10 Incredible Useful PHP Tools You Should Know About

PHP is one of the most versatile languages for web design and development. That’s why 80% of the web is coded in PHP. You can code a simple webpage in PHP or you can use PHP tools to create complex server-side scripts.

It doesn’t take long to get the hang of basic PHP scripting but once you start setting up workers and services, you might need a little help. That’s where PHP tools come in.

Keeping track of all of your functions and scrubbing your code is easy in PHP with the right tools. To find out which are the best tools for your site, check out these 10 that should be on your radar.


Anyone who’s ever built a complex site with lots of front- and back-end communication knows you’ll end up doing a lot of copying and pasting. When you find yourself having a lot of repetitive functions, over dozens of pages of code, you want something like a Copy/Paste Detector.

Server communications can get stuck and the speed of your site can suffer if you have repetitive calls and functions in your code that cause problematic loops. PHPCPD can detect that repetition so that you can decide whether or not you should eliminate redundancies.

If you’ve created a lot of classes to help eliminate some of the repetitions in your code, be sure you’ve followed the basics of object-oriented PHP. You’ll be able to reuse these classes over and over without having to modify a whole lot of code.

Setting these services up is easy and they comb through a whole WordPress project in just a few minutes.

2. PHP Markdown

A library package that can convert your text to HTML can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to parse a big project. Once you enable the tool to read and write in a plain text format, it will be converted to XHTML or HTML.

You can avoid a lot of headaches if you’re regularly publishing to the web. For a blog with multiple contributors or for any site with an editable page for non-programmers, this allows the text to look normal to them.

PHP Markdown is the perfect tool for a mixed team of programmers and regular contributors.

3. PHP Parser

PHP Parser works with just about every version of PHP used since 2011. If you need to do some static analysis or go through your code in any kind or programmatic way, this the PHP tool for your site.

By breaking your code into an Abstract Syntax Tree, it can highlight incomplete or broken code. By highlighting issues in your PHP, you’ll be able to minimize server errors and increase the speed of your site.

4. PHPCheckstyle

This the best open-source tool for combing through your code for compliance. You’ll be able to check that your code meets important conventions while noting any kinds of conflicts with current standards.

PHPCheckstyle works well for experienced programmers and new PHP users by putting up some useful barriers. PHPCheckstyle will keep a veteran coder from making small mistakes while training new programmers to start off on the right foot.

By packaging everything in an easy to understand format, it serves as a useful tool for any skill level.

5. PHP Analyzer

PHP analyzer performs the same kinds of tests that a code compiler would without making changes to your code. It tests every potential execution path to make sure you’ve eliminated the dead ends and aren’t chasing bugs down a rabbit hole when you’re optimizing later on.

This another of the great PHP tools that give you an analytical report on performance and style issues to help you manage your bugs later on.

6. PHP-Textile

PHP Textile is great for those experienced with Textile markup language. This parser works in PHP as a web text generator by converting complicated markup language into HTML.

This another helpful tool if most of your work and interaction lives on the front end. If you find yourself needing a parser that fits your Textile experience, look no further.

7. Parsedown

If you’re looking for a fast and extensible markdown parser for PHP, Parsedown might be the tool for you. Markdown text is quickly converted to usable PHP and HTML in less than a second.

If you’re just getting started or seeing errors in your text, drop it in the parser and compare what you’ve got on your page with what comes up in Parsedown. It’s a reliable tool for testing and bug hunting.

8. PHP Sandbox

For those times you want to cut to the chase and test your code as soon as possible, PHP Sandbox offers the opportunity to test within a browser.

This parser prevents unsafe code and helps you convert callables to strings. If you need to quickly run some code, PHP Sandbox will convert the code and test for errors.

9. Sabberworm

Sabberworm is a great tool for CSS files used in styling your pages. If they’re written in PHP, Sabberworm can parse them. This tool allows developers to extract CSS files and provide files in the CSS format.

If you’re just getting the hang of styling in PHP, Sabberworm will help you understand how to get your styles in and out of PHP safely and efficiently.


This a PHP version of the Java tool PMD. For Java users, this can make an easier transition to using PHP.

There are few PHP tools that are as user-friendly for Java-experienced users than PHPMD. This a newer tool without a robust set of pre-defined rules but it’s sure to grow into something great in the near future.

There Are PHP Tools For Every Skill Level

No matter what your programming background is, you’ll find a PHP tool to help you build your project. Server-side communications with PHP are a headache without optimized code. These tools will be sure your code runs a clean round trip, returning the data you want as quickly as possible.

For any questions about finding the right PHP tools, contact us to get your PHP project up and running ASAP.