50 Extremely Useful PHP Tools


By Jacob Gube

PHP is one of the most widely used open-source server-side scripting languages that exist today. With over 20 million indexed domains using PHP, including major websites like Facebook, Digg and WordPress, there are good reasons why many Web developers prefer it to other server-side scripting languages, such as Python and Ruby.

PHP is faster1 (updated), and it is the most used scripting language2 in practice; it has detailed documentation, a huge community, numerous ready-to-use scripts and well-supported frameworks; and most importantly, it’s much easier to get started with PHP than with other scripting languages (Python, for example). That’s why it makes perfect sense to provide the huge community of PHP developers with an overview of useful tools and resources that can make their development process easier and more effective.

This post presents 50 useful PHP tools that can significantly improve your programming workflow. Among other things, you’ll find a plethora of libraries and classes that aid in debugging, testing, profiling and code-authoring in PHP.

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

Debugging Tools

  • Webgrind5
    Webgrind is an Xdebug6 profiling Web front end in PHP 5. It implements a subset of the features of kcachegrind7, installs in seconds and works on all platforms. For quick ‘n’ dirty optimizations, it does the job.


  • Xdebug9
    Xdebug is one of the most popular debugging PHP extensions. It provides a ton of useful data to help you quickly find bugs in your source code. Xdebug plugs right into many of the most popular PHP applications, such as PHPEclipse and phpDesigner.
  • Gubed PHP Debugger10
    As the name implies, Gubed PHP Debugger is a PHP debugging tool for hunting down logic errors.
  • DBG11
    DBG is a robust and popular PHP debugger for use in local and remote PHP debugging. It plugs into numerous PHP IDE’s and can easily be used with the command line.
  • PHP_Debug12
    PHP_Debug is an open-source project that gives you useful information about your PHP code that can be used for debugging. It can output processing times of your PHP and SQL, check the performance of particular code blocks and get variable dumps in graphical form, which is great if you need a more visual output than the one given to you by print_r() or var_dump().
  • PHP_Dyn13
    PHP_Dyn is another excellent PHP debugging tool that’s open-source. You can trace execution and get an output of the argument and return values of your functions.
  • MacGDBp14
    MacGDBp is a live PHP debugger application for the Mac OS. It has all the features you’d expect from a fully featured debugger, such as the ability to step through your code and set breakpoints.

Testing and Optimization Tools

  • PHPUnit15
    PHPUnit is a complete port of the popular JUnit16 unit testing suite to PHP 5. It’s a tool that helps you test your Web application’s stability and scalability. Writing test cases within the PHPUnit framework is easy; here’s how to do it17.
  • SimpleTest18
    SimpleTest is a straightforward unit-testing platform for PHP applications. To get up and running with SimpleTest quickly, read through this pragmatic tutorial19 that shows you how to create a new test case.


  • Selenium21
    Selenium Remote Control (RC) is a test tool that allows you to write automated Web application UI tests in any programming language against any HTTP website using any mainstream JavaScript-enabled browser. It can be used in conjunction with PHPUnit to create and run automated tests within a Web browser.
  • PHP_CodeSniffer22
    PHP_CodeSniffer is a PHP 5 script for detecting conformance to a predefined PHP coding standard. It’s a helpful tool for maintaining uniform coding styles for large projects and teams.
  • dBug23
    dBug is ColdFusion’s cfDump24 for PHP. It’s a simple tool for outputting data tables that contain information about arrays, classes and objects, database resources and XML resources, making it very useful for debugging purposes.

    dBug - Screenshot25

  • PHP Profile Class26
    PHP Profile Class is an excellent PHP profiling tool for your Web applications. Using this class will help you quickly and easily gain insight into which parts of your app could use some refactoring and optimization.

Documentation Tools

  • phpDocumentor27
    phpDocumentor (also known as phpdoc and phpdocu) is a documentation tool for your PHP source code. It has an innumerable amount of features, including the ability to output in HTML, PDF, CHM and XML DocBook formats, and has both a Web-based and command-line interface as well as source-code highlighting. To learn more about phpDocumentor, check out the online manual28.
  • PHP DOX29
    An AJAX-powered PHP documentation search engine that enables you to search titles from all PHP documentation pages.

Security Tools

  • Securimage30
    Securimage is a free, open-source PHP CAPTCHA script for generating complex images and CAPTCHA codes to protect forms from spam and abuse.
  • Scavenger31
    Scavenger is an open-source, real-time vulnerability management tool. It helps system administrators respond to vulnerability findings, track vulnerability findings and review accepted and false-positive answered vulnerabilities, without “nagging” them with old vulnerabilities.
  • PHP-IDS32
    PHP-IDS (PHP-Intrusion Detection System) is a simple-to-use, well-structured, fast and state-of-the-art security layer for your PHP-based Web application.
  • Pixy: PHP Security Scanner33
    Pixy is a Java program that performs automatic scans of PHP 4 source code, aimed to detect XSS and SQL injection vulnerabilities. Pixy takes a PHP program as input and creates a report that lists possible vulnerable points in the program, along with additional information for understanding the vulnerability.

Image Manipulation and Graphs

  • PHP/SWF Charts34
    PHP/SWF Charts is a powerful PHP tool that enables you to create attractive Web charts and graphs from dynamic data. You can use PHP scripts to generate and gather data from databases, then pass it to this tool to generate Flash (SWF) charts and graphs.
  • pChart – a chart-drawing PHP library35
    pChart is a PHP class-oriented framework designed to create aliased charts. Most of today’s chart libraries have a cost; this one is free. Data can be retrieved from SQL queries or CSV files or can be manually provided.

    Chart - Screenshot36

  • WideImage37
    WideImage is a PHP library for dynamic image manipulation and processing for PHP 5. To be able to use the library, you should have the GD PHP extension38 installed on your Web server.
  • MagickWand For PHP39
    MagickWand For PHP is a PHP module suite for working with the ImageMagick40 API, which lets you create, compose and edit bitmap images. It’s a useful tool for quickly incorporating image-editing features in your PHP applications.

PHP Code Beautifier

  • PHP_Beautifier41
    PHP Beautifier is a PEAR package for automatically formatting and “beautifying” PHP 4 and PHP 5 source code.
  • PHPCodeBeautifier42
    PHPCodeBeautifier is a tool that saves you from hours of reformatting code to suit your own way of presenting it. A GUI version allows you to process files visually; a command-line version can be batched or integrated with other tools (like CVS, SubVersion, IDE, etc.); and there is also an integrated tool of PHPEdit.
  • GeSHi – Generic Syntax Highlighter43
    GeSHi is designed to be a simple but powerful highlighting class, with the goal of supporting a wide range of popular languages. Developers can easily add new languages for highlighting and define easily customizable output formats.

Version-Control Systems

  • Phing44
    Phing is a popular project version-control system for PHP. It is a useful tool for organizing and maintaining different builds of your project.
  • xinc45
    xinc is a continuous integration server46 version-control system written in PHP 5 (i.e. continuous builds instead of nightly builds). It works great with other systems such as Subversion47 and Phing48.

Useful Extensions, Utilities and Classes

  • SimplePie49
    SimplePie is a PHP class that helps you work with RSS feeds. Check out the online RSS and Atom feed reader50, which demonstrates a simple Web application that uses SimplePie.

    SimplePie - Screenshot51

  • HTML Purifier52
    HTML Purifier is a standards-compliant HTML filter library written in PHP. HTML Purifier not only removes all malicious code (better known as XSS) with a thoroughly audited, secure yet permissive white list, it also makes sure your documents are standards-compliant. Open source and highly customizable.
  • TCPDF53
    TCPDF is an open-source PHP class for generating PDF documents.
  • htmlSQL54
    htmlSQL is a unique tool. It is a PHP class for querying HTML values in an SQL-like syntax. Check out the live demonstration of how htmlSQL works55.
  • The Greatest PHP Snippet File Ever (Using Quicktext for Notepad++)56
    “A little something for all coders: a snippets file that I use for PHP coding. This is designed to be used with Quicktext for Notepad++, but feel free to adapt it to whatever text editor you prefer.”
  • Creole57
    Creole is a database abstraction layer for PHP5. It abstracts PHP’s native database-specific API to create more portable code while also providing developers with a clean, fully object-oriented interface based loosely on the API for Java’s JDBC.
  • PHPLinq58
    LINQ is a component that adds native data querying capabilities to PHP using a syntax reminiscent of SQL. It defines a set of query operators that can be used to query, project and filter data in arrays, enumerable classes, XML, relational databases and third-party data sources. [via59]
  • PHPMathPublisher60
    With PhpMathPublisher, you can publish mathematical documents on the Web using only a PHP script (no LaTeX programs on the server and no MathML).

    Math - Screenshot61

  • phpMyAdmin62
    If you’re working with PHP, there’s a big chance you’re set up in a LAMP configuration. phpMyAdmin is Web-based tool for managing, building, importing, exporting and exploring MySQL databases.
  • PHPExcel63
    PHPExcel is a set of useful PHP classes for working with Microsoft Excel files. PHPExcel allows you to read Excel files and write to them. This is useful for dynamically generating Excel spreadsheets for downloading.
  • Phormer64
    Phormer is a PHP-based photo gallery management application that helps you to store, categorize and trim your photos online.
  • xajax PHP Class Library65
    xajax is a PHP class for easily working with PHP AJAX applications. It gives you an easy-to-use API for quickly managing AJAX-related tasks. Check out the xajax Multiplier demo66 and the Graffiti Wall demo67 to see the xajax PHP class in action.
  • PHP User Class68
    PHP User Class is an excellent script that helps you create a system for user authentication (i.e. registration, log in, account profile, etc.). It’s a useful utility to have around if you require user registration for your Web applications.
  • PHP-GTK69
    PHP-GTK is a PHP extension for the GTK+70 toolkit (a robust toolkit for developing GUIs). It is a suite of useful OOP functions and classes to help you rapidly build cross-platform, client-side GUI’s for your application.

PHP Online Tools and Resources

  • Minify!71
    Minify is a PHP 5 app that can combine multiple CSS or JavaScript files, compress their content (i.e. remove unnecessary white space and comments) and serve the results with HTTP encoding (via Gzip/deflate) and headers that allow optimal client-side caching. This will help you follow several of Yahoo!’s Rules for High Performance Websites72.

    minify - Screenshot73

  • HTTP_StaticMerger: Automatic “merging” of CSS and JavaScript files74
    This library automatically merges sets of static files (CSS or JavaScript) and speeds up page loading (by lowering the number of HTTP queries). It is recommended to use this together with caching reverse-proxy to minimize the response time.
  • PHP Object Generator75
    PHP Object Generator is an open-source Web-based tool that helps you quickly construct PHP objects and leverage object-oriented programming (OOP) principles in your code.

    Php Object Generator - Screenshot76

  • gotAPI/PHP77
    gotAPI is a useful online tool for quickly looking up PHP functions and classes. Also check out the Quick PHP look-up78 widget example in case you’d like to include this awesome look-up feature on your website.

    gotAPI/PHP - Screenshot79

  • koders80
    koders is a search engine for open-source and downloadable code. It currently has over a billion lines of code indexed and isn’t limited to just PHP.
  • PECL81
    PECL is a directory of all known PHP extensions and a hosting facility for downloading and developing PHP extensions.

In-Browser Tools (Firefox Add-Ons)

  • FirePHP82
    FirePHP is a Firefox extension that allows you to log data in Firebug83. It has a variety of useful logging features, such as the ability to change your error and exception handling on the fly and to log errors directly to the Firebug console. To learn more about what FirePHP can do, check out the FirePHP guide on how to use FirePHP84. For developers using the Zend PHP framework85, you might find this guide on using FirePHP with Zend86 useful.

    FirePHP - Screenshot87

  • phpLangEditor88
    phpLangEditor is a very handy Firefox add-on for translating language files and variables in your script.

    phpLangEditor - Screenshot89

  • PHP Lookup90
    PHP Lookup is a built-in search bar to help you quickly look up references to PHP syntax.
  • PHP Manual Search91
    PHP Manual Search is a handy search bar that searches official PHP documentation92 from within your Web browser.

Frameworks for PHP

  • Dwoo93
    Dwoo is a PHP 5 template engine positioned as an alternative to Smarty. It is (nearly) fully compatible with its templates and plug-ins, but it is being written from scratch and is aimed to go one step further with a cleaner code base.
  • CodeIgniter94
    CodeIgniter is a powerful, high-performance, open-source PHP framework that helps you author PHP applications rapidly. CodeIgniter is known for having a light footprint, thereby reducing your server’s work. You can get up and running with CodeIgniter in a jiffy: it has an awesome online manual95, a couple of helpful video tutorials96 and an active user forum97.

    CodeIgniter - Screenshot98

  • YII Framework99
    Here is a high-performance component-based PHP framework that is supposed to be more efficient than CodeIgniter, CakePHP, ZF and Symfony. An optimal solution for developing large-scale Web applications. Yii supports MVC, DAO/ActiveRecord, I18N/L10N, caching, jQuery-based AJAX support, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, input validation, widgets, events, theming and Web services.
  • NetBeans100
    A dedicated PHP coding environment and complete integration with web standards. The NetBeans PHP editor is dynamically integrated with NetBeans HTML, JavaScript and CSS editing features such as syntax highlighting and the JavaScript debugger. NetBeans IDE 6.5 fully supports iterative development, so testing PHP projects follows the classic patterns familiar to web developers.
  • Solar101
    Solar is a PHP 5 development framework for Web applications derived from the Savant102 templating engine. Solar uses the MVC architectural pattern and has a host of classes and functions for securing your Web app against SQL injection, cross-website scripting (XSS) and other common exploits.

    Solar - Screenshot103

  • symfony104
    symfony is an open-source PHP 5 Web application framework that is well known for its modularity and useful library of classes. To get up and running as fast as possible, you should check out the pragmatic symfony online tutorial called “The symfony 1.2 advent calendar tutorial105,” which takes you through a step-by-step example of building your own symfony-based Web application.
  • PEAR – PHP Extension and Application Repository106
    PEAR is a popular framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. The purpose of the framework is to provide a structured library of open-source code for PHP users, a system for code distribution and package maintenance and a standard style for PHP code.
  • Propel107
    Propel is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework for PHP 5. It allows you to access your database using a set of objects, providing a simple API for storing and retrieving data.
  • {{macro}} template engine108
    {{macro}} compiles initial templates into executable PHP scripts with very clean syntax (much cleaner than WACT and Smarty) and executes them very fast. The engine doesn’t use an XML-like syntax; there are only two data scopes, global and local, and no more data sources (all data is displayed with regular PHP variables); and the system supports all WACT features such as templates wrapping and including.minify - Screenshot
  • Zend Framework109
    The Zend Framework by Zend Technologies110 (the creators of PHP’s scripting engine) is a popular PHP Web application framework that embraces the principles of PHP OOP; it’s very extensible and has built-in utilities for working with free Web service APIs, such as those of Google111, Flickr112 and Amazon113.
  • Qcodo114
    Qcodo is an excellent open-source PHP Web application framework. It’s subdivided into two parts: (1) Code Generator, and (2) Qforms. Code Generator handles the creation of object code and PHP and HTML front-end code from your data model. Qforms is an intuitive system for handling and creating complex PHP-driven HTML Web forms. Check out demos of applications that use Qcodo and presentational material that covers Qcodo115.

    Qcodo - Screenshot116

  • SAJAX117
    SAJAX is a JavaScript and AJAX application framework that works well with PHP (as well as several other server-side scripting languages). See SAJAX at work by going to Wall live demonstration118.
  • Smarty119
    Smarty is a popular PHP templating system to help you separate PHP logic and front-end code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). It will keep your projects modular and easier to maintain.
  • CakePHP120
    CakePHP is one of the leading PHP frameworks for creating robust, fully-featured Web applications. CakePHP has an extensive and well-organized online manual121. If you want to learn via video tutorials, check out the CakePHP screencasts122.

    CakePHP - Screenshot123

  • Savant2124
    Savant2 is another popular object-oriented PHP templating system. Instead of a special syntax unique to Savant2, you use PHP syntax to develop your project’s template.
  • PHPSpec125
    PHPSpec is a simple and intuitive PHP framework. It follows the Behavior-Driven Development principle and therefore allows you to write behavior-oriented code, oftentimes in plain English.

PHP IDEs and Editors

  • PHPEclipse126
    PHPEclipse is a popular PHP source-code editor that is open source and runs on all the major operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It has all the features you’d expect from a PHP source-code editor, such as code-folding, syntax highlighting, hover-over tool tips and support for XDebug and DBG.

    PHPEclipse - Screenshot127

  • PhpED128
    PhpED is an excellent IDE for Windows users. It is one of the most robust and feature-packed IDEs currently out on the market and has useful features such as a built-in source-code profiler129 to find bottlenecks in your PHP source code and excellent integration with third-party apps and services just as front-end code validation.

    PhpED - Screenshot130

  • phpDesigner131
    phpDesigner is a lightweight PHP editor/IDE that also handles front-end code and markup remarkably well. Check out the phpDesigner online tutorials132, as well as screencasts on phpDesigner133 to help you learn more about the IDE.

    phpDesigner - Screenshot134

  • Zend Studio135
    Zend Studio is an excellent PHP IDE for Eclipse. It’ll help you develop, deploy and manage Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) in an intuitive interface.

    Zend Studio - Screenshot136

  • Aptana PHP137
    Aptana PHP is an open-source IDE extension/plug-in to be used in conjunction with Aptana Studio. To learn more, be sure to check out the online documentation about Aptana PHP138.
  • PDT139
    PDT is a PHP Development Tools framework that’s part of the Eclipse project. PDT includes all the necessary tools for you to create PHP-based Web applications.
  • VS.Php140
    VS.Php is a PHP IDE for MS Visual Studio, making it a great IDE for recently converted ASP developers who have used MS VS to develop Web applications. To get you up and running ASAP with VS.Php, check out Jcx.Software’s online tutorials141 as well as its online documentation142.
  • PHPEdit143
    PHPEdit is an excellent PHP editor/IDE with a ton of useful features and a very intuitive user interface. To learn more about why PHPEdit is a good IDE, read the 10 reasons to use PHPEdit144 and view the introductory screencast about PHPEdit145.

Sources and Resources



  1. 1 http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/gp4/benchmark.php?test=all&lang=php&lang2=ruby
  2. 2 http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/09/50-really-useful-css-tools/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/18/15-helpful-in-browser-web-development-tools/
  5. 5 http://code.google.com/p/webgrind/
  6. 6 http://www.xdebug.org/
  7. 7 http://kcachegrind.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/show.cgi
  8. 8 http://code.google.com/p/webgrind/
  9. 9 http://xdebug.org/index.php
  10. 10 http://gubed.mccabe.nu/
  11. 11 http://www.php-debugger.com/dbg/
  12. 12 http://www.php-debug.com/www/
  13. 13 http://sourceforge.net/projects/php-dyn/
  14. 14 http://www.bluestatic.org/software/macgdbp/
  15. 15 http://www.phpunit.de/
  16. 16 http://www.junit.org/
  17. 17 http://www.phpunit.de/manual/current/en/writing-tests-for-phpunit.html
  18. 18 http://www.simpletest.org/
  19. 19 http://www.simpletest.org/en/first_test_tutorial.html
  20. 20 http://www.simpletest.org/
  21. 21 http://selenium-rc.openqa.org/
  22. 22 http://matrix.squiz.net/developer/tools/php_cs
  23. 23 http://dbug.ospinto.com/
  24. 24 http://livedocs.adobe.com/coldfusion/6.1/htmldocs/tags-p21.htm
  25. 25 http://dbug.ospinto.com/
  26. 26 http://www.coderholic.com/php-profile-class/
  27. 27 http://phpdoc.org/
  28. 28 http://www.phpdoc.org/manual.php
  29. 29 http://phpdox.net/
  30. 30 http://www.phpcaptcha.org/
  31. 31 https://trac.anl.gov/scavenger/wiki/WikiStart
  32. 32 http://php-ids.org/
  33. 33 http://blog.evaria.com/2007/pixy-the-php-security-scanner/
  34. 34 http://www.maani.us/charts4/
  35. 35 http://pchart.sourceforge.net/index.php
  36. 36 http://simplepie.org/
  37. 37 http://wideimage.sourceforge.net/wiki/MainPage
  38. 38 http://us2.php.net/gd
  39. 39 http://www.magickwand.org/
  40. 40 http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php
  41. 41 http://pear.php.net/package/PHP_Beautifier
  42. 42 http://www.waterproof.fr/products/phpCodeBeautifier/
  43. 43 http://qbnz.com/highlighter/
  44. 44 http://phing.info/trac/
  45. 45 http://code.google.com/p/xinc/
  46. 46 http://www.martinfowler.com/articles/continuousIntegration.html#EveryCommitShouldBuildTheMainlineOnAnIntegrationMachine
  47. 47 http://subversion.tigris.org/
  48. 48 http://phing.info/
  49. 49 http://simplepie.org/
  50. 50 http://simplepie.org/demo/
  51. 51 http://simplepie.org/
  52. 52 http://htmlpurifier.org/
  53. 53 http://www.tecnick.com/public/code/cp_dpage.php?aiocp_dp=tcpdf
  54. 54 http://www.jonasjohn.de/lab/htmlsql.htm
  55. 55 http://www.jonasjohn.de/lab/htmlsql/
  56. 56 http://searchlightdigital.com/the-greatest-php-snippet-file-ever-using-quicktext-for-notepad
  57. 57 http://creole.phpdb.org/trac/
  58. 58 http://www.codeplex.com/PHPLinq
  59. 59 http://phpimpact.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/30-useful-php-classes-and-components/
  60. 60 http://www.xm1math.net/phpmathpublisher/
  61. 61 http://www.xm1math.net/phpmathpublisher/
  62. 62 http://www.phpmyadmin.net/home_page/index.php
  63. 63 http://www.codeplex.com/PHPExcel
  64. 64 http://p.horm.org/er/
  65. 65 http://www.xajaxproject.org/
  66. 66 http://www.xajaxproject.org/examples/multiply/multiply.php
  67. 67 http://www.xajaxproject.org/examples/thewall/thewall.php
  68. 68 http://phpuserclass.com/
  69. 69 http://gtk.php.net/
  70. 70 http://www.gtk.org/
  71. 71 http://code.google.com/p/minify/
  72. 72 http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/index.html#rules
  73. 73 http://code.google.com/p/minify/
  74. 74 http://en.dklab.ru/lib/HTTP_StaticMerger/
  75. 75 http://www.phpobjectgenerator.com/
  76. 76 http://www.phpobjectgenerator.com/
  77. 77 http://www.gotapi.com/php
  78. 78 http://www.gotapi.com/widgets/compiled/c1_module_php.html
  79. 79 http://www.gotapi.com/php
  80. 80 http://www.koders.com/
  81. 81 http://pecl.php.net/
  82. 82 http://www.firephp.org/
  83. 83 http://getfirebug.com/
  84. 84 http://www.firephp.org/HQ/Use.htm
  85. 85 http://framework.zend.com/
  86. 86 http://www.christophdorn.com/Blog/2008/09/02/firephp-and-zend-framework-16/
  87. 87 http://www.firephp.org/
  88. 88 http://phplangeditor.mozdev.org/
  89. 89 http://phplangeditor.mozdev.org/
  90. 90 https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3505
  91. 91 https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8984
  92. 92 http://www.php.net/docs.php
  93. 93 http://dwoo.org/
  94. 94 http://codeigniter.com/
  95. 95 http://codeigniter.com/user_guide/
  96. 96 http://codeigniter.com/tutorials/
  97. 97 http://codeigniter.com/forums/
  98. 98 http://codeigniter.com/
  99. 99 http://www.yiiframework.com/
  100. 100 http://www.netbeans.org/features/php/index.html
  101. 101 http://www.solarphp.com/
  102. 102 http://phpsavant.com/
  103. 103 http://www.solarphp.com/
  104. 104 http://www.symfony-project.org/
  105. 105 http://www.jobeet.org/
  106. 106 http://pear.php.net/
  107. 107 http://propel.phpdb.org/trac/
  108. 108 http://wiki.limb-project.com/doku.php?id=limb3:en:packages:macro
  109. 109 http://framework.zend.com/
  110. 110 http://www.zend.com/en/company/
  111. 111 http://code.google.com/apis/gdata/
  112. 112 http://flickr.com/services/
  113. 113 http://aws.amazon.com/
  114. 114 http://www.qcodo.com/
  115. 115 http://www.qcodo.com/demos/
  116. 116 http://www.qcodo.com/
  117. 117 http://www.modernmethod.com/sajax/
  118. 118 http://www.modernmethod.com/sajax/sajax-0.12/php/example_wall.php
  119. 119 http://www.smarty.net/
  120. 120 http://cakephp.org/
  121. 121 http://book.cakephp.org/
  122. 122 http://live.cakephp.org/
  123. 123 http://cakephp.org/
  124. 124 http://phpsavant.com/yawiki/
  125. 125 http://www.phpspec.org/
  126. 126 http://www.phpeclipse.com/
  127. 127 http://www.phpeclipse.com/
  128. 128 http://www.nusphere.com/products/phped.htm
  129. 129 http://www.nusphere.com/products/php_profiler.htm
  130. 130 http://www.nusphere.com/products/phped.htm
  131. 131 http://www.mpsoftware.dk/phpdesigner.php
  132. 132 http://www.mpsoftware.dk/tutorials.php
  133. 133 http://www.mpsoftware.dk/phpdesigner_screencasts.php
  134. 134 http://www.mpsoftware.dk/phpdesigner.php
  135. 135 http://www.zend.com/en/products/studio/
  136. 136 http://www.zend.com/en/products/studio/
  137. 137 http://www.aptana.com/php
  138. 138 http://www.aptana.com/docs/index.php/PHP
  139. 139 http://www.eclipse.org/pdt/
  140. 140 http://www.jcxsoftware.com/vs.php
  141. 141 http://www.jcxsoftware.com/tutorials.php
  142. 142 http://www.jcxsoftware.com/jcx/vsphp/docs
  143. 143 http://www.phpedit.com/
  144. 144 http://www.phpedit.com/Features/10-reasons-to-use-PHPEdit
  145. 145 http://www.phpedit.com/Features/Screencasts/PHPEdit-3.0-Overview
  146. 146 http://code.google.com/p/phpfr/
  147. 147 http://phpimpact.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/30-useful-php-classes-and-components/
  148. 148 http://phpadvent.org/2008
  149. 149 http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/05/13/useful-in-browser-development-tools-for-php/
  150. 150 http://www.phpclasses.org/
  151. 151 http://mashable.com/2007/09/26/php-toolbox/

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions, a web publication for web developers and designers, and the Deputy Editor of Design Instruct, a web magazine for designers and digital artists. He has over seven years of experience as professional web developer and web designer and has written a book on JavaScript.

  1. 1

    This is a great article. I love PHP. Thank you very much!

  2. 2

    Now this is what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

  3. 3

    Psst.. under “Image Manipulation” you’ve got “WideImage” listed twice.

    Fix it quickly and it can be our little secret. ;)

  4. 4

    Perfect Tools Collection..Thank you very much..:D

  5. 5

    Q:Does anyone know about a built in FTP browser in Eclipse?
    Not finding it yet is the only reason I’m still using Zend studio…

  6. 6

    Creole is a really powerful package for accessing databases. The only problem with it at the moment is that its dead. But unfortunately I don´t know any alternatives, except for Dibi.

  7. 7

    Atiq at Metrodesk.com.bd

    January 20, 2009 9:30 pm

    Great collection! I like its Keep Rocking!!!

  8. 8

    Your version control section should disappear – version control means managing changes to text files (tla tools like cvs, svn, bzr, git, etc). Phing is a build system (like makefiles but more sophisticated) and xinc is a continuous integration tool. This arguably fits under version control since your version control system is what prompts a continuous integration tool (never used it, but as I understand the idea is that for all all commits or checkins, builds are created and tested automatically…). Still xinc would probably be better under the “testing” section…

  9. 9

    very good!

  10. 10

    Excellent collection.

  11. 11

    As allways a really got post but i’m missing php caching applications like php eaccelerator for example. This is a great help to get much more speed out of php overall!

  12. 12

    You missed Netbeans IDE, which supports PHP in its latest version too! And also KohanaPHP framework.

  13. 13

    Excellent post! Thanks, a lot of new, useful information.

  14. 14

    Huh… PHP… it is beautiful to be graphic / web designer only :) Especially now, when you can find a lot of java/php/etc scripts over the internet :]

  15. 15

    Also have a look at phpdevshell.org, nifty gui framework. It works great where smaller teams are involved in the development.

  16. 16

    ha! Back from the brink! You see this post “makes my life easier” like the tagline says. HDR photos don’t, this does. Consider an advertiser clicked.

  17. 17

    What a great survey. Thanks, smashing!

  18. 18

    As always a great collection of ressources again. Smashing magazine, you make my world go rocking round!

  19. 19

    I sugggest KohanaPHP framework. It’s a super-charged version of CodeIgniter, and will significantly reduce your development time. It has ORM, templating, and very clear namespace, and much more. Try take a peek on their website.

  20. 20

    Doxygen does a better job than phpDocumentor. Its not written in PHP but it works with PHP.

  21. 21

    In PHP IDE missed NetBeans PHP – now more usable then Eclipse.

  22. 22

    “Sure, PHP isn’t quick, ”

    Utter rubbish – if you read the comments at the end of the article you realise how flawed the benchmarking approach in that article is. He has come to a conclusion then gone out to get the results.

    1) The PHP code he wrote was poor and inefficient
    2) The benchmark test does not give a good understanding of general performance, each language has its own optimizations and therefore strengths and weaknesses.
    2.1) Therefore the only thing he proved was that his (poorly written) merge sort function was faster in Ruby. If he’d used the inbuilt sort() function or a good merge sort algorithm the results would be different.

    Sorry Ruby fans

  23. 23

    Finally something useful on Smashing Magazine

  24. 24

    Thanks for the great list. Very usefull. Yet, I happen to be using Komodo as an IDE (actually the free Komodo Edit) and miss it in your listing of PHP IDEs. A closer look at the software might be interesting as it is much more robust than, say, the Eclipse Plugins. These tend to shut down unexpectately quite often on my Mac. Nevertheless: You rock!

  25. 25

    finally some resources for the programmer.
    LINQ for PHP: I’m certainly going to try that one out!!

    Great article!

  26. 26

    Good Job, Thank You.

  27. 27

    Reply to Noam’s “Q:Does anyone know about a built in FTP browser in Eclipse?”

    Eclipse has a team provider plugins available for FTP and SFTP as well:

    FTP: http://www.eclipse.org/eclipse/platform-team/target.php
    SFTP: http://www.jcraft.com/eclipse-sftp/

  28. 28

    Very nice listing. I’m currently using creole, propel and symfony and Eclipse as editor.

  29. 29

    Thank you!! I love you, SM

  30. 30

    You have Code Igniter as a framework and not Kohana?! Kohana is based on Code Igniter, but is far better… I’d much rather replace Code Igniter with Kohana if I were you!

    Fantastic post, btw!

  31. 31

    The version 5 of XML/SWF is easier to work with than the version 4 PHP/SWF, definitely worth going with instead (I’ve used both).
    I also keep my book handy, either in printed form or in PDF form (free, creative commons). I’m not always near the internet, and we all know you never memorize all the date function extras or sprintf details, so I find that invaluable. PHP book if anyone else wants it.

  32. 32

    Why wasn’t Netbeans listed among the PHP IDE’s? Netbeans has had PHP support since Netbeans 6.5

  33. 33

    Valentin Jacquemin

    January 21, 2009 12:28 am

    Nice list, thanks!

    Netbeans would have deserve a mention in tools section. It’s a really enjoyable and fast PHP IDE. I can only encourage to take a look!

  34. 34

    Great post thankyou!

  35. 35

    Great list thanks!

    This might me a helpful addition though http://www.PHPanywhere.net is an Online PHP Editor and FTP server.

    THis is a service I created so I hope you enjoy!

  36. 36

    One more editor … TextMate :) It’s probably the best one for MacOS X :)

  37. 37

    everytime I see lists of “usefull php-editors” I’m misssing edit plus. it’s so great I won’t miss it anymore. the best are the build-in ftp functionality (save online) and the possibility to build up user defined syntax-highlight-files and keystrokes. give it a try!!

  38. 38

    Wow! This is a great article. I love Smashingmagazine. Thank you very much!

  39. 39

    Unbelievably usefull !
    Thanks a lot guys, this really rocks !

  40. 40

    krishna@Search Corner

    January 21, 2009 1:00 am

    Very Nice compilation of list. Thanks for sharing it :). Its worth tweeting

  41. 41

    Great article!

  42. 42

    Excellent article but where’s NetBeans?
    I’ve dumped Zend Studio in its favour and I’m a happier programmer now! :o)

  43. 43

    Further to my earlier comment, my discovery of “minify” just saved my clients 1.9 seconds per page. haha. Time saved all round! Good job.

  44. 44

    For some reason I don’t see the “Prado” PHP Framework in this list, and in my opinion, it blasts most of them out of the water.

  45. 45

    Andrea Spadaccini

    January 21, 2009 1:20 am

    Great list, I’d add to it phpMinAdmin, a lightweight clone of PHPMyAdmin. http://phpminadmin.sourceforge.net/

  46. 46

    Thanks! Just browsed the list and found many interesting links and will investigate more in the future. Bookmarked it.

  47. 47

    PHP isn’t quick? Just read comments to article you’ve pointed to.

  48. 48

    Don;t forget Komodo from activestate – by far and away the best PHP IDE around

  49. 49

    Another good editor is EditPlus.

  50. 50

    I got into Zend Framework recently. It was kinda hard at start but with the latest Quickstart it should be easier for newcomers now.

    I’m not really using an IDE right now but would love to know which one does the best (or the less worst …) autocompletion with ZF ?

  51. 51

    Loïc d'Anterroches

    January 21, 2009 2:00 am

    In the PHP framework, take a look at Pluf, following the Django principles and 2 times faster than CodeIgniter.

  52. 52

    Nice post! Thanks for the effort!

  53. 53

    Extremely useful post. Well done!

  54. 54
  55. 55

    RoR fans looks like Linux fans, you see them everywhere on the web saying how good their software is and so it looks like everyone is using it, but when you look at the market share there’s only this tiny % :-) Doesn’t say anything about inner qualities though.

  56. 56

    Don’t forget the glorious Debuglib. I could not live without it.

  57. 57

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    January 21, 2009 3:35 am

    The article was updated. Thanks for heads up – indeed, PHP is quicker than Ruby.

  58. 58

    What about Akelos? We use that framework in all our projects and it works great.

  59. 59

    How about eAccelerator….

  60. 60

    A lot of people note that netbeans is not on the list of IDEs.

    Netbeans has built in support for PHP since v6.5, that was just recently released, and probably explains why it didn’t make the list. It will surely be on the next ;)
    Netbeans has grown up to become a fast and feature rich IDE, and is now my choice IDE for php.

    It comes as a PHP only build as well, so no need for bloatware.
    Roumor has it future versions will hav CkaePHP integration as well.

    Get a glimpse of it from the netbeans php editor screencast video:

  61. 61

    This article rocks.

    Thanks for sharing info

  62. 62

    You have ArtiShow Lib to make Graph & Chart in PHP (but it’s in french) => http://www.artichow.org/

  63. 63

    Wow tank you so much!!!!

    That pChart is great, and that Excell Class!
    Oh god is this is realy good, i have searched the whole web for that Excell class.
    And pChart much better then Jgrahp (and is most of all free!).

  64. 64

    PDF – DOMPDF – http://www.digitaljunkies.ca/dompdf/

    I wish someone would redesign the PHP Classes site. It’s been same same cluster f**k for years and years…

  65. 65

    NeatBeans isnt PHP framework but IDE…

  66. 66
  67. 67

    Good post, please keep it up
    I want this type information because i also maintain a blog
    but this is a hindi blog & not copy ur post but i got ideas through ur posts.


  68. 68

    Nice post.. But it misses one very important IDE…
    Coda! It’s probably the most inuitative and most featured IDE out there, and it’s for Mac.
    Really, it is the best.

  69. 69

    Library jQuery-PHP – alternative of Xajax

    Please Separate frameworks and template engines.
    Move NetBeans from Framework to IDE

  70. 70

    I wish this list was available sooner! I found a bunch of useful tools! Thanks

  71. 71

    great post thanks!!! like some of the other ppl commented id also add Kohana to the list as its a fantastic PHP framework.

  72. 72

    Awesome list. I’ll be sure to check some of these out later

  73. 73

    wow…thanks a lot for this.. I love PHP too :)

  74. 74

    yeah where is netbeans ? its great

  75. 75

    Sorry but I think you might have left out one of the most important parts, and that is security. Here is a free link http://www.owasp.org/index.php/Main_Page

  76. 76

    I learned PHP as my first programming language, and good lord do I hate it. “Hmmm, which argument goes in which parameter slot” or “What does this script do?”. Oh, and they’re adding name spaces to PHP6? That’s completely away from how PHP is used. Think about CodeIgniter; the best framework out there, and it’d have to be completely rewritten if ported to PHP6. And… Why add name spaces and real programming things to PHP when it’s not used for real programming. It couldn’t be anyhow, since most enterprise applications can’t afford a complete rewrite every time they need to add something to their app. The only reason PHP still exists is because so many beginners stick with it because their brains hurt when they try to learn a real language, and because of this, things like WordPress (which is written like spaghetti) come out.

  77. 77

    Hum, all of those are already integral part of VS.NET…

  78. 78

    Great article , thanks smashing .

  79. 79

    Excellent post, very useful stuff;

  80. 80

    One framework you might want to check out which is up-and-coming is my Recess Framework. It is a full-stack, REST PHP Framework that has a number of innovative techniques which differentiate itself from the mass of PHP frameworks.

  81. 81

    great article but i think the “flow3 framework which will come up next time should be added it combines many great paradigm of modern programming like DomainDrivenDesign,
    Aspect Orientated Programming, Model-View-Controller Concept and many more.
    although i think that the eclipse pdt package combined with the aptana studio is a great IDE for php…

  82. 82

    huge overview of tools .. just wow!

    anyway – altough I’m not really a programmer, I wouldn’t say that php is easier to learn than e.g python. php is just much more populated, so most of the stuff in the web naturally is written in php. but python as language itself is definitely more intuitive and elaborate than php.

    and aditionally – as mikmike claimed above – php is not the language you can naturally grow with, if you wanna take advantage of new functions in new versions

  83. 83

    something more to this benchmark-thing:

    I’ve gone through the most used languages on the list of the used benchmark test.
    AND: php is faster than ruby but slower than python and perl or java …

  84. 84

    Never knew there were these many tools for PHP out there..

    thanks a lot!

  85. 85

    You can add Doctrine a PHP Object Relational Mapping and Komodo Edit / Komodo IDE, the best editor if you use several dynamic languages.

  86. 86

    In the same leage as dBug, have you seen Krumo ? It’s quite handy ;)


  87. 87

    phpMyEdit is a *fantastic* little tool that generates an add/edit/delete PHP application straight from your MySQL tables. It’s flexible and couldn’t be simpler to use. I’ve used it for years and it’s saved me so many hours in coding simple content management systems for PHP/MySQL.

  88. 88

    Shameless plug, clean and format your PHP code:

  89. 89

    I think phpUnderControl is missing. It’s good tool for testing your application automaticly.
    eZ Components is a framelike with a very good code quality and maintainers.

  90. 90

    Great list!

  91. 91

    Nice List of tools Jacob.

    I think you should separate frameworks and template engines !!

    But I’m still confused that how you missed some of the great tools like netbeans , Doxygen etc..

    I also believe that PHP is much powerful then ruby…I do admit that Ruby appears to have some features that would appeal to Smalltalk fans, but that remains a small minority. :)

    DKumar M.

  92. 92

    Wow, that’s an impressive article.
    Please write more about PHP, I really enjoy reading these articles!

  93. 93

    Great list, for you mac users out there try coda for an IDE ,it rocks.

  94. 94

    I’ve also found Server2Go to be one of the most useful tools – it’s a php/apache/mysql combo that runs literally w/o any config – unzip and go. I’ve got it installed on a portable drive …

  95. 95

    Matthew Lechleider

    January 21, 2009 12:51 pm

    Great collection of tools. It is obvious you spent a great deal of time putting this together.

    Thank you!

  96. 96

    Great list! Too bad you listed Zend IDE though. Zend 5.x and below were great, but the new 6.x crashes constantly and just flat out sucks…

    Seems to be like you might be a simple minded V9 boy (Aka Microsoft Slut). Go troll somewhere else.

    The fact is, PHP devs aren’t just beginners. I will agree there are a lot of beginners coming to PHP, but the majority of PHP devs are ones who came from Microsoft -based languages frustrated, and found PHP to be similar to the old school C++ methods of writing. And I’m more than happy to see beginners come to PHP! Web-based scripting languages are what fuel America’s online economy. It makes sense to choose the right language for the job. If you want to do gaming and stuff, by all means, choose C/C++ (TRUE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES) for that.

    Namespaces are absolutely necessary to bring the language up to true OOP specs. Dunno what you’re talking about there, but it seems you, mikemike, may be the one unable to understand how to code ;)

    It becomes even more evident mikemike has a learning curve problem when he can’t use a simple manual to figure out where params go for a function. Not to mention almost all PHP-based IDE’s now have autocomplete for you, which gives pretty good explanations of all params for a function.

    nice try though ;)

  97. 97

    Good Stuff SM, Good Stuff.

  98. 98

    Nice post! very usefull

  99. 99

    Great List! Looking at a new editor at the moment. Cheers

  100. 100

    cfDump for PHP … pure GOLD!

  101. 101

    Awesome list! Thanks!

  102. 102

    I highly recommend TextMate as an excellent PHP editor for Macs

  103. 103

    netbeans IDE in wrong section(suppost to be in IDE not framework)

  104. 104

    You should add ActiveState’s Komodo IDE to your recommended IDE list. It has a great debugger and all of the features you would expect from a good IDE (code completion, jump-to-definition, etc). I’ve demoed every IDE on your list, and although I love Eclipse (as a former Java programmer), I think Komodo blows everything else away for PHP. It does a great job with Javascript and HTML, too.

  105. 105

    You should add eZ Components to the framework list, it’s really good.
    But as the name implies the individual building blocks are dependency free so you don’t need to use the whole package if you just like one of them. It has Mvc, WebDav, Mail, Template, Database, PersistentObject, Search (Using Solr), Workflow and many more components included and it’s actively developed.

  106. 106

    oh! excellent list.

  107. 107

    Great List!!
    Thanks a ton.

  108. 108


  109. 109

    I’ll take Sequel Pro or SQL Grinder over PHP Admin any day of the week! Native Cocoa Apps Rock!

  110. 110

    Don’t forget Coda and GitX!

  111. 111

    So you don’t let me Google for php tools. I’ll glued to this post for any tools related to PHP.
    Nice Guide

  112. 112

    For everyone here who keeps saying Netbeans is suposed to be an IDE instead of a Framwork, I agree. i think it was mistakenly assumed to be Java Beans (a framework for java).

  113. 113

    I loved the article keep it up =)
    This article has given me more practical tools.


  114. 114

    smashingmagazine.com is the best site ever period. Soo much to take in. Made my life as a freelance web/graphic designer Very Very Simple.

  115. 115

    I must add to Jonathon Hibbard

    I think PHP has its eligibility but from my point of view, it has been used to many times in the wrong places where ASP.Net should have been used, or python or a third alternative. Not saying that you should start your software project with analyzing languages, maybee more your team members, but in the long run you should consider carefully.

    And for a note, I just started using LINQ. And its a microsoft tehcnology, so whatch out for spanking thoose MS fanboys.

  116. 116

    Netbeans is not a framework but an IDE.
    Very good post. Thanks.

  117. 117

    very useful your list of links and resource ;D

  118. 118

    don’t forget Doctrine as an ORM , which is better than propel in my opinion (and other’s too :) )

  119. 119

    This is a good one. Kudos ! Another quality article from SM.

  120. 120

    ATK is THE framework for bussines applications:


  121. 121

    Hey!! keep it up, as always its a great collection for php lovers….

  122. 122


    no really, not that the other lists are bad or anything but I have never EVER seen such a thourough, well segmented and well documented list. It’s nearly a microsite in itself.

    well done!!

    Oh, and MUCH thanks :)

  123. 123

    @Nicolai Willems

    I can see where you’re coming from, but this is true for all languages. However, I don’t misuse PHP (that I know of), so I think that might be misconception #1.

    Misconception #2 is that you “need” other languages than PHP (as if you need ASP.NET, Ruby, or Python). This is a TOTAL fabrication. The only time you need another language is if you don’t understand your language enough to get the job done.

    Now, the #2 is part of web-based application development. I don’t need other languages (aside from Javascript. Flash, HTML) to do my job. To say that one misuses PHP, I think, is his/her own ignorance of the language. I challenge you to show me where mixing and matching will benefit. If you feel the need, I can suggest we hold that sort of dicussion on a forum (devnetwork would be a great place to do this….http://forums.devnetwork.net. My nick is infolock there)

    if you’re talking about console apps, well now, you’ve just went and opened a whole brand new discussion. In that case, I would only use PHP minimally and call server commands that could process my requests faster, and let PHP act as a display.

  124. 124

    This is what I am looking for!!!
    Please post articles on Zend Framework and some advance PHP stuff.

    Love you guys..

  125. 125

    very helpfull!

  126. 126

    Ridiculous statements about php in the introduction…

  127. 127

    this is wonderful tutorial .. i read it 3 times and get a fantastic results and sure i put a
    copy of this lesson on my site here


  128. 128

    Don’t forget of NetBeans 6.5 in PHP Frameworks!


  129. 129

    and Delphi for PHP ?

  130. 130

    this is wonderful tutorial .. i read it 3 times and get a fantastic results and sure i put a
    copy of this lesson on my site here


  131. 131

    Good list of PHP tools. This is class is not listed but I found it very useful asido image manipulation class.

  132. 132

    According to the linked PHP benchmarks PHP is faster than Ruby, but it is slower than Python for example. Simply stating PHP is faster is misleading. Thumbs down!

  133. 133

    I’d recommend PHPTAL as a template system. It’s much cleaner than Smarty.

  134. 134

    Still php lacks a good reporting tool like Crystal Reports

  135. 135

    great stuf, thanks, much appreciated.
    I feel that there is a missing category – PHP encoders. You need them to protect your php code, very useful in some cases if you want to protect your application. I’m using less known encoding solution nucoder from nusphere – they are listed in IDE section (PhpED – excellent product BTW) and their debugger is listed as dbg, but their encoder is great and much less expensive then competitors. So you may want to check their site http://www.nusphere.com/products/nucoder.htm, phpexpress is the loader of encoded scripts.

  136. 136

    That’s really useful!
    Here another useful ascii-Tool: Link

    Thank you for this great lists!!

  137. 137
  138. 138

    Glad to see PHP_Debug in your list. :) Interesting post, indeed PHP has a lot of advantages. Also good to see that i am already a lot of the tools described here. hehe :)

  139. 139

    The is a great resource. Thanks for putting it together, SM. As a newbie to php, I find I work best with cheat sheets. Sine I always have my iPhone with me, I keep them there. The best one I’ve found so far is from these guys:


    They also have a great cheat sheets for CSS and Javascript. Hope this is helpful!

  140. 140

    Not all of these tools are that useful. Maybe I’m missing something, but what is so so much better than a good old-fashioned “Find and Replace”?

    If I downloaded everything mentioned, I would lose a significant amount of memory on my computer.

  141. 141

    open flash chart has PHP libraries. Make nice flash charts. All code is LGPL so you can embed it in your app and sell it (so long as you comply with the LGPL)

  142. 142

    The dreamweaver name does not exist anywhere in this page. So awkward it is!!!!!!!!1

  143. 143

    this is wonderful tutorial .. i read it 3 times and get a fantastic results and sure i put a
    copy of this lesson on my site here

  144. 144

    Good compilation, this article will surely save time :-)

  145. 145


  146. 146

    büro mobilyaları

    February 26, 2009 3:46 am

    thanks you..

  147. 147


  148. 148

    büro mobilyaları

    February 27, 2009 9:02 am

    thanks For Sharring

  149. 149

    Thank You..

  150. 150

    Thanks you

  151. 151

    Tanks for the great article. Very nice list of tools.

    I missed out on page in the section PHP Online Tools and Resources: functions-online.com

  152. 152

    I’ve been using phpDocumentor as a documentation builder, but I missed a tool that allows to create a end-user manual, but not DocBook. I’ve found TypeFriendly – i think it is worth pointing out.

    Anyway, why the template engines are mixed with frameworks? I thought they do completely different things.

  153. 153

    Org Palazzio Bunselmann Jew

    March 6, 2009 4:04 am

    what drives me nuts is that there are now popping up 2 millioln new “great frameworks” – but here is stil NOT ONE really good solution for PDF generation and no good Open Document support. instead of reinventing your own framework again and again please start woring on this big issues. I have to use java for pdf and openoffice – and i hate java. but here is nothing close to the libs that you get there.

  154. 154


    halı yıkama

  155. 155



  156. 156

    güneş enerji sistemleri

    March 27, 2009 11:19 am
  157. 157

    dış cephe temizliği

    March 29, 2009 5:57 am


    dış cephe temizliği

  158. 158

    So many frameworks! :-(
    I am just familiar with Symfony.. and that too an old version which I used 8 months ago.
    Now I don’t know what to pick up.. it takes a long time to adopt and learn frameworks.

  159. 159

    dinleme cihazı

    April 10, 2009 5:07 am

    Thanks You…
    dinleme cihazı

  160. 160

    excelente post!, muchas herramienrtas utiles, muy bueno!

  161. 161

    You forgot htmLawed — a 45 kb single file PHP script to filter and purify HTML for restricting tags/elements, attributes and URL protocols as per one’s specification, balancing HTML tags and ensuring valid tag nesting/well-formedness, removing XSS, reducing spam measures, beautifying HTML… excellent!

  162. 162

    good work, really useful

  163. 163

    For debugging (displaying variables on screen very nicely) I use this one:

  164. 164

    Please move NetBeans to IDE from frameworks.

  165. 165

    Great list thanks,

    Now, I know there’s a lot of frameworks listed already, but I think this one helps building applications really fast, check Tequila:


    There’s also a super quick tutorial to get an idea before loosing days trying:

  166. 166

    THANK YOU!!!

  167. 167

    romania thanks you :D

  168. 168

    Thank you so much for such a great artical..

  169. 169

    superb compilation. this is the one i am really looking for

  170. 170

    Great list! Probably the best one I’ve read in 2009.

    One comment… Shouldn’t Netbeans technically go under the IDE/Editors section?

    For several years I have used Eclipse for all of my PHP and Java development. I recently moved to Netbeans for PHP and, IMHO, I cannot believe how much better it is than Eclipse. Don’t get me wrong, Eclipse is a powerful tool, but I may end up migrating to Netbeans across for both PHP and Java.

  171. 171

    yeah why prado not include . in my experience prado is the best

  172. 172


    there is a paragraph called “Netbeans” in the section “Frameworks”. I think, this would more fit in the sections “Integrated Development Environments”.



  173. 173

    Great list!
    For those that are “test-addicted” like me I’d suggest checking out AutotestForPHP:


  174. 174

    I think I’ve got something really helpful over here
    for my project.
    Thanks for such good article.

  175. 175

    nice, very useful :)

  176. 176

    Gracias. Muy útil para cualquier desarrollador de PHP.

  177. 177

    Thanks a lot for the tools list,
    I found many new things to check,
    Waiting for more ;)

  178. 178

    Great. thanks

  179. 179

    Superb!! Thanks.
    Great thing!

  180. 180

    Awesome collection. Really a treasure of knowledge for all things PHP.
    Thanks for this great collection.

  181. 181

    I would add NetBeans IDE.

  182. 182

    BIg list. Thank you!
    I suggest to add this my little code: Mini Bots Class: barattalo.it/examples/minibots.php

  183. 183

    I too would nominate the Kohana PHP framework to this list.

  184. 184

    You must include dTools this tool provides add edit delete and list code generation for php. Also generates client side validation. You can generate file upload code , database script …

  185. 185

    I am not much into reading, but somehow I got to read nice information on your site. Simple to understand and helpful. We will look forward for your future updates.


  186. 186

    I admire what you have done here.


  187. 187

    I recommend everybody to try Codelobster PHP Edition.
    It’s free PHP IDE, that has its own powerful debugger, very advanced PHP autocomplete, even SQL autocomplete, and very handy navigation with “Ctrl”-key holding.
    Tooltips with parameters are shown for functions, there is ability to call in for help from site php.net. The same works for html, css and javascript.
    And you have an ability to use special plug-ins for Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Smarty, CodeIgniter and JQuery.

  188. 188

    Are you kidding? PHP not for serious programming? More than 90% of all CMS systems are written in PHP. By far PHP is THE programming language for the web.
    And CodeIgniter is good, but not clearly the best. Cake and Zend are at least as good, if not better.
    WordPress is an excellent product. I don’t know what your problem is with it.

  189. 189

    Thanks for this post. It’s a GOLDMINE!

  190. 190

    very useful

  191. 191

    that is because PRADO founder (Qiang Xue ) renamed it to Yii , so PRADO is called Yii , the (most) change step was to change the initial letter in class name form ‘T’ to ‘C’ so the class TApplication is renamed to CApplication , I do not know why ???

  192. 192

    Thanks for information in one place.

    I did not find here: http://quanta.kdewebdev.org

  193. 193

    50 tools is way too much. make a selection with the best.
    i can google too.

  194. 194

    All Tools are really great one, pdf, testing, etc ,
    If some one add the caching related simple open source,

    that would be really great ,also Drupal chating module ,etc #

  195. 195

    Thomas Freewill

    July 1, 2010 1:31 pm

    For all PHP developers who works with ORM frameworks (Doctrine, Doctrine2, Propel, CakePhp) there is tool ORM Designer for visual designing of their ORM model (with import/export functionality). Although this tool is relatively new, is already very useful.

  196. 196

    I need to learn PHP to develop custom modules for our website atc-distribution.com and these tools are very useful. Thanks so much!

  197. 197

    You may want to check out Doctrine at http://www.doctrine-project.org.

    They have a database abstraction layer and more.

  198. 198

    Great list, but you’re missing one of the best PHP IDE’s out there – newly released phpStorm from JetBrains:


  199. 199

    this is A-Okay ..

  200. 200

    Great article, thank you for writing about this. You have a lot of educational articles here, thanks again! I found a brief primer on Software Testing, do you think it is any good? I’m curious about such introductory articles for someone who is thinking about getting into Testing.

  201. 201

    Prado is another framework well worth checking out – component based, and if you’ve used object Pascal (Delphi or Lazarus), it will have some familiarity. Good example of carefully planned OOP PHP event driven components, GUI framework with a powerful back-end.


    “What is PRADO?

    “PRADO is a component-based and event-driven programming framework for developing Web applications in PHP 5. PRADO stands for PHP Rapid Application Development Object-oriented.

    “What does PRADO require?

    “The sole requirement to run PRADO-based applications is a Web server supporting PHP 5.1.0 or higher. PRADO is free. You can use it to develop either open source or commercial applications. ”


  202. 202

    Great post !!!

  203. 203

    Nice collections, this will be useful for all of us that forgot those tools we have use in the past. this a nice way to index those stuff. by the way , I think you for got to include the collection of text editors for those developers that prefer not to use heavy IDE’s like me.

  204. 204

    OK! i must say these are really good examples of useful handy php snippets. i have collected some snippets, it might be handy for others too. here is the link : http://www.alittlegeek.com/18-php-snippets-to-boost-your-development-speed/. i am thinking of using some of your snippets as a new post in my blog.

  205. 205

    thank a lot.
    good list.

  206. 206

    Good collection. One very important note regarding your Version Control section. Neither of the tools you listed are version control systems. One, Phing, is a build tool. Xinc is a continuous integration server. Both are very different from the other and neither of them is a version control system. Do not blur these lines especially for new developers. You are doing a disservice otherwise. May I suggest three distinct sections such as:

    A: Version Control

  207. 207

    Good collection. One very important note regarding your Version Control section. Neither of the tools you listed are version control systems. One, Phing, is a build tool. Xinc is a continuous integration server. Both are very different from the other and neither of them is a version control system. Do not blur these lines especially for new developers. You are doing a disservice otherwise. May I suggest three distinct sections such as:

    A: Version Control – Distributed or Centralized (could link to an article regarding how they blend as well!)
    1. Subversion
    2. Git
    3. Mercurial
    4. this and that.. some people use python some use perl… etc..

    B. Build Tools – Aggregate Your Code into a Cohesive Product
    1. Phing
    2. Ant
    3. there are others as well…

    C. Continuous Integration – Understand Where You Are and If Your Okay.. Every Moment
    1. CruiseControl with PHPUnderControl
    2. Hudson CI (my personal favorite)
    3. Xinc
    4. a plethora of others..

    There are very serious distinctions between the three. At least put real version control systems under that section and not completely different, misleading links to projects that have nothing to do with VCS other than they happen to be able to interact with one. New developers will be seriously misled by that section and it is a very important part of development to get right. Those tools make us happy… don’t screw that up. Thanks! Otherwise a great collection.

  208. 208

    I’d like to hear some reasons why PHP is easier to start with than python.

  209. 209

    I use http://online-php.com – free online PHP IDE. very nice.. fast an convenient.
    If you want just edit files on FTP. I recommend

  210. 210


    There are no stand alone PHP input validation classes in that list?

    In that case, try http://github.com/Wixel/GUMP

    It’s quite cool and fast!

  211. 211

    Netbeans is listed under frameworks not IDE’s

  212. 212

    Netbeans is best IDE for Developing PHP applications

  213. 213

    Fredrick van Wijck

    September 1, 2011 6:38 am

    I found a PHP based tool called titaniumphp very useful http://github.com/Wixel/TitaniumPHP-Console

    Someone else might find it useful too!

    Thanks for the great list!

  214. 214

    Need to add PHPSTORM as top IDE.


  215. 215

    Great list, but loses all credibility for me with KomodoEdit missing from the list of editors… half of them are ridiculous memory hogs, and a lot aren’t even cross-platform… get it together.

  216. 216

    Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.

  217. 217

    Sadly, I can assist absolutely nothing. I think, you’ll find the appropriate selection. Do not despair.

  218. 218

    Thanks, This is what i am looking for.
    Thanks for share…

  219. 219

    Nice!! Thanks :)

  220. 220

    Adalberto H. Vega

    February 24, 2012 1:13 pm

    I noticed JetBrains PHP Stormis not listed as an IDE. It has a lot of useful features, and specially multiple syntax code highlighting -and IntelliSense (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, MySQL, and more…) for embedded code within the same PHP file.

  221. 221

    This is awesome. Thanks so much for putting this together.

  222. 222

    Greate connection for PHP and MySQL things. Please take a look at PHP script Someone might find it useful too.

    Thanks for the list.

  223. 223

    Nice Listing :)

  224. 224

    Superb article!

  225. 225

    I found what seems to be a free open source robust database report generation software written in PHP at http://www.reportico.org

  226. 226

    There is a very useful list of PHP standards we should use in development. This list can be found at

    the web address below.




  227. 227

    What about In-Browser Tools for Chrome, like PHP Ninja Manual

  228. 228

    I would recommend PHP Tools for Visual Studio (an addon for VS 2010 and VS 2012) http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/6eb51f05-ef01-4513-ac83-4c5f50c95fb5 – definitelly faster, stable, with growing set of features

  229. 229

    Very enjoyable, PHP is great. I am currently doing the course from http://learnphpquick.com/

    So far so good.

  230. 230

    marchita nicholes

    November 9, 2012 5:04 pm

    I’ve also found http://www.allsyntax.com very useful to learn how to program in PHP and some MySQL and AJAX interaction to make my website more dynamic and user friendly.

  231. 231

    Really very Very Great tutorial !!!

  232. 232

    Simpy one word for you
    Awesome collections.

  233. 233

    Great guide, I use Sublime Text2 as my editor, I love it!

  234. 234

    Try Composer and PHPRelease ! it’s awesome

  235. 235

    Love it, very well composed article. Extremely useful information in there! Especially for beginners with a lot for questions with what to use.

  236. 236

    You should update the list and mention the rising star PHP framework Laravel – http://laravel.com, though I understand the article is written in early 2009. In list of tools and IDE, you should add PhpStorm – http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm – from Jetbrain. It’s simply to awesome to ignore. Lastly, in graph component section, PhpChart – http://phpchart.net – should probably be mentioned as well. It’s very powerful and simply to makes nice HTML5 charts in PHP.

  237. 237

    Would like to see a “PHP code generators” section for tools like http://www.sqlmaestro.com/products/mysql/phpgenerator/ that can automatically generate website code just from a database schema.

  238. 238

    just want to know why the author included smarty, netbeans and dwoo as frameworks for php… these are not frameworks like cakephp or symphony….or are they???

  239. 239

    Thank you very much!

    Very Nice .

  240. 240

    Appreciate your collection.

  241. 241

    A relatively new tool, but getting there is http://www.strongphp.org :)

  242. 242

    Really useful post. Thanks for including all great resources in one place. It’s nice to see that PHP rocks as scripting language and formidable support from web developer community.

  243. 243

    Why is SimpleTest being referenced in this article? It’s not actively maintained anymore and doesn’t even work with PHP 5.3 completely!

  244. 244

    There’s a super ultra fast MVC framework for PHP, called Nette Framework. (http://www.nette.org).


↑ Back to top