Top PHP IDEs & Compilers List

PHP or PHP Hypertext Preprocessor, also known as PHP, is among the most widely used scripting languages widely used to develop web applications. For more details, PHP facilitates server-side or back-end development and is perfect for creating dynamic web-based applications. Code editors also allow the administration of multiple projects and the associated files. There is also an alternative to the code editor. That is called the IDE, which is Integrated Development Environment. There are various PHP IDEs on the market, and picking the right IDE for PHP is a difficult task. Therefore, to assist you, we will provide a list of the most well-known PHP IDEs on this list. Before we do that, let's make sure you know how an integrated development system (IDE) is and why you might require a PHP IDE.

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How do we use PHP IDE? What are the reasons Do We Need PHP IDE?

To fully appreciate the benefits of a PHP IDE, you have to understand what it can accomplish generally. For starters, the basics, an IDE (also known as an integrated development environment) (IDE) is software that integrates all necessary tools for developers, including an editor for code or debugger and different automation tools like profilers and documentation tools.

What is PHP, What Does It Do, And What Is It Used For?, Source: Youtube, WinningWP - Winning WordPress

The most significant benefit of working using the IDE can be that you do not search for additional tools to create and test your ideas. Additionally, the automation tools offered within an IDE aids in speeding the process of development, which means you'll be able to finish projects quicker.

Top Best PHP IDEs

If you're a novice or an experienced PHP developer, you are likely to find searching for the most effective PHP IDE. We've rounded up the most well-known and efficient PHP IDEs you could think about using. Additionally, we'll describe each IDE and highlight its primary characteristics to make it easier for you to choose. Here's the deal:


Although PHPStorm is the preferred choice for many PHP developers, it's still not completely free to use. In addition, unlike other IDEs provided by JetBrains with a free community edition, you're not going to receive more than a free 30-day trial for PHPStorm. However, the cost that comes with this IDE is not too expensive considering the features it offers. Additionally, PHPStorm supports HTML, CSS, and JavaScript vital for developing modern web applications.

Introduction to PhpStorm, Source: Youtube, JetBrainsTV

The Key Features

  • It includes a sophisticated PHP code editor that can support auto-completion of code syntax highlight, code refactoring, the detection of errors, and a myriad of other functions.
  • PHPStorm lets you create unit tests for PHP code with the help of PHPUnit and other testing frameworks.
  • It works with several popular versions of control systems, like Git, SVN, and Mercurial.
  • You can incorporate it with the tools needed to write SQL code and interact with databases.

Compatible Platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Price Plans: 199 USD per year for first-year users and $159 for the following year, and $119 to be used for the 3rd year.

Zend Studio

Zend Studio is a business IDE designed by Zend Technologies, and you have to buy a license to use it to create PHP applications. 

In terms of the ability to debug, Zend Studio outperforms other PHP IDEs because it provides the ability to integrate to Zend Server, which facilitates root cause analysis. Furthermore, Zend Server allows you to utilize specific tools, for instance, Xdebug, Zend Debugger, and Z-ray, to help speed up the process of debugging and make them more productive.

zend studio overview, Source: Youtube, Zend by Perforce

Principal Features

  • Refactoring code, intelligent code completion, and real-time detection of errors are just a few essential features in Zend Studio's editor for code.
  • Besides PHP code, you can utilize the IDE to develop front-end applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code.
  • It lets you integrate with various version control systems such as Git, CVS, and SVN.
  • You can increase the functionality in Zend Studio by installing various plugins on the Eclipse Marketplace.
  • Thanks to Docker support, you'll be able to handle Docker containers as well as images in Zend Studio. Zend Studio.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Prices Plan: The licensing choices are varied available for Zend Studio that starts at $89 and can go all the way to $670.

Aptana Studio

If you've been involved in software or web development for a long time, you may have had the opportunity to use Aptana Studio. It is regarded as the most effective IDE for PHP by many experienced developers. One of the most notable aspects of Aptana Studio is that it is built on the Eclipse IDE, and it comes with all the tools are required to build PHP projects of any size.

Aptana Studio 3, Source: Youtube, Francisco Arce

Although Aptana Studio is a web development IDE with native support for front-end technologies, You can utilize it to support PHP development using with PHP plugin. From coding assistance tools that are smart to a built-in debugger, this IDE provides everything you require to enhance your skills as a developer to the highest level. Additionally, the best part is that Aptana Studio is free and accessible for free.

The Key Features

  • It comes with an integrated terminal, allowing users to run commands from the operating system.

  • Aptana Studio offers code formatting and highlights errors.

  • It is possible to integrate it with Git.

  • It comes with a wizard for deployment.

  • The IDE is loaded with an array of customizable options.

  • Aptana Studio supports auto indentation.

Compatible Platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Price Plans: It is an IDE that IDE is available for free.


While it's a Java IDE, NetBeans comes with a solid help to PHP development. To begin writing PHP code with NetBeans, you'll need to install appropriate extensions. Additionally, NetBeans IDE can support HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, which allows you to create fully-fledged PHP applications. Another benefit of NetBeans is that they provide tutorials, guides, and guides to assist you in starting your journey to PHP development with NetBeans IDE. These learning sources are on the official website of NetBeans. Additionally, in terms of your overall user experience, NetBeans IDE comes loaded with numerous features that enhance the user experience of PHP developers.

Java NetBeans IDE Tutorial, Source: Youtube, Java Code Geeks

Principal Features

  • The PHP IDE includes an intelligent code editor that provides code formatting autocomplete, code refactoring, autocomplete along with code folding, and many other features.
  • It is compatible with a variety of keyboard shortcuts.
  • You can enhance the capabilities of NetBeans with the addition of various plugins, including Dracula LAF for NetBeans, EasyPmd, and Git Toolbar.
  • The Xdebug tool permits you to test PHP code both locally and remotely.
  • Unit tests can be written using PHPUnit as well as Selenium frameworks.

Compatible Platforms are: Windows, macOS, Linux, and BSD

Prices Plan: It is an IDE that IDE is accessible for use at no cost.


The process of creating PHP projects with an IDE is the best choice for anyone who is a developer. While learning how to work with a PHP IDE might be difficult, you'll find the effort worthwhile when familiar with it.

The PHP IDEs listed above are among the top ones on the market, and they're capable of making the experience of creating PHP-based web applications more enjoyable. Additionally, it is essential to think about your needs carefully when selecting an IDE.

For instance, if you require an IDE that offers all necessary features for free, You can choose NetBeans, EclipsePDT, or Aptana Studio. In the same way, if you are looking for an IDE with the latest capabilities and regular updates and are willing to shell out the cash for it in exchange for a premium price, the PHPStorm and Zend Studio can be the most suitable choice.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.



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