30Aug 2018

Top 11 Tools for PHP development

Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is one of the popular server-side scripting languages that is open-source and easy to use. More than a million domains are powered using PHP. According to sources, some of the popular websites, such as Facebook and WordPress, have been powered by PHP. Thanks to the speed and ease offered by PHP, which exceeds any other programming languages. Also, unlike many other frameworks that lack a proper documentation, community support, PHP prospers in all these while also offering well-strategized frameworks, scripts that are ready to use and in large numbers. Apart from all these advantages, for any amateur or people with the least technical knowledge, PHP is the right place to start.


Future of PHP

In fact, this is one of the reasons that the PHP community has a comprehensive guide of useful tools and resources for improvising their development process, making it easier and effective.

What differentiates PHP from the other programming languages is that it helps in simplifying and making the web application development process easier than ever. Of course, it is being implemented for some of the major projects and has already been in use, but the most interesting part is that it is being enhanced regularly. If you have come across PHP 7, then you might be aware of how the programmers are working on improving the performances of the web apps. And all this is being accomplished without a slight expansion in the memory consumption part.  Also, this will help the developers to speed up web apps and custom website development with ease taking advantage of lightweight and full-stack PHP frameworks, including CakePHP, Slim, Laravel, CodeIgniter, Zend, and Yii.

PHP frameworks can provide the ease of extending web development frameworks. Also, the PHP community can enjoy the awesomeness of a number of PHP development tools that let you write web applications based on the varying business requirements.

In this article, we will take you through some of the PHP tools that will help in developing great web apps:


php development tools
Eclipse is one of the most popular of the PHP tools – one of the reasons why it tops our list of PHP tools. Since it is a fully developed tool, it is the commonly used integrated development environment (IDE) that PHP offers. The most amazing part of this tool is that it offers support to some of the most popular operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Some of the tools that are offered by Eclipse make it easier to develop and simplify complicated PHP applications. With Eclipse, you have the liberty to choose from an enormously wide range of plugins. It also supports GUI and non-GUI apps. Eclipse is one of the PHP tools that allows the users to use some of those specific plugins that will help in extending and customizing the IDE to fit into the requirements of the project.

Aptana Studio

Again, an open-source web development IDE, this is one among those PHP tools that are widely used. This is used in integration with a number of client-side and server-side web technologies. Some of these technologies include CSS3, PHP, Python, HTML5, Ruby on Rails and Ruby. Since it comes with a command line interface and debugger, it is easier for PHP application development and also supports Git Integration. It also helps PHP programmers to create and test web applications in just one environment as they please.

Zend Studio

Zend Studio finds a way in our list because of its unmatchable speed unlike any of the other PHP development tools. When using the Zend Studio, programmers and developers can enjoy the flexibility of writing and debugging code without the need to put an extra time or effort to accomplish the same. With the Zend Studio, the developers can easily organize the PHP application on more than one server. Zend Studio has been built to support PHP 7. Additionally, it is capable of code debugging in integration with the Zend Debuggers, X-debug, and X-ray. Also, here there is a possibility of integration through Eclipse plugins in an attempt to extend the Zend Studio.

AWS Cloud 9

php development tools

When in the cloud, you can always resolve to use the modern IDE as it helps the developers to simplify or ease out the app development using PHP. With AWS Cloud 9, you have the liberty to use more than one widely used web technologies that include PHP. The programmers can write, debug, execute and run PHP code across any web browser. AWS Cloud 9 also provides you with the experience of writing web applications in PHP, which are not dependent on servers. You can also enjoy cloud-based PHP development using AWS Cloud 9 as it provides several features, such as code completion, debugging and code hinting.


Offered by NuSphere, PhpED is considered to be one of those robust tools offered by PHP. Apart from offering its support to PHP 7.1, there is also enormous support to CSS3, JavaScript, and HTML5. Using this, the web developers can work across some of the most commonly used PHP frameworks, such as Yii, Zend, and Laravel. It is imperative to choose the PhpED latest version as it will allow the programmers to organize PHP code locally and remotely as well. Since it comes with refactoring capabilities, it allows to bring about improvisation in coding.

Code Lobster

One of the most portable IDEs for PHP is Code Lobster. It provides enormous support to a wide range of popular PHP frameworks and even CMSes. Some of the CMS frameworks include CakePHP, Drupal, Joomla, Symfony, CodeIgniter, WordPress, and Magento. With Code Lobster, programmers can now write customized web apps in PHP inserting in useful features, such as autocomplete, syntax highlights, debuggers, SQL managers, code validators, etc. Now, the PHP developers can enjoy a large number of advanced features by choosing to upgrade to the professional edition of this.


Programmers have been organizing the goodness of the PHP Designer to create web apps. This has been done by integrating CSS3, PHP, HTML5, and JavaScript. This is also used as it supports some of the most commonly used JavaScript and PHP frameworks. Though it is considered to be one of the fastest IDEs and editor, it also supports debugging, analysis and editing the code. Now, the programmers have a better option to write high-quality PHP code, by integrating in some interesting features that include code completion, code tip, support for PHP classes and syntax highlighting.

Sublime Text

php development tools

This is another tool that was built to be a robust text editor for all – including prose, markup, and code. It is amazing that Sublime text holds a customized UI toolkit. Also, another interesting fact about it is that it is cross-platform. Since it has the custom UI toolkit, it provides users with the provision to jump across words, symbols or lines using one of the specific key shortcuts. In fact, another interesting fact is that users can now make changes to any number of lines of code at any given time. Also interestingly, it is one of the most customizable as well as malleable text editors that exist.

PHP Storm

Jet Brains is the brain behind this most-modern IDE. Like most of the other PHP tools, this would allow you to integrate with a wide range of PHP web frameworks and CMS. Some of these frameworks include Laravel, Yii, Magento, Joomla, Zend, WordPress, and others. With PHPStorm, users can now work with an enormous number of web technologies and even relational databases that are widely used. Now, the developers have the capacity to speed up the custom web application development process by bringing in features such as command-line tools, REST client, composer and version control system.


You can use Net Beans IDE in integration with a wide range of programming languages including PHP. This is in contrast to the fact that it has been written in PHP. Like many of the other PHP tools, NetBeans also allows you to use a number of PHP web frameworks and content management systems, including Symfony, CakePHP, Zend, and WordPress. The source code editor and debugger support continuous integration. But you cannot find support for PHP 7.x with NetBeans IDE.

Selenium Test

Selenium Remote Control is used as a testing tool. This testing tool will allow you to write automated web application UI tests in a programming language that is expected to comply on an HTTP website. This is possible by integrating with any of the mainstream Javascript-enabled browsers. Now, when this is used in aggregation with a PHP Unit, it will help to run automated tests within the web browser of your choice.

These are some of the most interesting tools from PHP. While some of them are bound to be robust, there are those that are open-source IDE’s that bring about integration with other PHP frameworks and content management systems. There are those that break complex app development processes and simplify those. Then, there are those that are open source and can be run across any browsers of your choice.

Now you have a vast variety of choice and based on your business requirements, you can choose one that fits your needs.

Acodez is a web development company in India offering all kinds of web design solutions to companies in India and abroad. We are also an SEO agency offering inbound marketing solutions helping our clients drive their business to the next level. For further inquiries, please contact us today.

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Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K, is the Tech Lead at Acodez. With his rich and hands-on experience in various technologies, his writing normally comes from his research and experience in mobile & web application development niche.

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1 Comment

  1. Kalpana

    Excellent article with amazing information. .. Thanks here i got some new tools..
    Thanks for updating..

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