I'm a PHP developer and now I'm using a "free" version of Dreamweaver, I know that this one has the things I'm looking for, but its expensive.

I've looked into some softwares like Aptana, Notepad++, Dreamweaver, CodeLobster. But none of them were good to me. I need it to support MacOS and Windows, because I have different OS at home and at work.

This is what I'm looking for:

  • FTP support
  • Code highlight
  • Windows and MacOS
  • PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Easy to use.

5 Answers 5


I used to be an Eclipse fan, but a few years ago I moved to NetBeans and have never looked back.

I am currently using it for PHP (and MySql/SQlite), C, C++ and JavaScript.

From your request:

free and open source        <=== check 
FTP support (also SFTP)     <=== https://blogs.oracle.com/netbeansphp/entry/ftp_support_added
Code highlight              <======   yup
Windows, Mac OS and Linux   <=== written in Java, so yup, plus Raspberry Pi et al
PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript (and a huge amount of other languages)   ...  

https://netbeans.org/features/ .... "NetBeans IDE offers superior support for C/C++ and PHP developers, providing comprehensive editors and tools for their related frameworks and technologies. In addition, the IDE has editors and tools for XML, HTML, PHP, Groovy, Javadoc, JavaScript, and JSP."

Plus, add your own ... http://wiki.netbeans.org/How_to_create_support_for_a_new_language

You won't ever look for another IDE. Guaranteed, or your money back ;-)


I'd recommend Sublime Text.

Sublime has everything you would expect in a minor IDE or an amazing text editor and yet is very very light. Pretty much any area that you want to have more features there is a simply massive plugin library. Sublime Text is not free but it on the cheap end of software, it also has a free unlimited trial so you can test it and decide before making any commitments.

To go over your requirements:

  • ? FTP support: Sublime does not have native FTP support. However, that plugin library comes to the rescue. If you don't need SFTP then the free/open-source SublimeFTPSynce is what I have used and is quite good. If you do need SFTP support then AFAIK the only option is Sublime SFTP which is not free ($20) but has a free trial.
  • Y Code highlight
  • Y Windows and MacOS
  • Y PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Y Easy to use
  • 1
    +1 Sublime Text is a good option too (although I haven't tried the FTP with it). Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 17:46

For some period of time I used Komodo Edit.

Komodo Edit is a stripped down version of Komodo IDE. Nevertheless Komodo Edit is a full featured text editor with such features as syntax highlighting, automatic insertion of matching parentheses, FTP support, and many other features a modern editor should have.

(Later I switched to Kate because Komodo's bad support of Hebrew text. But there is at least a trouble to install Kate on Windows.) Komodo is fine.

  • Just gave this a shot after several years of not uysing Komodo, I am surprised, before it was cr*p and I must say I am actually liking it.. wish to find netbeans key bindings though Commented May 2, 2021 at 21:45

You can use Eclipse:

  • free and open source
  • FTP support (also SFTP)
  • Code highlight
  • Windows, Mac OS and Linux
  • PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript (and a huge amount of other languages)
  • @rafaelmsantos mentioned that he tried Aptana, which is basically Eclipse customized for web development (including PHP). I would assume that if he didn't like Aptana, then he would probably have the same issues with Eclipse that he did with Aptana.
    – Notre1
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 0:10

PhpStorm logo

It's not free ($89 for the first year*, after free 30-day trial), but I would recommend that you, at least, check out PhpStorm (from JetBrains).

  • Y FTP Support
  • Y Code highlight
  • Y Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux: Download link
  • Y PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Y Easy to use

  • If you keep paying for an updated license, it's $71 for the second year, and then $53 for the third year onwards. Those are the prices, if an "individual customer" is the purchaser; if the license is being purchased by a "business or organization" then the prices are $199 / 1st year, $159 / 2nd year, and $119 / 3rd yr onwards.

  • Why -1, +1 again for php storm. I liked it's smoothness. But, still using netbeans though. Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 16:41
  • Does it do some indexing and scanning? I wanted to use netbeans and eclipse but they take enormous time on my project which has lots of files. I only want ide, highlight with ftp. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 9:29
  • This answer needs to be updated because the price of a license has changed.
    – karel
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 13:16

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