Like many of web developers I started life using dreamweaver to do all my coding. It is a robust piece of software and it's very hard for anybody to claim otherwise. However, I needed to write a custom website and I soon began to see some limitations with Dreamweavers' ability. Needless to say, I needed an alternative.
So I went onto the road undertaken by many when venturing into the unknown. I asked around some forums and searched my way through blogs. I already knew about Netbeans I just wanted to know what IDE would be great to program PHP in.
To my amazement, nobody mentioned Dreamweaver anywhere (well unless you specifically searched for it). Netbeans kept popping up as well as Sublime Text 2 and Eclipse with PDT. I am a Windows user so Sublime was out of the question.
I decided to give Netbeans a serious go, I started out by creating a simple HelloWorld application. The process was simple. I opened up the program and was immediately able to use the simple to learn controls.
Turns out, pretty simple actually. Netbeans allows you to start a PHP project and the environment settings are all PHP. Everything just seems right for coding in PHP. What I love the most though is how easily the intellisense adapts to new programming frameworks being added to the project. For example, If I was working on a new project and I created a new class, Netbeans already knows about it and I can reference the class, or namespace, or framework from another part of my application.
Another reason why Netbeans is just right for PHP development is the seamless integration with tools like APIGen and composer. In fact, in the new Netbeans 8.0, composer is built in to the project creation process so that you can easily state your dependencies while creating your project. If utilised, your dependencies are downloaded when you first start your project. But that's not the genius of it. You can search through every project on Github right from your IDE and simply pick the ones you want. It's genius.
Next time you are considering PHP development, consider Netbeans and see how easy it is to develop for PHP.