PHP Web Development Tools List

Every PHP developer needs the right tools to become a PHP ninja (guru). In this example we will introduce some tools, which will make PHP web development a whole lot easier (especially if you are new to PHP).


1. Introduction

To become a master in PHP you need the right tools to succeed. These tools consist of softwares, books and even tutorials. Some of these tools can be used to develop or test codes on your mobile device ( specifically Android devices). The list below contains some of the best PHP tools for web developers.

Note : This list is not in any specific order and it is not exhaustive.

  • WAMP
  • Stack Overflow
  • Notepad++
  • Droidedit
  • Palapa Web Server
  • MDN

1.1 WAMP Server

WAMP refers to a set of free applications combined with Microsoft Windows, which are commonly used in Web server environments.

WAMP Server is a powerful software for web developers and development. WAMP is an acronym for Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP. WAMP is a server that comes with PHP, MYSQL and PhpMyAdmin together and the software is built for Microsoft Windows based operating systems. WAMP takes the stress out of PHP web development as you do not need to manually download and install PHP, MYSQL or PhpMyAdmin.

To use WAMP simply download the executable (.exe) file of the software. The executable file is very easy to install, as it simply involves double clicking the file and following the wizard instructions.

Fig 1
Fig 1

Click on next to continue

Fig 2
Fig 2

Accept the user agreement and click next

Fig 3
Fig 3


Choose the install location (where to install wamp) and click next

Fig 4
Fig 4

Select All Options

Fig 5
Fig 5

Click the install button to install wamp on your machine.

The latest version of WAMP Server is not compatible with windows xp or windows server 2003.
Using wampserver

  1. The “www” directory will be automatically created (usually c:\wamp\www)
  2. Create a subdirectory in “www” and put your PHP files inside.
  3. Click on the “localhost” link in the WampSever menu or open your internet browser and go to the URL : http://localhost

1.2 XAMPP Server

XAMPP is acronym for X (Cross-Platform), Apache (A), MariaDB (M), PHP (P) and Perl (P).

XAMPP is arguably the most popular PHP development environment. XAMPP is a completely free and easy to install. XAMPP is available for all operating systems ( Linux, Microsoft Windows and and Apple OS X).

To install XAMPP simply download the executable (.exe) file of the software. The executable file is very easy to install, as it simply involves double clicking the file and following the wizard prompt.
XAMPP installs PHP, MYSQL and PhpMyAdmin. XAMPP makes web development with PHP a whole simple and easy.

The latest version of XAMPP does not support Windows XP or 2003 but you can download earlier compatible version of XAMPP for these platforms. Windows 2008, 2012, Vista, 7 and 8 are supported.

You can install your favorite apps on top of XAMPP. Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress and many other popular open source apps can be installed on top of XAMPP.

1.3 Notepad ++

According to the website Notepad++ is a free (as in “free speech” and also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the Microsoft Windows operating System.

Notepad++ is an advanced text editor and also a source code editor. It supports various languages ( it seems to support all popular languages ). Notepad++ is one of my personal favorites source code editor, as it supports all of the programming languages i use and it seems to do its work very well. It provide code syntax highlighting and auto completion. Some other features are:

  • Automatic backup of unsaved files. This is one of my favorites features.
  • Text encoding formats such as ASCII, Unicode, UTF-8 and several UTF-16 encodings.
  • Find and replace with regular expressions (including multi-line); over multiple documents and marking/summary of occurrences.
  • Square selection (to edit multiple lines at once)

    Fig 6
    Fig 6
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Tabbed document interface
  • Zooming (with Control/Command + Mouse wheel)
  • Spell checker (requires Aspell)
  • FTP Browser (plug-in included in standard installation)
  • Matching tag highlighting (for HTML and XML tags).
    Fig 7
    Fig 7

    See how both the open and close title tags are highlighted.o

  • Matching brace highlighting (for curly braces and square brackets)
  • File status auto-detection. It automatically detects if a file has deleted or edited by another program.
  • Automatically detect the language that a given file uses, using a modifiable list of file extension bindings
  • Manually set the language of the current file

    Fig 8
    Fig 8

1.4 Palapa Web Server

Palapa web server is a mobile server for android operating system. The package includes the Lighttpd web server, PHP, MySQL, and MSMTP. It turns your devices based on android operating system into a web server and database server, suitable for building dynamic web sites. PWS version 2.0.0 or later includes support for devices that use ARM & Intel (x86) processor.

Palapa web server is a great server for android operating system and a great tool for people who just started learning programming with PHP (or even PHP gurus).

It is very easy to use, with one touch you can get the web server up and running. With another touch you can get the database server working.


Fig 9
Fig 9

I installed palapa web server on a tablet and phone and it seems to work just fine on both devices. It is currently my favorite mobile web server till i find another mobile server which is better.

Fig 10
Fig 10

Your Mobile device needs to meet this minimum requirements:

  • Internal memory should not be less than 70MB!
  • ARM & Intel (x86) based processor
  • Minimum Android 2.2 Froyo

It comes with these packages

  • Lighttpd 1.4.35
  • PHP 5.5.15
  • MySQL 5.1.69
  • MSMTP 1.4.32
  • Web Admin 2.1.0

Some Other Features are

  • LOW MEMORY + CPU USAGE: Lighttpd, PHP, MySQL, MSMTP has been compiled for low memory
  • WEB ADMIN: You can view and control web/database server configuration and service from web browser.
  • MAIL SUPPORT: Support for mail functionality from PHP scripts.

The “www” directory will be automatically created (usually /sdcard/pws/www/ ). You can create a subdirectory in “www” and put your PHP files inside. To access your running script simply visit or localhost:8080 on your mobile browser.

1.5 Droidedit

Droidedit is a text and source code editor for the android operating system and one of my personal favourites. This app works well with palapa web server, as you can easily write or edit your source code with it and test on your mobile device browser (palapa web server must be up and running)

Some features of Droidedit are :

      • Access to the cloud: Edit your files directly from the cloud. DroidEdit works with Dropbox, Drive, Box, (S)FTP servers and Git.
        I personally think this is a great feature.
      • Syntax highlighting for almost 200 different programming languages (C, C++, C#, Java, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, Ruby, Lua, LaTeX, SQL, …).
      • Git Support: Checkout, edit, commit and push directly from your phone or tablet.
      • Search and Replace: Search and replace text using normal text or regular expressions. I find this particular feature very useful.

        Fig 11
        Fig 11
      • Extra keyboard: extra keyboard line with those hard to type coding symbols. If you are an hard code programmer you will find this feature very useful, it saves a lot of time and cuts off the stress in programming.
      • Several color themes: You can change the theme for this app, from dark to light themes.

        Fig 12
        Fig 12
      • You can preview HTML files in your browser. I find this feature very useful.
      • Automatic backup of unsaved files. This is one of my favorites features.


Fig 13
Fig 13

Droidedit tries its best to be the notepad++ for android mobile devices. I find this app very useful, it’s one of the most used app on all my mobile devices. Though one major flaw I have found out while using this app is that when you have about two thousand lines of code or more the app begins to slow down or takes time to respond to input on some devices.

Note: Droidedit has both a free and paid version. Some added features only to the paid version are

      • SFTP/FTP support.
      • Dropbox, Drive, Box support.
      • Custom themes.
      • Run external commands through SSH.
      • Root mode.

Developing on mobile might not be a great experience compared to when you are developing on your laptop or desktop but it sure helps when you need to get things done on the go.

1.6 Stack Overflow

Stackoverflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. According to the site they are working in collaboration with programmers around the world to build a library of detailed answers to every question about programming.

Stack Overflow has proven to be a good resource for programmers. I have used it over and over again and found it to be very useful. If you are developing an app and something doesn’t just work, you can easily post the question on stack overflow and let the experts dissect the problem and proffer a solution. There might be more than one working solution to a question, but the best answer gets the most votes and rises to the top.

If you asked a question you can mark an answer has the accepted answer. Though accepting doesn’t mean it’s the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked.
In all Stack overflow is a great site, both senior and new developers should get them familiarized with it. Stack overflow does not only show you how to overcome a particular programming challange, it also explains why a particular solution is the best or why it is better than other solutions. You can visit Stack overflow at its web addres:


w3schools is another great resource for developers. W3schools is an online tutorial site (unlike stackover which is a question and answer site), which is optimized for learning, testing, and training. W3schools offer tutorials on HTML, PHP, CSS, javascript, SQL and others. I have found this site helpful as its tutorials are concise and example codes are without errors.
According to Wikipedia it has about 10 million unique visitors every month, this further proves that the site is a great resource for web developers.

1.8 MDN

MDN is the acronym for Mozilla Developer Network. MDN is another great resource for web developers. According to the website MDN is The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is an evolving learning platform for Web technologies and the software that powers the Web. MDN covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other web technologies.

I find the website very useful, the tutorials are advanced and concise. If i want to know more about a particular subject or topic, i go to MDN. You can visit the site at

2. Summary

In this example we learnt about the great tools every PHP developer needs to become a guru or ninja in his or her field ( Most of this tools are free to use and download).
We learnt about xampp server, wamp server, notepad++, droidedit, palapa web server e.t.c

Olayemi Odunayo

I am a programmer and web developer, who has experience in developing websites and writing desktop and mobile applications. I have worked with both schematic and schemaless databases. I am also familiar with third party API and working with cloud servers. I do programming on the client side with Java, JavaScript, html, Ajax and CSS while I use PHP for server side programming.
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