Stack OverflowAny good PHP IDE, preferably free or cheap?
[+257] [71] Tanerax
[2008-08-08 17:17:52]
[ php ide ]

Does anyone know of any good IDE (Code completion, Syntax coloring, etc) that will handle php. Looking for anything that might be relatively cheap or free and doesn't run like crap (IE: Eclipse)

(4) Would interested to know if anyone has down a side-by-side comparison of the oft-mentioned ones (such as Zend, Aptana, and NetBeans). - Novaktually
(1) (Wikipedia) List of PHP IDEs - Gordon
(2) Honestly, learn how to disable "code folding" in Eclipse -- that was the source of a HUGE speed issue for me and now that it is removed I have no problems - Andrew G. Johnson
Can't believe Emacs + UNIX as IDE has not been listed in here! - milo5b
[+219] [2008-08-08 17:20:55] cynicalman [ACCEPTED]

NetBeans [1] is a nice free editor that has been steadily adding support for languages like Ruby, PHP and Python. I've been using it on a MacBook Pro for Ruby and quite like it.

It has the standard IDE features like SCM integration and runs on most platforms.


PHP code completion related features in NetBeans seem to be better than the PHP plugins for Eclipse. - postfuturist
(13) Netbeans is the best IDE out of all that i've tried - Click Upvote
(1) I ditched Eclipse PDT a couple of weeks ago. Less bloat, nicer code completion, and better pop-up php documention. - MiseryIndex
I like netbeans, but found the PHP version to be very slow and the intelisense was only sometimes reliable. I ditched it for komodoEdit. - m42
Netbeans integration with subversion is a nice touch. - julz
(24) It's super slow on my MacBook with 1.5GB of RAM. I have bad experience with any of Java-based IDEs, be it NetBeans, Eclipse or Eclipse derivatives. - Viet
A recommendation for all Users that complain about slow Java Programs. Try an SSD, it makes the Appliation Startup and everything else much faster. I wonder how my Co - Workers can live without it. - Paul Weber
(3) I've never enjoyed netbeans. Then again, I'm a VIM kinda guy. - Incognito
(8) 1 - Java based things (including IDE's) are slow and eats too much memory, be it on a Mac or Windows. 2 - I don't want to install hardware just for the sake of an IDE, while no other IDE or any app thereof requires me to do it. - Halil Özgür
(1) I wouldn't run notepad on a machine with 1.5gb of memory. - Will
@Will send me some excess RAM :P But what's the point if you can do the job with less hardware :) (CO2 emissions, cost, etc) - Halil Özgür
@battal: co2 emissions? I don't think your savings of ten co2 molecules will make a dent. - Will
Then I hope you've heard of that jellyfish story :) All things start small. The ozone holes were small or even nonexistent. Since all those emissions were caused by humans (as far as we know) I challenge you with the question of "How any of us humans would be able to make a difference, if all of us think like that?", wihch makes me remember a MJ song (RIP). Sorry for the preaching :) PS: Yeah, it's not about that ten CO2 molecules, it's about trying to make it a habit... - Halil Özgür
I've been a fan of NetBeans until recently. It's shortcomings are proving to be too much for me to ignore. FTP support is buggy, and file transfers sometimes freak out and fail for no reason. I used to love it, but now it just feels like a cheaper version of Dreamweaver. Meh. - pspahn
[+70] [2010-01-17 23:00:49] Alexey Gopachenko

JetBrains new PhpStorm is definitely worth a try - just check the features [1]. And the price is below $100.

Also, see this answer [2] for some more insight


(11) PhpStorm seems to be a way to go - Michael
Can't even get it to start on Windows XP. Seems good on Mac. - vikkun
Works great on XP too for me. - Sarfraz
(1) The best PHP IDE ever! - Silver Light
(10) +1, PhpStorm is awesome. I'm surprised it doesn't get more love. It's by far the best PHP IDE I've tried, and I've tried more of them than I can count. - Russell Davis
(2) This is my favorite out of all the ones I've tried. They just released 2.0 and it's even better. - Mark
(3) PHPStorm is the best IDE when you write PHP-applications. The program is written mainly to PHP-developers, and thats a huge benefit. JetBrains does maintain and develop new features constantly, and I love their community. Written in Java, so it has multi-platform support. :) I use it as my #1 IDE at work! - qualbeen
(1) I think I might settle on phpStorm. It would be nice if it had a snappier UI, but everything else seems to be right in line what I'm looking for. Real FTP support, multi-platform (though OpenJDK isn't supported), and it's got all the regular bells and whistles. - pspahn
(1) Forget price! PHPStorm will pay for itself in savings from bottles of Advil within 1 week. Headaches aside, your code will be better, you can find bugs quicker, you can test and deploy easier, which means you can finally get the big $$$ you deserve... not to mention that it starts to get fun again. - FireCoding
(1) I moved to PHPStorm from Eclipse PDT and I'm very comfortable with PHPStorm - sultan
The only downside i have found with phpstorm is that lack of support for multi projects open at one time in a workspace. - John Magnolia
We moved to PHPStorm from PHPEd about 1 year ago, and to be honest at that time PHPEd was a hugely strong editor in the feature lacking / slow php area. PHPStorm has seriously improved productivity, I could not recommend it enough. It is a very strong IDE. - Gavin
Doesn't even let you edit files on FTP server, you have to download the whole effing thing. Not good for limited bandwidth connections. - Brian Patterson
@BrianPatterson Sounds like you had a bad experience. We do not use FTP so I could not comment on those features / lack of. We use file system deployment on a mounted network drive to dev server, and then svn to commit units of work up the chain. Works great in this scenario providing to both deployments. - Gavin
PHP Storm is great. 100% worth every dollar. - dimadima
[+67] [2008-09-07 02:18:11] Nick Stinemates

I prefer Eclipse [1] with PDT [2] installed. It contains:

  • A library of all PHP functions
  • Integrated WSDL Generator
  • Class Designer
  • UML Diagram support
  • Object/Instance "Linking"
    • Clicking on an Object results shows you it's definition.
    • Clicking on an instance shows you where it was defined.

(11) And mylyn, which is a plugin to eclipse for bug / feature tracking integration. - enobrev
(4) I know this guy said no to Eclipse, but I love PDT. - Nathacof
(4) Eclipse PDT is no NuSphere PhpEd, but it's free and I've been quit ehappy with it (then I re-discovered NetBeans). - MiseryIndex
[+46] [2008-08-09 16:01:50] TiTi

I recommend Notepad++ [1] It's a very powerful solution, open-source and moreover free...

I like the new functionnalities like the ftp plugins with the ability to automatically send the file your saving on the ftp :

ctrl+s => file save + file sent through network to the associated directory !


Eclipse has this too with its RSE plugin - nlaq
Eclipse has this too with its RSE plugin. Except it also supports SFTP and a few more. - nlaq
(6) But eclipse is super slow compared to notepad++ - Tim Boland
I tried notepad++ and prefer UltraEdit. However UltraEdit is not free. - JYelton
(38) not ide though, just text editor - CrazyJugglerDrummer
(2) Good suggestion. I use it most of the time when I'm on Windows. - Viet
(1) It is very good when you want to modify the existing code via s/ftp however it is not the best option for creating projects. - mad cheetah
Love it when i still use Windows, now i change to mac :( - GusDeCooL
[+44] [2008-08-09 16:28:15] Ben

I second Komodo [1] from ActiveState. They have Komodo Editor [2] which is their IDE [3] without their debugger and other features. The Editor recently went open which is good but I am not sure if I have seen any benefit as of yet.

Version 4.4 just came with the ability to create Zend Framework projects.

The 2 Great things about Komodo.
1)It is a user license, not an install license. I.E. if your company buys Komodo, you can use it a home, with the same license. This is great.
2) VI emulation. Coming from a unix world, this is fantastic. I wish more editors would offer this.

Komodo Edit [4]

Komodo IDE [5]


This ain't free... only tryout version - Patrick Desjardins
(5) vi emulation?? You got my attention! - Chad
The IDE costs, but the editor is free. - Echo
Yes. It love this one. Komodo Editor is free, my friends. Komodo IDE is not, though. But Komodo Editor itself is an IDE. - Viet
Komodo Editor does not have code Auto Format, which might be a pain for some. - Dirk
Komodo IDE 6.0 is really great for PHP, codeigniter and cakePHP. Let me know if you need any help or tutorial documents, I am happy to send them out to you. - Amit Pandya
I was almost sold on Komodo until I noticed a few things. One, there isn't any kind of real multi-monitor support. Sure you can make new windows and such, but it's so much better to have tear-off tabs. Two, they call it FTP, but it's more like a file browser. If they fixed these two things, I'd buy it, but as it is, it's completely useless for me. - pspahn
[+42] [2008-08-08 17:38:51] Thomas Owens

For all of my web development needs, I use Aptana [1], which has support for Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Adobe AIR, PHP, (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a few other things. It ties in nicely with various server software, has FTP (and I think SFTP), CVS and Subversion extensions, and more.

However, I have also heard good things about Eclipse for web development, but I only use Eclipse proper for desktop development (C, C++, Java). However, Aptana is built on Eclipse.


aptana is excellent for javascript, but it lacks of some useful features for php - avastreg
(16) aptana is the biggest memory hog in the world :/ i've had enough of it and escaped to Zend! - Shadi Almosri
(7) aptana IS Eclipse just more bloat ;) - Jakub
For those unhappy with previous versions of Aptana, check out Studio 3... - philfreo
Aptana 3 is all you need - mad cheetah
[+29] [2008-09-08 19:35:01] cocksucker

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned VIM. It's not an IDE out of the box but it has both features you mentioned (syntax highlighting and code completion) and provides better text-editing capabilities than any other editor mentioned here, albeit with a steeper learning curve.

(5) I'd say about a third of the people who show up to our local php meetup use VIM, including some of the Zend Framework team. I'm not quite there yet. - txyoji
[+21] [2008-08-09 13:35:28] UnkwnTech

I like PHPDesigner [1]


This is no longer my favorite, not by a long shot, my current favorite is VS.PHP, which is a PHP plugin for Visual Studio. - UnkwnTech
(5) +1 It's not Java based. - Django Reinhardt
(1) It's also really good. I forgot to mention that :) - Django Reinhardt
[+21] [2008-09-04 23:07:22] Edward Tanguay

What do you not like about Eclipse?

I used to use JEdit but switched to Eclipse PDT after I realized how easy it makes working on larger projects: time-saving code completion on my own classes and methods, pressing F3 takes you to the function your cursor is on, has useful macro-like things called templates, PHP-Doc macros, put your cursor on a PHP function and press SHIFT-F2 and it takes you to the PHP site and looks up that function. CTRL-SHIFT-F re-indents everything. All these things you constantly use everyday and they just save you lots of time. I made a tutorial showing you how to install Eclipse PDT, Apache 2.2, PHP 5, MySQL 5, and phpMyAdmin in 30 minutes and demonstrate how to use these features:

Tutorial: Install a PHP Development Environment with Eclipse PDT, Apache 2.2, PHP 5, MySQL 5, and phpMyAdmin Using XAMPP Lite [1]


The link gives me a 404. Do you have an updated URL? - Marcel Tjandraatmadja
thanks, link should work now - Edward Tanguay
that's a real idiot-proof tutorial :-) Step 1: how to install 7-zip :-) - Natrium
(1) You never know. - Edward Tanguay
+1 for an awesome tutorial. - Andrew Coleson
Eclipse is very slow. Can not even load our project, whereas Netbeans has no problems. - eddy147
[+15] [2008-12-28 13:48:28] bmeynell

VIM. I've dabbled with other editors/IDE's but always go back.

(4) Have to second this. I used eclipse for use but after switching to vim and the unix shell, never looked back. - Ali
Same thing for me :) I set up shortcuts for tabbing (ctrl+n for :tabnext and ctrl+p for :tabprev). In combination with putting vim in the background (ctrl+z), this is very effective. - Danilo Bargen
Third that! IDEs just arent that great with dynamic languages. - James Anderson
[+13] [2008-08-08 17:21:20] Simon Gillbee

I've used Komodo from ActiveState [1] with some success. I've not needed to go elsewhere. For personal use, this IDE is free.


[+11] [2008-08-15 15:54:33] Lukifer

On the Mac side, my favorite is Coda [1]. It's not free ($79), but it has an elegant interface and rich feature-set (auto-complete, integrated FTP, graphical CSS, collaborative editing).

In the free department, I'd have to say TextWrangler [2], aka BBEdit Lite. Not an IDE, but quite a good text editor with syntax highlighting and so forth.


Coda does auto-complete native php functions, but Eclipse can auto-complete user-created functions, which is super-helpful in larger projects, and projects with loads of 3rd party libraries. - lo_fye
I have just been turned on to Coda, from previously using Adobe Dreamweaver. Coda is more fluent, and faster with uploading. I highly recommend it - pws5068
not IDE though. - GusDeCooL
[+11] [2008-09-09 20:58:15] Darryl Hein

I currently use PhpEd by Nusphere [1].

The biggest problem I have with most editors is that it's not a one click operation to save locally and remotely. Most of the time, I work directly on a development server; the main reasons being because I work on multiple machines and it would take hours to get setup on each machine. The second reason is the major differences between my local machine and remote. In PhpEd you can save either just locally or both locally and remotely (Ctrl + Shift + S). For me this saves a lot of time. It can upload through a large number of methods (SSH, FTP, WebDav).

The editors also includes a debugger, code navigators, ssh, DB client along with many other features. It also allows you to use the shell menu from Windows Explorer directly, which helps if you want to Tortise or just view the properties of a file.

The cost is a bit prohibitive, but they do release updates often, although it is a subscription.

There are hundreds of other features too.


As for me, PhpEd has the best user interface among other PHP IDE. So it is the second reason (after MS Office) to run virtual Windows on OSX. I really wish Nusphere to make some RubyEd with a version for Mac. - Andrei
I run it in a VM as well and yeah, wish there was an native OSX version and a way to make it portable (as their website does). - Darryl Hein
PHPED ROXX BIG TIME! The best among all the editors. It's fast, user friendly, you can change every aspect of the editor interface, the colors and most important of all, the settings export/import is uber simple. I've used Zend Studio before, but it was overbloated, slow and cumbersome. - Jauzsika
[+10] [2008-08-20 20:52:11] Michael Luton

If you're on a Mac I'd suggest trying out TextMate [1]. It's a free lightweight text editor written by a UNIX guy so there's a fair amount of shell integration and other pretty cool features I haven't seen anywhere else.


I'll second the TextMate recommendation, though it isn't actually free. After the 30 day trial, you've got to pay $57 for it. - Wilco
Worth every penny, one of the few products I have bought on the Mac. - jimiyash
[+8] [2008-08-09 18:02:16] Martin

I've heard good things about vs.php [1] which allows you to develop PHP in Visual Studio. There is even a standalone version that does not require a Visual Studio license. It's not free however, but at about about $99 I think it is well worth it if you can harness the power of the frankly superb VS IDE.


I really love VS and didn't want to get used to another IDE so thats why I gave vs.php a try. The VS workflow integration was first class, but I was disapointed with some basic bugs and very poor after sales service. At one point they blocked all bug-fix downloads to Thailand where I live and I couldn't patch my legal copy. After moving over to Netbeans I can't believe I have put up with such an inferior system for so long. - JannieT
[+6] [2008-10-09 16:43:49] Causas

PSPad [1] is awesome and is capable of running from a USB key :)


[+5] [2008-09-02 02:02:55] Mark Nold

I've used UltraEdit [1] for a long time as my general purpose text/script editor. It has a plugins for syntax highlighting which work well once set up. PHP, Perl, HTML, C, C++ are all supported.

It doesn't support code completion.

It also has good DIFF tool, FTP/SFTP support, HEX editor, excellent macros, and loads of little features like a column select mode which is great for those odd occasions you need it.

NB: It is not free but cheap at around $50 USD


UltraEdit (at least now) does support code completion, both native code and code you've already written. - seanmonstar
UltraEdit is my preference for fast web coding as well as a great replacement for notepad. - JYelton
UltraEdit Studio does also support xDebug debugging, class viewer, CVS/SVN integration, and many other improvements... IMHO, UES can compete with other products (Aptana, Komodo, PDT, Zend Studio, ...) but beats them when dealing with numerous source files... - Arno
[+5] [2009-02-16 23:29:25] Cubny

my choices after 5 years of PHP programming:

  1. Netbeans v.6+
  2. Vim (with: colorscheme xoria256 , NERDTree)
  3. Gedit ( snippets, Darkmate theme)
  4. Zend 5.5 (very stable)

[+4] [2008-08-08 17:21:39] yukondude

I've been following the NetBeans for PHP [1] project but haven't actually tried it myself. I was impressed with version 6.1's support for Rails though, so if they can do the same with PHP, it'll be a keeper.

I use Zend Studio for PHP myself. Gotta pay for that one though.


[+4] [2008-08-08 17:33:25] cmcculloh

Try Aptana [1]. I use it and love it.

Before that I used Textpad [2] with the php [3] syntax definition [4] (try all the PHP syntax definitions until you find one right for you). Don't judge Textpad by it's cover. It's rock solid and really really useful. It has lots of useful addons [5] as well (with room to write your own if you want). Best of all, it's free, and it has excellent macros support (which is a huge thing eclipse is lacking).

The reason I switched to Aptana was so that I could automatically upload a file on save (there is a script you have to install to get it to do that) but I just noticed that there is an addon to get Textpad to do that for you... Although Textpad doesn't have tab-auto complete nativly (there is an addon for that too though).


Textpad is not free it costs $28.60 per licence. - Toby Allen
Textpad is nag-ware. You can use it forever without paying for it. It just nags you every time you start it. - projecktzero
[+4] [2008-09-03 19:37:19] Czimi

There is PHPEdit from which is inexpensive and I used it until we switched to Zend Studio. PHPedit is free for non-profit coding, just ask for a personal licence.

[+4] [2009-03-06 09:08:48] Stas

I know and use very good free PHP IDE -

Regards, Stas.

[+3] [2008-09-08 21:02:18] Eric Willis

I use Php IDE by JCX Software, a PHP plugin for Visual Studio (there is also a stand-alone version). I use it specifically because it's integrated so well with Visual Studio. Debugging works really well if you're used to the VS-style debugger.

You can select the version of PHP you want a particular debug instance to run against. It sets up Apache and PHP for you (not that it's hard to do, just convenient).

It's $99 or so and upgrades are less. I think student pricing is even cheaper.

[+2] [2008-08-09 15:34:23] Tom

I also have another vote for Aptana. The application is available as a stand-alone [1], or as a plug-in [2] for Eclipse [3]. I personally prefer Eclipse with the plug-in because I use it for development in other languages (like Java), but if you're primarily doing web development then Aptana is the way to go.


[+2] [2008-08-09 17:52:36] jtyost2

DevPHP isn't bad, it's what I currently use at work. Eclipse is also really good.

[+2] [2008-09-05 00:12:54] Bob Somers

I checked out and have fully switched to Aptana [1] after reading this thread. I'm really loving it so far.


[+2] [2008-09-08 14:56:11] jeremyclarke

Every time I try to use one of the big IDE things it just seems slow and confusing. My tip for the up and coming developper is to use a simple but useful text editor with syntax highlighting and tab/bracket support (I like Smultron on mac, but there are tons like TextEdit, Notepad++ etc), then use phpXref to browse their code when they need to follow a process.

PhpXref is a bunch of perl scripts that ouput an interlinked version of your code, you can search for a function and see where it's defined and where its called. All source code is linked to function, variable etc information. It's pretty easy to run locally, you just add your source to a directory in the phpxref install and hit the perl script, you then have a bunch of html files that explain your code perfectly (phpdoc supported!).

This keeps your normal editor as simple as possible (and light, which is nice when you're working on your to do list with the same editor), but gives you the opportunity to dig deeper and do analysis on your code when you need to.

Example phpxref (wordpress trunk) [1]

Caveat: I work almost exclusively on plugins and themes for the wordpress package, so I have no experience writing my own humonguous applications.

P.S. Someone said TextMate is free above but it's not. It's powerful and cool but 70$ is a lot and I find the Free/Open Source Smultron gives you almost all the benefit at 100% less cost.


[+2] [2008-09-08 19:05:26] SeanDowney

I'm just gonna say no. I've tried out several IDE's and they all have pro and cons for each one. I gave up looking for the "visual studio" of ide's for php

just try vs.php in combiniation with vs ;) - Thomaschaaf
(1) I'm so glad someone else actually agrees with me on this. Anyone who claims that some IDE or other which happens to support PHP development has yet "arrived" as the premier IDE to use, clearly doesn't do much programming. - Brian Lacy
I agree. It's like looking for a wife at a whore house; you may get some things that you want and are fun, but at the end of the day, you still married trash. - pspahn
@pspahn good heavens! I can't decide whether this is decidedly amusing or whether it lowers the tone on this very sober site! The former I think. - mike rodent
[+2] [2008-09-08 20:36:46] Botto

Geany is a good editor overall, has many languages built in. It's both on Windows and Linux, don't know of any mac versions though. It's light and fast, isn't overcumbered with features that makes it a giant, however you have to download the engine/compiler in question. Geany [1]


[+2] [2009-02-17 09:02:25] Click Upvote

I've bought PhpDesigner [1] and i never want to go back. It actually makes a list of all function names, class names, class members, constants, etc in every file in your project, and uses them for auto-completing your code. Its blazing fast! I never want to go back.


[+2] [2010-12-24 17:55:39] Brandon G

JetBrains PhpStorm wasn't out at the time this was written, which is why I'm giving such a late response.

If you buy now its only $49 bucks, and it is hands down better than any other PHP IDE out there.

[+2] [2011-01-09 21:14:45] Craig Simpson

Another option is EditRocket [1]. It is not very widely known but is very good for PHP, JavaScript, Python, HTML, etc. and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Another option is UltraEdit. It is a very good all around editor and has been around forever.


[+2] [2011-01-25 08:32:09] eav

I'm using phpeclipse, you can easyly download it here:

[+2] [2011-02-22 05:55:58] FireCoding

PHPStorm (the new 2.0 version) is insanely awesome -- very customizable, very fast, very SMART. Highlights:

  • List item
  • You can setup logical locations of files and map them against physical locations (ie, great for setting up whatever flavor of PHP framework you're using).
  • The code completion is outstanding, and worked out of the box with the Kohana 3 framework (never seen an IDE do this on the first try!).
  • The PHP refactoring alone is worth the price of $100 for a single developer.
  • I have also been using the PHP and JS debugger like crazy... I setup my own hotkeys for STEP-OVER and STEP-INTO, etc, and I'm just FLYING compared to working in Aptana.
  • I haven't yet gotten into the automated testing, but that's integrated too.
  • Oh yes, SVN is also integrated, and seems rock solid. It also comes with a built in "history" mechanism for tracking micro-changes to files.

After owning this for 2 weeks it's already paid for itself several times over, and is worth much more than I paid for it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED... at least worth the time to fuss with the trial version.

[+1] [2008-08-08 17:35:56] Josh

I advise against E Text Editor - its syntax highlighting is buggy, its display is buggy and it wants all of cygwin to do anything. I'm using Eclipse and I'm not seeing any performance problems, and it seems rock solid.

[+1] [2008-08-14 15:16:55] hromanko

As Tom and others have mentioned, free and good -- Eclipse with Aptana plug-in.

[+1] [2008-08-19 14:21:08] Ivan Peevski

On Linux - Quanta is pretty good.

Also Eclipse with PDT or PHPEclipse plugins, disabling automatic building, HTML validation and team functions works well.

[+1] [2008-08-21 06:09:52] Henrik Paul

NetBeans 6.5 beta [1] got native support for PHP -- I'm beginning to like it more than Eclipse with the DPT plugin.


[+1] [2008-08-21 12:33:26] csixty4

I've been running a trial version of Zend Studio, and I'm loving it. It's just like using Eclipse (because it is Eclipse when you get down to it), but it also does static analysis, and puts little "!" icons next to suspect code. I've enjoyed using it, but I'm really not looking forward to buying a license when the trial runs out.

[+1] [2008-08-21 12:36:35] Ross

I've used PHPDesigner and NetBeans mainly. NetBeans takes a bit of getting used to as the tabbing is a bit wierd but it's an extremely powerful IDE - containing FTP management, DB browsing, CVS and SVN built in grouping everything all together in a project layout.

PHPDesigner is perfect for small edits, when you're away from home for example. If you don't need huge packages and are okay with just an editor go for PHPDesigner.

[+1] [2008-08-26 08:57:29] Ramuns Usovs

I'm using Eclipse with PDT, and I must say I can't really imagine myself using anything else.

[+1] [2008-08-28 13:28:25] lo_fye

I am a big fan of Zend Studio (the non-Eclipse-based one). But if you need free, Aptana Studio is quite good and waaaay less clunky than your basic Eclipse install. If you need more clunk, though (CVS, SVN), the Aptana plug-in for Eclipse is pretty good, too.

[+1] [2008-10-02 11:35:16] alexandrul

I am using HTML-Kit 292 [1], a bit outdated but has many plugins and is very fast (also free). PHP support and the PHP offline manual can be integrated by various plugins.


[+1] [2008-10-09 16:34:55] Kris

Textmate all the way [1] But you need a Mac for that. Also, unfortunately, it doesn't provide real debugging tools (so it's no different from any other text editor in that regard.


[+1] [2008-12-28 12:43:03] Burak Erdem

I tried so many applications over the years; like Homesite, UltraEdit [1], Notepad++ [2], e [3], Eclipse PDT [4], Dreamweaver [5]. After trying Aptana [6] I decided to go on with Aptana. The latest version (1.2) is the best. Aptana has some very useful plugins like Adobe AIR, iPhone, RadRails etc.

The interface is very usable, it has code complation, PHP and Javascript frameworks support, project support, code colorization, source control.


[+1] [2009-02-17 08:50:21] Alex

I second the NetBeans 6.5

It's very good and light, much faster on my platform than Eclipse & Co -based IDEs, and, of course, it's multiplatform.

For just an editor, I'd say Vim/MacVim, or Textmate on MacOS.

[+1] [2009-09-06 21:10:47] BraedenP

Totally phpDesigner. It has syntax highlighting for multiple languages, as well as the fact that it greys out code in other languages while you're editing a particular language in a code file.

It has project support for grouping files, ftp locations, etc.

It supports intellisense, as well as custom functions/methods/classes.

It's just FANTASTIC! And, it's the fastest IDE I've ever worked with. It seems like a pain to use Visual Studio for my .NET projects after having worked with phpDesigner.

[+1] [2010-05-04 08:15:58] MikeSchinkel

PhpEd on Windows (I use on Windows) PhpStorm on Mac/Windows/Linux (I use on Mac)

PhpEd is great, it just works so incredibly well.

PhpStorm has some annoying issues (like they won't offer a simple "Save As" or "Rename" that doesn't try to refactor even though 95% of the time I'm trying to simply change a filename or directory name I just created literally 2 minutes ago and they won't listen on these issues because they believe their way is better) but otherwise its by far the best PHP IDE I've tried, even better than PhpEd because it can do so much more.

[+1] [2010-06-28 07:31:03] ina

I use PHP Designer Personal Edition

[+1] [2010-07-10 22:11:36] Rodrigo

I've been using UltraEdit [1] for a quite long time, not that the other editors are worse, but my experience with Eclipse was really awful, setting it up is was bitch, editing highlight colors is a real pain and finally one thing that bothers me in mostly of those programming targeted editors is that they have a excess of organization, let's take Eclipse for an example, you need to create a project, organize it into folders etc etc no matter how small is your project you always need to act like you're working into a big framework.

Ultraedit does not have all the integrated features of others, but you can easily improve it by adding scripts for syntax checking and others.


[+1] [2010-07-25 03:26:47] Eric C C

No matter which editor/IDE I use, it always feels like I'm missing something from another editor/IDE I've used before. For quick edits, I use vim. When working on projects, I have most recently been using jEdit -- which is quite nice. Notepad++ is comparable. I also like Sublime Edit but it is not better than vim nor is it good when working on projects.

I am currently trying out both Komodo Edit (which has vi controls) and PHPEd to possibly replace jEdit. And if I could just get slightly more comfortable with vim for this reason I don't think I'd need a second editor ever again.

Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to try both of these. - George Marian
I tend to disagree here. I use SublimeText on a lot of projects and find it's quite nice. Just use windows explorer as your package viewer and presto, it works just fine. - WarmWaffles
[0] [2008-08-08 17:27:24] Kevin

I recommend Crimson Editor [1]. There isn't code completion, but you can download the PHP CHM help file and configure Crimson to launch it and view the documentation for any function with a hotkey. It is a pretty powerful tool.

Another editor I've been using lately is E Text Editor [2], only because it has better FTP support than Crimson.


[0] [2008-09-08 20:48:28] Keith Maurino

I have tried a bunch and the one that I like the most is ConText. It's freeware and has syntax highlighting for many different programming languages including PHP. Plus it is fully customizable to how you want your highlighting to work and there are a large number of pre-configured highlighters that you can download from there website.

[0] [2008-09-11 07:48:51] Effata

I've tried Eclipse+PDT, Zend Studio and Aptana. So far Aptana has been my favorite. The biggest downside is lack of Smarty support. Other than that i love having code completion everywhere, not just in php documents. Editing CSS is a lot easier now, it even indicates browser support on various arguments.

[0] [2008-09-17 17:23:00] emilio

mmm... well, I like phpedit [1]

it's very good IDE, fast and powerful


[0] [2008-09-17 19:24:34] Stuart

I saw a comment above about using Komodo. Komodo Edit, a simple text editor, is free but the IDE, which you are looking for, is not. Just FYI.

[0] [2008-10-22 17:51:34] kevtrout

Not sure if an IDE is the same as a code editor, but the latter is what I use. On the PC I recommend Crimson Editor as others above, and On the Mac, Coda has floated by boat for a while now. Nothing beats the remote editing and saving.

An IDE is not a Code Editor. That's why its an "Integrated Development Environment" -- it integrates various development tools alongside the code editor. Not trying to be facetious, just trying to clarify for anyone who may not know the difference. - Brian Lacy
[0] [2008-11-24 19:50:07] Artur Ejsmont

We are using eclipse europa with php extension and xdebug on server side.

Its all on windows (unfortunately) Wamp server with xdebug as dll extension for php and suprisingly it all works perfectly. Debugging step by step and all that stuff works nicely.

keyboard shortcuts and general editor is on a very nice level as well.

[0] [2009-03-04 04:41:32] Oscar M.

I get by with jedit with the ftp, phpparser, jedit, and sidekick plugins. For me, it provides most of the functionality that bigger IDE's do wtihout as much bloat.

I've used, and for a large project would recommend Eclipse with PDT, primarily for SVN integration, although if you like code-completion, et al, I'd suggest you look at Eclipse first.

[0] [2009-03-27 15:57:15] Strae

It's like 3 years that i work on Crimson [1]. It's free, quick, stable, and...(dont know how to explain it in english...) really fair-use.

Is even simple and old: forget the syntax suggestions.

Otherwise, Notepad++ [2] have some additional feature and is stable aswell.

On linux system, i suggest DevPHP [3] or Komodo Edit [4]


[0] [2009-05-10 14:09:14] Jason

While it's not free I really like Textmate (MAC) or E-Text Editor (MS) The bundle functionality make it worth the minimal proce.

[0] [2009-08-25 15:56:38] Good Time Tribe

I'm very surprised to not see Quanta+ [1] listed anywhere. It's my favorite editor across any platform and should be able to run great on your macbook.


[0] [2009-11-04 00:09:10] Ben Dauphinee

I've been sticking with DevPHP [1] for years now. Love the functionality, and totally free.


Could you elaborate on the functionality? The website is repulsive and I can't seem to find a feature list. - MiseryIndex
Standard IDE functionality. I don't know that there is anything special about this IDE that others do not have, except the small footprint. I keep a copy on my flash drive, and an install is easy as dumping the folder to Program Files and associating .php files to it. All settings are in the program dir. That is why I like using it. - Ben Dauphinee
[0] [2010-04-20 08:40:15] wishi

Apatana's Eclipse plugin hasn't any php support on its own - for now. Therefore its capabilities fall back to PDT on Eclipse. I have tried Zend Studio, works fine. In comparison to PDT's xdebug Zend's features are way more advanced. However it's expensive. A good and free PHP IDE these days doesn't really exist. Even NetBeans (most people like it) support is relatively crappy, compared with the commercial alternatives - when it comes to debugging, code assist and especially code completion.

I personally hope that JetBrains does something about this soon: They call it PHP storm: I'm enthusiastic about that... however that won't be free unless they go the IDEA way with it - having a community version.

Right now, if free is a must, I'd stick with PDT 2.0. And I'd never rely on any of the features because they're immature.

[0] [2010-10-06 23:27:30] antlik

Vim [1] and jEdit [2] (with bunch of plugins) is everything what I need ;)


[0] [2010-10-30 13:24:37] Tracy

I am currently testing Netbeans 7 at the moment and I am well impressed. I used to use Aptana but I am not keen on Version 3.

[0] [2011-05-18 09:27:14] Joris Mans

All of you just using a texteditor to edit code, how do you debug your code? For me the first thing a good IDE needs is a decent debugger.

[0] [2011-06-26 03:33:20] Rajasekar Gunasekaran
[0] [2012-03-09 04:15:44] Tac

This is an old post with many responses and comments but I think I have something to add. I've been using WeBuilder from Blumentals Software [1] for about four years now. I'm currently using the WeBuilder 2011 version (the latest) having started on WeBuilder 2009 (I think). It's not freeware but not expensive either ($49.95 for a personal license).

Why do I like it: quick, flexible and intuitive. Handles many languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP + some others) all with a useful code-completion feature. (They even have support for code-completion on jQuery and a few other libraries). Bunches of other goodies - a SQL Explorer that's quite functional, an FTP client that's easy to use, library snippets ... .

The support is good and they have user forums that are useful. There are other features I haven't mentioned, so if you're looking, you may wan't to check it out.


[0] [2012-06-18 12:00:42] Rahul

You can use Quantaplus [1], its a free and have similar options like in Dreamweaver, so you can use it at for php. Although it supports other language also.


[-2] [2009-07-26 22:37:50] Brian Lacy

My Answer: Zend Studio 5.5, followed by Eclipse PDT or Aptana.

And yes, I realize that Zend is not free OR cheap.

Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of any IDE out there, whether you have to pay for it or not and regardless of how pricey it is. That said, the very LEAST crappy IDE for php development is Zend Studio 5.5 -- it is the ONLY IDE that has every feature a PHP dev needs. Unlike Eclipse, it lets you manage projects of all shapes and sizes very easily, and integrating multiple FTP/SFTP sources into your projects is a no-brainer.

While Zend Studio 5.5 vastly outweighs all others as MY IDE of choice, the downsides are still considerable: 1) It is buggy. Once in awhile things that usually work fine will break temporarily. Like Find in Files (an extremely useful feature) or on rare occasions, the ordinary rendering of text (easily remedied with any activity that force-refreshes the editor, like Word Wrap on-then-off). 2) It is expensive. $299 for a single, standard Professional license. 3) It is deprecated. For some bizarre, unknown reason, Zend has decided to take their very best IDE ever (namely, Zend Studio 5.5) and completely scrap it. Versions 6 and 7 are built on top of Eclipse PDT. They still cost $300 a pop, and they are basically just Eclipse PDT with a few extra features that are missing from Eclipse PDT, like SFTP and whatnot.

If you can find a way to buy Zend Studio 5.5, it will make you happy, but its not perfect.