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In this guide, you can find the best PHP editors và IDEs that can help you edit PHP files & develop, debug, và test PHP applications.
They target different types of users from beginners who need a no-config PHP editor that works out of the box to lớn experienced PHP programmers who want to work with a specific stack, framework, or toolkit. While most tools on this list are không lấy phí of charge, I also added some premium ones that come with technical tư vấn and extra functionalities.
PHP Editor vs PHP IDE
PHP editors & PHP IDEs are two types of software you can use for editing PHP files. The main difference between the two is complexity. If you want a very brief definition, a PHP IDE is an enhanced PHP editor with extended functionality.
If you are a beginner or don’t develop complex PHP applications, you’ll be better off with a PHP editor. It loads faster, has a simpler UI, and is easier khổng lồ configure và set up, but still provides you with all the editing features you’ll need while coding.
However, if you are an experienced PHP programmer who builds complicated applications and has specific coding needs, a PHP IDE can be a better solution for you.Find the perfect PHP editor for your programming needs, preferences, and workflow in this roundup ⬇️Click to Tweet
What Is a PHP EditorTechnically speaking, you could edit PHP files with a basic text editor such as the Notepad phầm mềm on Windows, but it wouldn’t be an easy thing to lớn do. The main problem is that source code files are hard khổng lồ read without syntax highlighting that lets you see different code structures, such as variables, keywords, & parameters, in different colors và fonts.
Low code readability doesn’t only lead khổng lồ multiple errors but also slows you down as a programmer, as it will take much more time lớn see through your code & figure out the next step. Khổng lồ edit PHP files effectively, you’ll need a source code editor that understands the PHP syntax and highlights every piece of code according to its meaning.
Although syntax highlighting is the number one feature of every PHP editor, it’s not the only one. The best PHP editors come with multiple additional functionalities that help you write và edit PHP code, make sense of the structure of your file and project, and make fewer errors. For instance, line breaks, indentation, auto-complete, different views and editing modes, code completion, tìm kiếm and compare functionalities, & smart code hints are such features.
In addition to lớn these advanced editing functionalities, modern PHP editors also have capabilities that help you with other tasks such as debugging, version control, refactoring, và others.
Note that most PHP editors are not solely for editing PHP files, but they are generic text editors that come with syntax support for many other source code file types too. For example, if you have edited HTML files before & already have a go-to HTML editor, there’s a good chance it will tư vấn the PHP syntax as well and you can keep using it if you want to.
What Is a PHP IDE
IDE is an acronym that stands for Integrated Development Environment. A PHP IDE has all the syntax highlighting and other capabilities of a PHP editor, plus a lot of other features that facilitate PHP development.
The best PHP IDEs typically provide you with pre-made code templates and detailed project and class wizards, have numerous highly customizable views & panels that you can arrange however you want và come with integrated development tools, such as a built-in terminal, web server, or website browser, that you can use right inside the IDE interface. They also tightly integrate with numerous third-party tools such as debuggers (e.g. PHPUnit và Xdebug) and container and virtual machine platforms (e.g. Docker and Vagrant).
There are also cloud PHP IDEs that let you mix up an advanced coding environment in the web browser và save your files into a cloud server. Cloud IDEs can also provide you with pre-built PHP stacks, for instance, a containerized LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack that allows you khổng lồ work on a live Linux vps and check your work instantly in the web browser.
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Although a PHP IDE comes with more features than a PHP editor, it also requires more expertise to set up và configure the environment. For example, you might need to showroom and configure the web vps that will execute your code, define environment variables & PHP executables, & perform other advanced development tasks.
So, if you don’t want khổng lồ use the extra functionalities of an IDE, the additional workload most likely isn’t worth it, even if you have the expertise to vày the configurations. But, if you need such features, a PHP IDE can significantly tốc độ up your coding, testing, debugging, and profiling (program analyzing) work.
That said, the line between PHP editors and IDEs is blurring these days. PHP editors have begun to lớn incorporate features that could be found only in IDEs before, such as built-in debuggers và terminals, highly customizable views và panels, & others.
10 Best không tính tiền PHP Editors
Let’s start with the best không tính phí PHP editors that provide you with all the important features to read, create, và edit PHP files.
1. Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code (VS Code in short) is a free and mở cửa source code editor by Microsoft that has gained huge popularity in recent years. It supports the PHP syntax by default, and you can download further PHP extensions from the VS Code Marketplace khổng lồ make it an advanced PHP editor that suits your specific coding needs. You can customize every aspect of VS Code, from themes to lớn key bindings to integrations and functionality.
Best features:syntax highlighting, autocomplete, & code navigationsmart code completion with IntelliSensecolor theme pickerbuilt-in Emmet supportextensibility (you can create your own extension)linting, debugging, refactoringintegrated terminal
Atom is the “hackable text editor for the 21st century”, according to its slogan. Originally, it was GitHub’s internal tool that later they made xuất hiện source, but the project is still maintained by GitHub. It’s called hackable because you can customize every single aspect of the editor interface, such as the UI và syntax theme, key bindings, formatting, global và language-specific settings, & more.
In addition to the functionality of the vi xử lý core editor, you can tải về almost 9,000 packages that allow you to địa chỉ basically any feature you need. Khổng lồ configure Atom as a PHP editor, you can địa chỉ PHP-specific packages for debugging, refactoring, annotations, linting, và other development-related tasks.
Best features:syntax highlighting & smart autocompletionfile system browsing và multiple panesadvanced find & replace tooleasy-to-access command paletteextensibility
Brackets is an mở cửa source code editor created and maintained by Adobe. As many of Adobe’s products, it primarily focuses on frontend development, but it supports several backend languages as well, including PHP. It has become popular for its inline editing feature for CSS that lets you see all the selectors belonging to lớn a specific CSS rule.
If you vị both frontend và backend development, Brackets can be the ideal PHP editor for you — especially if you also work with CSS preprocessors, such as Sass & LESS. That being said, Brackets is not the most advanced PHP editor in this list, but it’s free, lightweight, & easy to lớn use.
Brackets has an extension registry as well, however, it doesn’t have as many extensions as Atom or Visual Studio Code.
4. GNU Emacs
GNU Emacs is a stable & well-established code editor that has been on the market since 1985. It was primarily created for the GNU operating system, but it supports many other OSs as well. Emacs’ design và functionality are both fully customizable using the Emacs Lisp scripting language.
Emacs supports a multitude of programming languages, including HTML and CSS, but it’s typically not used by frontend developers. This is not saying that Emacs is not recommended for you if you are looking for both a frontend and PHP editor. However, cảnh báo that it has a steeper learning curve than most of the other editors in this list.
In addition lớn its awesome features, using Emacs certainly has a coolness factor in the programmer community due to the expertise you need khổng lồ use it, và it even appears in popular culture, such as the Tron: Legacy và Social Network movies.
Best features:content-aware editing modesfull Unicode-supportcustomizable both via the command line (using Emacs Lisp) và a graphical UIbuilt-in documentationadditional functionalities such as debugger UI, project planner, IRC client, calendar, & others
Vim stands for Vi Improved as it’s the improved version of the Vi code editor created for Unix systems. It adds several important features khổng lồ Vi, such as comparing và merging files, syntax highlighting, search history, spell checking, split view, support for protocols such as HTTP, FTP, and SSH, và many others.
You can use Vim in six basic modes, respectively normal, visual, select, insert, command line, và ex (exit) modes — see this article by FreeCodeCamp for the main differences between Vim modes. Vim has a text user interface that you can manage using commands và key mappings. However, if you’d rather use Vim with a graphical user interface, you can download its Gvim (Graphical Vim) version as well.
Similar to lớn Emacs, Vim is highly customizable and extensible và supports hundreds of programming languages. There are thousands of Vim plugins available, but you can also use Vim Script (also called VimL), Vim’s internal scripting language, or another scripting language to showroom extra functionality.
Vim is a very robust tool, but if you are a beginner or code only occasionally, it’s probably not the best choice for you because of its steep learning curve. However, if you want flexibility and custom functionality and don’t mind learning, Vim can be the ideal PHP editor for you. If you want lớn go that route, here’s a great tutorial by The Valuable Dev blog about how to lớn configure Vim as a PHP editor.
Best features:6 different editing modeseasy mode for beginnersUnicode and multi-language supportediting functionality such as advanced tìm kiếm and replace, multi-level undo tree, split view, code completion, & moreextensive plugin systembuilt-in manual
Bluefish is an advanced source code editor that supports many programming languages. You can use it on different operating systems, but it also comes with a Gnome integration, so if you are on the look for a PHP editor for your Linux distro, Bluefish can be a great choice for you — its GUI is also consistent with the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines, so it even looks good on a Gnome desktop.
As Bluefish was created with web developers in mind, it comes with useful features such as Emmet (formerly Zen Coding) support, dialogs & wizards for HTML tags, Unicode character browser, and many others. It also has an intuitive user interface and is easy lớn use, so you can safely choose it if you are a beginner or don’t want to lớn put a lot of time into learning how khổng lồ use a PHP editor.
Best features:lightweight, loads fastmultiple document interface (tested with 1000+ opened documents)full-screen editing và split viewediting functionality such as auto-completion, inline reference information, powerful & replace, snippets sidebar, and moresupports multiple encodings (default is UTF8)extensible via plugins
jEdit is a cross-platform source code editor written for the Java Virtual Machine, so it runs on any operating system that has the Java runtime environment installed. Its goal is to lớn provide programmers with an editor that can be installed & set up as fast và effortlessly as possible. JEdit has syntax highlighting modes for more than 200 programming languages.
Even though jEdit is a stable tool, you’ll find more fancy PHP editors on this list. However, it’s still worth a try if you need an easy-to-use miễn phí PHP editor that runs out of the box. Plus, it can be a great choice, too, if you find a jEdit plugin that can help you with your work — it has some cool ones, including support for version control other than Git & project and file management tools (however, check the age of the plugins, as some haven’t been updated for many years).
Best features:unlimited undo/redo functionalitycopy và paste via unlimited clipboardsany number of editor windows can be open at the same timemultiple and rectangular selectionsmacros can be recorded from user actionssupports for Unicode và 160+ character encodingspowerful search and replace toolextensible via plugins
Notepad++ is an oldie but goldie source code editor for Windows operating systems. It was created as a replacement for Notepad, the mặc định text editor that comes pre-installed with Windows operating systems. Notepad++ adds multiple features to the very basic Notepad editor, therefore it quickly became popular among developers working on Windows machines.
It comes with syntax highlighting capabilities for almost 80 programming languages. It’s easy lớn install, works out of the box, and has important editing functionality such as split view, multiple document interface, undo/redo functionality, & more. So if you need a không tính tiền PHP editor for Windows that’s easy to use and loads fast, Notepad++ is worth a look.
Best features:style configuration options & pre-designed themesediting features such as code folding, autocompletion, intelligent code completion, syntax checking, và otherssupports many different character setsextensible via plugins
9. RJ TextEd
RJ TextEd is a one-person project by Rickard Johansson (RJ) — & a really impressive one. It’s a full-featured source code editor for Windows operating systems, created specifically for web development. Even though RJ TextEd’s trang web looks a bit basic, this is a text editor with many interesting features under the hood.
You can change every aspect of the UI by choosing và customizing a theme, xuất hiện multiple document views at the same time in different arrangements, và use developer-friendly tools such as a màu sắc picker, an HTML validation và repair tool, charmaps, text-to-HTML conversion, and many others. RJ TextEd also has an embedded browser preview (Chrome & Internet Explorer) for HTML files.
The licensing of RJ TextEd is a bit unusual. Although it’s freeware software, it’s not open source, as the tác giả doesn’t want to lớn release the source code. However, you can still extend the functionality by creating an extension. If you have any questions khổng lồ ask, RJ TextEd has an active user forums too.
Best features:HTML & CSS wizardsbrowser preview for HTML filestheme manager with pre-designed themesbuilt-in project managerregular expression creatormacro managerFTP/STFP client with syncingediting functionality such as side-by-side file comparison, advanced sorting, code folding, auto-completion, và more
TextMate is an advanced source code editor for the macOS operating system. As it has been designed specifically for Mac, it integrates with the underlying Unix shell, therefore you can write custom actions in any programming language that works with the Unix Standard Streams (stdin và stdout).
To make customization easy & straightforward, TextMate utilizes an extensible bundle system. A TextMate bundle can include language syntaxes, code snippets, macros, commands, templates, workflows, and more. You can manage bundles with the help of a handy bundle editor.
The first version of TextMate was proprietary software you had lớn buy a license for. However, the current version, TextMate 2.0, has been open sourced under the GPLv3+ license, so you can download it for free (however, TextMate’s license policy page mentions that they ‘may charge for updates after 2.0’). If you are looking for a (currently) miễn phí PHP editor that runs natively on Mac devices, TextMate 2 is definitely worth a look.
Best features:custom themeslive HTML/Markdown previewpowerful search toolclipboard historyeasy-to-manage code snippetsfoldable code blocks, indented soft wrap, multiple carets, multiple tabs, and morescoped settingsbundle editor
4 Best Premium PHP Editors
Even though premium PHP editors come at a price tag, most have a không lấy phí trial or evaluation period, so you can give them a try without any risk. If you find a feature, integration, or plugin that you want khổng lồ use or need technical support, a premium PHP editor can be a good solution for you.