Two new IDEs - PHP & JavaScript
Written by Ian Elliot   
Wednesday, 02 June 2010

While there are good HTML editors and designers there is plenty of space for programmer-oriented HTML/JavaScript and PHP IDEs. JetBrains has just released one for each technology - interesting...


Designers are well served by tools for creating web pages but developers still struggle to find a convincing IDE to help them create client-side HTML with JavaScript and server-side HTML with PHP.

JetBrains is well known for its C# and Java IDEs and has recently released a Ruby IDE - RubyMine - but web development needs something more complex than a single language IDE.  A web IDE has to cope with multiple technologies - HTML and CSS for layout and then the associated language - JavaScript or PHP.  You need editors for multiple code types and you need to integrate things in a way that makes creation, editing, testing and deployment easy. This is what PhpStorm 1.0 and WebStorm 1.0 are intended to do. They are currently available for Windows. Linux and Mac OSX. 

In both products the editors provided understand the syntax of   JavaScript, PHP, HTML, or CSS well enough to analyse the code to provide code insight, code completion suggestions and project navigation facilities. Both environments also understand how you tend to work with a website and will open an existing folder, check code out of a VCS or use FTP to download and autosync files. You can enter HTML and CSS and see how CSS styles apply to the HTML. Embedded styles can be extracted from the HTML to the style sheet - a sort of refactoring for HTML/CSS.  You can write JavaScript using DOM based browser specific completion. You can also opt to use Zen coding. Code can be refactored and there is a JavaScript debugger based on Mozilla which is automatically installed to Firefox. It also supports JQuery, YUI, Prototype, Moo Tools, Qooxdoo and Bindows.

PhpStorm 1.0 is broadly similar to WebStorm  but it also allows you to include PHP code and use code completion, inspections, refactorings and quick code navigation. What is really significant is that it comes with a graphical PHP Debugger complete with conditional breakpoints, watches and smart step-into. PhpStorm also provides  testing frameworks support — with a GUI-based test runner, Smarty Template editor, PHP refactoring and PHPDoc support

Notice that PhpStorm also includes all of the features of WebStorm which means you can work with HTML/CSS and JavaScript. Also notice that neither IDE provide a drag-and-drop HTML designer but there are plenty of those already available and importing HTML is easy - this is a developer IDE.




Separate personal and commercial licenses are available for WebStorm and PhpStorm.

WebStorm Commercial £130 Personal  £62

PhpStorm Commercial £170 Personal  £92

Both are free to education and open source projects. A discount is available until September 2010.

Each license includes free IDE updates for 1 year after the purchase date, covering major new releases.

A free 45 day trial of both products is available from:


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 April 2015 )