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I am new to PHP (Have good j2EE and ASP .net experience) and now want to kick start developing a simple website (A database connection and simple inserts is the max technical stuff i plan right now). I have signed up at zymic for a free hosting (MySql included). Now please suggest me:

  1. the available IDEs for developing on PHP on windows OS
  2. and any beginner level resources that you have come across, for a .net/java guy which may help me to quickly figure out the differences
  3. would you advice me to go for frameworks like joomla etc as a beginner? or is it better i start exploring these after im familiar with PHP?

Thanks in advance, Abhi

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closed as not constructive by Anna Lear Dec 21 '11 at 15:18

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Regarding the framework, see: Your easiest PHP framework to learn –  Jonas Oct 3 '10 at 20:09

10 Answers 10

Since no one has said it yet I will: Eclipse

Although not supported out of the box there are PHP plugins for it and it works, very similar to Netbeans.

Also just noticed they have a build for PHP: Eclipse PHP Build

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+1 For Eclipse ! As you said you have J2EE exp , i assume you have worked on eclipse ! –  GoodSp33d Oct 4 '10 at 6:54
If you're looking for an IDE that provides debugging and profiling capabilities Eclipse works well with the XDebug plugin xdebug.org –  cspolton Nov 22 '10 at 11:17
@Spolto: Thanks for the tip, I was unaware xdebug ran with eclipse and have been using kcachegrind to run through xdebug data. –  Chris Nov 22 '10 at 12:46
Sorry the XDebug profiling is supported through KCacheGrind (Linux) or WinCacheGrind (Windows) as you rightly mention. Eclipse does support debugging via XDebug however. –  cspolton Nov 22 '10 at 12:55
Great, thanks for the added information! –  Chris Nov 22 '10 at 13:22


Has great php support plus code competion and phpdoc's built in.

Once you get the basics of php it may be worth it to check out how a framework like cakePHP or codeIgniter works.

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1: As IDE, I use emacs.

3: Learn PHP first before you touch the frameworks: I've had to interview quite a few people who thought they knew how to program because they could tweak a framework.

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-1 for emacs, +1 for learning before frameworks. –  TheLQ Oct 3 '10 at 12:55
@TheLQ: To each his/her own: I use emacs for most things. And it works just great on Windows. –  Frank Shearar Oct 3 '10 at 13:14
+1 for learning the language without the framework. –  Fosco Oct 3 '10 at 19:47

PhpStorm is a commercial PHP editor from JetBrains (who also make IntelliJ IDEA for Java). It has code completion, and many debugging features. It is also a JavaScript/HTML/CSS editor.

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I've used Zend, NuSphere, and PhpStorm (linked above)... but I prefer just a nice text editor (just purchased Sublime Text and love it.)

Absolutely learn PHP without a framework.. Try hard not to become dependent on them.

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I personally use Notepad++ with a few helpful plugins. Regarding frameworks, I would avoid them until you have a solid grasp of the language. For one they can increase the learning curve. Not only are you trying to learn a new language, but you're also trying to learn a new framework. Additionally you can't really appreciate the frameworks until you've spend a considerable amount of time writing apps from scratch.

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It's a big shame that Notepad++ is the best we can do on Windows. Linux/Mac have much better options. –  DisgruntledGoat Feb 15 '11 at 13:45

Take a look at PHPDesigner. Its fast and lightweight but still has most of the functions people love about Eclipse and Netbeans. Its not free but it is definitely worth the investment.

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Though I haven't used it myself, I have heard good praise from several users Komodo as an IDE for multiple languages, including PHP, Python and Ruby.

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Netbeans. I am a j2ee developer myself and i found Netbeans to be an excellent IDE for PHP, completed 3 php projects with it.

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I prefer Netbeans

There is also:

And probably many more.

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