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Top 10 Development Environments for PHP

The market offers you a variety of development environments for PHP to choose from, but this is what that makes the task of selecting the best and most useful PHP tool a daunting one.
This post, however, will make your task much simpler as here we list the 10 best PHP development tools (IDEs) that every developer should know about.

Top 10 Development Environments for PHP


An official IDE from Java 8, NetBeans consists of code analyzers, converters, and editors that offer extreme ease and flexibility to developers. It marks lines, matches brackets and words, and highlights source code semantically and syntactically.
It comes with fast code editing, supports writing bug-free code, offers cross-platform support, and allows efficient project management using PHP as a web development framework.


This is one of the most useful IDE and PHP tools and is a cross-platform that supports Operating System of Linux, Mac, and Windows. It facilitates extensibility and comes with rich features like content assist, code formatter, code templates, and syntax highlighting. Additionally, it incorporates composer support, syntax validation, and PHP debugging functionality.


This is a world-class IDE and holds a state of the art PHP editor with the power to boost up your development work by 50%. It is especially useful when the web application or site is complex. It enhances debugging and allows to develop, debug, edit, and builds PHP applications. NuCoder enables you to protect PHP code, boost PHP applications, and offer a full-screen mode for PHP applications.


This IDE is best for building websites. It came into existence in 2009 and since then has evolved to become a prominent choice of developers across the world. It holds compatibility with Zend Framework, Word Press, Drupal, Symfony, Joomla, Magento, CakePHP, Laravel, and more other frameworks. It also has great support for Node.js development. It offers assertions support and comes with rich features like configurable unchecked exceptions, simplified initial start, partial commits in Git, and inline method/function refactoring.

Aptana Studio

This is an open source web development platform that commonly uses server-side and client-side web technologies such as CSS3, PHP, Ruby on Rails, HTML5, JavaScript, and Python. It is an excellent PHP web development framework that enables PHP programmers to develop as well as test web applications in a single situation. Further, it streamlines PHP application development by offering a debugger and command line interface as well as GIT integration support.

Zend Studio

Numerous web developers like Zend Studio more than other PHP development tools because it offers optimal speed. This PHP tool offers programmers to debug and write code without putting in much effort and time. Moreover, it supports PHP 7 and debugs code by integrating Zend Debugger, X-ray, and XDebug. Also, it allows developers to deploy the PHP application on numerous web servers. Moreover, the developers have the option to extend Zend Studio framework through Eclipse plugins.


PhpDesigner is used to develop web applications by integrating JavaScript, CSS3, PHP, and HTML5. It is a fast editor and IDE; it offers tools for code analysis, editing, and debugging. This PHP tool supports numerous extensively used JavaScript and PHP frameworks. The programmers can also writer high-quality PHP code by using features such as code completion, code tip, syntax highlighting, and support for PHP classes.


It is one of the robust PHP development tools offered by NuSpehere. Besides offering support to PHP 7.1, the editor also supports CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript. It also allows web developers to work with extensively used PHP frameworks like Zend, Yii, and Laravel. If you used the latest version of PhpED, it would allow the programmers to debug PHP code both remotely and locally. It also comes with enhanced code completion and refactoring potentials.

Code Lobster

This is a portable IDE for PHP users. This PHP tool supports numerous popular PHP frameworks and CMSs including CakePHP, Symfony, WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, CodeIgniter, and Laravel. The Code Lobster even makes it simpler for programmers to define custom web applications in PHP by offering useful features such as autocomplete, syntax highlighting, Debugger, SQL manager, and code validator. Furthermore, PHP developers can avail numerous advanced features by upgrading to its new professional edition of Code Lobster.

Sublime Text

Finally, we have the sublime text, which is a robust text editor for markup, code, and prose. Besides being cross-platform, it comes with a custom UI toolkit. Also, it allows users to jump to line, symbol, or word by using a particular key shortcut. It enables them to to make changes to multiple lines of code at a single time. At this same time, the sublime text is a customizable and flexible text editor.
Web developers, therefore, have numerous PHP web development frameworks to choose from. While some are licensed, others are open source PHP tools. But while selecting a PHP tool the developer must remember that they differ in terms of functionality, design, usability, and concept, and hence, must select a tool on the basis of precise needs of an individual project.


This was a guest post by Nancy Patterson. She is a Marketing Manager at HirePhpDeveloper.co.uk. Living in the United
Kingdom, Nancy is also an experienced PHP developer and likes to share her thoughts on CMS development and various web development techniques.


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