Victor Walch Michnowicz

is a web application developer

PHPStorm Features April 17th, 2015

PHPStorm is a fantastic PHP IDE. It's complete list of features would probably be at least a mile long. Here are few of the random features that I find useful.

Coding Assistance

PHPStorm is constantly checking out your code and making sure you are not doing anything too stupid. I am always making stupid mistakes while developing and PHPStorm constantly helps me out. Incorrectly typing a variable names and property names and missing or incorrect parameters are easily brought to light with PHPStorm. All of the coding assistance tools are documented on the JetBrains site. This is one of the coolest one IMO:

var y = el.offsetLeft;
PHPStorm coding assistance in action


Deploying code via FTP should not be a highlight of an IDE, but I have found it incredibly handy. Sadly, some development operations still rely on FTP-based deployments. So if that is the only option, it might as well be done right. PHPStorm allows you to map your project to a remote server. You can then compare files individually to the same file on the server to double check you are not overwriting anything on accident.

PHPStorm FTP file comparison


Xdebug is fantastic and it's integration with PHPStorm is great. PHPStorm has a one click "zero-configuration" Xdebug feature to make things even easier. There is even a Xdebug profile viewer that is, as far as I have found, the best way to view an Xdebug profile snapshot.

PHPStorm Xdebug

File Watchers

Working with LESS and SASS is super easy in PHPStorm. If you create a LESS file PHPStorm will prompt you that it can watch this file for changes and run the LESS compiler automatically. If you already have LESS on your machine that is all you need to do.

PHPStorm SASS file watcher

As a little bonus it even lists the compiled CSS file underneath the LESS file in the project directory and file listing:



When working on a project I almost always have a terminal open. Having it open in PHPStorm helps save some space and is super easy to find. There are even multiple (named) tabs. On Windows, if you have msysgit, you can use that console by editing the PHPStorm default terminal shell path to:

"C:\Program Files\Git\bin\sh.exe" --login -i
PHPStorm console

Local History

Local History is probably one of the best PHPStorm features. Once it saves you, you will never forget. PHPStorm is constantly keeping track of changes to you files and all changes are recorded. If you accidentally delete some of the code you were working on, accidentally revert a file from source control, or something else crazy happens — PHPStorm has your back.

PHPStorm local history

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