Top Code Editors and IDE for PHP Development of 2017

by Ahmed Khan  January 20, 2017

In order to remain competitive and productive, writing good code in minimum time is an essential skill that every software developer must posses. Writing code has become a fundamental requirement for many emerging segments including IoT and AI.

As many experienced coders will attest, the right IDE and/or code editor is vital for producing and maintaining high quality code. As the number and style of writing code increases and new programming languages emerge frequently, it is important that the software developers must opt for the right IDE to achieve the objectives. All over the world, developers are asking the same question: Which IDE is best for PHP development?

top ide and code editors php development

In this article, I will highlight several IDE and code editors that have captured the attention of the global software development communities, like PHP and Python, and will continue to be popular in 2017. However, before proceeding further, I would like to clear up an important misunderstanding that simply refuse to go away!

The Difference Between IDE and Code Editors

It might appear that in this age when writing code has become a common enough skill, there is still confusion about the exact definition of an IDE and a code editor. Part of the problem could be traced to the fact that the line between the two is blurring because of crossover of features.

Essentially, an Integrated Development Environment or IDE is a self-contained package that allow you to write, compile, execute and debug code in the same place. On the other hand, a code editor is a text editor with several features that facilitate the process of writing code, either through native capabilities or through optional plugins.

Generally, IDE is focused on a single language and contains the compiler/interpreter and debugger specific to the language. In contrast, code editors are more general purpose in their capabilities, being able to work with a number of programing languages. Code editors are limited to writing code and do not go beyond this stage.

Both IDE and code editors share common features such as code completion, hints, highlighting sections of code and custom folding of sections of code. Choosing between an IDE or code editor is largely a matter of personal preference, the particular programming language and the workflows.

Here is my list of web development software that have established a reputation of reliability and performance. I hope that you will be using one or more of the following in your 2017 projects.

Top IDE for PHP Projects

  1. PHPStorm
  2. Netbeans
  3. Aptana Studio
  4. Eclipse

Top Code Editors for PHP Projects

  1. Sublime Text
  2. Visual Studio Code
  3. Atom
  4. Notepad++
  5. Coda
  6. Brackets
  7. SlickEdit
  8. jEdit
  9. Programmer’s Notepad
  10. Komodo Edit
  11. RJ TextEd

PHPStorm

PHPStorm

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: PHP 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 7.0, HTML and JavaScript
  • Price: USD 199 for the first year, Subsequent usage costs less.
  • More Information: Code quality analysis, PHPUnit tests, GitHub
  • Visit: PHPStorm

Netbeans

Netbeans

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris
  • Supported Languages: Java ME & SE, JavaScript, HTML5, PHP, C/C++, XML, Groovy, Javadoc, JSP
  • Price: FREE (CDDL or GPLv2)
  • More Information: Integration of Subversion, Mercurial, and Git, NetBeans Profiler
  • Visit: Netbeans

Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Plugin for Eclipse
  • Supported Languages: JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, DOM, CSS, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, Perl
  • Price: FREE (GPL)
  • More Information: Open source, deployment wizard for RoR.
  • Visit: Aptana Studio

Eclipse

Eclipse

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris
  • Supported Languages: Ada, ABAP, C, C++, COBOL, D, Fortran, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Julia, Lasso, Lua, NATURAL, Perl, PHP, Prolog, Python, R, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Rust, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Scheme, and Erlang, LaTeX, Mathematica.
  • Price: FREE (Eclipse Public License)
  • More Information: Rich Client Platform, supports Tomcat, GlassFish and other servers, Web Tools Platform.
  • Visit: Eclipse

Sublime Text

Sublime Text

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: All popular languages
  • Price: USD 70/license
  • More Information: Package Manager
  • Visit: Sublime Text

Visual Studio Code

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: Batch, C++, Clojure, CoffeeScript, DockerFile, Elixir, F#, Go, Pug template language, Java, HandleBars, Ini, Lua, Makefile, Objective-C, Perl, PowerShell, Python, R, Razor, Ruby, Rust, SQL, Visual Basic, XML
  • Price: FREE (MIT License)
  • More Information: GitHub support, code refactoring, debugger
  • Visit: Visual Studio Code

Atom

Atom

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: HTML, CSS, Less, Sass, GitHub Flavored Markdown, C/C++, C#, Go, Java, Objective-C, JavaScript, JSON, CoffeeScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, shell script, Clojure, Perl, Git, Make, Property List (Apple), TOML, XML, YAML, Mustache, Julia & SQL
  • Price: FREE (MIT License)
  • More Information: Open source, built-in Package Manager, Themes.
  • Visit: Atom

Notepad++

Notepad++

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows,
  • Supported Languages: Ada, asp, Assembly, AutoIt, Batch, C, C++, C#, Caml, Cmake, COBOL, CoffeeScript, CSS, D, Diff, Flash ActionScript, Fortran, Gui4CLI, Haskell, HTML, INNO, Java, JavaScript, JSP, KiXtart, LISP, Lua, Makefile, Matlab, MS-DOS, INI file, NSIS, Normal Text File, Objective-C, Pascal, Perl, PHP, PostScript, PowerShell, Properties, Python, R, Resource file, Ruby, Shell, Scheme, Smalltalk, SQL, TCL, TeX, Visual Basic, VHDL, Verilog, XML, YAML
  • Price: FREE (GPL)
  • More Information: Open source, Macro recording and playback, User Defined Syntax Highlighting and Folding
  • Visit: Notepad++

Coda

Coda

  • Platform(s): Mac OS X
  • Supported Languages: HTML
  • Price: USD 99
  • More Information: Touch Bar ready, FTP, SFTP, FTP+SSL, and WebDAV client
  • Visit: Coda

Brackets

Brackets

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: C++, C, VBScript, Java, JavaScript, HTML, Python, Perl, Ruby
  • Price: FREE (MIT License)
  • More Information: Live Preview, JSLint, LESS support
  • Visit: Brackets

SlickEdit

SlickEdit

  • Platform(s): Cross-platform
  • Supported Languages: GNU C/C++, Java, WinDbg, Clang C/C++ LLDB, Google Go, Groovy, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, XCode, Android JVM/NDK.
  • Price: SlickEdit Standard (USD 99.95), SlickEdit Standard for Enterprise (USD 149.95), Check prices for Pro versions.
  • More Information: Support for Git, Subversion, Mercurial, Perforce, CVS
  • Visit: SlickEdit

jEdit

jEdit

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, OS/2, UNIX, VMS
  • Supported Languages: See complete list
  • Price: FREE (GPL v2)
  • More Information: Open source, Split Windows, extensive library of plugins
  • Visit: jEdit

Programmer’s Notepad

Programmer’s Notepad

Komodo Edit

Komodo Edit

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Supported Languages: Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Tcl, SQL, Smarty, CSS, HTML, XML
  • Price: USD 295/License
  • More Information: Package Manager, Vagrant, Docker, Unit Testing
  • Visit: Komodo Edit

RJ TextEd

RJ TextEd

  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Linux,
  • Supported Languages: PHP, ASP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Price: FREE
  • More Information: FTP and SFTP client
  • Visit: RJ TextEd

Conclusion

The right IDE or code editor is more than just a tool for creating code. The code writer has access to some amazing features and tools that streamline the process of writing and debugging code so that the time spent on code production is efficiently used to produce highest quality code.

In this article, I have tried to cover the top IDE and code editors that will remain popular in 2017. If you think I have missed out your favorite code production tool, do leave a comment below.

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About Ahmed Khan

Ahmed was a PHP community expert at Cloudways – A Managed PHP Hosting Cloud Platform. He is a software engineer with extensive knowledge in PHP and SEO. He loves watching Game of Thrones is his free time. Follow Ahmed on Twitter to stay updated with his works. You can email him at ahmed.khan@cloudways.com

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