Windows Desktop Software for PHP Programmers

May 18, 2017

In this post I will go through my Windows Desktop Software recommendations for PHP developers.

I used Windows as my main OS for two years before switching to Ubuntu. I recommend going with macOS or Ubuntu for development but I have to be fair to say that for me transition did not come quickly. I used windows for almost two years once I started working as a web developer. It is not that bad as you get to use some of the software that does not run on other OS.

PHPStorm IDEthis should be your primary tool for development. It is the industry standard right now. If you do not want to pay for it in the beginning, get the poor mans IDE – NetBeans :).

 Xampp Apache+PHP+MySQL server. On Windows installing all these technologies separately is going to be harder than on Linux. What you want to do is download a “magic box” which has everything you need (check the version numbers of Apache, PHP and MySQL as you cannot change them once set up). XAMPP claims to be “the most popular PHP development environment”. I think it is a fair title. Easy to install and use. The alternative is WAMP. But I always found that WAMP has too little PHP extensions to start with. XAMPP has about the right amount. You are going to need extensions quickly after your application expands. The interface allows quick navigation inside Apache, PHP and MySQL config files.

Notepad++ – When you start to use Notepad as your secondary text editor you will soon run into a problem that you cannot change file encoding. Later you will run into more problems. Just get Notepad++ man. I wish it was available on Linux. Highly customizable, has a lot of extensions. As simple as notepad but beats it easily.

Sublime text editor – Another great secondary text editor. I guess you don’t need a lot of secondary text editors but you can try it out too.


SourceTree – git GUI tool. I recommend you to try it out. Give it some time as git in general takes some time to get used to. Out of all git GUI tools this is the only one I like. It is great addition for windows because it is tricky to use git console commands inside Windows termina. It does not feel the same because even if you try to use some sort of emulator some commands are missing. I think I would switch back to SourceTree if I needed to use windows again.

Filezilla – classic handy tool to browse remote server files.


Putty SSH and telnet client – you will be using this guy to connect to your servers ssh terminal to run commands and do other hacker things.


You are quite lucky again here, you will actually be able to run Skype. On Windows it is somewhat OK, on Ubuntu it barely works. If you can choose your teams communication app I recommend switching to Slack. Less bugs and better synchronization across devices.



No luck here, you will be able to run the Internet Explorer. You do not have an excuse to not support it. Supporting Chrome and Firefox is necessary because those are the most popular browsers. I will soon make a post on my favorite chrome plugins.


If you changed your mind and want to switch to Ubuntu, check out my post Ubuntu Desktop Software for PHP Programmers.

Thank you for reading!


One Reply to “Windows Desktop Software for PHP Programmers”

  1. Pingback: Ubuntu Desktop Software for PHP Programmers – My Setup – Daumantas Urbanavičius' blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *