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Top Ten PHP Editors : Free and Paid

written by: vishalseafarer•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/18/2011

Confused on which editor to choose before you get started on developing an app in PHP? Here is a list of PHP editors, free and paid versions that will help you choose the right one that fulfills your requirement of a fully functional PHP editor.

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    PHP Editor - An Introduction

    Being a PHP developer, it is important for you to have a good PHP editor that offers tons of features that help you save time and make life easier by assisting you in writing codes without making silly errors like syntax errors. The real dilemma comes when you are about to choose the best PHP editor for you. Be it a free PHP editor or be it a paid one, you have to be very comfortable with the PHP editor that you use so that you concentrate on developing PHP applications and not on correcting the silly errors that you commit while writing codes. Below are the top PHP editors listed out in both free PHP editors and paid PHP editors (commercially available) categories. Although all of them are good in their own accord, it depends on you (the individual) on what's the suitable PHP editor.

    PHP Editor 

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    Free PHP Editors

    Most of the free PHP Editors are open source PHP editors. They are not only stable and powerful, they are updated constantly and offer tons of feature that are really helpful but at times there are too many features present and it confuses the developer

    Eclipse - The Eclipse IDE supports almost all the programming languages and PHP is no exception. With powerful plugins, developing applications on Eclipse is a breeze. The main drawback is the disk space that it occupies and the memory that it uses. Eclipse is not recommended for people who have just started developing in PHP as the learning curve to move around the IDE is steep.

    Netbeans - Initially it was mainly used for JAVA but the higher versions started providing support to most of the programming languages. It offers excellent support for PHP and is one of the top three choices for PHP developers, the two other being Eclipse and Zend studio.

    Notepad++ - A very simple, basic but powerful editor that supports PHP. Although it doesn't have an in-built designer, it is the least cluttered of all the editors and lets the developer focus on the basic part - write decent, error free code.

    Codelobster - Although not many features are available, the free vesion is really light and offers an inbuilt browser using which the developer can test his PHP applications without having the need to open the browser every time. Personally (as I have used this editor) I recommend this editor if you have just started developing applications in PHP.

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    Paid PHP Editors

    Adobe Dreamweaver: Adobe hasn't left a stone unturned in the field of web development. Dreamweaver (the editor from Adobe that is used for developing applications in PHP, HTML, Cold Fusion, etc) provides excellent support for PHP and offers all the features a good standard PHP editor needs. But the editor is costs a fortune. Many other editors are available that do the same job but at a lesser rate or for free!

    Expression Web: Expression Web from Microsoft is a very clean editor and doesn't offer a cluttered environment like many other editors. However there is no support for content management systems in Expression Web. This is really a huge drawback because the popular content management systems like Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc are designed using PHP and the support of a PHP editor to edit the content management systems to customize to one's need is important. Hence Expression Web as a PHP editor is good only for the starters who develop in PHP.

    Zend PHP: With full support for PHP and MySQL Probably the best PHP editor our there. It is fast and getting around the editor is easy. Zend Studio has fantastic features like code refactoring, semantic analysis, features that support JavaScript libraries like Prototype and jQuery, etc. It is probably the best PHP Editor (free or paid) that help the developer write valid codes with ease that go by the W3 Consortium's standards.

    Visit Zend Studio to know more.

    PHP Designer: A good PHP editor although not a high end one but good for basic purposes. It has the basic features to create, edit, debug, analyze and publish PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. PHP Designer offers support for JavaScript libraries like jQuery, Ext JS, YUI, Dojo, MooTools, Prototype and all major PHP frameworks. It runs on Windows 7, 32 bit and 64 bit Vista and XP.

    Features: Syntax highlighters, Debug tools for PHP, Syntax check for PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Project and file management, User interface (themes are supported.)

    PHP Designer offers a 21 day trial period. The commercial license costs € 70. Download PHP Designer here.

    PHPEdit: Offers basic features and is not costly as Zend studio or Dreamweaver. If you work with the Symfony framework, this is a really good editor for applications built over Symfony framework.

    Download Size (current stable version 3.6.6) - 14.75 MB

    Visit PHPEdit.com to download PHP Edit

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    Which PHP Editor is Right For You?

    If you are willing to pay for a good php editor, the best bet will be Zend studio, otherwise Eclipse is a really great editor to build applications for PHP.

    References:Free PHP Editor.com