Top 12 PHP Development Tools For Efficient PHP Developers in 2023

Almost all companies have their websites today. It is because they know the importance of a website. A large number of people have access to the internet and take services online. In this case, if a company doesn’t have a website, it can’t reach numerous target audiences. If you want to use PHP for website building, you can get confused while choosing the best PHP development tools.

It is because several tools have come to the market for PHP developers. So that they can develop an effective website with less code using the right IDE for PHP development ide.

Website and PHP app development is crucial for your business, so you should have basic knowledge of the programming language and its tools. It helps you to hire the best PHP web development company for your project.

This blog will make you aware of the top 12 PHP development tools and their features. Let’s begin the journey with knowing PHP.

What Is PHP?

Originally PHP was known as ‘Personal Home Page’. But, now people know it as PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). It is an open-source, general-purpose scripting language. This language is used to develop websites and web applications. Moreover, it helps to build dynamic and interactive websites.

The first version of PHP came around 26 years ago. You must be thinking, it’s old and there are many other good languages apart from it. Then why are we still using it?

Get the answer to this question in the below section. Have a look.


Why Is PHP Still Popular?

“Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.”-Brenda Laurel, PhD., Independent Scholar

By reading the above quote you must have understood, if technology is still useful and relevant, then you shouldn’t ignore it. The same thing is with PHP and PHP IDEs. A lot of people think that this language is obsolete and not used in the present context. But, it’s not true.

Several famous companies and top web development service providers still use it. Facebook, Wikipedia, Tumblr, WordPress, Canva, and the list of websites and web apps that use PHP is long. As per the data of the W3Tech website, PHP is used by more than 78% of all websites with the known server-side programming language.

A suitable PHP IDE helps developers to build effective software. PHP version 7 is used by approx 70% of all the websites that use the PHP programming language. And, it stands at number three in the popularity of website development languages.

These facts must have helped you to know the answer to the question ‘Why is PHP still popular?’. Moreover, the below-given reasons will clear your remaining doubt.

  • It is an easy, plain, and simple language
  • Updated versions of PHP are available
  • PHP is an open-source language
  • It is versatile, tried & tested
  • Works properly with CMS

So, it’s not true that ‘PHP is dead.’ Still, a lot of developers and companies are using it.

Several PHP development tools enhance the importance of the language. If you don’t know the PHP language or what the development tool is, you can face issues when you hire dedicated PHP developers.

What Are the PHP Development Tools?

PHP development tools help developers to create a feature-rich, innovative, and engaging website and app in a short time. They can test and debug code using the PHP IDE effectively. You can use the integrated development environment to create and enhance new software. PHP has some limitations, but with the help of PHP development tools, developers can overcome these limitations.

There are two types of tools: the first is IDE and the second is a text editor. Let’s know about both, one by one for clarity.

What Is an IDE?

IDE is an acronym for ‘Integrated Development Environment’. It has some basic tools that a developer needs to build, test a website, and test web applications. Likewise, code refactoring, debugging, and syntax highlighting.

During the software, web server, and website development cycle, several tasks are performed. And if a developer uses a different PHP development tool every time for each task, he will end up wasting all his time and energy.

So, there is a need to have an integrated development environment for development that has consolidated tools. And an IDE offers that environment. A PHP IDE has all the syntax highlighting and many other components of PHP.

PHP web developers can implement and validate errors in debugging code in real time. Many other PHP development tools sound like PHP IDE. Professional developers can identify which is PHP IDE and PHP development tool.

What Is a Text Editor?

It is used to edit text, especially programming language files. The commonly used text editors are Notepad and Wordpad. Although the text editors are not directly related to the programming language, they work with the PHP frameworks.

You can perform basic editing such as copy, cut, paste, and undo with the help of text editors.

Both types of tools have their importance. Likewise, the text editor is a simple PHP development tool, while IDE is a full-fledged software environment. You can select the best PHP frameworks if you know about the PHP development tool type.

Here are the best examples of PHP development tools for efficient developers for code refactoring and a command line interface for feature-rich PHP projects. Find your favorite PHP development tool in the below section.


12 Best PHP Development Tools in 2023

Most businesses want dynamic and interactive websites so they look for an advanced PHP editor. Many PHP frameworks are old but still used by a large PHP developer community. The PHP development tools also support popular content management systems, so developers don’t have to move from one tool to another for CMS.

PHP tools are capable enough to support various features and components of other tools. So, ready to explore the list of PHP tools, PHP frameworks, and PHP IDE for the best web development process.

Let’s read about these tools one by one.

PHP Storm:


  • It is the best PHP IDE for most PHP developers because it supports code refactoring and unit testing.
  • Some frameworks like Zend, Yii, Laravel, CakePHP, and others work effectively with this tool.
  • It is fast, smooth, and lightweight. The best CakePHP web development company discusses this tool with the client.
  • The live editing support for the different technologies like HTML5, CSS, and Javascript of this tool is effective.
  • It empowers developers to integrate with version control systems.

Code Lobster:


  • Code Lobster is one of the popular PHP tools. It is a portable integrated development environment ide.
  • This IDE is from the Code Lobster software firm.
  • Many development companies use it because it supports a wide range of PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Codeigniter, Joomla, and Drupal.
  • It proves effective for the developers of a Laravel web development company.

PHP Debugbar:


  • As the name implies, it’s a PHP debugger, and it can run on any project.
  • It can monitor network traffic, inspect CSS elements, and handle AJAX requests.
  • PHP debugger has a fast and easy-to-use interface.
  • It supports languages such as Ruby, .Net, and Java other than PHP.
  • Till now, it supports PHP version 5.5
  • It can be the best option for profiling data from different web applications.



  • Netbeans PHP ide has features to support multiple languages.
  • It was initially used for java development and later for php projects.
  • Initially, this IDE was used only for Java, but now it is widely used in PHP web development also.
  • It is lightweight, supportive, and faster.
  • Netbeans also supports languages like Japanese, Chinese, and Russian, Apart from English.

Zend Studio:


  • The developers don’t have to give much time and energy to using the Zend framework
    web development tool.
  • With the help of Eclipse plugins, the developers can extend the Zend Studio tool.
  • Indexing and searching PHP code is easy in the Zend framework.
  • Provides faster performance in the validation.
  • Install the Zend debugger extension for optimal remote debugging while using Zend Studio.
  • The monitoring features of the Zend debugger provide a complete view.
  • The Zend framework supports the languages Javascript, Visual Basic, C#, and others.

Cloud 9:


  • Cloud 9 IDE was initially open source cloud IDE.
  • It is a cloud-based PHP web development tool. Thus you can access your projects from anywhere. You only need a good internet connection.
  • It has features like browser compatibility testing and live preview.
  • This tool allows you to create serverless apps, define resources, and debug the remote.
  • Real-time language analysis makes it different from other tools.
  • It has a built-in image editor and code reformatting feature.



  • It is available for free as it’s an open-source platform.
  • You can simplify complex PHP code using this tool.
  • Eclipse offers a broad range of Plugins and uses the best web development frameworks like Eclipse Modeling Framework.
  • It highlights the syntax.
  • Offers easy formatting of code.
  • Eclipse allows code navigation also.

Sublime Text:


  • It is a leading PHP code editor software among a wide range of developers.
  • This tool is a cross-platform source code editor.
  • It supports various programming languages and mark-up languages as well.
  • You can split editing in this text editor.
  • The code editor supports all the popular languages so that all types of developers can use Sublime Text.



  • It is one of the best PHP development tools because it supports dynamic programming languages.
  • Komodo is an excellent IDE with advanced features.
  • Offers multiple integration and frameworks to developers.
  • Komodo is available on multiple operating systems.
  • And it supports various languages.



  • Atom is a cross-platform PHP editor for web developers.
  • It was built by the GitHub folks, and it’s free to use for PHP applications as well.
  • Various plugins and packages help to enhance its functionality.
  • You can turn the code editor into an online PHP editor as per your need. It is because of its features like flexibility, scalable, and customizable.


  • PHP programmers can write and run code for web apps in this development environment.
  • Codeanywhere supports remote connection for code editing.
  • It saves revisions while building PHP web apps.
  • It offers a built-in terminal.
  • It supports programming languages like PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and others.

RJ TextEd:RJTextEd

  • It is a text and code editor for PHP projects.
  • Provides various features for text and source code editing.
  • Also supports syntax highlighting for effective PHP projects.
  • Auto-completion, code folding, and annotation are the crucial features of RJ TextEd.
  • The code editor offers unicode and multi-edit functionalities

You must be aware of all these popular PHP web frameworks so that you can hire PHP developers from any company wisely. The tools listed in this blog are capable and effective thus developers can build a website easily and rapidly.

There are several other tools also available in the market like visual studio code. It is used for intelligent code completion. It supports windows mac OS.

Now, move ahead in the write-up to read some crucial FAQs. Here you go.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the latest technology in website development?


Is PHP good for website development in 2023?


Which is the best tool for PHP web development?


Is PHP dead?


Which free IDE should I use for PHP?

Wrapping Up

Knowing about the best PHP development tools helps you to understand the basics of web building. And most importantly, you can hire the best website development company. The tools are coming almost every day, thus tracking them will keep you updated with the latest technology.



Saikat Ghosh working as a Business & HR head at mobile app development company, Technource. He is an Electrical engineer by education and studied management from IIM, Calcutta. He has worked last 23 years in client-facing roles like Marketing, Sales, and Support. He loves to work with on-demand app development, Marketing & Sales strategies, brainstorm new ideas, and learn from people. When he is off from his regular job, he works for his theatre group.

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