PHP Tutorials

The Best PHP IDE

What Is IDE?

In this article we shall review few top quality IDEs. At first let us know what is this IDE? And why it is essential with our PHP jobs. IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment or Interactive Development Environment. It is the platform where you do your PHP works – essential for computer applications developers and programmers. It combines code editor to tweak the codes, offers some built in automated tool to make your work speedy and contains debugger for code debugging. These three functionalities are of immense importance to any application or software development job. Recently there is a growing trend of further automating the coding task – IDEs are now offering code completion feature as well.

Which Are The Best Known IDEs?

Now let us look at top 3 php IDEs that can help to make our easy, these are:

  1. phpStorm
  2. Sublime Text
  3. NetBeans


phpstormCurrently available phpStorm7 offers smart code editor with code quality analysis, development environment, debugger and tester, HTML, CSS, JavaScript editor and cross platform experience. Under its smart php code editor the phpStorm7 offers the unique service of making your codes workable by deeply understanding the code structure. It supports all php variants up to php5.5. It provides the best code automatic completion, refactoring for modern and legacy projects with language support and on the go error prevention.

The code quality analyzer in phpStorm7 will inspect each code as you type them in. The feature utilizes code sniffer, quick fixes, doc support, rearranger and mess detection to make sure that your code is right, correct and workable. Under the development environment feature, phpStorm7 lets you organize your routine activities like local history, remote deployment, SQL and other databases integration, command line tools, Vagrant, UML, REST client, SSH console and Composer. Among its core benefits the cross platform experience comes on top. It lets users try their app and run their app in integrated environment. This extends support for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows.

The scripting editor works with HTML, HTML5, CSS, LESS, Stylus, Compass, CoffeeScript, JavaScript, Jade, TypeScript, SCSS, SASS and so on. You can type, refactor, debug and perform testing of your applications. Lastly the IDE puts all your hard works to test and in debugging. phpStorm7 combines zero configuration debugging to validate your apps and conduct test performance. It will let you compare the results from Zend Debugger, Xdebug etc.

The phpStorm7 IDE also offers file watcher, integrated issue tracker, Twig, Smarty, phing, frameworks and upgraded functionalities of the WebStorm IDE.


Sublime_Text_LogoThe SublimeText is the next in the line of popularity chart of php IDEs. The text editor has command palette, go to anything, split editing, distraction free mode, multiple selections, instant project switch, cross platform integration, plug in API and of course customization.

SublimeText comes with Python plugin API to enhance your app testing, works across different platforms like Windows, Linux and the Mac OSX and let you switch between different projects since it usually takes the full content automatically saved. Other features include the customization abilities that coders can avail with SublimeText. SublimeText’s customization lets you decide over the key bindings, the menus, the snippets and macros and automatic completions. It takes the help of JSON file to give you the flexibility and the customization itself works with a modifiable settings system that you can moderate based on your projects.

Up next, SublimeText’s split editing that lets your edit files or projects side by side at the same time. You can edit multiple rows and columns at the same time, work in multiple windows, use multiple splits and control the view layout. The multiple selections save you time and make your work fast. You can even rename variables – to enable multiple selections all you need to do is press Ctrl+Shift+L for the selection and Ctrl+D for the replication.

The Go To Anything is another handy feature of SublimeText that lets you open any file with your keystroke and make you reach any part of your codes. Lastly we must refer about the Command Palette of SublimeText which actually makes the difference of it as an IDE with other development environments. This limits your navigational needs by presenting the most frequently used functionalities.


netbeans-logoThe NetBeans is a Java coded environment and its current available version is NetBeans IDE 8.0. It supports you with Java, Java EE, Maven, php, HTML, JavaScript and C/C++. As additional functional features NetBeans include profiler enhancement to embed platforms, lock contention, thread viewing, versioning enhancements like SubVersion 1.8 work copies, Git, Mercurial and task scheduler.

Like other IDEs described before in this article, NetBeans IDE 8.0 can also work as cross platform. Under its C/C++ capabilities it includes breadcrumb features, GDB console, remote performance and GDB mode. The php functionalities include support for php5.5, Nette Tester, CS Fixer, Twig, Latte, Neon and Project Wizard. For HTML% it has Cordova3.3+ which is Android 4.4’s WebKit debugging supported and includes Karma test runner, Grunt building support and a wide range of plugin options with the plug in Manager.

Which One Is For You?

If you are a beginner then start with phpStorm; if you pose good coding skills with self correcting mentality and only dealing with php then the SublimeText would be your right decision. NetBeans would be recommended for users with advanced skills that make different coding languages to work together. Enjoy!

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