15 Best PHP Development Tools That Every Developer Must Explore 2

15 Best PHP Development Tools That Every Developer Must Explore

Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages that is open-source and easy to use. More than a million domains are powered using PHP. According to sources, some of the popular websites, such as Facebook and WordPress, have been powered by PHP. Thanks to the speed and ease offered by PHP development tools, which exceeds any other programming languages.

Also, unlike many other frameworks that lack proper documentation, community support, PHP prospers in all these while offering well-strategized frameworks, scripts that are ready to use and in large numbers. Apart from all these advantages, for any amateur or people with the least technical knowledge, PHP is the right place to start.

What differentiates PHP from the other programming languages is that it helps in simplifying and making the web application development process easier than ever. Of course, it is being implemented for some of the major projects and has already been in use, but the most interesting part is that it is being enhanced regularly. If you have come across PHP 7, then you might be aware of how the programmers are working on improving the performances of the web apps.

And all this is being accomplished without a slight expansion in the memory consumption part.  Also, this will help the developers to speed up web apps and custom website development with ease taking advantage of lightweight and full-stack PHP frameworks, including CakePHP, Slim, Laravel, CodeIgniter, Zend, and Yii.

PHP frameworks can provide the ease of extending web development frameworks. Also, the PHP community can enjoy the awesomeness of several PHP development tools that let you write web applications based on the varying business requirements.

Top PHP IDEs – PHP Development Tools

In this article, we will take you through some of the PHP development tools that will help in developing great web apps:

1. Eclipse

One of the most common PHP tools is Eclipse, which is one of the reasons why it tops our list of top PHP creation tools. It is a widely used integrated programming environment ( IDE) that PHP provides because it is a fully designed platform. The most amazing part of this tool is that it offers support to some of the most popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Any of the techniques provided by Eclipse make complex PHP programs easier to build and simplify. You have the right to select from an extremely diverse range of plugins with Eclipse. It also helps applications for GUIs and non-GUIs. Eclipse is one of the PHP tools that allows developers to use some of the unique plugins that help to expand and configure the IDE to suit the project’s needs.

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.

2. PHPStorm

For PHP developers, PHPStorm is the best IDE and is filled with the newest range of features that promote rapid web creation. A business called JetBrains is designing and supporting it. It is amid the most accepted companies in the developer tools market and is making PHP coding software simpler and pleasant for developers for the preceding 15 to 16 years.

PHPStorm works well with key frameworks like Symfony, Zend Framework, Yii, CakePHP, and Laravel. Chief Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Magento, and WordPress is also supported.

Without front-end software, every web development project is not complete, and that is where PHPStorm functions best. It allows front-end applications like CSS, Sass, HTML5, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, JavaScript, Stylus, Fewer, and others to be edited online. It requires refactoring, debugging, and unit testing of code.

PHPStorm Features:

  • Code completion.
  • Code re-arranger.
  • Zero Configuration Debugging.
  • Native Zen Coding 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.

3. Zend Studio

Zend Studio is among the top commercial PHP IDEs from the organization’s production house called Zend and targets proficient web developers.

As a corporation, Zend offers all the stuff that covers PHP features and has a massive number of customers using one or other of its products that support the production of PHP with a supreme breeze. Any of its key customers include firms such as DHL, Agilent Technology, and BNP Paribas Credit Suisse.

Zend Studio is enabled on Windows, OS X, and Linux and works with the 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.

Zend Studio Features:

  • Indexing and searching the 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.

4. NuSphere

It is another company that is keen on developing the best tools of PHP products to step up web development experience and PHPED is the IDE they have to propose.

It supports the newest version of PHP Editor, which supports PHP 7 and many other new and old PHP applications, including Laravel, Yii, and Symfony, along with Content Management Systems (CMSs) such as WordPress and Joomla. The additional feature of the latest up-to-date version is the opportunity to execute unit checks for local and remote projects for each other.

In summing up, NuSphere PHPED IDE is a packed stack web development tool that comes full with support for JavaScript debugging, CSS pre-processing with LESS pre-processor, HTML5, and the rest of everything in PHP.

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.

5. NetBeans

For many, NetBeans is the PHP IDE; it is rich, open, and allows for several languages, counting English, Russian, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese, and basic Chinese. The free version of NetBeans goes back to 2010 when Sun Microsystems first prepared the open-source, then Oracle took care of it.

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. For all the raging PHP frameworks like Zend, Smarty Doctrine, and Symfony2, it has the strongest support tools. Via Laravel-ide-helper, it still supports Laravel and makes support for frameworks such as Yii, FuelPHP, CakePHP, and CMS for WordPress.

NetBeans features:

  • Code Formatting and 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.

6. Cloud 9

Cloud9, along with JavaScript, Python, and PHP, comes pre-packaged with the requisite software for all the rage programming languages, so that you do not need to mount files to launch new projects for your development system. Since your Cloud9 IDE is cloud-based, you can use an Internet-connected computer to perform your tasks from your home or office or elsewhere.

In the sense of local and remote execution of serverless applications, the software provides a perfect experience for creating serverless applications that helps you to identify tools, test, and turn easily. You will easily share your programming environment with your team with Cloud9, allowing you to pair programs and track the inputs of each other on a real-time basis.

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.

7. Aptana Studio

Again, this is one of the commonly used PHP programming tools, an open-source website creation IDE. This is used in integration with several client-side and server-side web technologies. Some of these technologies include CSS3, PHP, Python, HTML5, Ruby on Rails, and Ruby. It is simpler for PHP framework development as it comes with a command-line interface and debugger and also facilitates Git Integration. It also allows PHP programmers to build and evaluate, as they please, web applications in only one environment.

Aptana Studio features:

  • Set breakpoints, control execution, inspect variables.
  • Supports latest HTML5 specifications.
  • Collaboration with peers via merge, pull, and 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.

8. Codelobster

Codelobster IDE modernizes the procedures for PHP creation and simplifies them. You don’t require keeping in mind the names of functions, arguments, tags, and attributes. With auto-complete functions intended for PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, the framework has allowed all of these for you.

An internal free PHP Debugger makes it easy for you to locally validate the code. It immediately senses the configurations of your current server and configures relevant files to let you use the debugger.

There is no need to remember the names of arguments, functions, attributes, and tags — it has implemented all these with autocomplete features for HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and CSS. You can test the code locally with its internal PHP debugger. This PHP utility also detects current server configurations automatically and configures relevant files to allow you to use the free debugger. Big CMSs such as Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and Joomla are also supported.

CodeLobster Feature

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

CodeLobster Specialties:

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

9. Sublime Text 3

For the most powerful text PHP editors, it is an approved and challenging device. With the necessary features, it is lightweight and is supported on OSX, Windows, and Linux. Via numerous plugins and bundles, the Sublime text editor is set up to attain its abilities.

There are several PHP packages available on the market that help turn this smart editor into an elegant Sublime PHP IDE. Some of the packages that are most helpful and notable for this purpose are package management, xDebug client-CodeBug, Sublime PHP companion, Basic PHPUnit, PHPCS, CodIntel, and PHPDoc.

Once your 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 in one place, for an utter easiness of PHP development.

Sublime Text Features

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

Sublime Text Specialties:

  • Languages supported: All popular languages.
  • Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

10. PHPDebugbar

PHPDebugbar is a PHP debugger that will run and view data from a large variety of web apps on any project. Two sections are used in this PHP programming tool: the mainDebugBar object and the render and data collectors. A StandardDebugBar contains a built-in collection of collectors pre-configured.

You can also provide JavaScript and HTML along with PHP. PHPDebugbar will also inspect elements of CSS and tracking networks. It becomes a fairly amazing open-source approach by adding more functionality than developers expect. For profiling data from any web program, this could be the best choice. For ease of incorporation, it enables you to build your list.

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 and above.

11.  Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver is a leading software kit for technical web creation. It is a multi-faceted tool that suits anything from basic page design to PHP, ColdFusion, XML, XSLT, ASP, CSS, and JavaScript-supported or written dynamic page creation. Without having or understanding how to manually code CSS, Dreamweaver helps us to highlight the CSS box model.

This functionality comes with live view navigation for quick editing, which makes it easier to view the web page in progress. It lets you navigate all page-related files while introducing dynamic pages. Quick Support Coding

Some of the features of Dreamweaver

  • Integrated CMS Support
  • Dreamweaver enables to test most CMS’s, including Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. 
  • As beginners, you can benefit from the JavaScript, HTML, and Ajax code hints that Dreamweaver offers. 
  • The code hinting includes Spry, Prototype, jQuery, and PHP methods.CSS Support

12. Brackets

Brackets, an advanced and modern text editor, make it easy for the browser to build. It is very tailor-made for web designers and front-end developers with clear graphic instruments and pre-processor backing.

Make changes to CSS and HTML and you’ll see those changes on the computer instantaneously. Even, by cleanly placing your cursor on it, display where your CSS selector is used in the browser. It is a code editor’s robustness with the handiness of in-browser dev software. Supporting Pre-Processor

With Brackets, you can use both Quick Edit and Live Highlight with LESS and SCSS files, which will make it easier than ever to work with them.

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. 

13.  Novi HTML Visual Editor

The technological aspect of the Javascript editor, the Novi Javascript graphic editor, is enormously user-oriented. In 2016, the only proficient drag & drop editor providing WYSIWYG skills was Elementor for WordPress. Then, for HTML-based web ventures, people wanted something like that.

First, Novi allowed non-technical professionals without difficulty to construct their websites. Second, several web designers as well as developers have found the builder helpful. This visual HTML editor has made it easy to quickly progress the working process in the world.

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.

14. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a 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

  • Autosave.
  • 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 a tabbed document interface.

15. Komodo

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.


PHP is the most common and all-inclusive web development programming language and there are tonnes of PHP IDEs that can be accessed that continue to advance over time. Most of the PHP programming tools covered in this blog have different flavors, but with easy and scalable code, the common target is to introduce swiftness into web development.

Take a closer look, list some of the critical specifications, and select the best web development software for PHP that suits your needs most effectively.

1 thought on “15 Best PHP Development Tools That Every Developer Must Explore”

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! Julee Barnie Allistir

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