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Top 10 PHP Development Tools To Create Outstanding Websites

by John


Application development comprises various activities while writing software, like source code editing, debugging, building executable packets, etc., that require programmer attention and frequent switching. PHP development tools that provide a stable Integrated Development Environment (IDE) help combine these activities into a single application to boost developer productivity.

In a nutshell, PHP development tools are essentially IDE kits that help a web developer get his tasks in order by putting them all together in the same bag.

IDEs also help with prompting correct language syntax, so the developers don’t invest much time in the following structure and spend more time writing actual code. Before you hire a PHP programmer, it makes sense to find out whether he knows how to work with PHP development tools.

Top 10 Tools for PHP Development

The list of PHP development tools below consists of high-performance IDEs that each bring unique features to the table. Let’s get to it.


This is one of the most powerful IDEs in the market, with capabilities like error prevention while writing code, autocomplete features, code refactoring, extended script editors (HTML, CSS, JavaScript), zero-configuration debugging, and many other interesting features. It also features an excellent navigator to help you find the right code in the codebase.

PHPStorm has a high-gradeportfolio, with users like VISA, Yahoo!, Expedia and Trivago on the list.

Zend Studio

Zend Studio is a developer favorite because of its intelligent code editor, and allows integration of Eclipse plugins, Docker and GitFlow. Developers can run their code on 4K / HiDPi configuration displays. It supports multiple scripting languages like PHP, JavaScript, Visual Basic, C, C++, and C#.

Some of thecompanies that leverage the power of Zend Studio are Disney, DHL, eBay, and Cisco.


This IDE is best suited for use when you have highly complex app/website development projects lined up. Its capability to declutter the coding environment makes it a top choice among developers. This IDE supports XML, Perl, and Python in addition to other common scripting languages (like HTML and JavaScript) and can also run on various platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS.

Tech biggieslike Microsoft, Dell, and IBM utilize the power of PHpED.

Apache Netbeans

Netbeans originally was meant for use as IDE with JavaScript development; however, the later releases include support for PHP as well. This IDE assists the developers with handy functionalities like syntax highlighting, smart code completion, code folding, code formatting, and many more. It is a cross-platform IDE and supports everything that runs on Java – BSD, Linux, Mac, Windows, and more.


Cloud9 IDE is an Amazon product – the name alone is enough to establish trust. It is an open-source IDE and supports programming languages in 3 digits! Some of the key features of this IDE are its built-in editor for images, reformatting of code, debugger, real-time language analysis, and more. This IDE is browser-based, and new users can access it through their AWS accounts.

Aptana Studio

This unique IDE works by leveraging other server-side and client-side technologies on the web as integrated capabilities. To make it easier for PHP developers to use it, this IDE has CLI (Command Line Interface) support and inbuilt debuggers. It allows for inspection of variables and control code execution, lets developers collaborate with others using push, pull and merge functions, and also lets you customize the IDE.

Code Lobster

This IDE enjoys a great community support, and works for a majority of platforms like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Laravel, Bootstrap, Magento, Symfony, and more. Certain functions in code lobster give the developers a hassle-free programming experience – SQL manager, autocomplete, code validation function, and syntax highlighter. It also supports all the popular coding languages (HTML, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, etc.).

Sublime Text

This PHP tool isn’t really an IDE – it is more a text editor to help PHP developers write better code. It supports mark-up languages in addition to programming languages. Some of the most interesting features of this editor are split-pane editing, instant switching between projects, no-distractions coding, plugin APIs, and many more.

PHP Debug Bar

This is perhaps the most versatile debugging tool yet. Not quite an IDE in and of itself, PHP Debug Bar is a tool capable of running with any project from across various web apps. The tool is useful in catching bugs in not only PHP coding, but also in HTML and JavaScript as well. It also helps developers monitor network traffic, handle AJAX requests and preview configurations.


Eclipse markets itself as a pure development tool. It supports a wide range of plugins to choose from to help developers create beautiful projects. Eclipse is one of the few PHP tools that support GUI / Non-GUI applications, in addition to being cross-platform compatible. It allows formatting of code and has numerous code templates to choose from, content assistance and syntax highlighting features as well.


PHP development tools assist a developer with added functionalities and flexibilities to make development of apps easier and faster while helping them achieve economies of scale. It has become almost necessary to have a good base of PHP development tools handy for any project to ensure the development goes smoothly.

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