Best PHP Development Tools for Developers in 2018

10 Best PHP Development Tools for Developers in 2018Unlike other programming languages, PHP was designed with features to simplify web application development. In addition to being a mature web programming language, PHP has been evolving consistently. The new language features provided by PHP 7 enables programmers to improve performance of web applications without increasing memory consumption. The developers can further accelerate custom website and web application development by leveraging a number of full-stack and lightweight PHP web frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Zend, Yii and Slim. Likewise, they can take advantage of a number of robust PHP development tools to write web applications rapidly according to varied business requirements. They can even use these PHP development tools to extend various web frameworks.

10 PHP Development Tools to Simplify and Accelerate Custom Web Application Development


Eclipse is a mature and widely used integrated development environment (IDE) for PHP. The PHP development tool supports major operating systems like Windows, Linux and macOS. The tools provided by Eclipse help developers to simplify development of large and complex PHP applications. In addition to supporting both GUI and non-GUI applications, Eclipse allows programmers to choose from a wide range of plugins. The users can even use specific plugins to extend and customize the IDE according to precise project requirements.


Despite being written in Java, the IDE supports a number of programming languages including PHP. NetBeans even supports several widely used PHP web frameworks and content management systems (CMS) – WordPress, CakePHP, Symfony and Zend. It even comes with a source code editor and debugger while supporting continuous integration (CI). However, NetBeans IDE is yet to support PHP 7.x. Here is an interesting comparison between Netbeans and Eclipse.


The IDE developed by JetBrains supports an array of widely used PHP web frameworks and CMS – WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Laravel, Zend and Yii. PHPStorm even makes it easier for PHP programmers to work with a number of widely used web technologies and relational databases. The developers can further accelerate custom web application development by availing features like command line tools, version control system, REST client and Composer.

Aptana Studio

The open source web development IDE supports commonly used client-side and server-side web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails and Python. Aptana Studio further enables PHP programmers to build and test web applications in a single environment. It even simplifies PHP application development by providing a command line interface and debugger, and supporting Git integration.


The developers can leverage phpDesigner to build web applications by integrating HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and PHP. In addition to being a fast IDE and editor, phpDesigner further provides tools for code editing, analysis, and debugging. It even supports several widely used PHP and JavaScript frameworks. The programmers can further write high quality PHP code by availing features like code completion, intelligent syntax highlighting, code tip, support for PHP classes,

Zend Studio

Many web developers prefer Zend Studio to other PHP development tools due to its optimal speed. Zend Studio helps programmers to write and debug code without putting extra time and effort. In addition to supporting PHP 7, Zend Studio debugs code by integrating Zend Debugger, Xdebug and X-ray. It even allows developers to deploy the PHP application on a number of web servers. At the same time, the developers also have option to extend Zend Studio through Eclipse plugins.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is designed as a robust text editor for code, markup, and prose. In addition to being cross-platform, Sublime​ Text comes with a custom UI toolkit. The users can further jump to a line, word, or symbol by using specific key shortcut. Also, they can make changes to multiple lines of code at a time. At the same time, Sublime Text is one of the most flexible and customizable text editors.

Code Lobster

Code Lobster is a portable IDE for PHP. It supports a number of popular PHP frameworks and CMS including Laravel, Symfony, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, WordPress, Drupal, Magento and Joomla. Code Lobster even makes it easier for programmers to write custom web applications in PHP by providing useful features like syntax highlighting, autocomplete, code validator, Debugger, and SQL manager. The PHP developers can further avail a number of advanced features by upgrading to the professional edition of Code Lobster.


PhpED is one of the many robust PHP development tools provided by NuSphere. In addition to supporting PHP 7.1, the PHP editor also supports HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. It even enables web developers to work with widely used PHP frameworks like Laravel, Yii and Zend. The latest version of phpED further allows programmers to debug PHP code both locally and remotely. It even comes with improved code completion and refactoring capabilities.

AWS Cloud 9

The modern IDE enables programmers to simplify PHP application development in the cloud. AWS Cloud9 supports a number of commonly used web technologies including PHP. It enables programmers to write, run, and debug PHP code using a web browser. Also, it enables programmers to write serverless web applications in PHP. It even simplifies cloud-based PHP development by providing features like code hinting, code completion, debugging,

On the whole, the web developers have option to choose from a wide range of open source and licensed PHP development tools. Some of these PHP development tools are mature and popular, whereas others are modern and contemporary. TheThe developers must remember that the PHP development tools differ from each other in terms of design concept, functionality, usage, and usability. Hence, they must compare these PHP development tools based on precise needs of individual projects.

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