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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

Top 10 PHP Development Tools For Efficient PHP Developers

Top 10 PHP Development Tools For Efficient PHP Developers

PHP is the fastest and most widely used server-side scripting language for building websites and web apps. There are many good reasons why several developers prefer PHP to other server-side languages like Python and Ruby. PHP includes detailed documentation, numerous ready-to-use scripts, a huge community, and well-supported frameworks. To make PHP work easier, experts have developed some PHP development tools that increase programming efficiency. PHP tools are meant to account for a perfect IDE (Integrated Development Environment) where PHP developers can efficiently build engaging, innovative and feature-rich PHP projects.

Today’s market is flooded with many PHP tools, and choosing the best one among them is a challenging task. Here are the top 10 best PHP development tools that captured the attention of web development communities.

PHPStorm

With the nature of being lightweight, extremely fast and smooth, PHPStorm is the most standard choice to other PHP development tools. This PHP IDE works well with PHP frameworks like Zend Framework, Symfony, Yii, Laravel, CakePHP and with popular Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal, Magento, and WordPress. This IDE provides live editing support for major front-end technologies like CSS, HTML5, JavaScript, etc. while supporting for code refactoring, unit testing and debugging. Besides, it also empowers developers to integrate with databases, version control systems, remote deployment, composer, command line tools, rest client and many other tools.

PHPStorm Features:

  • Code completion
  • Code re-arranger
  • Zero Configuration Debugging
  • Native ZenCoding support
  • Supports extension with plenty of useful plugins like VimEditor

PHPStorm Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, Visual Basic, C, C++, and C#
  • Platforms supported: Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
  • Visit: PHPStorm

Zend Studio

Most web developers opt for Zend Studio because of its optimal speed. Writing and debugging code in Zend Studio doesn’t demand any extra effort and time from developers. While supporting PHP 7, it debugs PHP scripts by integrating X-ray, Xdebug, and Zend Debugger. This comprehensive PHP IDE comes with an exciting set of features and powered to deploy applications on various servers including servers in the cloud. Developers can extend Zend Studio via Eclipse plugins.

Zend Studio Features:

  • Indexing & searching PHP Code
  • Faster Performance in the validation
  • Zend Framework & Zend_Tool Integration
  • Docker Support
  • Support for Eclipse Plugin

Zend Studio Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, Visual Basic, C, C++, and C#
  • Platforms supported: Microsoft Windows, Linux, and MacOS
  • Visit: Zend Studio

NuSphere PhpED

PhpED is a proprietary integrating PHP development tool offered by NuSphere. This PHP IDE comprises an advanced PHP editor, Profiler, PHP debugger, and database client & code insight. This utility provides the developers with several tools and tweaks that will make the whole web development process less cumbersome. With the help of the commercial PHP accelerator called PhpExpress, PhpEd speeds up the application development process. This IDE is an ideal option to develop complex websites and web applications. It supports JavaScript, HTML, and CSS3 while offering massive support for PHP 7.1. Its refactoring capabilities empower developers to improve their code. PhpED allows developers to work through most popular PHP frameworks like Laravel, Zend, and Yii.

PhpED features:

  • Accelerate PHP apps with PhpExpress
  • Support for composite file extensions
  • Parallel Debugging
  • Full integration with phpUnit
  • Refactoring of PHP code

PhpED Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, HTML, XML, CSS, Perl, Python and JavaScript
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Web, Mac, Linux, iPad
  • Visit: PhpED

Netbeans

NetBeans, the most widely used PHP IDE for PHP application development. This tool comes with all the rich features, which supports multiple languages. NetBeans was initially used for Java development, but the current version of this tool is lightweight, faster as well as supportive to PHP development. It includes the extension to support other programming languages like C, C++, and HTML5. It supports developing large-scale web apps and supports various languages like Japanese, Russian, English, Brazilian Portuguese, and simplified Chinese. This open source PHP development tool can work with almost all popular PHP frameworks, including Zend, Symfony 2, CakePHP, FuelPHP, Smarty and WordPress CMS. NetBeans PHP IDE offers various features specific to developing web applications with the recent versions of PHP.

NetBeans features:

  • Code Formatting & folding
  • Smart code completion
  • Getter Setter generation
  • Try/catch code completion
  • Syntax Highlighter

NetBeans Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, C, C++, and HTML5
  • Platforms supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Solaris
  • Visit: NetBeans

Cloud 9

Cloud9, an open source cloud IDE provides a development environment for hundreds of programming languages and PHP, C, C++, JavaScript, Python are the names a few. Developers can start coding immediately with pre-configured environments called workspace and build web applications with features like browser compatibility testing & live preview. They can collaborate with their colleagues using collaborative coding features. This PHP IDE enables you to take your PHP projects from anywhere. It offers a flawless experience for creating serverless apps, enabling you to define resources, execute serverless apps and debug at the remote. You can share your development environment with your peers and it enables you to pair program as well as track every real-time inputs. As Cloud9 ensures the effortless building of serverless application, you can just code with your browser.

Cloud9 Features:

  • Real-time language Analysis
  • Tabbed file Management
  • Integrated Debugger
  • Built-in image editor
  • Code reformatting

Cloud9 Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, C, C++, and HTML5
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Solaris
  • Visit: Cloud9

Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio, an open source PHP development tool used in integration with various server-side and client-side web technologies. PHP, Python, CSS3, Ruby on Rails, Ruby and HTML5 are some of these technologies. It supports the debuggers and command line interface to make it easier for PHP app development. It allows PHP programmers to build as well as test web applications in one environment. It comes with SFTP, FTP, and IDE customization. This powerful web development engine leverages the flexibilities of Eclipse and comprises details about the range of support for each element in the leading web browsers. Aptana Studio is a high-performance PHP IDE and includes a wide range of attractive features to increase your productivity.

Aptana Studio features:

  • Set breakpoints, control execution, inspect variables
  • Supports latest HTML5 specifications
  • Collaboration with peers via merge, pull & push actions
  • IDE Customization
  • Git Integration and Built-in terminal

Aptana Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, Ajax, HTML and Ruby on Rails
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Plugin for Eclipse
  • Visit: Aptana Studio

CodeLobster

CodeLobster IDE from Codelobster software firm is the most popular one among the PHP development tools for the developer community. It supports most of the PHP frameworks like Symfony, Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Magento, Joomla, and Drupal. CodeLobster IDE streamlines as well as simplifies the development process. There is no need to remember the names of the arguments, functions, attributes, and tags - it has implemented all these with autocomplete features for HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and CSS. With its internal PHP debugger, you can validate your code locally. In addition, this PHP tool automatically detects the setting of the current servers and configures related files to make you use the free debugger. It also supports major CMS like Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and Joomla.

CodeLobster Feature

  • Syntax highlighting
  • SQL manager
  • Code validator
  • Autocompleting of keywords, DOM elements & their properties
  • Function Parameters Display

CodeLobster Specialties:

  • Languages supported: PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Fedora, Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, Mac OS, Mint
  • Visit: CodeLobster

Sublime Test

Sublime Test is one of the leading test editors out there for PHP developers. However, it isn’t a quite IDE, with the installation of certain plugins/package; you can make it a suitable editor for developing PHP applications. This cross-platform source code editor natively supports several programming as well as markup languages. With its feature-rich functionalities and extraordinary designs, it makes the developer community consider the text editor as the best IDE for PHP development. Being leading customizable text editor with custom UI toolkit, it enables you to climb across the symbols, words or lines using appropriate key shortcuts. Moreover, you can make changes to any lines of your code.

Sublime Text Features

  • Split editing
  • Instant Project Switch
  • Better command palette
  • Distraction free mode
  • Plugin API

Sublime TextSpecialties:

  • Languages supported: All popular languages
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS and Linux
  • Visit: Sublime Text

PHPDebugbar

PHPDebugbar is a PHP debugger that can run with any project and display data from a broad range of web apps. This PHP development tool includes two parts, namely: mainDebugBar object & data collectors and the render. A StandardDebugBar includes a pre-configured built-in set of collectors.

Along with PHP, you can also catch JavaScript and HTML bugs as well. In addition, PHPDebugbar can inspect CSS element, monitor network, and check your JavaScript code. By offering more features that developers expect, it becomes a quite impressive open source solution. It can be the best option for profiling of data from any web applications. It allows you to create your own collect or effortlessly for easy integration.

PHPDebugbar Feature

  • Monitor network traffic
  • Handles AJAX requests
  • Log & debug directly to Debugbar
  • Fast & easy to use interface
  • Preview config& application config

PHPDebugbar Specialties:        

  • Languages supported: PHP, Ruby, .Net and Java
  • PHP versions supported: PHP 5.5 & above
  • Visit: PHPDebugbar

Eclipse

When you digitally search about the best PHP development tools, most of your search results will have the Eclipse in their list. Being a completely development tool, it ranks in the list of top PHP tools. With the liberty to select from a broad range of plugin, it makes it easier to develop as well as simplify the complex PHP code. It also aids you to customize and extend the IDE to address the needs of the project. This PHP IDE can support both GUI and non-GUI applications. This cross-platform PHP editor is ideal for large-scale PHP projects.

Eclipse Feature

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Content assist
  • Code templates
  • Formatting of code
  • Code navigation

Eclipse Specialties:

  • Languages supported: ABAP, Ada, C, C++, Haskell, COBOL, D, JavaScript, Fortran, Java, Julia, Perl,Lua, NATURAL, PHP, Prolog, Ruby, Python, R, Lasso, Rust, Scala, Groovy, Scheme, Clojure, and Erlang
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris
  • Visit: Eclipse

Each tool listed here is fully packed with outstanding features and capabilities that allow creating PHP websites quickly & easily. These PHP development tools aren’t the only ones available in the market. You can find much more paid and free PHP tools! However, the tools listed on this blog are the ‘best PHP development tools’ that meets every requirements of your project. Keep in mind that new PHP IDEs are popping out every day; it is always worthier to keep an eye out on the latest trends in PHP.

 

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