50 Extremely Useful PHP Tools

50 Extremely Useful PHP Tools

PHP is the most commonly used open-source server-side scripting language. There are more than 20 million domains using PHP and various major domains such as Facebook and WordPress use it.

Due to its high popularity, there is huge community support and multiple ready-to-use scripts and various supported frameworks. It is easier to get started with PHP compared to other scripting languages.

PHP Web Development requires thorough and well-maintenance of the PHP documents and for that, we need various tools and utilities.

Debugging tools

Xdebug is a popular debugging PHP extension and provides a lot of useful data that helps to quickly find bugs in the source code. It can directly be integrated into any popular IDE.

Webgrind is used as an Xdebug profile for front end web applications running PHP5. It can be installed within a couple of seconds and removes all major errors within a short period.

Webgrind PHP Tool
source: https://github.com/jokkedk/webgrind

It is a robust popular PHP debugging tool that can be used in multiple local and remote debuggers. DBG is also used with multiple IDEs and can be used effectively with a command line.

Gubed is used to hunt down logical errors in the script and helps to verify them easily.

This is an open-source project that provides all the necessary information for your PHP code. It checks the performance of the code blocks and provides various graphical forms of the dumps.

PHP_Dyn helps to trace the execution and provides outputs of the arguments and return values of the functions.

This tool is a live PHP Debugger application for Mac OS. This is just like any fully-featured debugger with all the basic tools.

Testing and Optimization

This testing tool tests your website’s stability and scalability and you can easily write tests cased within the framework.

SimpleTest is considered a unit-testing platform. You can create various test cases and easily optimize your code.

This is a test tool that allows automated Web application tests in any web programming language. Selenium can be used along with PHPUnit to create and run tests within a browser.

This is a PHP5 script used to detect any error in the PHP code based on the predefined code standards.

  • dBug

dBug is a simple tool for providing data tables that provide information about the arrays, classes, and objects, which makes it very easy and useful for debugging.

This tool is a perfect PHP profiling tool for your websites. Profile Class helps you to analyze parts of your code that need to be tested and optimized.

Documentation Tools

The main aim of documentation tools is to provide the perfect documentation to be able to code your application.

phpDocumentor or phpdoc is a popular documentation tool for your PHP code. It has various features for both web-based and command-line interfaces with code highlighting.

PHP DOX is an AJAX-powered documentation search engine for PHP that helps you search through the PHP documentation pages.

Security Tools

There are various vulnerabilities with any language and PHP has specific ones. Security tools ensure that your PHP application is safe from any intrusion or possible vulnerability.

This tool provides an intrusion detection system that provides a complex security layer for your PHP application.

Securimage provides an open-source captcha script for generating various images or captcha codes to protect forms from being spammed or abused.

  • Scavenger

A scavenger is an open-source tool that tracks real-time vulnerability. This helps systems admins to track any vulnerability in the PHP applications. It also helps to keep updated with vulnerabilities without the old vulnerabilities nagging the admins.

This tool is mainly a java program that looks for SQL injections or any kind of intrusions. The PHP program is provided as an input to the tool and it gives a detailed report that points to various vulnerabilities along with more information on vulnerabilities.

Image Manipulation

Image manipulation tools provide the perfect manipulations of various data and performance of your PHP application. They can provide a series of graphs or charts.

pChart is a free PHP oriented framework used to create charts from various data from SQL databases or CSV files or directly provided as an input.

It is a powerful PHP tool that provides charts from the dynamic data provided as input. Users tend to create a PHP script to obtain data from the database and feed it to the tool.

MagickWand is a useful tool for creating image editing PHP applications. This tool works with the ImageMagick API that allows you to create and edit bitmap images.

This tool provides a dynamic image manipulation and processing. For WideImage to work you need a GD PHP extension to be installed on the server.

Read Also, The Importance Of PHP Web Development

Code Beautifier

  • PHP Code Beautifier

The PHP Code Beautifier provides a GUI application that can sort out your PHP code to be well formatted and structured. You can easily reformat your code and also manage your files. You can use the command line or even integrate multiple tools.

This tool is a PEAR package that provides automatic formatting and beautifying techniques for PHP4  & PHP5 code.

Generic Syntax Highlighter or GeSHi is a powerful highlighting tool that provides customized highlights for classes and output formats.

Version-Control Systems

PHP has various builds and in the event that it may even change overnight, you need to ensure that all your code is on the same build or you need to manage and handle them differently.

This tool is a version control system for PHP 5 and it works perfectly with Phing.

Phing helps to organize and maintain various PHP version of your projects and it is quite popular for it.

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Extensions, Utilities and Classes

SimplePie is a well-known PHP class used to work with RSS feeds.

SimplePie Super-fast easy-to-use RSS and Atom feed parsing in PHP

Source: https://simplepie.org/

This tool is mainly a filter that removes all the malicious code providing a well maintained white list and ensures that your PHP documents are up to the required standards. It is open-source and free, hence highly customizable.


This is an open-source PHP class generally used for creating PDF documents.

htmlSQL is a PHP class used to query HTML values in an SQL-like syntax. It is a popular, unique tool.

  • Creole

Creole provides a portable code for developers into an object-oriented interface based on Java’s JDBC API. It is mainly a database abstraction layer for PHP 5.

LINQ works similar to SQL, it provides querying abilities to PHP using SQL like syntax. You can easily query, filter and project XML, databases, and third-party data sources.

  • PHPMathPublisher

This is a tool used for publishing mathematical documents online using only a PHP script.

  • phpMyAdmin

People tend to use LAMP configuration for personal or small PHP applications. phpMyAdmin provides an interface to manage, build, import, and export MySQL databases.

  • PHPExcel

As the name suggests, it provides various classes to work closely with Microsoft Excel. You can read and write to Excel files and it is useful for dynamic spreadsheet creation and downloading.

Phormer is a PHP-based gallery management application to store and edit your images online.

  • Xajax class

Xajax is a PHP class that helps PHP and AJAX applications to work together. It provides an easy-to-use API for managing AJAX tasks.

  • PHP User Class

This is an excellent script that helps create user authentication. This is mainly used if your web application requires an authentication feature.

It is a PHP extension for a robust toolkit GTK+, used for developing GUIs. It helps to build cross-platform applications.

Online Tools and Resources

It is a PHP 5 application that helps to compress your PHP files and make it more efficient for client-side caching. It removes all the unnecessary white spaces and comments and provides the best HTTP encoding.

GitHub - mrclay minify Combines minifies and serves CSS or Javascript files

Source : https://github.com/mrclay/minify

This is a PHP library that can automatically merge CSS or JavaScript files that help to speed up the page loading by lowering multiple HTTP queries.

  • PHP Object Generator

The Object generator is an open-source tool that helps to generate various PHP objects to include object-oriented programming in your code.

  • gotAPI

gotAPI is a very useful tool for looking up PHP functions and classes for PHP Web Development.

  • koders

This tool is mainly a search engine for open-source downloadable code and currently has billions of lines of code from various programming languages.

PECL is a well-known directory for all known PHP extensions and has a facility of downloading and developing extensions.

Browser Tools

It is a Firefox extension used to log errors and exceptions. It also logs errors to the console.

It is a built-in search engine to help look for references to your PHP syntax.

This tool helps to translate language files and variables in the script.

This tool performs a thorough search of the official PHP documentation within your browser.

Frameworks for PHP

It is mainly a template engine used as an alternative for Smarty. It is almost compatible with various other templates and plug-ins.

This is a high-performance, open-source PHP framework that helps you create PHP applications quickly.

CodeIgniter Web Framework

Source : https://codeigniter.com/

This framework claims to be more efficient than CodeIgniter and is a high-performance component-based PHP framework.

NetBeans is a popular coding environment for PHP and it supports various web programming languages and integration with PHP.

  • Solar

Solar keeps your Web app secure from SQL injection and other exploits and is derived from the Savant template engine.


Source : https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/50-extremely-useful-php-tools/

It is also an open-source framework for PHP 5 well known for its useful libraries and classes.

Symfony PHP Framework

Source : https://symfony.com/

PEAR is also another popular extension used for structured PHP code. It also provides code distribution and packages maintenance features.

  • Propel

It is mainly used to access your database using objects and APIs. It is known as an Object-Relational Mapping framework.

  • {{macro}}

{{macro}} is a template compilation tool that turns initial templates to executable scripts with a clean syntax.

Zend Technologies, the creator of the PHP scripting engine provides its framework – Zend framework that helps to work with PHP OOP.

Qcodo is an open-source PHP framework providing a code generator as well as Qforms.


SAJAX provides a JavaScript and AJAX framework that works with PHP.

Smarty provides a PHP template system to separate PHP code and front-end.

CakePHP is used for creating robust and well-defined Web applications.

Savant2 is also another templating framework that uses PHP syntax to develop your web app’s template.

PHPSpec follows behavior-driven development and helps to write code in plain English.

Read Also, Updating Your Website to PHP 7.3: Everything You Need to Know

IDEs and Editors

It is an open-source code editor that runs on all major platforms and has various necessary features similar to any other code editor.

PhpED is a perfect IDE for Windows users only. It has various features and utility built-in and can be integrated with third-party applications.

phpDesigner is known for being a lightweight editor that can also handle front-end code.

It is an excellent IDE for Eclipse and helps to develop, deploy and manage various web-based applications using an intuitive interface.

It is an open-source IDE to be used along with Aptana Studio.

Aptana PHP

Source : http://www.aptana.com/

  • PDT

PDT is known as a PHP Development Tools framework that is linked with the Eclipse project and has various necessary tools to create PHP applications.

  • VS.Php

VS.Php is an IDE for Microsoft Visual Studio (MS VS) and is perfect for people familiar with Visual Studio.

  • PHPEdit

PHPEdit is a popular PHP editor that has various features and an attractive UI.

There are multiple tools each for a specific purpose and some tools for the generic purpose, based on your requirements you can choose the perfect PHP tool from the above list of extremely useful tools for PHP Web Development.

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