I'm a coding beginner.

I'm trying to learn to code PHP and MySQL.

Can someone recommend an online development tool for PHP?


  1. Should be easy for a beginner to use / set up.
  2. I would like it to point out my coding errors.
  3. I would like it to provide code suggestions as I type.
  4. I'm willing to pay up to about $10 / month.
  5. Simpler the better.

Thanks for any help.


3 Answers 3


Visual Studio Code is a free open source IDE available on Windows, macOS and Linux (since you didn't mention your OS). Just add a PHP extension for the syntax. MySQL extensions are also available if you want. Otherwise, you also have Visual Studio Community, which is free.

  • Thanks Baka. I'm going to look at VSC. Jun 26, 2019 at 20:42
  • You are welcome. Happy coding!
    – bakashinji
    Jun 26, 2019 at 23:07

As you specified online I immediately though of stackblitz. Which is Visual Studio Code online.


Are you certain that you want it to be online?

The problem that I foresee with that is that it might be ok for single pages, but PHP apps tend to chain from page to page. E.g. show login page, on click submit button, go to validation page, from which go to either error page & page to login, or to main app page (from where, possibly go to other pages).

I would recommend you to learn to develop on your local machine. If Linux, use Apache, if Windows, use Xampp, which provides an Apache server.

That way, you can launch your code in the browser as http://localhost/my_app.php, where Apache provides localhost.

For IDEs, you can use the free Eclipse PHP, or NetBeans, or CodeLobster. I recommend them in that order, but YKmMV.

There are other free IDFEs, so please search or listen to other recommendations.

Since you can budget $10/month, I think that you simply cannot beat JetBrains PHPstorm. Their pricing is

£149.00/user 1st year
£119.00/2nd year
£89.00/3rd year onwards

Teach yourself to use the debugger – it is your best friend. Set a breakpoint at a line in your code & run the code. It will stop on the breakpoint and you can examine the call stack and the values of your variables (even change them, for testing).

I recommend that you learn MySql (or MAraiaDB) of your database and use PDO to access it.

I know that you asked for an online solution, but after 20 years of developing PHP on my local machine, I strongly recommend this way. Good luck

  • 1
    Mawg - Thanks for the recommendations. I'll check them out. JetBrains looks interesting in particular. Jun 26, 2019 at 20:41
  • Since you are willing to pay, go for it.If (and, if you want to code client-side, JavaScript, you can still use PHPStorm) you code any other languages, JetBrains have the best IDEs. For free, I prefer Eclipse, as it's industry standard, but NetBEans won't hurt you. Good luck. Once oyu decide, please come back and tell us what, as that will help others who read your question in futurev
    – Mawg
    Jun 27, 2019 at 5:36

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