For years, Net Beans has been my IDE of choice. Although some may argue that it is not the best IDE for web development, I would say that it is the best balanced one.

These are the main reasons that should be taken into account when deciding if NetBeans will be your IDE of choice.

Works on every OS

Since it is developed in Java, NetBeans will work on every modern desktop OS.

Multi-purpose

NetBeans can be used for developing various types of projects. It can be used for Java SE, Java EE, C/C++, HTML & PHP. I use it for PHP development, and since the moment I first tried it, I never needed another IDE.

Not resource demanding

NetBeans will run without any problems on any modern computer. Considering everything that it does in the background, it’s quite an accomplishment.

Excellent code completion

This is actually related with the previous one. No matter how big the project (and I’ve worked on quite big Drupal and Symfony projects) code completion is really fast. Once you start typing the name of the function or class auto-complete will suggest possible options to you. This feature not only makes your job easier, but also reduces a possibility for typing errors. You can extent this functionality beyond primitive types with annotations.

FTP integration

Once you set up your project properly you can upload and download files and directories with a single click. (ok, it’s right-click + left-click combination, but the point is that it’s very handy). Project can be set up so that files are uploaded on each save, if you are into that.

Integrates well with popular version control systems

– right-click commands execution

– marking pieces of code with colors

It is extremely easy to see which parts of your code are actually changed, and peace of cake to revert the changes.

– great diff tool

Screenshot of NetBeans diff tool

Integrates with xdebug

NetBeans has an excellent integration with xdebug. You can add breakpoints, step over, step into, step out, pause, resume, add watches, etc. Everything is described in thorough documentation: https://netbeans.org/kb/docs/php/debugging.html

Free

NetBeans IDE is FREE, (both as in beer and as in speech) open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers. You won’t have to pay to use it, and you don’t have to worry if software you’re using is legal or not. Of course, there might be some restrictive licences applying on third party plug-ins.

What is your favorite IDE and why?