Top 10 PHP Development Tools For Developer in 2017

Share Button

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed for web development and is also used as a general-purpose programming language. PHP makes the development process easy, quick and safe.

To begin with PHP programming, the very first tool you need is PHP IDE. There are many PHP IDEs available (both free and paid), and to choose one from them can be a challenging task. PHP IDE is an integrated development environment for developing debugging and managing PHP files.


If you are a proficient web developer you get started with features rich and complete PHP IDE like NetBeans, PHPStorm, Zend Studio and Cloud9 but if you are a beginner then you can start with the basic text editor like Notepad.

For rapid development and effective PHP programming, a good IDE packed with lots of features is required. There are many cross-platform PHP tools available that are supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Let us look at the PHP development tools list popular among PHP developers around the globe.

1. PhpStorm

PHPStorm is one of the most widely accepted PHP tools used by developers and programmers in 2017. It is extremely fast, smooth and lightweight, which makes it a popular possible choice for many other heavier PHP coding tools.

 php development tools for beginner

It is packed with a unique set of features like Code completion, an intelligent Code Editor, and a code re-arranger which enables rapid web development. It is a paid PHP tool but there is a 30-day free trial pack and it can be installed on all Operating Systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. PHPStorm works well with major frameworks like Symfony, Zend Framework, Yii, CakePHP, Laravel and with major CMS systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento.

PHPStorm offers live editing for almost all front-end technologies like HTML5, CSS, Sass, JavaScript, etc. with support for debugging, code refactoring and unit testing.

Moreover, it also offers integration with version control systems, databases, composer, remote deployment, rest client, command line tools, and many other tools.

PHPStorm is an enterprise grade IDE, which is available with a license cost, and generally targets professional developers, however, it is offered free of charge to students, teachers and for open source projects.

2. Netbeans

NetBeans is an open source, complete packaged IDE for developers as well as programmers. It is available free of cost, loaded with features needed for developing large scale web applications and supports multiple languages such as English, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Brazilian Portuguese.

netbeans php tools for developers

Though NetBeans used to lag, the current version of NetBeans is lightweight, much faster and supports everything PHP. It supports popular frameworks like Symfony2, Yii, Doctrine, Zend, Smarty, CakePHP, FuelPHP and WordPress CMS.

Some of the key features of NetBeans include code generation tools such as getter setter generation, code templates, smart code completion, hints, quick fixes, and refactoring. Other elemental features supported include try/catch code completion, code folding, and formatting, etc. This PHP development tools can be installed on different Operating Systems – Windows, Linux and MAC OS.

3. Eclipse

Eclipse is a flexible, open-source popular multiple language PHP tools used for developing software. The eclipse PHP editor is ideal for working on large scale projects. Eclipse is cross-platform and the supported operating systems are Linux, Mac iOS and Windows.

eclipse php ide

It supports wide range of plug-ins and tools, which help in building and integrating and utilize software tools for development. Some of the key features of Eclipse include syntax highlighting, code assist, code formatter, refactoring, code templates, code navigation, php debugging, syntax validation and eclipse ecosystem. If you want to be aware of any tool may be able to assist with, please contact us at coding school.

4. Zend Studio

Zend Studio is a comprehensive PHP IDE designed for professional web developers from a development house company named Zend.

zend studio php framework

Zend Studio has an intuitive UI that provides most of the current features and tools that help boost up PHP and web development. Some of the key features of Zend Studio includes indexing and searching PHP code, debugging, support for Eclipse plugins ecosystem, Git Flow, and Docker support, faster performance in validation, deployment support, etc.

zend studio php tools

A powerful feature of Zend is its support for mobile app development on top of existing PHP apps and server backend. This boosts the development process when it comes to complementing existing websites and web apps with mobile apps. Zend Studio supports Windows, OS X and Linux and works with latest PHP versions including PHP 7.

5. Aptana Studio

Apatna Studio is an open source HTML editor for building web applications and also comes with PHP support. It is developed on Eclipse platform and is very stable and powerful and is supported on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

aptana php tools

It supports JavaScript, HTML, DOM and CSS with code-completion, outlining, JavaScript debugging, error and warning notifications and integrated documentation. It is available free of charge and it is easy to download and install on your laptop or desktop supporting Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. The latest versions for Aptana includes a Debugger for PHP developers and has inbuilt support for Smarty.

6. PHP Designer

PHP Designer is a fast and powerful PHP IDE and PHP editor with full-fledged HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript built-in editors. It is customizable IDE with intelligent syntax highlighting, debug support, the syntax analyzing, object-oriented coding support, code snippets, code templates, intuitive code navigation, code formatted and minifiers all packed into an intuitive UI.

php designer 8 php tools

PHP Designer comes with new features that will help you create and develop amazing websites, HTML web apps and improves coding skills, making PHP Designer a preferred tool for any web development. PHP IDE is only supported on Windows operating System.

7. Cloud9

Cloud9 is an open source cloud IDE that supports hundreds of programming languages, including C, C++, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, JavaScript with Node.js, and Go. Developers can start their coding immediately with pre-configured workspaces, collaborate with their associated with collaborative coding features, and web development features like live preview and browser compatibility testing.

php ide

Some of its features are code completion for snippets and identifiers, tabbed file management, debugger, Real-time language analysis, customizable key-bindings, built-in Image editor, code reformatting and much more.

8. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a cross-platform source code editor with a Python API. It natively supports many programming and markup languages.

sublime text php development tools

It is one of the most powerful text editors and Best IDE for PHP development for markup, code, and prose. It has a smooth UI and extraordinary features. It is supported on Windows, OSX, and Linux.

Some features of Sublime Text are split editing, better command palette, instant project Switch, Plugin API, open files with just a few keystrokes, simultaneous editing, extensive customizability, distraction free mode and much more.

sublime text features

9. NuSphere PhpED

PHPED is an integrated development environment for PHP, HTML, CSS, XML, SMARTY, XHTML and others. It’s a great debugging tool and also supports local and remote projects and can be used with any MVC frameworks.


It supports features including code folding, integration with PHPUnit, dynamic highlighting, customizable layout, multiple language syntaxes highlighting, integrated help system, Code Insight for PHP and JavaScript and many others.

10. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a source code editor and replacement for Notepad which supports several languages. It is one of the simplest PHP tools for programmers and many programming and natural languages are supported. It is based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, it is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a smaller program size and higher execution speed.

best php ide

Notepad++ is trying to cut down the CO2 emissions around the world by optimizing as many routines as possible without compromising user-friendliness. Some of the best features of Notepad++ are an automatic backup, text encoding, data comparison, drag-and-drop, Macro recording and execution, speech synthesis and much more.

Final Note:

Thus, the above-mentioned tools are the “best PHP development tools” for your web development projects. If you are a programmer, you can employ any one of these tools according to your project requirements.

rinku patel

Rinku is technically sound for the web development platforms such as PHP, Magento, Wordpress, Joomla. She is having 6+ years of experience as a developer and knack of team leading. As the professional in the PHP development, she talks about the tactics and trends of this vertical. We can also find her material regarding the plugins, extensions and web application framework updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *