As a Programmer or software developer, if you want to remain productive and competitive, then you should be able to write quality code within a short period. That’s the reason why you must always look out for ways to simplify your tasks. Thanks to platforms like PhpStorm IDE software, writig codes is now seamless.
Without a suitable IDE, you’ll spend time deciding tools to use for various tasks, configuring the tools and even learning how to use them.
But, there’s no need to waste such an ample time.
Built on IntelliJ IDEA, PhpStorm is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that consolidates the necessary tools needed to write and test programs.
Instead of performing all the steps required to develop executable programs as separate and individual tasks, you can use the software to simplify SDLC tasks.
Now, you can quickly develop software. Plus, identify and minimize coding errors.
In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at PhpStorm – it’s pros, cons, features, and others.
After reading, you should be able to know what the software can do; its drawbacks and how it can be used for development tasks.
That said, let’s dive deep.
What is PhpStorm?
Designed for PHP and web developers in 2009, the software leverages IntelliJ IDEA and has become a popular choice of developers around the globe.
As a programmer, the software allows you to write, compile, execute and debug code in the same place.
The platform is rich and has all features needed for rapid web development; it also works well with Yii, Zend Framework, CakePHP, Symfony and other Content Management Systems like Drupal, WordPress or even Magento.
Furthermore, you can also integrate the software with databases and tools like composers, rest clients, vagrant, SQL, command tools and remote deployment.
Pros of Using PhpStorm
Now that you have been introduced to PhpStorm, it will be good to know the benefits of using the system.
So, let’s take a look at the attraction points of this IDE software.
Less Time and Efforts:
Website development is a fast-changing industry, and as a developer, you don’t have to slack off. PhpStorm fosters web development processes. It has tools that can help prevent mistakes, organize resources and provide shortcuts.
What this means is that you’ll spend less time and efforts working on projects.
Imagine how difficult it can be to change the name of a public method used in 100 different classes in your project.
Nevertheless, you can easily use PhpStorm to do that.
Within five minutes, you can complete a job that is supposed to take two hours.
All you need is to find and change the name of the methods, check for miss-match and within a breeze, the job is done.
If you have ever started up your IDE and had to sit around for a while before you can start coding, then you’d appreciate the speed with which this software starts up.
In the words of Chris Weigman, a PHP developer:
“I could start the application, and it is ready for use within a second or two. It is not like other traditional IDEs where I could click an icon, go get a drink and probably if I was fortunate, it’ll be ready for use when I’m back.”
Better Organization of Files
PhpStorm is project oriented.
You can adequately organize all your project files, find specific files and switch between folders.
Document Version Integration:
This is another gem in the bag.
One of the advantages of PhpStorm is its ability to carry out an effective and fast search.
Now, this may seem redundant for those who’re working only on small projects. But those working on a large codebase with complicated OOP relations between classes will understand the power of advanced search.
You can easily search or replace a particular string in a file, but what if you’re interested in finding a class definition in thousands of files? Or you want to exclude comments from a retrieval result? Or maybe you want to find a method in a class that has a thousand lines of code? How will you go about it?
Well, that’s PhpStorm comes in handy. You can do all of this in a breeze.
Live Templates Usage for All Basic Language Structures
While shortcuts allow you to write and traverse through code quickly, autocompletion and live templates help you to improve your codes.
As a programmer, you should certainly know that autocompletion is pretty easy.
If you start typing the name of a variable, class or method, PhpStorm will show you list of all possible outcomes; you can just easily select any of them without having to type up to the end.
Given that PhpStorm is based on a compelling IntelliJ platform, it enables you to use different frameworks, languages and tech stacks that are from the PHP world.
Even if you’re not a front-end developer, you’ll need to interface with some front-end problems from time to time.
You may be required to fix in HTML markup, write on Angular JS, add parameters to REST client and more.
The joy is that you can do all of that in PhpStorm.
It Helps to Avoid Bugs with PHPDocs
So far, you’ve learned about some of the pros of PhpStorm. But wait, there’s more.
The software can also help avoid bugs even before the first run of your program.
Out of the box, it’ll tell you about apparent errors.
If you forget to insert a semicolon after a statement, the software will automatically mark it red.
What’s more interesting is that it’ll tell you about much more complex errors.
Cons of Using PhpStorms
Every software or product has drawbacks. Listed below are the disadvantages of PhpStorms:
- Learning Curve: Even though the software has impressive benefits, maximizing the benefits will require patience and time
- It Requires Oracle Java to Run Properly
- Complex Setup
- Maybe too complicated for beginning programmers
Features of PhpStorm
PhpStorm comes with fantastic features and improvements that help you create and build tomorrows websites, web applications and boost your coding skills.
That said, let’s dive into the features.
Intelligent Coding Assistant
PhpStorm features a smart and rich code editor for PHP.
One surprising fact about the coding assistant is that it understands your code structures and it supports different PHP versions like 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1 for legacy and modern projects.
The IDE also supports syntax highlighting, code completion, on the fly error checking, code folding, smart code completion, language mixtures and more.
Parameter Hints and Code (RE)arranger
This feature makes your code understandable and readable.
You can view parameter hints for the nulls and literals used as method arguments. Thus, understanding the semantics of specific methods.
The code (re) arranger helps you control the layout of your codes. For instance, it helps you keep dependent methods together; you can also use It to specify methods that need to be ordered after fields.
Support for Multiple Frameworks
If you use PHP frameworks, then this feature is for you.
PhpStorm IDE integrates well with quite many frameworks including Yii, CakePHP, Laravel, and Symfony2.
It’ll be good to know that the Future Hosting’s PHP Framework servers support all the frameworks listed above.
PHP Mess Detector and Code Sniffer
Ever been bothered on how to write correct codes while trying to beat time? If yes, then this is for you.
You can quickly check your codes on the fly using PhpStorm’s mess detector and code sniffer.
The check is automatically triggered whenever you make changes to your file, enabling you to fix problems as soon as they arise.
Complete Development Environment
This software will make it easier.
Because it offers you syntax highlighting and excellent code completion support, no matter the language you are using.
The software also has a built-in code formatting which keeps your codes in line with standards.
- Customizable breakpoint properties: conditions, pass count, suspend mode and more.
Fast and Secure Refactoring
You can use the software to refactor codes. Thus you can easily rename, move, delete, extract, change signature and perform other activities on your codes.
As a developer, you can efficiently manage project-wide changes with any hassles. Plus, you can also refactor an entire PHP namespace with just a few clicks. That’s not all; you can effortlessly revert any changes made.
Great Version Control Integration
Great as this may sound, the software fully supports a wide range of version control systems including Github and Git.
Now, you can easily merge and branch from within the IDE. Also, commits are just a keyboard shortcut away.
Additionally, the software also supports FTP – you can easily upload your codes to a remote server in seconds.
The software smartly handles namespaces with optimizing imports, auto-imports, folding for imports and more.
- Live Edit
- Database and SQL
- Code Quality Analysis
- DOM-Based, Browser-Specific Completion
- Visual Debugger
PhpStorm has separate pricing plans for individual customers and another for organizations and businesses.
So, Let’s look at each of the plans alongside their features.
The pricing plan for individual customer comes with a PhpStorm plan and an All Products Pack.
This plan has different prices for the first year, second year, third year and onwards.
- $8.90/ month or $89.00/year for the first year
- $71.00/year for the second year
- $53.00/year for the third year
All Product Packs
Just like the PhpStorm plan, this plan also comes with different prices per year, it has different prices for the first year, second year, third year and onwards.
- $24.90/month or $249.00/year for the first year
- $199.00/year for the second year
- $149.00/year for the third year
Businesses and Organizations
This pricing plan comes with a PhpStorm plan and an All Products Pack.
This plan has different prices for the first year, second year, third year and onwards.
- $19.90/month or $199.00/year for the first year
- $159.90/year for the second year
- $119.00/year for the third year
All Product Packs
Just like the PhpStorm plan, this plan also comes with different prices for the first year, the second year, third year and onwards.
- $64.90/month or $649.00/year for the first year
- $519.00/year for the second year
- $389.00/year for the third year
The All product pack for individual customers as well as businesses and organizations comes with the following IDE: PhpStorm, DataGrip, Pycharm, WebStorm, Rider, IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, CLion, Appcode, GoLand and Ruby mine.
To use the software well, you’ll need to be aware of the technical details of PhpStorm.
Let’s quickly take a look at these technical details.
You can access the software on the following devices:
PhpStorm supports only English Language.
- Monthly Payment
- Annual Subscription
PhpStorm is ideal for:
- Small businesses
- Medium businesses
- Large businesses
Using the key skill sets and the power of PhpStorm covered in this piece, you too can boost your efficiency and prevent bugs even before you finish typing.
We have done a great job by introducing you to PhpStorm.
If you regularly work with PHP and you’re looking for something a bit more capable, then you can consider taking a look at PhpStorm.
But then, that’s your choice to make.
You can go ahead and download a 30-day trial version of the software for free.