Hello! Since you are reading this article, it means that you are a WordPress developer, just like me, and strive to make your work with WordPress as productive as possible.
And a modern IDE or text editor that wants to win the favor of users should provide support for all the necessary languages and technologies.
As a rule, to manage several projects you need a full PHP development environment, such as PhpStorm or CodeLobster. But I also use text editors too, for example if I need to quickly correct a template or modify the code of my function.
Creators of code editors are constantly working on adding new and expanding existing capabilities of their products to support CMS WordPress. Because the community of programmers understand the importance of implementing WordPress support in their software.
I had to spend a lot of time to pick up several IDEs and text editors with advanced features and convenient functionality for WordPress developers.
I suggest you to discover these wonderful programs.
To expand the functionality and add tools for WordPress developers, you need to install special packages.
Run the program and go to the main menu “Tools” -> “Install Package Control …”. Package Control is a package that allows you to manage other plug-ins.
After that, you can download, install and remove plug-ins. To start the Package Control, go to the main menu “Preferences” -> “Package Control”.
In order for the program to load the list of available modules, it is necessary to select from the list or enter from the keyboard the command “Install Package”.
Let’s enter “WordPress” in the search bar to filter out the plug-ins specific to this CMS.
From the list, you can immediately select the first “WordPress” package and install it by double-clicking it. This package adds a set of snippets and the ability to auto-complete the functions of WordPress.
The next plugin we select from the list is called “Search WordPress Codex”. Using it, you can search the official WordPress online help directly from the editor.
For example, right-click on the function and select “WordPress Codex” -> “Search Selection” from the context menu to view online help on it.
Also there are several popular extensions that you should pay attention to, for example:
- WordPress snippets – provides a collection of snippets for WordPress programmers.
- WordPress New Project Config – helps you to create and configure a new project for WordPress CMS.
- Genesis – facilitates the work of the creators of themes for WordPress, which use the child themes of Genesis.
Atom is another text editor with a lot of advanced functions and beautiful design. It positions itself as an IDE and successfully competes with other similar programs, such as Sublim Text and Rapid PHP.
Atom is based on themes and packages, so it has a wide range of functions and is flexibly configured. It has its own package manager, which we will use to install WordPress support.
Launch Atom and go to the main menu “File” -> “Settings”. In the opened settings tab, click on “Install”.
Now, to find new packages, enter the keyword “wordpress” in the search field and press “Enter”. You can also click on the “Packages” button.
In the list that appears, let’s choose one of the popular packages, for example – Autocomplete WordPress Hooks. This extension will help the developer by providing the completion of WordPress Actions and Filters.
Find this package in the list and click the “Install” button. After a minute we will see that the package is installed.
Now check the functionality of the just added module. Start type the name of the function and press Ctrl + Space.
After that, we can also use the hints on the parameters of the function.
The algorithm for working with other packages is the same. Just read the description, and if the functionality is suitable, install it.
For example, you can install the following add-ons:
- WordPress API – this add-on greatly speeds up the development process, offering useful WordPress snippets.
- WordPress Dictionary for Atom – adds snippets for all WordPress functions, including Actions and Filters.
It is not resource-demanding, has a built-in PHP debugger, supports HTML5, CSS3 and several frameworks, including WordPress.
For higher performance, ability to work with frameworks is disabled by default. To enable WordPress support, go to the main menu “Options” -> “Frameworks”.
In the list that appears, you can select one or more libraries that you want to work with. In this case, choose WordPress and click “OK”.
In the next step, let’s create the project, for that we go to the main menu and select “Project” -> “New Project”.
Now enter the project name and path to the project files. In this example, specify the folder with WordPress installed.
When the project is created, you can view its contents in the right pane of the program using the file browser.
Rapid PHP provides the programmer with ability to use the autocompletion feature when pressing the Ctrl + Space keys.
You can also trigger an instant prompt on WordPress functions by pressing Shift + Ctrl + Space.
If in the process of work you need to use the online help for any PHP function, just place the cursor on its name and press the F1 key. The page with online help will be displayed in the browser installed on the system.
CodeLobster is a functional IDE that provides a complete set of tools for the web developer.
CodeLobster allows you to work with databases directly from the IDE, edit PHP files on the local computer and on a remote server using FTP.
Among other things, you can use PHP debugger, contextual and dynamic help.
There is a convenient function of installing WordPress directly from the program. In addition to that the CMS is installed and configured instantly, much faster than via the WEB-interface.
For example, to create a project, go to the main menu “Project” -> “Create Project …”.
Then in the dialog box, you can specify the type of the project, which will be created using the framework or one of the popular CMS.
Select “Create Empty WordPress Site”, enter the name and specify the location of the directory for installation. Then the New WordPress Site Wizard will run.
It will take only a few steps to configure the connection to the database and at the last step specify the parameters of our blog.
After clicking the “Finish” button, the fresh WordPress distribution will be installed and a new project will be created, you can immediately start working.
If we move the mouse pointer to any function name, we get information about it in a tooltip.
For full information about this function from the official WordPress documentation, it is enough to select it and press the F1 key.
To use autocompletion, just start typing the name of the function and press Ctrl + Space.
CodeLobster includes the WordPress plugin in its professional version. That allows the developer to quickly start working with this CMS, since no additional installation is required.
PhpStorm is a PHP IDE with many convenient features for the web developer. This programming environment is built on the IntelliJ IDEA platform and inherited all the capabilities of the parent platform.
For WordPress programmers, the distribution of the IDE comes with a special plug-in for integration with WordPress.
To start working, you need to register WordPress in the program. Start PhpStorm and go to the main menu “File” -> “Settings …”.
In the settings we will find the section “Languages & Frameworks” and select the “PHP” item. Then in the “Include Path” tab we press the plus button and specify the path to the installed CMS.
The directory with the installation will be indexed, this will allow us to use the WordPress source code when navigating through functions and showing dynamic help.
In addition, you can set the WordPress coding style, which for sure has already became familiar to WordPress developers.
In the program settings window, go to “Editor” -> “Code Style” -> “PHP”. Click on the link “Set from …” and select “Predefined Style” -> “WordPress” from the drop-down list.
Click “OK” to save the settings.
Now consider the process of creation of a new project. In the main menu, select “File” -> “New Project …”.
In the opened dialog, go to the “WordPress Plugin” section and specify the directory for the project and the second one – there the WordPress is installed.
Choose the location of the project in the folder with WordPress. Then click “Create” – so we create a project based on the existing source files.
You should wait a few seconds while PhpStorm scans the files. After that the project is opened and we can continue to study the functions of the program.
To use auto-completion, start entering the name of the function and press Ctrl + Space.
It is enough just to set the cursor to the function name and press Ctrl + Q to get dynamic help on this function.
IDE also supports WordPress Actions and Filters. When you press Ctrl + Space, you can quickly get a dynamic hint about the existing parameters.
This review can be completed for now. As you can see, all of the programs in this article have their advantages.
Which one to choose? A simple and lightweight text editor, such as Rapid PHP, or a complex IDE, such as PhpStorm?
I chose CodeLobster, that combines the speed of work, functionality and ease of setting up WordPress projects. I’m happy to add it to my set of web development tools.
It’s very interesting to know what your favorite editor is? Do you create sites on WordPress, or use another CMS? I suggest sharing your experience with other readers. I really look forward to your comments.