead of having to go through different devices and browsers to test and manually reload pages every time changes are made, updates applied to the code will be displayed automatically.

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CodePen Benefits

The following are some of the main benefits of using CodePen as a social development environment for front-end coding:

Easily embed Pens

CodePen enables embedded Pens by allowing users to bring all their CodePen creations to documentation, other websites, and/or blog posts. Users can easily embed Pens on other platforms by simply using CodePen’s copy-and-paste Embed code function. They can access the code by clicking the “Embed” button located in the footer of the editing tool on any active Pen. This will open the Embed Builder, the CodePen tool that enables users to customize their embed process.

The Embed Builder allows users to set the embed height, pick which tabs to display, select their preferred embed theme, create the “Click-to-Load” preview, and make the embed editable.

Unlimited embed themes

CodePen provides users with the ability to embed their created Pens on other websites, referred to as Embedded Pens. The process of embedding Pens can be as easy and efficient as copying and pasting a bit or line of code into the other website’s HTML. The embed code is accessible through the Embed Builder.

The Embed Builder also allows users to fully customize their Embedded Pens by changing their colors and overall appearance. Users may also choose not to customize the Embedded Pens. In this case, the default theme will be applied.

Create private projects, Pens, and collections

Pens, projects, and collections that are created on CodePen are public by default. This includes the free version of CodePen since the privacy setting is only available on the Pro version. All Pens, projects, and collections show up in the user’s public profile for other users to like via “heart”, comment on, and find through searches.

However, for users who are engaged in projects or working on Pens that they don’t want the public to see, CodePen has a privacy function that allows them to set their work to private. They have the option to hide their creations and works-in-progress from their CodePen profile and the search function.

CodePen Pricing

CodePen offers Individual and Team plans. The Team plan starts at $12 per member/month with a minimum of two members. The Individual plans have three premium packages available: Starter, Developer, and Super. Pricing starts at $8, $12, and $26 per month, respectively. A free version is also available, with unlimited public Pens and Collections, as well as unlimited templates. All prices are based on an annual billing cycle. Visit the vendor’s website for more details.


CodePen is a feature-rich online code editing platform that provides a social development environment for front-end developers and designers. It’s a sufficient tool for building and deploying professional or personal HTML websites, sharing creations, creating test cases, finding inspiration, and even learning and discovering new coding skills. CodePen is available for free and is a perfect entry point for those looking to build, share, and learn code.

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