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PHP IDE Choices on a Mac

If you're new to Macs, or always wondered what the best IDEs were for PHP development, then this may be helpful.

I've compiled a list of my favourite IDEs, and added a brief description for each. These are purely my editors of choice, so if you've got a few others in mind that I've missed, please feel free to comment and maybe I can add them to the list.


This is what I use about 95% of the time, and highly recommend it.

It has a brilliant interface, it's quick, and it offers all the best features that you would normally get in a very expensive IDE, and all for free.

The other good thing is that you can install plugins which will allow you to use it for other languages as well.

I also use it for developing Android apps, and it works like a charm.


This is my second favourite editor, and use it about 5% of the time, but it used to be my primary at one point.

It's very light weight, and does pretty much what you need - it does have the option to install additional bundles if you need that little bit extra, but it's a great editor non the less. The only downside is that it costs around 25$, last time I checked - or at least, that's what I paid for it. This was obviously before Netbeans was made PHP friendly, or else I would of went straight to it.

Zend Studio

This is another great one - I used to use it a lot at some of my work places, but it quickly got replaced with something else when I moved on. The biggest issue with this one is the massive price tag. If you can afford it, it's a great editor, but to be honest, it's not worth paying so much when you can just go and download Netbeans for free.

Most of my experience with this one was before they made it an Eclipse plugin. In my opinion it was a lot quicker and easier to use when it was it's own stand alone IDE - Eclipse was just too sluggish.

Eclipse (PDT)

Here's another great IDE - this one is also free.

The only issue I have with this one is the fact that it has way too many features, and can take a long time to get used to (if you're a beginner). And the fact that it's bloated with features can make it feel a bit sluggish a times, but this is just my experience. I'm sure other people use this as their primary and are very happy with the way it works.


And finally, we have the legendary VIM! Most people probably would never use just this editor, but it's nice to know about it and how it works. You never know if you'll ever be in a position where you only have access to a shell screen with only VIM installed as an editor…

Hope this helps someone out.

jon | July 05, 2010 | Comments (4)


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Comment by xogluoae - January 29, 2015 @ 4:11 am
Textmate is not an IDE, even their website didn't claim it. IDE is different than just Text Editor.
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Comment by Janeece - May 07, 2011 @ 12:05 am

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