10 Top PHP Code Editors and IDEs for Web Development

The web developers may well relate to the fact that coding in the absence of a text editor or IDE is a whole lot of mess. The distraction and difficult edits consume the productivity that can be put into efficient project completion. So, web developers need to get the right kind of code editor or IDE to refine the code and pursue an error-free development.

PHP is among the core programming languages that are preferred by software engineers around the globe. It is the language highly acknowledged by eCommerce and CMS platforms that’s why the web development enthusiasts are pursuing expertise in PHP. If you are also concerned with refining your skills and productivity while coding in PHP, you may find some amazing tools like IDE and code editors in this post. But, before moving on to the top php code editors and IDEs list, you can recap the difference between these two tools.

How an IDE differs than a code editor?

IDE, integrated development environment, help to develop in producing, arrange, and troubleshoot code in a centralized place. But, the code editor is a text editor that allows developers to write and modify their code. Code editors are confined to writing codes and do not have the functionality the assist coders further. Code editors can be in the form of separate application or incorporated into a browser or integrated development environment (IDE).

Following are some of the top IDEs and code editors that may facilitate you coding for a website or software.

Top IDE Editors for PHP

1. PHP Storm

PHP Storm

PHP Storm is one of the recommended IDEs for PHP, JavaScript, and HTML. It is equipped with configuring the qualitative measures of code editing in PHP. The core features include quick error recognition, highlighting problems, auto-complete, comprehensive codes, and adapt to the code formatting as well.

PHP Storm complies with the prominent operating systems such as Mac OS x, Linux, and Windows. It is well compatible with popular frameworks including Laravel, Symfony, and cake PHP. The major content management system it supports are Magento, WordPress, and Drupal.

2. NetBeans


NetBeans is a wonderful PHP IDE and backed by Oracle Corporation. It is an open source IDE and has all the necessary tools a web developer may need to produce small to medium or large-scale applications.

NetBeans is not limited to PHP alone as it supports other coding languages as well like Groovy, Ruby, JavaScript, C and C++. Being powered by the Java platform, the developer may require installing Java in addition to the language application.

The unique aspect of NetBeans is the facilitation of the masses. It supports multiple international languages that primarily include Japanese, Chinese, Russian, English, Portuguese, and Brazilian. Window, Mac, and Linux users can use it without fear of compatibility issues.

3. Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio

Aptana is regarded as a professional tool among the IDEs for its endless support to most of the programming languages. Coders can select a language they would like to work in and take helps of Aptana as it is in-line with Ruby on Rails, Python, DOM, CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript, etc.

The web developers highly regard Aptana for its matchless features that start with Git support and leads to the integrated debugger and IDE personalization. The additional features in the latest versions are equipping coders to be more productive and stress-free while working on a project. It is an open source and free tool for the coders’ community to benefit from.

4. Eclipse


Eclipse is also a multilingual IDE that is open source and cost a developer nothing to use. It is among the widely used tools among the PHP developers’ community because they can freely download and study a complete PHP development kit. Starting with Eclipse may be a bit difficult for developers, but being the free and open source, the effort pays you in saving license fee.

A group of coders recommends other tools over Eclipse for its slow configuration, but it all depends on a computer system specification. The laptops these days are well capable of processing the queries in no time resulting in smooth usage.

The key features of Eclipse include, but not limited to code assist, PHP debugging, syntax highlighting, syntax navigation, refactoring, code formatting, code navigation, code templates, and eclipse ecosystem. It's a complete package that includes Git client, XML editor, PHP language support, and Mylyn. Developers can have it on their Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.

Top Code Editors for PHP

5. Atom


Atom is one of the commendable code editors with a backing of Github community. Developers can grab it for free under MIT license. Atom, being called a hackable code editor, can be personalized to programmers’ preferences. It is known for possessing a customized ecosystem that is surrounded by an active community of developers, and hundreds of packages and plugins for improving its functionality.

This fully featured code editor allows cross-platform editing and facilitates developers with a brilliant autocomplete function. They can easily browse a file and open the complete package in a window. The built-in package manager is always there to help users find new packages and install them to create projects on their own.

Atom supports the widely used languages that house PHP, CSS, HTML, Sass, Less, C/C++, GitHub flavored markdown, Ruby, Ruby on rails, Make, Perl, and lots of other platforms.

6. Notepad++


Notepad++ is a prominent text editor for coders that is dedicated to Windows operating system only. Its primary features include syntax folding, syntax highlighting, and auto-completion of words and function. The search and replace option really saves time for the end user.

Software developers willing to code in PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can take benefit of this tool in their windows powered computer devices. Being a lightweight tool for editing code, this tool offers an exemplary fast programming experience. It is free, open source, and compatible with most of the coding languages.

7. Coda


Coda has got a significant position among text editors because it is exclusively crafted for Mac OS users. It is regarded as the most powerful tool for its high-end features that are unique in nature. The beginners, as well as professional developers, can take benefit of Coda to improve their web programming skills.

Coda is a feature-rich application with the functionality of syntax highlighting for numerous languages, auto-complete, code folding, and quick to find and replace option. The features list expands to automatically closing of tags, indentation guides, etc. Some of this feature are distinct in other text editors.

8. Sublime Text

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is one of the finest code editors that are light to run and use. It supports the major operating systems like Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X. the core feature of this tool is the insurmountable support to all the programming languages.

Sublime Text is not free as it comes at the cost of $70 a license. But, the beautiful interface and useful features are worth the price you pay for it. In addition to a hassle-free code creation and editing, the tool steps into an advanced user experience. The worthy to mention feature is instant search and shortcuts, disturbance-free code writing mode, command palette, etc.

9. TextMate


TextMate is loaded with lots of valuable features that a programmer may need to generate codes with maximum productivity. The one disappointing fact about TextMate is that only Mac users can take benefit of this tool, and not the Linux or Windows users. Being a delicate and simple application, it is considered a perfect match for Mac applications.

This is the only text editor recommended for developing software in Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The attributes of the tool are an auto indentation, search and replace, column selection, clipboard history, and column typing, etc. With PHP, it extends support to 50 more programming languages as well.

10. Brackets


Brackets is yet another open source text editor and made available free of cost by the Adobe group. You can have it on your computer system either you have installed Windows, Linux, or Mac OS. The built-in visual tools and unprecedented support make it easier to pursue designing and development. The focused design features make it a must-have tool for front-end developers and designers.

With an MIT license, you can get it free of cost and continue programming in PHP, C/C++, Java, HTML, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, CSS, VBScript, etc. The amazing features include inline editors, preprocessor support, live preview, etc.


Writing a code is a tiring job because it requires a lot of mental labor in terms of focusing on a specific module, generating code, and judging the script while writing it to make sure the errors are at the minimum. To have a bit of peace of mind in development, web engineers make use of applications like IDE and code editors. It simplifies their routine code creation and simplifies the process.

In this blog, I have tried to bring to the limelight some of the top IDEs and text editors that are popular for web development in PHP language. Try them in your upcoming web development project with accuracy and efficiency.

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