Top PHP Development Tools for Developers
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.
As per the report of w3techs.com, a total of 77.5% of all websites are using PHP as the server-side programming language. This statistics shows the popularity of the PHP language so it’s important to use the right PHP tool to make a coding life easy.
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, you should go in advance with freely on hand PHP coding software like NetBeans, VIM, Atom or Eclipse PDT.
Enterprise 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 2023 for PHP Programming comprise of PHPStorm, Codelobster, NetBeans, Rapid PHP editor, Eclipse PDT, and Dreamweaver, 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.
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.
Which PHP IDE comes with SSH support and which PHP IDE has Git support? Yes, NetBeans, you guessed it right.
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.
- Rapid PHP editor
Rapid PHP Editor is a PHP editor that is simple to use and comes with a syntax checker and debugger to facilitate the rapid development of PHP programs. In addition, the facility for intelligent code completion is built into this tool.
Key Features of Rapid PHP editor:
● The Smarty PHP template engine gets support from this component.
● You can easily reuse code.
● It has a function that allows for advanced searching and replacing.
● This utility is compatible with Unicode.
● The syntax can be highlighted using Rapid PHP Editor.
● It is compatible with HTML5 as well as CSS3.
● It grants you the ability to change the content directly on the web server.
● Personalizing the menus, toolbars, and shortcut keys are possible.
- Eclipse PDT
Eclipse PDT is a highly used open source PHP development tool 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.
Also Read:- PHP Frameworks For Web Developers
Some of the features of Dreamweaver
● Integrated CMS 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.
● Smart Coding Assistance
● CSS Support
Dreamweaver enables us to showcase the CSS box model without requiring or knowing how to code CSS manually.
- Zend Studio
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.
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
- Visual Studio Code
Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (VS Code for short) is a free, explicit, and open-source code editor that has acquired immense popularity recently. You may modify any facet of VS Code, including themes, key bindings, connectors, and functionality.
It supports PHP syntax by default. You can install additional PHP extensions through the VS Code Marketplace to transform it into a powerful PHP editor tailored to your individual coding needs.
Key features of Visual Studio Code:
● The best aspect of Visual Studio Code is smart code completion with IntelliSense.
● It has code navigation, syntax highlighting, and autocomplete functionality.
● An option to pick different colour themes is provided in it.
● Visual Studio Code includes built-in GiT and GitHub Integration, Emmet Support and extensibility, which you can use to create your extension.
● It has Configure File Associate option for the command to convert the file into an existing language for development assistance.
Some other features of PHP editors – Visual Studio Code include linting, debugging, refactoring, and terminals embedded in the system. It allows the coder to share the codes and extension while coding live.
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 most used version 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.
- Sublime Text 3
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.
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.
Also Read:- Top Features of Laravel PHP Framework
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
- Cloud 9
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
CodeLite is a free and open-sourced integrated development environment largely for the C++ development language, even though it also backs PHP and Node.js. So, it is not the most robust IDE available.
Still, it is free and includes all the essential IDE functions for PHP, like project and workspace management, an integrated debugger (Xdebug), panes for numerous views, task handling, code execution, and safeguard implementation, among others.
Kye Features of Codelite:
● When you initially install CodeLite, a setup wizard assists you in customizing the IDE to your coding style.
● It allows users to adapt it as a web development-oriented PHP editor. Note that you might need to manually install a C++ compiler on your computer if one is not already there.
● Although CodeLite has a decent wiki page, it does not have as many tutorials/starter examples compared to other PHP IDEs right on this list.
● CodeLite is the best choice if you want one of the free premium PHP IDEs that does not need Java, has several configuration options, and will not require you to create an account.
Bluefish is a powerful source code editor that handles various programming languages. Bluefish editor can be considered an excellent alternative for people looking for a PHP editor for your Linux distribution.
Since it has a user interface that affiliates the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines, it is perfectly suited on a Gnome desktop. Bluefish was designed with web and PHP developers in mind.
Key Features of Bluefish:
● It includes several handy features, like Emmet (previously Zen Coding) compatibility, dialogues, and wizards for HTML elements.
● It has a Unicode character viewer, among others.
● People willing to start developing codes immediately and want to skip the learning process can opt Bluefish, as it has the most versatile and convinient user interface.
- Aptana Studio
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
Also Read:- Node.js vs PHP
Vim stands for Vi Improved since it is the enhanced version of the Unix code editor Vi. Additionally, Vim has essential capabilities like file comparison and merging. It allows syntax highlighting, spell checks, search history, split view, and support for protocols, including FTP, HTTP, and SSH.
Vim’s text-based user interface can be managed with commands and key bindings. The six fundamental Vim modes are standard, select, insert, visual, command line mode and ex (exit). In can you have a practice of using Vim in a graphic customer interface, check out the Gvim ( Graphical Vim) for better experience.
Key Features of VIM Editor:
● Vim is highly configurable and flexible and supports many programming languages.
● Many Vim plugins are available; A great feature Vim has it allows you to add new functionality through Vim Script (known as VimL).
● Vim is a fairly robust tool, but if you are a newbie or occasionally code, you should avoid it due to its steep learning curve.
● Vim might be one of the best PHP editors if you desire flexibility and custom capabilities and are willing to learn.
- Novi HTML Visual Editor
Novi HTML visual editor, Best IDF for PHP development, 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
- RJ TextEd
Rickard Johansson (often known as RJ) is the only developer behind the phenomenally successful project known as RJ TextEd. It is a source code editor for Windows-based operating systems developed primarily for web development. RJ TextEd is a text editor that, despite having a website that looks a bit simplistic at first glance, comes packed with many intriguing features.
RJ TextEd’s license model is slight different than the normal. The author does not intend to make the program’s source code public; hence, it is not open source, despite being freeware software. Despite this, you can still enhance the functionality by developing an extension.
Key Features of RJ TextEd:
● RJ TextEd allows users to customise every aspect in the user interface through distinct themes.
● One can opt for multiple view mode at once to work conveniently, in different arrangements
● It has color picker, HTML validation & repair tool, text- to – coder converter and diverse chamaps to make the user interface friendly for the fresh coders.
● RJ TextEd includes a browser preview for HTML files that can be viewed in Chrome or Internet Explorer.
● It allows developers to collaborate and work collectively and solve query on a common forum.
Also Read:- PHP Laravel Programmers For Hire
- GNU Emacs
Emacs is a program that runs on Unix and has features that enable a good deal of personalization. For example, it includes syntax coloring support. In addition, it provides support for Unicode for a wide variety of human scripts.
Key Features of GNU Emacs:
● This application includes comprehensive documentation that is built right in.
● It offers a packaging method that may be used for installing and downloading various extensions.
● Emacs Lisp code allows much personalization, providing a walkthrough for individuals just starting.
● Emacs provides Unicode support completely for almost all human scripts.
● It offers a variety of additional features like a project planner, debugger interface, mail and news reader, calendar IRC client, etc.
Geany is a PHP text editor that employs the GTK open-source toolkit. This editor completes words or brackets automatically. It supports many file formats, including PHP, Perl, and HTML.
Key Features of Geany:
● It is simple to compile and execute code.
● It makes project management more effortless.
● This free PHP-integrated development environment enables code folding.
● It can close HTML and XML tags automatically.
● Geany contains a symbol list that allows you to locate the definition of a symbol.
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
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.
● Live Preview
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.
● Pre-processor Support
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.
jEdit know well among the Java developer, can be easily integrated with the Java Virtual Machine. Have the ability to support cross platform source code, enhances its compatibly for being the best editor for ever operating system.
In addition, it aims to offer programmers an interface that can be installed and configured as quickly and efficiently as possible. While talking about syntax highlighting JEdit supports over 200 programming languages.
Key Features of jEdit:
● The toolbox of jEdit includes powerful search replacement options.
● It has unlimited undo/redo functionality.
● It allows copy and pastes via clipboards, multiple editor windows open simultaneously, or across various tabs in different browsers.
TextMate is a robust source code editor targeting the macOS platform. The earliest version of TextMate was proprietary, license-required software. TextMate 2.0 has been open-sourced under the GPLv3+ license, meaning you can get it for free (although TextMate’s license policy website states that they “may charge for upgrades after 2.0”).
TextMate 2 is worth a try if you are searching for a (currently free) PHP editor that works natively on Mac devices.
Key Features of TextMate:
● TextMate employs an extensible bundle structure to make customization simple and intuitive.
● A TextMate bundle may contain language syntaxes, code fragments, macros, instructions, templates, and workflows, among other things.
● It is convenient to manage the bundles.
● It connects with the underlying Unix shell, allowing you to implement customized operations in any programming language which supports Unix Standard Streams.
KWrite is a simple application that may be used to edit PHP code. The KDE software community is responsible for the development of this program. Text insert and command modes are the two distinct input modes utilized here.
Key Features of Kwrite:
● It automatically highlights the syntax for you based on the file type.
● Automatic adjustment of the indentation
● It supports the KIPI plugin, which allows photos to be exported.
● This editor provides auto-completion based on words or phrases it has already seen in the rest of the part of the file that it is now working on.
PHP is the most well-liked and all-inclusive programming language for web development and there are lots 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.
We at Technostacks, have experienced team of PHP developers, who are able to full fill your requirements and we are committed to deliver the best PHP development services to our valuable clients.
If you have any question regarding which PHP IDE to pick or planning to develop a PHP web application for your business then you can contact us, mail us or call us (+91-9909012616) for a consultation.
FAQs on Best PHP development Tools and IDEs
1) Which are the best IDEs for PHP development?
Here are the modern PHP development tools.
● Zend Studio
● Rapid PHP editor
● Eclipse PDT
2) Which IDE should I use for PHP?
Choosing a suitable IDE (Integrated Development Environment) can be difficult when working with PHP. In the above blog post, we have explored some of the best PHP development IDEs and provided a few recommendations. But you can always use best PHP IDEs such as PHPStorm, Dreamweaver, Rapid PHP editor, Eclipse PDT, Codelobster, etc.
3) Which free IDE is best for PHP?
Here are the top Free PHP IDEs for better coding:
● Zend Studio.
● Rapid PHP editor.
● Eclipse PDT.
4) Which software is used for PHP programming?
There are a numerous softwares are available for PHP programming:
● Zend Studio
● Rapid PHP editor
● Eclipse PDT
NetBeans is the most popular PHP integrated development environment (IDE) for PHP application development. This application supports several languages and offers a comprehensive set of capabilities. Initially utilized for Java development, the latest edition of NetBeans is lightweight, faster, and supports PHP development services.
5) Can you use PHP in Visual Studio?
Visual Studio has the tools to make your life easier, whether you’re a PHP novice or an expert. With an easy-to-learn interface that offers support for all major languages, including C# and ASP .NET, and nonstandard extensions like LESS/Sass – there’s no need to find another editor.
6) Which are the free PHP editors?
Some of the best free PHP editors are
● Visual Studio Code.
● GNU Emacs.
7) Which are the paid PHP IDEs?
Some of the paid PHP Development Tools are –
● Sublime Text
8) Which is the best tool for PHP development?
A few of the best PHP tools for developers are –
● Zend Studio.
● NuSphere PhpED.
● Cloud 9.
● Aptana Studio
9) Is Eclipse A PHP?
The Eclipse PHP project aims to create a foundation for a new PHP IDE compatible with the Eclipse platform. This project comprises the development components essential to construct PHP-based Web Applications and promotes extensibility. In addition, this project includes all of the development components.
10) What software is required for PHP?
To start coding in PHP, you will need a few things. First, you need a code editor. This is where you will write your code. Some popular PHP code editors include Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text. You will also need a server software package to interpret your PHP code and display it in a web browser. One of the most popular server software packages for PHP is Apache. Lastly, you will need a copy of the PHP interpreter.
11) What editor is most used for PHP?
PHPStorm, Zend Studio, and NuSphere PhpED are a few of the best PHP code editor software. Visual Studio (with Xamarin) and ZendStudio are top IDEs for PHP projects.