JetBrains PHPStorm and WebStorm review

First time I tried to write something in PHP was more than 5 years ago. And since that time I was looking for a better solution how to make my work easier and spend less time on code writing. I started with Vim and every time I tried something different, I returned to Vim for development.
Why Vim?
I got used to it, during my work with Unix boxes. Vi is everywhere – on AIX, Solaris, Linux and HP-UX. There is no need to install any other text editing tools, there is Vi. Vim gives even more opportunities – code highlighting, even code suggestions and more. And I am very loyal customer – I am not that easy changing my habits.
Why I used it for LAMP development?
Answer is very simple I needed to make little efforts between coding and testing the result. Coding directly on server gave me possibility to switch only between two windows – Vim in SSH terminal and my browser. I did not spent time on deployment of changed files to server. It worked perfectly, while I was coding on my own server running in a closet. But when I needed to deploy code to some other server – all this FTP or SFTP upload was making me crazy. Imagine, I changed code in Vim on my Linux box, then uploading to target server and then testing the result.
How WebStorm substituted Vim?
In December, 2010 I did a presentation in DevClub. I answered some question in small Quiz and won a license for personal WebStorm usage during a year. I postponed experiments with WebStorm till February, 2011. I thought it will be another worthless try to move from Vim. But when I got several free hours for experiments with WebStorm, I cannot return to Vim anymore. WebStorm is not doing everything, I need for PHP+HTML+CSS+Javascript development. It does everything, except for PHP. PHPStorm does everything. But even though WebStorm doesn’t fulfill my dreams, it made my work three times faster, then before.
Files are deployed to server on save. Highlighting and code suggestions are clever enough to settle on them. Working on Java, WebStorm allows me to work on Linux and Windows boxes in the same environment. I haven’t tried yet built-in source code version control, this will be the next step.
What functionality I miss?
Due to the reason, that have several boxes with WebStorm installed, I need a list of servers to be shared among my computers. Haven’t found such possibility.
PHPStorm to replace WebStorm.
As I said before, WebStorm doesn’t suggest PHP code. For that purpose, I tried PHPStorm – free version for one month. Now I am looking forward to pay for a year subscription – it made my work even easier, than with WebStorm.
This post was not paid by JetBrains. This is my way to say “Thank you guys for your work”. Hope this review will help other developers to find these IDEs to make their work more efficient.


  1. You are right. PhpStrom is so much better than any text-editor that doesn’t have any functionality more than code highlighting. PhpStrom really, really makes my work easier and efficient. I have never thought that one IDE can make my work more effective. I thought “maybe easier, but eventually, I write the code, I upload it to development/production servers, I do everything. There is not really any huge difference”. But I was wrong, because once I tried PhpStorm for one hour, I’ve never opened Dreamweaver any more. Thank you for this post, thank you JetBrains.

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