No matter the programming language you are expert at, you would be using an IDE for getting a dedicated environment for development. As you know, there are both paid and free integrated development environments available for various programming languages. For instance, suppose that you are using Notepad++ for coding your project in PHP. You can feel a significant boost in your coding experience when using an IDE as the software has strong integration with the syntax and other stuff related to the programming language. Today, let us introduce you ‘CodeLobster PHP Version’ a completely free IDE, dedicated for your PHP coding accompanied by several feature to provide an overall improvement.
A Brief Look
As mentioned earlier, CodeLobster is an IDE for Windows based PCs. Now, we are having a look to the special version of CodeLobster, which is specialized for coding in PHP. In addition, CodeLobster is one of the top IDEs available for free. If you are a successful web developer, we hope that you would be familiar with PHP, used by various web giants such as Wikipedia, Facebook etc. No matter your level of expertise, CodeLobster is simply useful for coding easily because of its exclusive features. Apart from PHP, it has support for other languages as well but the major one is PHP. The first reason is that the software is a PHP oriented one and you can see the real beast inside. Now, we can have a look on some cool features of CodeLobster.
This is the most basic feature you should expect from an IDE for sure. In case of CodeLobster, we can expect the autocomplete in more intensity just because of that, the software is a particular version for a specific language, PHP. Developer team is able to satisfy the developer community when the autocomplete matters. We have used several editors like Notepad++, Komodo Edit etc for PHP but the autocomplete feature of CodeLobster is worthy.
Into the Code
As you might know, PHP is an object oriented programming language and it comprises elements such as strings, variables etc. If you are coding a comparatively bigger web application, you will have to handle tens or hundreds of strings and variables. In such cases, you can make use of the small box, which is visible in CodeLobster window. In this small box, you can see all the components in the PHP code and hence have a look on all what you did with code. This is indeed a noticeable feature of CodeLobster.
Support for various CMSs
For running and testing your PHP code, you definitely need a local server environment in your PC. For this, you can make use of software like XAMPP, WAMP, and LAMP etc. However, it seems that setting up such an environment is a bit tedious task for newbie developers especially when trying to install content management systems (CMS) like WordPress in it. CodeLobster comes with in-built support for such CMSs. You can install various content management systems in your PC for testing purposes with a single click. Major ones supported CMSs are as follows:
Sadly, free label of these plugins are valid for only 30 days. Once you have used these plugins for 30 days, you will have to purchase the professional version to enjoy those features supported by the plugin.
This is something makes CodeLobster different from other IDEs. This IDE has a portable version with it, which lets you carry the software wherever you go and use it in any of Windows powered PC. Features like MySQL and FTP Support, CMS support etc will be much useful in the portable version because the other PC may not have enough features to move on with your codes. Portability is of course a professional feature of CodeLobster. You can choose the portability option during the installation process.
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HTML and CSS
The world of web applications with a traditional text field and submit button is no more. Hence, if you want to make your service or product successful, you should be concentrating to the style section as well. Understanding this fact, CodeLobster has in-built support for HTML and CSS, with a more favorable support for CSS. In our experience, you can use CodeLobster if you want to get a good environment for HTML and CSS coding. Some advanced features for color selection are coming with the IDE. You can use Treehouse to learn HTML and CSS coding.
MySQL and FTP
You should get the support of MySQL for enhancing the web applications by arranging data in a simply retrievable manner. CodeLobster has an in-built MySQL Manager, for managing all your data contents in a single section. When using CodeLobster, you do not have to shift between windows at least for managing MySQL data.
A FTP client is also inside CodeLobster, which makes it easier to keep the connection with your remote server. This is a truly professional feature when you have to upload your whole project to the server without using FTP software like FileZilla.
Installation and Pricing
Downloading and installing CodeLobster in your pc is a quite simple job. You can download the 19 MB file from the official website. In the installation procedure, you can select the additions you want to include, select the language and mode (portable or static), etc. Once the installation is over, the software will prompt you to register it. You can either purchase the professional version for more features or stick on the free version by getting a free code. The professional version is available for $119, which is a reasonable price when compared to its competitors.
What to Improve
There are some sections, where the team should concentrate to make CodeLobster, the optimum PHP IDE for Windows. Some of them are as follows:
- User Interface (UI): CodeLobster has an in-built feature to resemble the UI of your favourite IDE during the installation itself. You can make the IDE to resemble looks of Aptana Studio or Eclipse. Unless you have not done so, CodeLobster’s user interface and design requires some major parts of improvement.
- Pricing: As we said before, after 30 days, there will be no support for CMSs if you have not purchased the professional feature. This section will hesitate at least the newbies from enjoying these features and hence leaving the IDE. By the way, you can purchase each CMS plugins one by one but it is only practical if you want to run only one CMS (say WordPress) in the IDE.
Even though there are some problems regarding the user interface and pricing issues, CodeLobster PHP Edition is one of the best free and lightweight IDEs available in Web. Still we should add that both the free and professional versions of CodeLobster are quite attractive. You can download CodeLobster PHP Edition from Here. Do let us know your opinion about free IDEs For PHP coding via comments.