A PHP IDE is a tool that makes writing PHP code simple. Syntax highlighting and, in some situations, autocomplete features are standard features in PHP IDEs. This implies that if you type a PHP keyword that the PHP interpreter recognises, the keyword will be highlighted in a different colour than regular statements. As you enter, the autocomplete feature shows up a list of commonly used PHP keywords. PHP codes can also be written and edited in Notepad. The disadvantage of using an editor like Notepad is that debugging the scripts becomes tough because problems like misspelt keywords and unclosed brackets are harder to discover. An IDE will highlight the statements that contain issues, making it easy to notice them. Five popular PHP editors are listed in the table below.
|Editor||License||Cross Platform||Brief description|
|Netbeans IDE||Open Source||Yes|| Syntax highlighting and code completion for keywords and other known data in a dedicated PHP coding environment.|
Zend, Yii, and other PHP MVC frameworks are supported.
Changes to a file are recorded in the code history.
Plugins provide access to SFTP, FTP, and SVN.
|Dreamweaver||Commercial||Yes|| HTML and PHP are supported.|
Code folding, Syntax highlighting, and keyword and other known information completion.
SFTP and FTP are supported.
|Zend studio||Commercial||Yes|| Zend Server and the Zend PHP MVC framework, as well as PHPUnit and phpDocumentor, are all included.|
Has code folding, syntax highlighting, and Web service support, among other features.
|PHP Eclipse||Open Source||Yes|| Formatter of code|
Supports SHH/FTP and SVN
|Notepad++||Freeware||Windows only|| Supports highlighting of syntax|
Supports FTP as well as SFTP and via plugins.