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phpDesigner Review

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phpDesigner, developed by MPSOFTWARE, offers many of the top features used in HTML editors like syntax highlighting, PHP support and free updates for new versions. phpDesigner supports several coding languages: HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and other types of code, and does so quite well.

Syntax highlighting is designed to cut down on errors while writing code by highlighting the areas that pertain to a specific line. For instance, if you want to make a piece of text link to another area of your website, you can click on the beginning of the link code. If you have correctly completed the code, the other end of the line lights up. Colors change depending on whether the code is written correctly or incorrectly. This particular feature is great for advanced users but is also a good for beginning users needing guidance.

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Real-time syntax checks ensure code is correct as you're writing it. For comparison, Microsoft Word's spell checker can be set to automatically correct misspelled text or underline incorrect words. If you think of code as computer language, the real-time syntax checker is the spell checker for computer language, letting you know as you write it that you've made errors. For beginning and advanced users alike, this is a handy learning tool.

Also known as auto complete, code completion is an excellent addition to any HTML editor. For beginning coders, code completion shortens the learning curve for coding, teaching you how a correct line of code should look. For advanced users, code completion makes creating websites much quicker than hand coding every line.

Advanced users understand how much time can be saved by using code snippets and libraries in HTML editors. For beginning users, this is another example of how phpDesigner shortens the learning curve. A code snippet is much like an often-used sentence in coding language. For instance, if you use a specific link often, say linking to your home page in every other page, you can create a code snippet with that information. You just copy and paste, without having to copy the line each time.

When speaking about HTML editors, the term language is normally applied to a type of code. For example, HTML, CSS and PHP are all languages. In this particular case, the term applies to speaking languages. While most HTML editors are written in the creator's language, without support for others, phpDesigner supports over 20 languages, including German, Italian, Russian and traditional Chinese.

Even for those with only a basic understanding of HTML, phpDesigner is easy to use. The workspace layout is intuitive; the navigation uncomplicated. There is not a visual editor or WYSIWYG editor.

MPSOFTWARE provides plenty of support. A FAQs page lists answers to common questions. If you can't find an answer there, you can create a support ticket. MPSOFTWARE has a Facebook and an in-depth Wiki mini-site that is actively monitored. You'll also find in-program tutorials.

While this HTML editor is a good choice, developers may miss an object browser and beginning users may lament the fact that there's no WYSIWYG editor. However, for those interested in learning more about coding, this HTML editor is invaluable. For advanced users who need fast coding capabilities, phpDesigner more than fits the bill.

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