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Best Code Editors And IDEs For PHP Development [Updated 2019]

Arpatech May 14, 2019

Love PHP? Or new to PHP? Don’t know where to get your hands dirty with PHP? Well! This article is all set up to help out the PHP developers in need. Doing PHP programming on PHP IDE is the best tool for PHP programming that you need to have. There are a lot of best IDEs available in the market. You can have paid and free IDEs as well; every Integrated Development Environment or IDEs have its own unique properties making them lovable to use.

If you are starting to use PHP programming language as a newbie, don’t panic everything is under control, start doing it on a basic text editor like notepad. Or there are other better options as well like using NetBeans which is so easy to understand and to use that you can easily grasp the idea of dealing with it. Doing PHP programming using IDE is very easy for a PHP developer.

Every IDE is unique with the ability to get used by any level of experienced PHP Developer. An Integrated development environment or best and shortly an IDE is the playground for the developer, and developers love to spend time upfront to select the best IDE to do PHP programming and that best fits all requirements. You must be thinking which is the best IDE for PHP?? Which text editor is best for PHP? Or which IDE is best for PHP development? The answers to these are certainly dependent on your need and level of experience and the Php development service that you can afford

Code Editors and IDE for PHP Development of 2019

To make your job a lot easier I am here to help you out by letting you know the features of best IDEs that are most widely used by PHP Developer all across the world.  The best IDE for PHP development is:



You must be wondering what’s the best free PHP source code editor? So, the first one from the list of best PHP IDE for PHP development is PHPStorm and literally the best one so far. This platform is rich with the most modern set of features. All the features that you need to have while doing rapid web development. JetBrains is the real brain behind the development and marketing of this cool platform and other tools for about 15 years. And we developers don’t get enough of using their platforms and tools.

Getting back to PHPStorm, it works well with all frameworks like if you want to work with Symfony, Yii, CakePHP, Zend Framework and other CMS like Magento, Drupal or even WordPress. Other than performing backend tasks, the front end is yet another most important thing of any project, PHPStorm has saved us a lot of time and energy. Yes! You are right you can do work on CSS, HTML5, Sass, Typescript, JS, CoffeeScript, Less, Stylus, etc. using code refactoring, debugging and Unit testing.

This platform using Zend Debugger is easily integrate-able by databases like SQL and composers, vagrant, rest client, remote deployment and command tools.



So, you must have thought which IDE is best for PHP development?  NetBeans is the answer. It is the most widely used IDE all around the world and the best PHP IDE for PHP development. This IDE has all the features that are rich, free and that supports multiple languages. PHP Developers are so over this IDE after it was released and one the biggest communities of developers on this open source IDE for PHP development environment. Previous NetBeans only supported Java language which was really slow, but now Netbeans works like a jet with almost many languages including PHP frameworks and WordPress CMS.

Aptana Studio


The development IDE that professional developers love to use for doing PHP development and is one of the best IDE for PHP development. When it comes to development, the best one is this IDE that supports SQL and other databases. Not only back-end development, you can do front-end as well with the support of HTML2, CSS3, JS, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Perl, and Python. Testing can also be done. All in one and you are covered! Download this open source IDE that have deployment wizard for RoR.



One of the most widely used IDE is Eclipse. Most of the Developers used this IDE for Java and Android development but now, the Eclipse community of developers are working on the plugins for another development language. As a newbie, Eclipse IDE can take some time to work on it as smooth as butter, yes butter! If you already have Eclipse installed on your system, all you have to do is download it and install Eclipse package for PHP developers. Eclipse can easily develop a PHP web application for your business.

Zend Studio


Another most widely used, and the best PHP IDE for PHP development is Zend Studio. Zend targets professional web developers has made this class commercial PHP IDE on the go with PHP programming. Over 40,000 Developers are using Zend Studio for development of PHP websites. It provides the fastest performance, validation while coding and searching the PHP Code, that is why developers love to use it.  Now it is high time for mobile development, and Zend Studio is not behind of anything. You can also develop mobile app development on top of existing PHP apps and server backend.

PHP Designer


If you don’t have windows operating system then skip this IDE and the idea to use it. It is also one of the best  IDE for PHP development that PHP developers love to use to develop PHP websites. PHP designer offers the built-in support for PHP.  Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten the front end developer, you can also work using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML using this IDE.

Cloud 9 – Best PHP IDE in the Cloud


If you want to use the Cloud 9 IDE to develop the PHP website, start using it using the free version of it. Cloud 9 is the most important and the best IDE to use if you are doing the cloud-based programming environments. For real-time code inspection for PHP, it offers built-in debugger. If you are using the free version then you will have two options, work either in public workshop or in the free private workspace. To use any other feature commercial version of Cloud9 is the option.



Brackets is an open-source editor written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that focuses mainly on web development. It was developed by Adobe Systems, licensed under the MIT License, and is presently maintained by Adobe and other open-sourced developers on GitHub. Brackets are available for cross-platform download on Mac, Windows and are compatible with most Linux distros. The primary purpose of Brackets is to edit live HTML, CSS and JS functionality.

Sublime Text


It is another PHP development tool built to be a solid text editor for all – such as prose, markup, and code. It’s amazing that Sublime text has a custom UI toolkit. Another interesting fact here is that it is cross-platform. Because it has the custom UI toolkit, it gives users with the ability to climb across words, symbols or lines using one of the particular key shortcuts. In addition, at any given time users can now make adjustments to any number of lines of code. Interestingly, it is one of the most customizable and malleable text editors that exist.

Code Lobster


Code Lobster is one of the most portable IDEs for PHP. It offers overwhelming support for a wide range of successful PHP frameworks and even CMSes. Some of the best CMS frameworks are CakePHP, Drupal, Joomla, Symfony, CodeIgniter, WordPress, and Magento. Programmers can write custom web apps in PHP, trying to insert them into innovative features such as autocomplete, syntax highlights, debuggers, SQL managers, code validators, etc. using Code Lobster. Moreover, PHP developers can actually enjoy a relatively large number of advanced features by choosing to upgrade to this professional edition.



Notepad++ is a free source code editor (as in “free speech”) and a replacement notepad that supports multiple languages. Running in Windows MS environment, its use is regulated by the GPL License. It is based on the powerful Scintilla editing component, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL to assure higher execution speed and smaller program size. Through optimizing as many routines as possible without having lost user friendliness, Notepad++ is working to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions. The PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption while using less CPU power, resulting in a greener environment.



PhpED is regarded as one of the robust PHP development tools available. Besides offering support for PHP 7.1, there is also massive support for CSS3, JavaScript, and HTML5. Web developers can work through some of the most commonly used PHP frameworks like Yii, Zend, and Laravel using PhpED. Choosing the latest version of PhpED is imperative as it will enable programmers to arrange PHP code locally and remotely as well. Because it comes with refactoring capabilities, it allows improvisation in coding to occur



Atom is yet another free, open-source text and source code editor for MacOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows that supports plug-ins written in Node.js and embedded Git Control developed by GitHub. This tool is a desktop application that uses web technologies. Most extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and developed. The tool is based on Electron (which used to be known as Atom Shell), a mechanism that uses Chromium and Node.js to allow cross-platform desktop applications. It’s written in the CoffeeScript and Less. It may also be used as an integrated development environment (IDE).



Komodo ActiveState is a PHP IDE which could be used as an international language development environment, providing Ruby, Perl, and Tcl Python. Using Smarty and Zend PHP frameworks, it can be installed. You can also use integration with version control systems (CVS, Subversion, and Perforce). Komodo supports Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems. It enables you to commence CGI Environment Simulation and build holodeck web server. It replicates activities on a real web server. Fast installation is one of the advantages of CGI Environment Simulation.



It is one of the smartest PHP development tools if you plan to develop web-enabled apps. It helps to build connections with databases and generate reports. With the help of this software, you can switch from prototype to production phase in no time. Although the cost is too high, it may not be the best option for small businesses. It is, nevertheless, the best choice for mid-tier companies. Some of Scriptcase’s functionalities include quick connectivity with major database engines, creating charts such as pivot tables, creating interactive reports while exporting common formats including PDF and XL.

To make development even more convenient, here I am going to solve some of the confusions by answering the most frequently asked questions.

  • Are there any online PHP code editor or IDE?

There are lots and lots of online PHP editors on the market, but not all of them are reliable. Only some of them have the advanced features required. As per the developer’s recommendation, best online code editors include CodeEnvy, PHPFiddle, WritePHPOnline, PHPAnywhere, and a few others to write/edit the code online.

  • Which is the best IDE for JavaScript?

I believe Webstorm is the best choice of among all the IDEs I have used so far. It has decent syntax highlighting, auto-completion, suggestions, error detection and what not. Aptana Studio can also be picked if you are looking for a free choice.

  • Which IDE or Code Editor works for Laravel?

The good thing is Laravel does not require advanced IDE or code editors. Therefore, any good editor or IDE will work for you, and it is entirely a matter of personal preference. Sublime and PHPStorm are generally a pleasure to use, and you will get autocompletion with Laravel façades with the Laravel IDE Helper.

  • Which IDE or Code Editor should I use for CodeIgniter?

Eclipse for PHP works very well with CodeIgniter. NetBeans is yet another good IDE, and Sublime is a great code editor for CodeIgniter.

  • Which IDE or Code Editor should I use for WordPress?

NetBeans, Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, Rapid PHP, Brackets are brilliant open source IDEs for WordPress development on the windows platform. The online community also provides a lot of help on these 3 IDEs. Sublime, Visual Coder, Notepad++ Editor are better options for WordPress development.

  • Which IDE or Code Editor works best for Drupal?

There is no particular IDE for Drupal development, but if I have to choose one, I will pick Eclipse PDT or Notepad++. You can also go with VIM if you are more command line oriented.

  • Which IDE or Code Editor for Magento development?

PHPStorm and Netbeans are successful yet influential, but the recently introduced new Magento extensions like Eclipse and Zend Studio is also handy and famous in the community.

  • What is the best IDE on Mac?

Atom for C++ since it is expandable and open source; XCode for iOS and Mac development.

  • Which PHP IDE comes With Git support?

Eclipse, Atom, and Komodo offer additional integrated IDE support for Git.

  • Which PHP IDE comes with SSH support?

Vim and Kate are the most preferred options for SSH Support.

  • Which is the best and fast PHP Editor for Windows?

I think NuSphere, PhpED. It certainly works well, it’s fast and handles things pretty nicely. However, if you are looking for a free IDE, Netbeans should be your choice.

  • Which Editor is used for HTML coding?

Notepad++, Eclipse, and NetBeans are according to me the best editor for HTML coding. Eclipse offers multiple plugins in its open source web development tools kit.  Whereas NetBeans is a free and open source IDE that offers code generators and templates along with project management tools.


After knowing the top best IDE to develop your PHP Websites as a newbie in PHP developer or experienced PHP developer in both cases you can use all these IDEs without any restrictions. These IDEs are not the only ones in the market obviously you can find much more that are both free and paid with the features that you want to use. But! selecting one from them is a difficult task. The decision of choosing one depends on your requirements of the website that you are building.

Which one do you use to work on? Mention the name in the comment section below, Cheers!!

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