Top PHP IDEs for Website Developers in 2024

Bharat Ghode
4 min readMar 18, 2024

Do you know why most development projects exceed their budget?

One answer: Lower productivity.

When productivity is lower, the project keeps stretching out of the timeline and thus increases the cost.

That’s where IDE helps.

IDE is a boon for PHP developers as they come equipped with all tools in one place. Be it catching errors in time, testing, or formatting code for readability, IDE helps with all.

Let’s look at how IDE benefits web developers and top PHP IDEs.

Before that, it’s important to remember that IDEs are just tools, not magic wands.

The end -result will depend on the developer’s proficiency. At Clarion Technologies, we have everything you need if you are looking for top PHP developers.

What’s a PHP IDE?

First, IDE is an Integrated Development Environment. Now, what does an environment mean? The environment here means an ecosystem with all the tools needed to create PHP applications. For example, PHP IDE has an all-in-one solution for debugging, testing, and developing PHP code, so PHP developers don’t have to manually install each tool.

Benefits of Using PHP IDE

  1. PHP IDE comes with syntax highlighting, thus making it easier to read code and catch errors.
  2. IDE also has built-in debugging tools to debug code without external apps. Other features include breakpoints, code stepping, and variable inspection.
  3. Last but not least, PHP IDE supports collaboration between developers so multiple developers can work on the same project simultaneously.

PHP Editor Vs. PHP IDE: What’s the difference?

PHP Editor offers basic features like syntax, highlight lighting, auto-indentation, auto-completion, etc. However, the features are limited. As a result, a PHP editor is a good choice if working on lightweight projects.

However, when working with large-scale projects, PHP developers often need advanced resources like plugins, integrations, project management, version control, and testing tools. IDE makes these available.

Now, let’s look at the top PHP IDEs that will help with enhancing productivity.

Top PHP IDEs for Web Developers in 2024

1. PHPStorm

PHPStorm is a Top Premium PHP IDE, thanks to its intelligent code assistance feature. The IDE results from over 15 years of research and boasts one of the best PHP development workflows. With robust features like instant error prevention, auto-completion, code refactoring, and zero configuration debugging, the IDE saves tons of time that would otherwise be directed toward finding bugs or installing tools.

Top Features:

  • Easy code navigation and search feature to get around thousands of lines of code.
  • Develop Unit Tests right inside the IDE without installing any tool.
  • Extended HTML, CSS, and JavaScript editor for the entire web development cycle.

2. Eclipse IDE

Eclipse is a popular-integrated development environment for Java Virtual Machines. However, it does come with support for other languages like PHP. Eclipse PDT has a set of PHP developer tools. Through Eclipse PDT, you get access to a highly configurable user interface. One of the best perks of Eclipse is its wide range of plugins and integrations.

Top Features:

  • Supports a range of PHP tools like Zend Debugger, Composer, PHPUnit, etc.
  • Comes with in-build content assist, auto complete, code navigation, Git client, etc.
  • Pre-made content templates act as time savers.
  • Supports languages like HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, and Java

3. Apache NetBeans

Apache Netbeans is a free, open-source IDE on a Java Virtual Machine. However, it comes with a PHP extension to support the PHP runtime. Its PHP IDE allows PHP developers to refactor, run, and debug their PHP apps. The best perk of using Netbeans is its user-friendly interface. It’s excellent for beginners who have never used an IDE before. They also have a Learning Trail to help you get started with PHP.

Top Features:

  • Semantic code analysis and Debugging with Xdebug
  • Unit testing with PHPUnit and Selenium
  • 130+PHP plugins and support for PHP frameworks like WordPress, Zend, and Yii.

4. Codeanywhere

Codeanywhere is one of its kind, cloud PHP IDE. With over 10,000+ customers, including Accenture, Oracle, Disney, HP, and Intuit, it has won the hearts of many. One of the best perks of using Codeanywhere is that it works on browsers so developers can code on the go without all the installation.

Top Features:

  • Its code editor fully supports all the major programming languages like HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby, Java, Go, etc.
  • Opinionated code formatted to ensure the highest code readability.
  • Advanced refactoring allows developers to rename classes and functions instantly.

5. Eclipse Che

Eclipse Che was founded in 2014 and is the collaboration’s first development environment that runs on browsers. The primary aim behind the creation of Eclipse Che was real-time collaboration. Many technology giants like IBM, Red Hat, and Samsung contribute to its codebase to improve it. They give four options to start PHP development: Laravel with MySQL, Symphony with MySQL, plain PHP with MySQL, and an Apache web server.

Top Features:

  1. You can configure the PHP editor of your choice. Some of the options include IntelliJ, Jupyter Notebook, and Eclipse Dirigible.
  2. Sample projects that are ready to use.
  3. Add container images from anywhere, including Docker Hub, etc.

Summary

If you want to work in a web browser and access PHP projects, opt for a cloud IDE like Code Anywhere. Whereas if you want a considerable ecosystem, opt for Eclipse IDE. Be bold in trying out different IDEs, for only through trial and error will you find the proper IDE.

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Bharat Ghode

Bharat Ghode, Marketing Consultant at Clarion Technologies, Helping the clients to grow their business and generate maximum revenue.