15 Best PHP Development Tools That Every Developer Must Explore
This article is updated on 5 December 2021
All set to get your hands unclean with PHP development tools? PHP IDE is the primary tool that you require to get on the go with PHP programming. There are a lot of IDEs accessible in the market, both free and paid, and picking one can be a tricky job.
It is utterly possible to get going ahead with PHP programming tools in a fundamental text editor, like notepad, but healthier is to commence off with a feature rich and absolute PHP IDE such as NetBeans. The set of tools like PHPStorm, VIM, Cloud9, Zend Studio, and Atom are, particularly for professional web development.
The best PHP IDE comes filled with multiple features and functionalities with using PHP programming support. The integrated development environment is a developer’s open space and to improve it you need to invest efforts and time upfront to choose the PHP web development tools that most excellently fits your project requirements.
Which one you must go for? This query is for you and the choice depends on what you necessitate, like, and can have the required funds. It is not an awful idea to try some prior to closing on one of them. Let us give you a few statistics concerning PHP which will stimulate you the most. As per a survey carried out by Inc, PHP is a 7th well-liked programming language across the world and as per GoCertify, it is the 5th most extensively utilized programming language in all over India.
There is a lot of PHP editors available that are maintained on Windows, Linux, and Mac and are obtainable for free download. If you are a learner web developer, setting up to learn PHP, my advice is to go in advance with freely on hand PHP coding software like NetBeans, VIM, Atom or Eclipse PDT.
Enterprises developers can also get the job done with these free IDEs. However, there are commercial and business-related IDEs accessible. They are more superior and are backed by enterprises, supporting the newest set of functionalities as well as advanced features. The best IDEs in 2022 for PHP Programming comprise of PHPStorm, Zend Studio, Sublime Text, Nusphere, PHP Designer, PHPED and Cloud 9, to name some.
PHPStorm is the best IDE for PHP developer and comes packed with the freshest set of features that facilitate swift web development. It is developed and promoted by a company named JetBrains. It is in the midst of the most accepted companies in developer tools market and is making PHP coding software simpler and pleasant for developers for preceding 15 to 16 years.
PHPStorm works well with key frameworks like Symfony, Zend Framework, Yii, CakePHP and Laravel. It even supports chief Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Magento, and WordPress.
When it comes to best tools for PHP developers, it provides access and integration with sturdy version control systems, different databases, PHP MySQL development tool, vagrant, composer, remote deployment, rest client and command line tools. From debugging viewpoint, it works with Zend Debugger and Xdebug, both remotely and locally.
PHPStorm is an enterprise grade IDE, which comes with a license price and largely targets specialized developers. It, on the other hand, is offered, free of cost to students, teachers and to enable open source projects.
The reputation of PHPStorm can be gauged from the reality that big brands like Yahoo, Expedia, Cisco, Wikipedia, and Salesforce have bought PHPStorm IDE licenses.
Eclipse PDT is a highly used Open Source PHP Development Tools is another open source preference without directly costing you. Eclipse has a massive community of developers working on all sorts of plugins, requisite to authorize Eclipse with features that any other best PHP IDE such as Storms PHP, NetBeans, and Zend studio has to provide.
It is a slightly tricky task in the commencement to get underway with Eclipse as contrasted to other business-related IDEs but its use is worth the money it saves for you. It saves on licenses which are the biggest gain if you ask for an evaluation amid Eclipse PDT and PHPStorm or Zend Studio. If you are an old-time Eclipse follower, you will feel easy to deal with Eclipse PDT.
Some people say that Eclipse is sluggish and let me be frank; it is time-consuming when you deal with system configuration while other business-related products relatively perform superior. However, the fundamental laptop configuration these days it is of high-quality to run Eclipse swift enough to not let you perceive any lags.
Some of the essential features comprise syntax highlighting, code formatting, code assist, refactoring, code navigation, code templates, PHP debugging, syntax validation and eclipse ecosystem that possess a vast community which is quite supportive.
To start off with, you can download Eclipse package for PHP developers which comes fully to a capacity of PHP language support, Git client, XML Editor, and Mylyn.
NetBeans is the PHP IDE for plenty; it is attributed rich, free and enables manifold languages, counting English, Russian, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese, and basic Chinese. The free version of NetBeans dates back to 2010 when it was originally prepared open source by Sun Microsystems, getting hold by Oracle afterward.
Ever since its release, NetBeans boosts one of the largest communities of developers operational on an open source integrated development environment being downloaded 18+ million times.
Gone are the days when this tool was sluggish and was known only for development in Java, the existing stable release of NetBeans is lightweight, much quicker and supports the whole thing in PHP. It has the best support resources for all the rage PHP frameworks like Zend, Smarty Doctrine, and Symfony2. It even supports Laravel through Laravel-ide-helper and enables support for frameworks such as Yii, FuelPHP, CakePHP and WordPress CMS.
Some of the essential features that keep NetBeans on a peak of the list comprise code generation tools like getter setter generation, smart code completion, code templates, quick fixes, hints and refactoring. Other fundamental features supported include try/catch code completion, code folding, and formatting as well as rectangular selection.
which PHP IDE comes with SSH support and which PHP IDE has Git support? Yes, NetBeans, you guessed it right.
It is an accepted and a competing tool for the most sturdy text PHP editors. It is lightweight with required feature and is supported on OSX, Windows as well as Linux. The Sublime text editor is put up to gain its powers through different plugins and packages.
There are a lot of PHP packages accessible out there in the market that assists in transforming this smart editor into a graceful Sublime PHP IDE. Some of the most helpful and noteworthy packages for this purpose consist of package control, xDebug client – CodeBug, Sublime PHP companion, Simple PHPUnit, PHPCS, CodIntel, and PHPDoc.
Once you group sublime text 3 as a PHP IDE with aid of add-on packages, you get classiness of sublime text as well as the sturdiness of PHP at one place, for an utter easiness of PHP development.
It is another company that is keen on developing best tools of PHP products to step up web development experience and PHPED is the IDE they have to propose.
It supports the most recent release of PHP Editor that supports PHP 7 and many other new as well as old PHP frameworks which includes Laravel, Yii and Symfony to include few along with the Content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress and Joomla. The added feature with the most up-to-date release is the capability to run unit tests for mutually local and remote projects.
Having supposed that, I would rate Zend and PHPStorm superior to NuSphere in terms of style, the end to end customer support, enhanced documentation and release execution in the required commercial space.
Zend Studio is amongst the top commercial PHP IDE from the development house of the organization named Zend and targets proficient web developers.
Zend as a company provides all the things covering PHP functionalities and has a huge number of clientele utilizing one or other of its products that assists PHP development with a supreme breeze. Some of its top clients incorporate companies like DHL, BNP Paribas Credit Suisse, and Agilent Technologies.
Zend Studio is enabled on Windows, OS X, and Linux and works with most recent PHP versions counting PHP 7. Zend Studio comes with an instinctive user interface and offers most of the up to date features and tools that lend a hand to speed up PHP and web development with multiple purposes. Some of the essential features of Zend Studio comprise
- Swifter performance in indexing, validation and searching PHP code
- Debugging with Xdebug, Zend Debugger, and integration with Z-Ray
- Hold up the Eclipse plugins ecosystem, Docker and Git Flow support
- Deployment sustenance which included cloud support for Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure
- Backing for PHP 7 express migration and flawless integration with Zend server
A powerful feature of Zend is its support for mobile application development on the peak of live PHP apps and server system backend. This offers a good initiation in development when it comes to harmonizing present websites and web applications with mobile-based apps.
Atom is an up to date text editor built by GitHub folks and accessible free of cost underneath MIT license. Atom has an ecosystem of its own with the vast community at the back of it and tons of plugins and packages on hand to expand its functionality.
Atom is truly flexible which means you can turn Atom into your required PHP online editor since it is scalable and extremely customizable. In addition, it is an accurate cross-platform alternative with support for Windows, Red Hat Linux, OS X, Debian Linux and Fedora 22+.
How to twirl Atom into PHP IDE Free?
When it comes to PHP, there are numerous packages presented that convert Atom editor into an entirely loaded IDE for PHP which is not only free of cost but very effective than many other commercial PHP IDEs.
The packages you call for to turn atom editor into a totally functional free PHP IDE comprise php-cs-fixer, hyperclick-php, php-integrator-base, linter-php and atom-autocomplete-php.
It is Developed by ActiveState in the year 2000, Komodo IDE is one of the best PHP MySQL development and functional tools. Most of the functionality of Komodo is innate from the Python interpreter.
It utilizes Mozilla and Scintilla as its foundation for the reason that they share much functionality, features and support the alike languages. Due to its numerous extensions and pipe feature, Komodo has turned to be an enormous success.
- Provision of Split View and Multi-Window
- Swift Bookmarking
- Smart Language Detection
- Document Object Model Viewer
- Sustain for Git and Remote File Access
The Aptana Studio built by Aptana Inc. in the year 2014 is one of the finest open source PHP development tool. It is simple to download from the web and accessible to all at free of cost. It is obtainable as a standalone on Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
- Comes with Syntax Error Annotations
- Has built-in PHP Server
- Supports DOM and CSS
- Code Formatting and Auto Indexing
- Supports PHP Debugger
The platform offers a flawless experience for developing serverless applications empowering you to straightforwardly define resources, debug, and switch amid local and remote execution of serverless applications. With Cloud9, you can swiftly share your development environment with your team, facilitating you to pair program and monitor every other’s inputs on a real-time basis.
- Code just with a browser
- Code mutually in real time
- Build serverless applications with effortlessness
- Initiate novel projects swiftly
- Direct using a terminal access to AWS
An internal free PHP Debugger facilitates you to validate the code on a local basis. It automatically detects your existing server settings and configures related files to let you utilize the debugger.
Codelobster IDE has the following features and capabilities to work with Magento:
- Higher capacity to build projects automatedly installing Magento platform
- Autocomplete for Magento methodologies
- Tooltips for Magento methodologies, Context, and Dynamic help
- Codelobster IDE backs Windows, Mac OS, Linux, WordPress, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, etc. and has exceptional plug-ins for working smoothly with Joomla, Drupal, Twig, JQuery, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Node.js, BackboneJS, EmberJS, CakePHP, VueJS, Laravel, AngularJS, Phalcon, Magento, and Yii.
So, Which PHP code editor can I choose? Let’s explore some more options.
Novi HTML visual editor, the technical side of the HTML editor, was enormously user-oriented. In 2016, Elementor for WordPress was the only proficient drag & drop editor that offered WYSIWYG abilities. So, people required something such as that for HTML-based online projects.
Firstly, Novi facilitated non-technical professionals to design their websites without difficulty. Secondly, the builder turned useful to multiple web designers as well as developers. This visual HTML editor enabled all over the world to further the working process effortlessly.
The fundamental actions and features users were able to execute with Novi:
- Craft clean, structured site layouts with a code-free approach
- Enabled drag and drop technology
- Design pages of utilizing ready-made content modules
- Generate visitor-friendly web portal navigation
- Customize UI and UX elements
- Use of ready-made content blocks
- Set-up elements swiftly
- Handling media library
- Change color schemes, gradients, and images
- Enabling CSS, HTML, and JS code
- Facilitating contact forms, popups, and maps
- Applying visual effects, carousels, countdown timers, and sliders
So, which IDEs are the best for PHP development? Let’s explore some more alternatives.
Brackets which is an advanced and modern text editor, makes it simple to design in the browser. With straightforward visual tools and pre-processor backing, it is quite tailor-made for web designers and front-end developers.
Here are some of the functionalities and features of Brackets
- Inline Editors
- Live Preview
- Pre-processor Support
Instead of jumping amid file tabs, Brackets enables you to open a window right into the code. Brackets facilitate you with all the CSS selectors with that ID in an inline window so you can implement code side-by-side without any popups’ involvement.
You can enable a real-time connection right to your browser. Make modifications to CSS and HTML, and you will instantaneously see those alterations on screen. Also, view where your CSS selector is being used in the browser by cleanly putting your cursor on it. It is the sturdiness of a code editor with the handiness of in-browser dev tools.
With Brackets, you can utilize Quick Edit as well as Live Highlight with LESS and SCSS files, which will turn working with them more straightforward than ever.
Some of the features of Dreamweaver
- Integrated CMS Support
- Smart Coding Assistance
- CSS Support
Dreamweaver enables to test most CMS’s, including Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. This feature comes with live view navigation that facilitates viewing the webpage in action for simple editing. For implementing dynamic pages it helps you access all page associated files.
Dreamweaver enables us to showcase the CSS box model without requiring or knowing how to code CSS manually.
Notepad++ is an absolutely free source code editor and Notepad substitute that backs multiple languages. It runs in the MS Windows environment and is governed by GPL License.
The features of Notepad++ include
- Finding and replacing strings of text using expressions
- Enable Line bookmarking and Guided indentation
- Allows macros and simultaneous editing
- Facilitate split screen editing along with synchronized scrolling
- Helps with line operations, sorting, and case conversion
- Assists with the removal of redundant whitespace
- Lends a hand with tabbed document interface
PHP is the most well-liked and all-inclusive programming language for web development and there are loads of PHP IDEs obtainable which are further advancing with time. Most of the PHP development tools covered in this blog come with diverse flavors but the universal objective is bringing swiftness into web development with convenient and scalable code.
Take a closer look, list down some of your important requirements and choose the best PHP web development tools that most excellently fit your needs.
If you have any question or planning to develop a PHP web application for your business then you can contact us. We have experienced team of PHP developers who are able to full fill your requirements.