The Best Software For PHP Coding

PHP is one of the most widely used programming languages in the web design industry, so you may find yourself spending a lot of time doing PHP programming. Given the popularity of PHP programming, it will be important for you to find a great PHP IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to help you be successful. There are many paid and free PHP IDEs available all over the Internet, so selecting the best one can prove to be a difficult task.

A PHP IDE can help you become extremely efficient when developing a website because it eliminates much of the manual work that was once associated with writing PHP. When choosing a PHP IDE, you will need to find PHP software that goes beyond simple text editing, and opt for a more all-inclusive tool with multiple functionalities to help you create PHP-based websites.

This article will uncover five of the best PHP IDEs on the market.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is one of the most powerful PHP IDEs on the market and is available on OS X, Windows, and Linux. There are multiple features that make Sublime Text a premier choice for many web designers.

For starters, you can use Sublime Text’s Goto Anything feature to open your file and jump to symbols via simple shortcuts. Sublime Text also provides for easy editing with its split editing support function. Using this function will provide you with functionality to use multiple monitors and use multiple splits in each window.

Another great feature of Sublime Text is the ability to customize essentially anything and everything via JSON files. Sublime Text advises on its website that you can customize key binding, menus, macros, snippets, completions, and much more.

With Sublime Text you can also make multiple changes at once. Up to ten changes at once to be exact. Sublime’s multiple selections feature can help you change multiple lines at once, manipulate files at an extremely fast rate, and easily rename multiple variables.

Perhaps one of the most unique features of Sublime Text is its Distraction Free Mode. In Distraction Free Mode your entire screen will be filled with your text, significantly eliminating your ability to conduct other tempting computer-related tasks. Sublime Text has an extremely powerful API with a built-in Python console, allowing you to conduct experiments in real-time.

You can try Sublime Text for free by visiting their website, however, after your trial period has been completed you will be required to purchase a license for further use. Licenses start at $70 but are on a per-user basis. This means you can use Sublime Text on many different devices.


NetBeans has a reputation by many in the web development industry as being the original free PHP IDE. NetBeans was made open source in 2000 and provides two free tools, NetBeans IDE and NetBeans Platform. In addition to offering free tools, NetBeans also has an open forum where designers and developers can ask questions and provide advice.

According to the company website, NetBeans has over 18 million downloads and is the PHP IDE of choice for 800,000 developers worldwide. NetBeans IDE provides developers just like you the tools you need to be successful in PHP programming.

NetBeans has a variety of helpful features within the IDE. Some of the more useful features include automatic code completion, easy code navigation, refactoring, hints to help you analyze your code, and code templates.

Perhaps one of the most powerful features of NetBeans is the “Fix Uses” action. This feature analyzes your code to find usages of classes and interfaces that don’t have corresponding use statements. This will help you quickly identify issues so you can solve them right away.

NetBeans used to be known specifically for Java development, but it can now help developers with HTML, CSS, and PHP. You can download NetBeans for free, which makes it a great starter tool for any web designer. Head on over to NetBean’s website to claim your free subscription.


PhpStorm can help you create PHP at lightning speed. PhpStorm may have the most up-to-date and technologically advanced IDEs available. PhpStorm supports PHP 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1. The company boasts being the best at auto-completion, refactoring, configuration, debugging, and error prevention. (It's what web use here at 2440 Media!)

PhpStorm has a variety of tools related to coding assistance, debugging and testing, and HTML, CSS, and Java editing. PhpStorm has a smart PHP code editor that will provide you on-the-fly error checking. It also provides you with easy code navigation so you can jump around in just one click.

PhpStorm’s high-powered debugging features work with Xdebug and Zend Debugger, helping you create effective and useful code. In addition, PhpStorm has a unified UI to help you ensure a consistent user experience across SVN, Perforce, Mercurial, git, and GitHub. You are also able to perform various functions to work with databases and SQL.

You can download a free 30-day trial of PhpEditor for MacOS, Windows or Linux. After the 30-day trial period, you must purchase a subscription on either on a monthly or yearly basis. As an individual user, you can purchase PhpStorm for just $8.90 per month, or upgrade to $24.90 per month for the “All Products” pack.

If you are part of a business or organization, you can purchase PhpStorm for $19.90 per month, per user. If your company wishes to upgrade to the “All Products” pack, it would be $64.90 per month, per user. The price may seem a bit steep when compared with other PHP IDEs, but PhpStorm is worth the investment.


VIM is a completely free open source text PHP IDE. VIM is one of the more popular PHP IDEs within the web design and development industries, and for very good reason. It provides some of the most advanced features of any PHP IDE on the market.

When you navigate to VIM’s website you may be turned off by the cluttered appearance of the website. Though the site appears to be cluttered, don’t be fooled, VIM is one of the most trusted IDEs on the market. It has been the preferred IDE of highly successful tech companies such as Facebook.

VIM is a lightweight tool that makes creating and changing any kind of text extremely easy. Some of VIMS more popular features include: a multi-level undo tree, a huge plugin system, compatibility for multiple programming languages, efficient search and replace features and integration with many useful tools.

VIM is not an ideal tool for the novice web designer or developer. VIM clearly declares on its website that it is not a word processor, though it can display highlighted and formatted text. As stated, VIM is completely free; however, the company asks that if you like the tool you donate to help children in Uganda through the ICCF children’s project.

VIM has been the recipient of many awards including the Linux Journal Readers’ Choice Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009. Thus, it is an extremely beneficial tool for those looking specifically for a Linus PHP IDE. VIM’s features are extremely similar to Sublime Text, providing you with a great free alternative to Sublime Text.

If you’re looking for a free tool with many of the same powerful feature as paid PHP IDEs, VIM is a tool you should try before spending money on a paid PHP IDE. Head on over to VIM’s website to set up your free account and start coding today!


Eclipse is another powerful PHP tool that is available for free. Eclipse is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. This Eclipse is built on open source and has a huge community of developers working on the backend to ensure the program works flawlessly.

Eclipse provides you with many great features including syntax highlighting, code assist, code formatting, refactoring, code templates, code navigation, PHP debugging, and syntax validation. Basically, all the features other paid programs offer, Eclipse offers for free.

You may have heard from fellow web developers and designers that Eclipse is a bit slower than other PHP IDEs. While this can be true in some instances, it is mostly the case for those who have poor system configurations. Most laptop configurations today are strong enough to run Eclipse without major issues.

Eclipse is a great tool to try out before you invest your money into a PHP IDE. If you can save yourself some money and get the same functionality as many paid IDEs, why wouldn’t you at least give it a try? Head on over to Eclipse’s website to get started with your free download.


Why PHP Software Is Essential

PHP is the most widely used programming languages in the world. Regardless of the type of websites you are building, you will most likely be to writing PHP code. That being said, it will be of utmost importance to use a tool that can help you be more efficient in your operations so you can produce quality websites faster.

Competition within the web design and development industry is fierce, but demand is high. Though demand is high for your career field, you still need to have the necessary skills to build enterprise-level websites.

As more and more activity moves online, companies will want to hire the best of the best. To be the best you need to invest time, effort, and sometimes even money into tools to help you work at a high level. Being mediocre simply will not do.

We have provided you with five PHP IDEs that can help you achieve long-term success within the web design industry. We highly recommend you start your free trials and downloads to start exploring which tools work best for your individual needs. You’ll be surprised by how much time you will save by using a PHP IDE.

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