Before moving on to discuss the reasons for the usage of PHPStorm for WordPress development, it is essential to understand what it means and how it can be used for WordPress development. PHPStorm is a cross-platform IDE that has been built on the IntelliJ Idea platform from JetBrains.

PHPStorm is an editor for HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and WordPress. It is a powerful editor that has some outstanding features making it ideal for WordPress development. It provides documentation and autocompletes functions along with the provision of filters. It even allows syntax formatting in WordPress. You can enhance the usage of the IDE by writing your own plugins. The editor also provides the ability to bring in external libraries which recognize the functions used in the coding.

PHPStorm For WordPress

Features of PHPStorm

Here are the features of PHPStorm that make it ideal for usage with WordPress.

1. Intelligent Coding Assistance

PHPStorm provides intelligent coding assistance as it can get the code for you. It provides code refactoring, error prevention, autocompletion, zero-configuration debugging and syntax formatting. In this regard, the editor provides analysis of the code quality and easy code navigation and search. Any coding errors are inspected for. Any errors are not just highlighted but assisted for so that they are quickly fixed. Appropriate options for the errors are given making it easy to debug.

2. Debugging, Testing and Profiling

As a powerful editor, PHPStorm has built-in tools that help in easy profiling, debugging and testing of applications. The feature of zero configurations makes it easy to debug the code. The Visual Debugger allows you to inspect variables, debug remote applications, set breakpoints and do much more. The editor allows you to test the code and run it instantly from a file, directory or class. The editor also shows the code that has been covered by the tests. It is possible to profile your applications and get aggregated reports.

3. Powerful Editor

PHPStorm is probably the best editor for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. It includes all the features for these As an editor, it not only supports CSS and HTML but also supports SASS, CoffeeScript, LESS, ECMAScript, SCSS, Jade templates and others. The Live Edit feature lets you see the changes made instantly and you don’t need to refresh the page for it.

As JavaScript editor, PHPStorm provides features like code completion, quick fixes, validation, refactoring, JavaScript debugging, support for JSDoc type annotations, unit testing, JavaScript frameworks support and more.

4. Ideal for Code Development

As PHPStorm is built on the IntelliJ platform, it is ideal for development purposes.  It provides excellent support for third-party applications like FTP, database access, and Git tooling. You will find it easy to develop a plugin or theme as all that is essential for development are available in one place. The editor provides consistent user experience because it has a great user interface that is available for several popular VCS or Version Control Systems.

Working with SQL and databases is easy with PHPStorm as there are several code assistance features and tools available. The editor makes it easy to carry out functions like connection to databases, running of queries, editing table data, and schemas, and analyzing UML diagrams with schemas.

How is PHPStorm ideal for WordPress Development?

While the above-mentioned functions and features of PHPStorm make it ideal for use with other coding languages, it is also perfect for WordPress development. The features that make it so are discussed here:

1. Smooth Running

Some developers believe that PHPStorm is slow and does not provide fast coding as other editors do. However, this is not true as PHPStorm is quite smooth. It has a clean interface and can run on any device.

2. Availability of Useful Plugins

Being built on the open source JetBrains architecture, PHPStorm has several plugins available. It not only provides inbuilt support to WordPress and PHP but to other languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well.

3. Cross Platform

One of the essential features of PHPStorm is that it is cross-platform. This denotes that you can run it on more than just one operating system. It can be installed on different systems which have different operating systems providing development continuity.

4. Perfect Editor

As is expected from a text editor, you will find all shortcuts and plugins with PHPStorm. It is easy to find classes, files, IDE functionality, and methods by using shortcuts. The navigational shortcuts provided by the editor are great as well.

Benefits of using PHPStorm

Compared to text editors, IDEs provide several benefits and that is why using PHPStorm is also beneficial. Here are some benefits that it has over text editors:

  • It is easy to transition from the editor to the IDE
  • PHPStorm provides a single window for viewing the terminal, inspections, event logs and scopes.
  • Integrated composer support
  • You can bring in external libraries enabling the functions to be recognized

The Downside

Despite the several benefits and features that PHPStorm has, the one downside that you might come across is that of the cost. You will have to pay a monthly subscription to use the software. However, if you are looking for a great user interactive and open source platform for WordPress development, PHPStorm is the answer. Moreover, the usage of the editor will prove to be cost-effective in the long run as you will be able to save a lot of time by using the several functions available with PHPStorm. Moreover, the subscription cost for the software is not very high and the value that it provides is far higher than the cost.

Therefore, if you are looking forward to using a text editor or have been using one for WordPress development, it would be a good idea to switch to PHPStorm as it provides so many features. You can know more about PHPStorm and its usage by reading various blogs and articles on the subject.