5 of the best PHP IDE for programming

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5 of the best PHP IDE for programming

What are the best PHP IDE? What does IDE stands for? IDE refers to a software that provides a programmer comprehensive features to and tools to ease their work. An IDE or interactive development environment normally offers the programmer a source code editor, a build automation tools and a debugger. Several modern IDE now also integrates with some really cool stuff like checking the code for errors and advising a fix for the error. In this article I thought going to through the top 5 PHP IDE that offers programmers the features they need.

IDE Features

As I said before, an IDE normally provides these 3 main features:

  • source code editor
  • automation tools
  • debugging option

Source code editor

The source code editor is the main feature a programmer needs for coding, that’s basically the place where you write the code, so this is practically indispensable. However there are certain things that can help in easing the work or make it easy when writing code. The main characteristics I found important for a source code editor are:

  • code highlighting
  • line numbers
  • break points and brackets highlighting

That’s about it that comes to mind at the moment, these 3 features can help a programmer write their own code much easier and cleaner. Also when you wish to pin-point a start and end of a specific function for instance, the brackets highlighting would come in handy.

Automation tools

Automation tools are there to help write code much faster, normally if you want to write a specific function, for example, include(), the IDE can easily understand this and can automatically write this for you. This is called the autocomplete feature. Another thing I found cool at some IDE is the fact that they can clean the code up so that it looks proper. Personally the way I usually write my code is normally considered clean, however I have had cases when I continued the work of someone else and for me to properly understand the code I always had to first clean it. Anyway, there are a lot of other features perhaps, but till now I haven’t found any other useful thing other than:

  • autocomplete option
  • cleaning code option

Debugging option

Personally I found this to be the most interesting and important part of an IDE, when you write a software or any kind of tool, you normally need to test it to see if there are errors, an IDE helps you with this while you code, it highlights the errors directly while you type or when you deploy your project. It really depends on the software you use and how “smart” it is made to be, but usually you can make due with only the errors you get since they are practically a live test case. So from there, once you have the errors known, you can start fixing them and getting the application or script working.

Those were the 3 things I wanted to talk about and letting you know what you must look for when choosing an IDE, now lets get started and see what are the top 5 of the best PHP IDE.

Zend Studio

This is one of the best, if not actually the best PHP IDE, available right now on the market, it offers all the features I mention above, plus the fact that you can easily write code in Zend framework. Currently this is a paid product, its not excessively expensive, but its not really cheap either. You can see more information here:


You can see a demo of this PHP IDE below:

Komodo IDE 6

This is another paid product used for developing applications in PHP, it is currently the second most ranked in our little top, it includes all the features I mentioned above, plus a particular one, the debugger on this PHP IDE is capable of multi-session, meaning you can practically test the script without going live for when testing login sessions.

Komodo 8 debugger

Komodo 8 debugger


Adobe has always provided top notch softwares for web development, photo editing and also media converting or streaming. Dreamweaver has been designed to be as intuitive as possible, it is mostly being intended to be used by people still learning to code. The price however doesn’t really match the bargain from what I can personally say, sorry but I always found Adobe to be too expensive. Perhaps its also due to the fact that I already know my way around the code so I don’t specifically like this IDE.




Next on our little list is PHPStorm, it has all the basics for a php source code editor, however we have no built-in browser support in this application. So unfortunately it looks like any tests made you would have to make them live and test them there.

phpstorm IDE

phpstorm IDE

PhpED 5.9

Our last one is PHPED version 5.9, this application has comprehensive color schemes for code syntax with our source code editor, however there is no spelling checker within our application. As ease of use, the application was made to be in a standard PHP Editor with multiple windows for debugger, log files or navigation.

phped IDE

phped IDE

There are a lot more PHP IDE out there like PHP Designer, PHP Studio or RadPHP that could very well be suited for your needs, the most comprehensive one is Zend Studio since its easily allowing you to code in its base framework. The price is also not that high for what you can do with it, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Anyway, thank you for reading this and I hope you found it interesting.

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