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The Best PHP IDE 2017 and 2016 Comparison - The Most Popular Editors for Development under Windows, Mac and Linux either Open Source, Free or Commercial

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Updated on: 2017-05-28

Posted on: 7 months ago

Categories: PHP Tutorials, News

Most PHP developers use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to become more productive. There several PHP IDEs, some more advanced than others, some are commercial and others are free.

Read this article to compare the features of some of the most popular IDEs being used by PHP developers, so you can decide which one suits you best.




Contents

Click on the links below to jump to the respective section of your interest.

The Best PHP Editor 2016 and 2017

Disclaimer

Best PHP IDE 2016 and 2017 List

The Best PHP IDE Windows Versions

The Best PHP IDE Mac Versions

Linux Best PHP IDE Open Source and Commercial Versions for Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat, Mint, OpenSuSE, CentOS

PHP Code Editor Features

PHP Editor Version Control Support

Other Supported Languages

PHP Framework Support

Supported JavaScript Libraries

Other Features

PHP IDE Tutorials in this site

Best Free PHP IDE: Where to find the Best PHP IDE Free Downloads?

Where to find the price and buy the commercial PHP IDEs?

PHP IDE Discount Coupon Codes

Change Log

Conclusion

The Best PHP Editor 2016 and 2017

A PHP IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a programming code editor that lets developers create their PHP projects in a more productive way. PHP IDEs not only make it easier for developers to write code but can also perform other common tasks like PHP code debugging and performance profiling and optimization.

What makes an IDE the prefect tool for one developer may not meet the needs of another. A set of features, the look and feel are all subjective to the user as to what makes the best IDE. The primary goal with these comparisons is to provide just the facts, without bias, so that you can make a decision based on your own needs.

Great effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these charts by not only doing our own research but also inviting the developers to review them and provide their own feedback for consideration.

Due to the extensive list of features being compared, the charts are broken down into several categorized tables. Some of these tables are wide, so use the horizontal scroll to ensure you are not missing out on some of the data.

This is a live article. This means that the article will be updated once and republished here again once there are relevant updates to the features of the currently listed IDEs or others that may not yet be listed.

Disclaimer

This article was composed in collaboration with the producers of several PHP IDEs, some commercial, some free. The production of this article was not sponsored in any form by any of the IDE producers.

Producers of IDEs being actively developed but currently are not listed here, are invited to contact the site to have your PHP IDE included in a future edition of this article.

Best PHP IDE 2016 and 2017 List

1. Codelobster

Developed by: Codelobster

2. Eclipse PDT: PHP Development Environment (Eclipse PHP IDE)

Developed by: Eclipse

3. Komodo IDE

Developed by: ActiveState

4. Netbeans

Developed by: Oracle

5. Nuclide for Atom

Developed by: Facebook

6. PHPEd

Developed by: Nusphere

7. PHPStorm

Developed by: JetBrains

8. PHP Tools for Visual Studio

Developed by: Devsense

9. Zend Studio

Developed by: Zend

Notice: PHP Tools from DevSense requires a version of Microsoft Visual Studio. It works with either Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012, VisualStudio 2013, Visual Studio 2015 and Visual Studio 2017.

VersionRelease dateLicenseMin PHPMax PHPDebuggerFTP
Codelobster5.12Mar 30, 2017Commercial4 7.0XdebugYes
Eclipse PDT4.2Apr 19, 2017EPL 5.17.1 Xdebug/ZendNo
Komodo IDE10.2.2May 4, 2017Commercial4.47.1XdebugYes
Netbeans8.2Oct 3, 2016CDDL/GPL47.0XdebugNo
Nuclide0.229May 23, 2017FPL XdebugYes
PHPEd18.025Jan 30, 2017Commercial4.37.1DBGYes
PHPStorm2017.2 EAPMay 24, 2017Commercial5.37.1Xdebug/ZendYes
PHP Tools1.23Apr 6, 2017Commercial5.47.1XdebugYes
Zend Studio13.6Apr 20, 2017Commercial5.17.1Zend/Xdebug/Z-rayYes

Licenses:

CDDL = Common Development and Distribution License

EPL = Eclipse Public License

GPL = GNU General Public License

FPL = Facebook Public License

The Best PHP IDE Windows Version

The following IDEs are available under Windows, so you can evaluate and determine which one is the best for you looking at the comparison tables below: Codelobster, Eclipse PDT, Komodo IDE, Netbeans, PHPEd, PHPStorm, PHP Tools and Zend Studio.

The Best PHP IDE Mac Versions

The following IDEs are available under Mac, so you can evaluate and determine which one is the best for you looking at the comparison tables below: Eclipse PDT, Komodo IDE, Netbeans, Nuclide, PHPStorm and Zend Studio.

Linux Best PHP IDE Open Source and Commercial Versions for Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat, Mint, OpenSuSE, CentOS

All PHP IDEs that work on Linux support the most popular distributions. The following IDEs are available under Linux, so you can evaluate and determine which one is the best for you looking at the comparison tables below: Eclipse PDT, Komodo IDE, Netbeans, Nuclide, PHPStorm and Zend Studio.

PHP Code Editor Features

Auto CompleteHighlightingFoldingHintingRefactoringMappingFile Compare
CodelobsterYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
Eclipse PDTYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
KomodoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NetbeansYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NuclideYesYesNoNoNoNoYes
PHPEdYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
PHPStormYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
PHP ToolsYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Zend StudioYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

Auto Complete = Code suggestions presented and completed, relevant to the current context
Highlighting = Code colorized to simplify locating specific elements
Folding = Code blocks can be expanded and contracted (hidden)
Hinting = Similar to Auto Complete, properties are also displayed for functions and methods
Refactoring = Restructuring code for better readability and complexity
Mapping = Display of declarations used, mapped to their origin
File Compare = Comparing 2 or more files and highlighting the differences in them

PHP Editor Version Control Support

GITGIT FlowGithubSVNCVSTFSMercurialClearCasePerforceBazaar
CodelobsterPluginNoNoYesNoNoYesNoNoNo
Eclipse PDTYesPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginPlugin
KomodoYesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoYesYes
NetbeansYesPluginNoYesPluginNoYesPluginNoNo
NuclideYesNoPluginPluginNoPluginYesNoPluginNo
PHPEdPluginNoPluginPluginYesNoPluginNoNoPlugin
PHPStormYesPluginYesYesYesYesYesYesYesPlugin
PHP ToolsYesNoYesPluginYesYesPluginNoPluginNo
Zend StudioYesYesYesYesYesPluginPluginPluginPluginPlugin

Plugin indicates that support is provided by installing external code, either directly from the developer or a third party.

Other Supported Languages

HTMLJavascriptCSSLESSSASSHack, HHVM
CodelobsterYesYesYesYesYesNo
Eclipse PDTYesYesYesPluginNoNo
KomodoYesYesYesYesYesNo
NetbeansYesYesYesPluginPluginNo
NuclideYesYesYesPluginPluginYes
PHPEDYesYesYesYesYesNo
PHPStormYesYesYesPluginPluginNo
PHP ToolsYesYesYesYesYesNo
Zend StudioYesYesYesPluginNoNo

Plugin indicates that support is provided by installing external code, either directly from the developer or a third party.

PHP Framework Support

CakePHPCodeigniterDrupalJoomlaLaravelPhalconPradoSmartySymfonyTwigWordpressYiiZend
CodelobsterPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginYesNoPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginNo
Eclipse PDTNoNoPluginNoNoNoNoPluginPluginPluginNoPluginPlugin
KomodoNoNoYes
NoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoNo
NetbeansNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYes
NuclideNoNoNoNoNoNoNoPluginPluginPluginPluginPluginNo
PHPEDYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoYesNoNoYesYes
PHPStormYesNoYesYesPluginPluginPluginYesPluginYesYesYesNo
PHP ToolsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Zend StudioNoNoPluginNoNoNoNoPluginYesPluginNoPluginYes

Plugin indicates that support is provided by installing external code, either directly from the developer or a third party.

Supported JavaScript Libraries

AngularJSBackboneJSextJSFlowJqueryKnockoutJSMeteorReact
CodelobsterPluginPluginPluginNoPluginNoPluginNo
Eclipse PDTPluginNoPluginNoYesNoNoNo
KomodoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoYes
NetbeansYesNoPluginNoNoYesNoNo
NuclidePluginNoNoYesNoNoPluginNo
PHPEdNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
PHPStormYesNoPluginYesYesNoYesYes
PHP ToolsYesNoPluginNoYesNoNoPlugin
Zend StudioPluginNoPluginNoPluginNoNoNo

Plugin indicates that support is provided by installing external code, either directly from the developer or a third party.

Other Features

PHP IDEs have many features that are not yet listed here for side by side comparison. Eventually those features will be added later on a future edition of this article.

Therefore PHP IDE producers were invited to describe some of the most important features of their PHP IDEs that they consider important for the PHP developers.

Nusphere PHPEd

The built in DBG debugger provides:

1. Ability to debug PHP console or Web applications

2. Ability to debug in embedded browser or one in a regular browser window

3. Ability to profile code in terms of performance, memory consumption, the time SQL queries take to execute

4. Support for secure debug connections to the servers

5. Conditional breakpoints, starting the debugger on errors and exceptions, ability to change current execution line, etc..

Additional features include:

1. Embedded SSH Client

2. Built in phpUnit support

3. phpUnit support integrated with debugger for remote debugging

Komodo

1. Komodo is based on Mozilla, like Firefox, and so it is not based in a Java editor

2. Has a Regex tool, which allows you to write regular expressions easily and see how it matches as well as provides various shortcuts to make writing regular expressions easier.

3. Has built-in code collaboration, letting you work on code with your colleagues simultaneously

4. Has a code profiling tool.

5. Has a HTTP inspector which lets you inspect HTTP traffic from the IDE to the Web sites

6. You can quickly test code by selecting a code section and hitting the "Run Code in-Line" button.

7. You can easily find documentation on common PHP functions by selecting them and invoking the documentation tool.

8. The user interface was designed to be simple and straight forward. It provides a lot of useful functionality despite it does not show too many buttons on the window.

9. It provides a field called "Go to Anything" that provides quick access to any feature.

Zend Studio

1. Can debug using either Xdebug and Zend Debugger

2. It can debug Web applications, CLI applications and supports PHPUnit tests

3. Debug sessions can be triggered from Z-Ray, browser toolbars or a special URL.

4. It automatically downloads the source code being debugged from the server if not available in the IDE

5. The profiler provides detailed reports.

6. It can perform static code analysis using a rich set of rules for finding issues in your code as you type it. It has a special set of rules to help migrating your existing code to PHP 7.

7. It can be used for mobile development. It has integration with Apigility for easy developing of REST services, as well with Cordova for cross-platform mobile application development.

8. It has Zend Server integration for deployment and application monitoring.

PHP IDE Tutorials in this site

Codelobster Tutorial

PHPEd Tutorials

PHP Tools for Visual Studio Tutorials

Using Microsoft Visual Studio as PHP IDE with the PHP Tools extension: Part 3 Debugging

Best Free PHP IDE: Where to find these PHP IDE Free Downloads?

Some commercial IDEs have free versions. Others have trial versions that you can use for free during a given period.

Here follow the pages with free download versions of each PHP IDE:

Codelobster (limited feature set)

Eclipse PDT (Open Source)

Komodo IDE (21 day trial)

Netbeans IDE (Open Source)

Atom Nuclide (Open Source) Install Nuclide from Atom

PHPEd (14 day trial)

PHPStorm (30 day trial)

PHP Tools for Visual Studio (30 day trial)

Zend Studio (30 day trial)

Note: for PHP Tools for Visual Studio you need a working version of Visual Studio. There are also free versions of Visual Studio Community Edition. Here are free download versions of each edition:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 (Release Candidate all versions)

Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 (community edition)

Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 (community edition)

Where to find the price and buy the commercial PHP IDEs?

Here follow the list of links of where to download these PHP IDEs or buy in the case of commercial IDEs. Below you may find discount coupons for some of the commercial IDEs. The following pages have the price and buy instructions for each PHP IDE:

Codelobster 2017

Komodo IDE 2017

PhpEd 2017

PhpStorm 2017

PHP Tools for Visual Studio 2017

Zend Studio 2017

PHP IDE Discount Coupon Codes

Since several of the listed PHP IDEs are commercial, their producers were kind enough to share codes that allow you to buy their IDEs with a discount. Here follow the coupon discount codes for each of the PHP IDEs.

Codelobster

20% off: 20aeb

Komodo IDE

10% off: PHPCLASS16 (expired December 31, 2016)

PhpEd

10% off: ALL-OTH-10-O-F9FEC (expires in 2017)

PHP Tools for Visual Studio

10% off: PHPCLASSES777 (expired March 31, 2017)

Change log


2017-03-24 Nuclide Atom bump to 0.211, PHPStorm 2017.1, CodeLobster 5.11.4, Komodo IDE 10.2.1

2017-03-05 Nuclide Atom bump to 0.208, latest PHPStorm EAP 2017.1

2017-02-19 Nuclide Atom bump to 0.206, latest PHPStorm EAP 2017.1

2017-01-17 Nuclide Atom bump to 0.198

2017-01-17 PHP Tools 1.22 release brings several internal improvements but also build for latest Visual Studio 2017 RC and complete support for Smarty templating

2017-01-11 PHPStorm 2017.1 EAP update

2017-01-02 Updated the PHP Tools discount coupon.

2016-12-16 Eclipse PDT 4.2 release

2016-12-13 Listed the most popular Linux distributions that most PHP IDEs support

2016-12-04 PhpEd 18 was released

2016-11-22: Listed Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 RC as possible free IDE to use the PHP Tools for Visual Studio

2016-12-10 PHP Tools for Visual Studio 1.21 was released

2016-11-28 PHPStorm 2016.3 was released

Conclusion

The goal of this article is to let you evaluate the different PHP IDEs so you compare and find which ones are more suitable for your needs.

Since these PHP IDEs are always evolving, this article will be updated with latest developments.

Special thanks for the developers of the organizations and companies of each the the listed PHP IDEs for their collaboration.

If you have questions or find inaccuracies, post a comment here.

Meanwhile share this article with other developers that are interested about PHP IDEs.




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Comments:

6. My preferred IDE - Artavazd (2016-11-15 23:23)
Useful article... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

5. Very useful - MT Lars (2016-11-15 22:21)
Thanks... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

4. Netbeans File Compare. - James Hansen (2016-11-15 22:20)
Blah... - 1 reply
Read the whole comment and replies

3. Best PHP IDE - Boris Donald Sodoloufo (2016-11-15 12:15)
Thanks. Very nice article... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

2. my prefered IDEs - Josť Filipe Lopes Santos (2016-11-15 10:31)
my prefered IDEs... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies

1. Nice comparison - Carlos Alberto Garcia (2016-11-15 10:21)
IDEs... - 0 replies
Read the whole comment and replies



  Blog PHP Classes blog   RSS 1.0 feed RSS 2.0 feed   Blog The Best PHP IDE 2017...   Post a comment Post a comment   See comments See comments (9)   Trackbacks (0)