Switching from Netbeans to PHPStorm

I’ve been using Netbeans for few years now. Recently I faced some big issues working on my box. To clarify, I’m using Windows PC as a desktop machine and Debian powered server as my development environment. I was really frustrated with recent problems and have decided to check PHPStorm out. In this post, I’ll show you why I decided to use it.

I’ve been a huge supporter of open source apps for many years. In many cases they are perfect replacements for paid software. Additionally, they come with wider range of features for free.

As mentioned before, I’ve totally changed my environment last year. Now I’m working on Windows machine and local development server powered by Debian. This change forced my to use remote projects in Netbeans. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of Netbeans. Scanning for external changes consumes a lot of resources, synchronizing projects takes a lot of time. This is definately not acceptable behaviour.

Recently, a friend of mine recommended me to check PHPStorm out. I was very sceptic about it – it’s a paid software, written in Java. I did not expect anything worth mentioning. After downloading and using trial version I have to say that I was totally wrong.

I’m currently testing it for few days in one quite big Symfony2 project. Here’s the list of features I was surprised with:

  • GitHub support – PHPStorm comes with Github support implemented. I know that recent versions of Netbeans also contain it however in my opinion PHPStorm works a bit better in this case.
  • Speed – both apps are written in Java. Comparing performance in PHP projects? There’s nothing to compare. I have PHPStorm running for three days now (I’m not shutting my box down, I’m only putting it to sleep) and I noticed no performance issue. While using Netbeans, I was forced to turn it off before putting my pc into sleep mode.
  • Autocompletion – it works perfectly. Netbeans sometimes has some problems with text autocompletion (especially with namespaces).

There are many differences between Netbeans and PHPStorm. In the future, I’ll prepare a big comparison test with NB and PHPS included.

Important notice. This post is not to show how Netbeans sucks, it’s only to show why PHPStorm is currently better software for me.

Any thoughts, criticism? Share them in comments.