Starting with the current stable release of PHP 7.2 would be an excellent start for all the new users because of new updates. Like the engine has been re-written, new exciting features have been added in the updated version which has made the PHP quicker than the old versions available in the market. And if you are already a user, then upgrading is not difficult at all as there are no backward compatibility breaks when it comes to the upgrading of PHP.

Best practices for modern PHP development:

Setup and configuration:

Keeping the version of PHP updated and up to the mark is the key. As nobody is willing to left behind because of time/budget for upgrade testing, PHP binaries default no one thinks to change around, shared hosting restriction or any other possible reason. Having the updated version will help you practice smoothly and with no roadblocks.

So emphasis should be on upgrading the PHP and the associated extensions. Upgrades come with improved speed to process, language features, security updates of data and even lower memory usage. If you want to make the usage of PHP less painful then regular upgrading and keeping the current version in the process is your way to go.

PHP itself has the ability to set sensible defaults, but if you customized it according to your own needs, it would be more beneficial. As one error to discuss, PHP default settings do not come with date and time zones, and whenever the function related to date and time is being touched, the e-warning error calls off. So having customized and personalized settings are conducive.

Disabling or at least not enabling those extensions which are currently not in use is a good idea for a smooth run. In order to check what is enabled in your system, running phpinfo() will do the trick for you. Or going through the command line and processing is also the answer to your question.

Usage of the composer:

Writing the least is the best modern PHP practice. But it is also true that in order to get best at programming is by getting the programming done. The best way is to just go to the packages of PHP and browse around for solutions. Like basic input validation, PHP space, database abstraction layers, and unit conversions, all of these have already been solved in PHP space.

It is not the best idea to write coding for everything you need. So it is best to browse around and find suitable solutions from already existing options. And if you do write your own coding, then before releasing it publically do check how your work is different from rest of the market.

Since the composer acts as the package manager for PHP, it works just like pip in python, npm in node and gem in ruby. It works by selecting the JSON file that will have the code’s dependencies, and it will resolve the requirements by downloading and installing the code bundles for you.

Good design principles:

SOLID defines five critical principles for suitable object-oriented software designing process.

Single responsibility principle:

According to the single responsibility principle, the classes should have only one responsibility, and this fits really nicely with the UNIX philosophy of small tools. This way it gets easier to test and debug and it will not surprise you. As nobody is looking forward to a method call to a validator.

Open closed:

In order to explain the open-closed principle here is a test, think of an updated modern feature to implement, will you be able to implement this feature in your current codebase solely? And it to be done without editing and adding any new classes in our existing system. It is quite challenging to implement that updated feature.

And you have to rely on the polymorphic dispatch, and for the most codebase, you have to go beyond limits which you are not ready for, yet.

Liskov substitution:

Liskov substitution principle is named after Barbara Liskov, and it states:

Objects in a program should be replaceable without alerting the correctness of the entire program with instances of their subtypes only.

Interface segregation:

Interface segregation principle says to favor many fine-grained interfaces over the one large one. This principle is focused on interfaces being based on behaviors not on the classes integration. Countable, serializable, traversable are the interfaces that come with the PHP. Keeping the interface small helps you and save you from 30 methods in the longer run.

Dependency inversion:

Dependency inversion is the principle about depending on abstractions in your system and not totally on the details. The core of this principle is focused on notions and also highlights using a database adaptor for the procedure.

Object calisthenics:

One of the main principles is not to save more than one level of indentation per method. As it is quite helpful to decompose methods into smaller chunks. And it will leave you with clearer code and self-documentation. Because the more the techniques involved in the process, the more will be an indentation, and you have to keep track of multiple methods at a single time.

Trying not to use “else” is also a fundamental principle in object calisthenics and it is focused on two main ideas. The first is about multiple return statements from a method when you have enough information on your sleeve to make a method and the second is, on the other hand, focused on guard clauses. As these are about early returns combined with validation checks.

It is considered pretty straightforward to follow. Combining all the checks onto a single line with “AND operator” is the best procedure to follow.

Testing of units:

Testing of unit defines as the practice of writing small tests that will verify the behavior in the coding. The codes are always written in the same language, and they are fast enough to be run at any time. Unit testing can provide you helpful feedback in addition to examination of the code and getting to know if they are working as they are supposed to do.

It also provides a safety net against regressions, and it will allow you to refactor much more often along with evolving to a cleaner design.

Top PHP development tools:

PHP is considered to be one of the most sought-after programming languages around the world. As the market is over floating with free and paid IDEs options, it is quite challenging to choose from many PHP web development services. However, PHP IDE is considering being one of the principle tools which every developer needs in order to start the PHP programming.

According to the research results, it is adequate to start off with the feature-rich and complete PHP IDE such as Net Beans instead of PHP programming tools in a central text editor which can be simply a notepad. It can work, but the features in Net Beans are unmatchable. Zend studio, cloud9, VIM, atom, and PHPstrom are a great set of tools specially designed for the purpose of professional web development.

In order to find the right set of features and tools which to perfectly fit your needs, you have to invest proper time and effort. Because the options of IDEs are countless now.

But here is a list of few PHP development tools which every developer needs in 2019 to work effectively.

Eclipse PDT:

Eclipse PDT does not cost you a fortune, and it is highly preferred development tool among developers. Hundreds and thousands of developers are working on all kinds of plug-in and other features which Eclipse offers to its users. On the other hand, some people consider eclipse to be a little lethargic as it needs high-quality laptop configuration beforehand to run the eclipse quickly.

Code formatting, syntax highlighting, refactoring, code assist, code templates, code navigation, eclipse ecosystem, PHP debugging, and syntax validation are few of the significant features offered by Eclipse.

Net Beans:

Net beans allow applications which are an integrated development environment also known as IDE for Java; it basically provides application being developed by the modular software components called modules. It is easily operated on macOS, Linux, Windows, and Solaris. It also offers extensions in different programming languages like PHP, C, C++, JavaScript, html5.

However, the free version of NetBeans goes way back to 2010 while it was the only open source by Sun Microsystems by then. And later on, Oracle took over it. The current tool of net beans is lightweight and relatively faster with a high support rate of PHP. Whereas, in the back days, it was quite famous for development in Java only.

It is possible to find platform independent net beans installer, and it can be used by installation on a different java capable platform if your system does not support it. The starter kit of net beans is composed of all the bundles such as IDE for Java, profiler, PHP, c, C++, SE, EE, ME and JDK along with documentation and application servers.

It is able to operate on Windows, Linux, Mac, OS, and Solaris like the original version and it is available in international languages along with English. Net beans are termed as the best PHP IDEs development tools by many developers as it is not only highly useful PHP IDEs development tool but is also very popular for PHP excellent coding software.

PhpStorm:

Most of the PHP web application development services are depended on this essential tool. It is fully equipped with a set of unique features that help in the quick development of the web. Phpstorm is considered to be the best PHP coding software. It works perfectly with relevant frameworks like Zend framework, YII, CakePHP, symphony, and laravel.

Phpstorm in addition to all of these frameworks, also support the leading content management systems such as Drupal, word press and magneto. It is like; no web development project can be completed without PHPStorm. However, the front end technologies are the main components for the completion of the web development procedure.

Phpstorm actually helps in the editing of front end technologies live including SCC, Sass, typescript, stylus, less, coffee script and html5. It also provides access and integration with robust control systems. Yahoo, Cisco, Wikipedia, sale force bought PHPStorm IDE licenses.

Phpstorm covers all the PHP related needs like JavaScript, CSS, HTML support or any other one. It is designed this way to tackle all. It is common that Node.Js is not very cherished by PHP developers, but with the help of related plug-ins, it is quite easy to be installed for free with PhpStrom.

The updates come every 6 months, and minor updates or bug fixes are always upgraded every now and then. It works perfectly with all the languages, but it needs some assistance when it comes to advanced features. But if the handling is done quite reasonably then, PHPStorm is fine under such circumstances as well.

Sublime text:

Sublime text supports almost all the programming languages along with markup languages. It is also a proprietary cross-platform source editor with python API which stands for an application programming interface. It is actually the most voted and used PHP development tool for Mac users because it allows them to add functions with the plug-in.

And those plug-in are typically community built and maintained under free software licenses for their usage as we all know that market is full of thousands of options, but the sublime text package includes simple PHP unit, phpCA, CodIntel, Sublime PHP companion, and even PHPDoc.

Main features of the sublime text are going to anything, command palette, simultaneously editing, python based plug-in application programming interface, project-specific preference, compatibility with many languages and many more.

Zend Studio:

Zend studio is quite popular because of its performance speed. It is relatively swift than any other PHP development tool. Zend Studio allows you to code faster, and it is quite easy to debug the error through this tool as well. It is designed to create high-quality PHP apps, and it has enhanced the productivity of developers as well.

The debugging capabilities are enhanced because of Zend debugger, Xdebug, and Z-ray integration. It also has the ability to deploy PHP applications through any server like Amazon was or Microsoft Azure. It is the PHP coding software of the recent days. It is desired by all the developers. Zend studio offers numerous debugging options which actually help in getting more cut edge debugging capabilities.

It also offers highly sought after integration along with debugging tools like Zend debugger, Z-ray or even Xdebug. Zend Studio has been made faster by inserting an automation tool like spotting and authenticating the PHP binary or also the local server settings. It makes the process fast.

All the Zend Studio users are inclined towards the combination of few tools to get the maximum results such as Z-ray, Zend Studio, and Zend Server. As Z-ray works on recognition of concealed bugs and helps in application performance problem that previous debuggers were not being able to do.

Conclusion:

Along with all of the above-motioned tools, some other significant hits like an atom, cloud9, Aptana Studio, Komodo, and many others are the top PHP development tools for developers in 2019 available in the market. But is totally depended on you, as you have to invest effort and time to find the exact set of features and accurate tools which will fulfill your needs. Only then it is possible that you will be able to take advantage of these tools to full potential.