What's the best web development IDE that you've come across, that also handles Core PHP work and JS very well (eg. AngularJS)?


  • Extremely fast -- there's nothing more annoying that a slow/stuttery IDE
  • Excellent at code completion -- very smart at understanding what you're doing
  • Good at HTML/CSS -- no point in only being good at the trickier stuff if you miss the basics
  • Good at PHP/JS (including Angular) too -- as mentioned, this is a necessity
  • Syntax error detection for the above
  • Support for LESS/SASS compiling
  • Overall an enjoyable environment to work in - nice to look at, smart, and helpful

and …

  • Windows based

Would like:

  • OSX support - it'd be occasionally helpful to be use it in OSX, but not essential

Do NOT need:

  • It to be free - I'm a professional and will happily pay for something that makes my daily life easier
  • FTP - I'm happy deploying through FileZilla

It's a shame that so many IDEs use Java these days, as it doesn't half seem to make them slow to get going. In terms of "enjoyable environment", I really like Brackets. It's lovely to use, and very quick and clean, but it's a little stuttery at times and is lacking in advanced features out of the box.

What IDE do you find to be the best? The one that makes web development less of a chore than others.

  • 1
    Would PhpStorm be of any value?
    – Uwe Keim
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 14:12
  • 2
    Why not try something that's written in web technology , yep I'm talking bout atom -} atom.io Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 16:45

6 Answers 6


PHP Storm is very likely what you will need. (please see the video link at bottom...can't recommend those enough)

- Extremely fast -- there's nothing more annoying that a slow/stuttery IDE

IMO phpstorm is very fast. It might not start up inside 0.01sec, but once loaded I notice no lag.

- Excellent at code completion -- very smart at understanding what you're doing

Absolutely. It has very good code completion as long as your code is well laid out and has docblocs etc it will pick them all up.

- Good at HTML/CSS -- no point in only being good at the trickier stuff if you miss the basics

It has full code quality analysis. PHPStorm Features

- Good at PHP/JS (including Angular) too -- as mentioned, this is a necessity Syntax error detection for the above

PHP is perfect, angular is coming along.

- Support for LESS/SASS compiling

There are tutorials showing how to manage this with GULP etc.

- Excellent Git support out of the box

Git/Mercurial/CVS/Subversion all catered for.

- Overall an enjoyable environment to work in - nice to look at, smart, and helpful

I can't recommend these short videos enough - they show you how to get the best out of the software.How to Be Awesome in PHP Storm

  • Those videos are excellent, and leaves me with an IDE that does everything I need. Well worth the money. Highly recommend those videos to others, too. Thanks!
    – Chuck
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:25

Maybe you could have a look at NetBeans. It is Java based, but it's much, much smoother than Eclipse.

  • works everywhere
  • fast (startup takes a few seconds but no slowdowns after that)
  • HTML/CSS/PHP/JS including Angular, JQuery, RequireJS, Knockout, etc.
  • Support for LESS/SASS compiling
  • nice to look at (light blue)
  • powerful refactoring (e.g. Ctrl+R to safely rename variables)
  • Excellent Git integration (even has its own diff editor)
  • free and Open Source

I've used it for HTML5 development since they added official support for it years ago, and it's only been getting better. Its suggestions are spot on and immediate. Things like code completion and refactoring are lightning fast.

An alternative would be Aptana Studio, it's Eclipse based, but stronger in the HTML5 department. Maybe you can give it a go.

  • 1
    NetBeans is actually very slow in my opinion, even on my powerful desktop PC. Scanning projects takes ages, and it does occasionally get hung up and confused by things. It is good, but it's not great. (I also find it extremely ugly, but I guess that's all in the eye of the beholder.)
    – Chuck
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 10:47
  • @Chuck the initial scan can take long, that's true, you can speed it up by closing all the active projects you are not using (on the left, right click, close). Edit: by the way, have you tried Aptana Studio?
    – Agostino
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 10:52
  • After switching to PHPStorm after many years of using NetBeans, I find the former to be a much better version of the latter. Not necessarily in obvious ways, but the more I use it, the more I think PHPStorm is clearly better. Thanks, though.
    – Chuck
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:29

I'm sure you have looked into PhpStorm. Even though it's not free, it's still one of the most used IDEs in the world.

  • It's fast (in my experience)
  • It's great at code recognition/completion (based on IntelliJ IDEA you can even manually set chunks of code to a specific language within a file)
  • Good PHP and JS support (including AngularJS and even Meteor -- should you want it)
  • Syntax correction, as requested
  • Support for LESS/SASS compiling
  • Looks nicer than Netbeans (especially in Darcula, IMO)

It's also available on OSX.

  • Yes, I have used PHPStorm (and WebStorm, the cutdown version). They're pretty good. A bit faster than NetBeans, but still quite slow due to the fact that they use Java. Still, it's a good bit of software from what I've seen.
    – Chuck
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 16:20
  • I gave PhpStorm another go. It does seem better than Netbeans in almost every respect. I'm liking it more and more. Thanks!
    – Chuck
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 12:57

By extremely fast I assume you exclude Eclipse. I feel that Sublime Text suits your requirements:

  • trial has no limit in time or features but $70 must be paid for continual use (nagware)
  • works on Windows and a portable version is available
  • fast
  • nice to look at
  • Good git integration
  • Pardon my ignorance, is Sublime Text considered an IDE?
    – brasofilo
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 22:07
  • @brasofilo Often considered as such. Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 22:13
  • 1
    FYI: "Sublime Text may be downloaded and evaluated for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use." Cost: $70.
    – Chuck
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 11:40
  • Sublime Text 2 is very nice, but using it for the project I'm currently working on, I realised I also need one more feature: Syntax error detection. Plus, it's pretty terrible at PHP syntax highlighting. Still, I like it otherwise.
    – Chuck
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 10:49


The main pro of this one is that it's NOT Java based. This keeps the whole thing quick.


  • Intelligent Syntax Highlighter - automatic switch between PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript depending on your position!
  • PHP (both version 4 and 5 are supported)
  • SQL (MySQL, MSSQL 2000, MSSQL 7, Ingres, Interbase 6, Oracle, Sybase) HTML/XHTML
  • CSS (both version 1 and 2.1 are supported)
  • JavaScript
  • VBScript
  • Java
  • C#
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Smarty


  • Support for both PHP 4 and PHP 5
  • Code Explorer for PHP (includes, classes, extended classes, interfaces, properties, functions, constants and variables)
  • Code Completion (IntelliSense) for PHP - code assist as you type
  • Code Tip (code hint) for PHP - code assist as you type
  • Work with any PHP frameworks (access classes, functions, variables, etc. on the fly)
  • PHP object oriented programming (OOP) including nested objects
  • Support for PHP heredoc
  • Enclose strings with single- or double quotes, linefeed, carriage return or tabs
  • PHP server variables
  • PHP statement templates (if, else, then, while…)
  • Powerful PHP Code Beautifier with many configurations and profile support
  • phpDocumentor wizard
  • Add phpDocumentor documentation to functions and classes with one click!
  • phpDocumentor tags
  • Comment or uncomment with one click!
  • Jump to any declaration with filtering by classes, interfaces, functions, variables or

Debug (PHP):

  • Debug with Xdebug
  • Breakpoints
  • Step by step debugging
  • Step into
  • Step over
  • Run to cursor
  • Run until return
  • Call stack
  • Watches
  • Context variables
  • Evaluate
  • Profiling
  • Multiple sessions
  • Evaluation tip
  • Catch errors
  • phpDeveloper is a great bit of software, but I don't know if it supports JS frameworks as well as PHPStorm.
    – Chuck
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 15:26
  • I meant phpDesigner of course!
    – Chuck
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 15:17

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I suggest to try Codelobster. It works fast and has special AngularJS plug-in

  • Could you list the features it has that match what the asker is looking for. Ideally it would be nice to see that info without having to leave the site.
    – Travis
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 16:17

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