Every experienced coder will agree to the fact that having the best coding software or editor is a must for quality coding. This coding software or editor is called IDE or Integrated Development Environment. A software editor has the potential to increase the productivity of a coder to a whole new level. Before going directly into which PHP coding software or editor is best, you have understood what an ideal IDE should have to be qualified enough to feature in the list of the bests. It is also important to note that editor and coding software are interchangeable unlike in previous times, when editor used to be something general like notepad whereas coding software used to be the actual IDE.

What Should An Ideal IDE Must Have?

An ideal IDE should be simple but feature-rich. The compiler and debugger must be robust and there must be advanced refactoring tools. It must have high-quality error checking feature along with ‘intellisense’ by which it should detect errors before compilation and provide suggestions for immediate rectifications. The IDE should also have a visual GUI builder which has become essential in today’s scenario. Most importantly, it must be intuitive and have autocomplete feature to speed up coding like never before. An IDE can be called complete in the real sense if it has integration with the database system. Some advanced IDEs have syntax coloring for easy understating, proper management of files and project modules, sharing across development, project configurations and various other useful features that can boost the productivity of the coder.

Top Three PHP Coding Software –

There are so many editors available for PHP coders thanks to its wide popularity. We have shortlisted the top three from them based on their features and functionalities. Mention special goes to NuSphere, Sublime, and Zend Studio which are also extremely popular among certain sections of PHP developers.

Eclipse –

Eclipse is not only popular among PHP developers but also among various other developers like Java and Android. It is very close to getting the title of universal editor. The best part about Eclipse is that It is a cross-platform tool which means you can work on it in Windows, Linus, and even Mac. When it comes to developing large and complex projects in PHP, Eclipse seems to be an automatic choice. As a matter of fact, Eclipse is preferred by most of the developing companies in PHP.

Some of the features for which Eclipse stands out for robust error reporting which is automatic, it supports Git flow which has become essential for developing PHP applications, and there are literally unlimited plugins with which you can automatize almost anything and discover features like never before. Apart from these, various tools can be integrated seamlessly and it is ideal for GUI as well as non-GUI applications.

NetBeans –

NetBeans is older than Eclipse in experience and Eclipse is considered to be an upgrade of NetBeans because both of them got started with Java before expanding towards PHP. The best reason for the popularity of NetBeans among various corporate houses is its modular development approach. All real-life project developments happen in the modular structure. Not only that, Netbeans supports a lot of PHP frameworks that are highly popular like WordPress, CakePHP, Zend, and likewise.

The code compilation is smart due to the fact that the errors shown are quite detailed. In comparison to Eclipse, it is faster and lightweight. It also has support for embedded applications than Eclipse lacks. The autocomplete feature is extremely robust to boost the speed of coding.


As you can make out of its name, the editor is primarily designed for PHP developers, unlike Eclipse or NetBeans which started with Java only. Interestingly, PHPStorm is also written in Java like the other two. The last few years were the years of the rise in the popularity of PHPStorm. The striking features of PHPStorm are syntax highlighting for rich coding experience and easy readability. It supports all the popular PHP frameworks like Laravel, Drupal, WordPress and the support number is more than NetBeans. It is super fast and smooth and one feature that makes it stand out completely is the live editing for all front-end technologies.

Which Is The Best?

Out of all the PHP coding software available PHPStorm clearly stands out. It is tailor-made for web developers in PHP. When it comes to choosing the best, you must choose the one that is designed for PHP only. It supports almost all the popular frameworks you have to ever work with. The debugging system is unmatched. The code analysis is of high-quality and it supports PHPUnit tests and GitHub. As a matter of fact, it supports all the languages that can be integrated with PHP like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and likewise. You can work on the IDE at lightning speed with zero distraction and with multiple developer-friendly inputs to prevent errors and configure your project perfectly.