PHP is one of the most widely spread server-side scripting languages. 244 million websites, 20 million indexed domains and 2.1 million web servers – the statistics as of July 2013 are quite impressive. It’s no wonder that major websites like Facebook and WordPress prefer it over other side-scripting languages, including Python and Ruby. There are numerous PHP frameworks, and web content management systems written in PHP include such popular names as Joomla, MediaWiki, Drupal, Moodle and many others. The above mentioned figures suggest hundreds of thousands of active PHP developers worldwide.
There are many reasons why PHP is so popular – it is fast, has thorough documentation, is supported by a large enthusiastic community and last but not least it has free and open source libraries, which bring down the cost of web development.
In order to make the PHP coding process smoother, developers have come up with various coding solutions. Some even say that it is impossible to become an effective PHP developer without additional scripts. Let’s have a look at some of the tools designed specifically to make your code writing experience easier:
- Xdebug is a very popular debugging extension, which quickly finds bugs in your source code.
Webgrind is a PHP5 cross-platform tool that is designed for a “quick ‘n’ dirty” fix, as the developers write on the official page.
- PHP_Dyn is your choice if you are looking for open source software. This useful extension might come in handy if you were not satisfied with other PHP scripts.
- Scavenger is designed for real-time management of vulnerabilities. This tool uses open-source technologies and it may interest system administrators because it helps them track and respond to vulnerability findings.
- Securimage will interest you if you want to protect your website from spammers. This script generates CAPTCHA codes and complex images.
Optimization and Testing Tools:
- SimpleTest is a framework that is designed to help you test how your code will run on a webpage. It has support for SSL, frames, forms, proxies and has basic authentication.
- PHP_CodeSniffer is a must have tool if you are trying to solve the problem of uniform coding styles for large teams and projects. This script detects conformance to predefined PHP standards.
- PHPUnit helps you test how stable and scalable your web application is. It works with the latest version of PHP and is really helpful for testing.
Image and Graphs Management Tools:
- pChart is a free library to draw charts for PHP. It works both with SQL and CSV formats.
- MagickWand For PHP is your choice if you want to quickly add image-editing options to your PHP applications.
- PHP/SWF Charts is powerful for creating web charts and graphs. It uses dynamic data.
- SimplePie is an easy-to-use feed parser that helps you work with RSS feeds.
- TCPDF will be useful for you if you want to generate PDF documents.
- PHPMathPublisher allows you to publish mathematical documents online without the need to install LaTeX or MathML to the server.
- Phormer is a handy application that manages your photo gallery and lets you store, categorize and trim your photos right from the browser.