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Learn how to install the ESP8266 board add-on in Arduino IDE in less than 1 minute. This guides works in any operating system: Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux.
I have built several gizmos with webpages & other niceties with the Esp, using the arduino ide.
Its a good chip, however there is a improved version the Esp32, in my opinion this one is a better chip to start with, it much more complex but using arduino ide you dont see any of that, and there are a few things that make it easier to use.