The CodeLobster Review: Features and Productivity

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CodeLobster is a free Integrated Development Environment or IDE developed by CodeLobster Software for developing websites primarily in PHP. The CodeLobster IDE also has support for other programming languages including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SQL.

CodeLobster does not just stop there. It also comes with plugins that are specific to certain web development frameworks which include CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Drupal, Joomla, Facebook, JQuery, Smarty and Wordpress.

Features (5 out of 5)


CodeLobster comes with support for advanced auto complete for keywords and functions for the languages and frameworks it supports. CodeLobster also comes with Syntax highlighting for the same languages.

Built into CodeLobster are context sensitive menus as well as context sensitive help. It also comes with a powerful PHP debugger. Also for PHP there is pair closing of blocks and brackets, project creation wizards and color coding customization for functions and classes.

For working with HTML, CodeLobster covers most of what it does for PHP but adds tag attributes helpers, visual tool tips on images, block collapsing and code commenting. There is also an HTML code inspector built in.

The CSS highlighter pretty much extends the HTML capabilities and adds features that detect syntax on separate CSS or embedded CSS. As far as JavaScript goes, there is dynamic help on the functions in addition to color coding and code completion on CodeLobster.

As this CodeLobster review reveals, CodeLobster is capable of connecting to your database and using that connection to analyze your queries in a seamless way and give you the correct syntax on your database.

Extensibility (5 out of 5)

CodeLobster is highly extensible through a plugin based model. There are several plugins that come with CodeLobster that you can install as you need that make working with CodeLobster a delight. These help you to get started in building extensions for those frameworks with the greatest of ease.

Performance (3 out of 5)

CodeLobster performs quite well during production of both small and large projects. It uses resources on the PC quite fairly well. The IDE is quite stable and crashes are rarely if ever heard of. From the web developer’s point of view CodeLobster has little to hinder the performance of the web developers work station.

Ease of Use (5 out of 5)

The CodeLobster IDE is easy to use and can be picked up easily by even non-seasoned web developers. This IDE does not require you to fully understand everything about PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. So with just the basic knowledge you can get started and rest assured CodeLobster will fill in the pieces of code that you are not so confident about. CodeLobster has an intuitive interface, easy to access context sensitive help using F1 at any time, and there is comprehensive documentation if ever needed.

All the additional features on CodeLobster are non-intrusive.

Verdict (4 out of 5)

For all developers advanced or beginner, having a copy of CodeLobster is worth the while, as you will be sure to appreciate the way this web developer IDE can increase your productivity and lower you learning curve on some of the web frameworks and programming languages it supports. With access to your database you will soon find out how pleasant it is to use CodeLobster for developing database driven websites. The best of all is that there is a free download of CodeLobster here. Though not detailed in this CodeLobster review, you need to take note that the framework plugins comes with a price after your initial 30 day trial period expires.

Other development editors and IDEs worth looking at include Eclipse, Netbeans and Aptana Studio.