PHP Development Tools

This article will help you with a bunch of PHP development tools to significantly improve your programming workflow and put PHP development into overdrive.

Without a doubt, PHP is a rapid and quick scripting language that is ubiquitous with web development. Even WordPress uses the language in its core interface helping developers enhance the existing platform. Compared to other languages, it is easy to learn and is supported excellently by the development community.

On one side PHP helps developers create web applications quickly, but on the other side, there is no development environment associated with the language. Look at the development environment like Visual Studio from Microsoft. It comes with a plethora of features available from installation. It has features for coding, debugging, and deploying available to developers straight out of the box.

When you look online, you will find that there are a number of packages and supporting tools for PHP easily available But, they tend to be scattered and are available in separate stages. This sometimes can cause issues for developers who want to enhance their virtual toolkit. As we discussed earlier, PHP is fast and it is the most used scripting language in practice.

It has detailed documentation, a huge community, numerous ready-to-use scripts, and well-supported frameworks. On top of that, it is very easy to get started with this language. This is why it makes perfect sense to provide the huge community of PHP developers with an overview of useful PHP development tools and resources that can make their development process easier and more effective.

Here is the ultimate list of the best PHP development tools you will need. 


One of the most popular testing tools available today, Selenium Remote Control (RC) allows you to write automated Web application UI tests in any programming language against any HTTP website by putting to use any mainstream JavaScript-enabled browser. One can use it in conjunction with PHPUnit and create and run automated tests within a Web browser.


This is a neat and straightforward unit-testing platform for PHP applications. You can read through the easily available tutorial to get up and running with SimpleTest quickly; it will help you to create a new test case.


This is a live PHP debugger application for the Mac OS. You will get all the features you’d expect from a fully-featured debugger. It has features like the ability to step through your code and set breakpoints.


An open-source project that provides useful information about the PHP code which can be used for debugging. PHP_Debug can output processing times of your PHP and SQL, check the performance of particular code blocks, and get variable dumps in graphical form. This can be really helpful if you need a more visual output than the one given to you by print_r() or var_dump().


The tool enables developers to instantly develop web-enabled applications. These applications leverage connections to databases and report generation. The underlying software allows you to go from prototype to production in a matter of seconds. This tool is geared for a mid-sized company; better for a Laravel or Codeigniter development company to rapidly scale their applications.

Eclipse PDT

Eclipse started as an IDE but has become so much more than that today in terms of functionalities. It was created for developers working in Java code. The tool has now got extended to include other languages like PHP. Even though Eclipse is an open-source tool, it can become a sort of overkill for startup companies. The tool uses a considerable amount of computing resources which could be limited for smaller companies.

Zend Studio

No list is complete without the mention of Zend Studio, an IDE that takes PHP development to the next level. It contains a sophisticated set of features and can deploy to any server including servers in the cloud. The tool has been optimized for PHP 7, making it faster than previous versions. Companies of any size would find Zend Studio helpful.


A tool that goes above and beyond in terms of standard Application Performance Monitoring (APM) to provide developers all the tools they need in one easy to use solution. Retrace initially supported only Java and .NET, and has started supporting PHP. It has an enhanced log and error tracking feature which makes it stand out from the rest. The tool is significantly cost-effective and is best for teams to diagnose, improve, and accelerate application performance.


A powerful open-source, real-time vulnerability management tool that helps system administrators take action on vulnerability findings, track vulnerability findings, and review accepted and false-positive answered vulnerabilities. It doesn’t bother them with old vulnerabilities.


This is a continuous integration server version-control system written in PHP 5. It has continuous builds in place of nightly builds. Xinc works seamlessly with other systems like Subversion and Phing.


With Minify you can combine multiple CSS or JavaScript files, compress their content like removing unnecessary white space and comments, and easily serve the results with HTTP encoding with the help of Gzip/deflate and headers that allow optimal client-side caching.


A lightweight PHP editor and IDE which can handle front-end code and markup extremely well. Check You can check phpDesigner online tutorials and screencasts on phpDesigner to help you learn more about the IDE.


Known as phpdoc and phpdocu, phpDocumentor is a documentation tool for your PHP source code with a countless amount of features like the ability to output in HTML, PDF, CHM, and XML DocBook formats, and has both a Web-based and command-line interface as well as source-code highlighting.

How to pick the right PHP web development tool?

The best PHP developer software will aid in making the developers highly productive and ease their typing speed. It is because a slow PHP web development tool will kill their productivity and thus, become completely inconvenient to use. Some of the tips given below will help you choose the right PHP tools in a jiffy. So, let’s get started!

Higher number of Features

The PHP development tools that promise a relatively higher number of features such as automatic spell-check, syntax highlight, as well as word auto-complete help in faster development. Also, some tools aid in easy navigation, a debugger for fixing unnecessary bugs, and code refactoring which further helps in making the developer’s job simplified.

Ease of use

Different tools offer different features, however; no one wants to spend more time understanding the PHP development tool. Everyone prefers a tool that is quite easy to understand and imparts all the necessary features without any hassle. The efficient use of shortcut keys will also succor in ameliorating productivity.

Excellent Speed

In fast-paced development environments, it is difficult to work at a slower pace. Thus, an IDE that showcases a fast speed and responds easily is helpful in both saving a lot of time as well as enhancing the developer’s speed. It also serves in lesser battery consumption!


Opt for that PHP website development tool that is compatible with all types of platforms be it, Windows, Linux, and macOS. Always check the compatibility details of the tool that you plan to use prior so that you can easily select later.

Integration capability

With seamless integration with 3rd party tools, the tool that imparts higher support and easy access to numerous tools benefit a lot of people. This is quite necessary since it imparts one-click access to a plethora of features that otherwise help in performing different tasks easily.


There are a limitless amount of PHP website Development tools available to developers making the diaspora confusing, especially for developers who are new to the language. Being a developer, it can be helpful to keep informed about the newest developments in any tool you use for development.


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