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10 Tips and Tricks for PHPStorm Beginners

10 Tips and Tricks for PHPStorm Beginners

PHPStorm is a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) that is widely used by PHP developers. IT offers an array of features and functionalities to enhance productivity and streamline the development process. However, for beginners, getting acquainted with all the tools and options can be overwhelming. To help you make the most out of PHPStorm, we have compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks that will assist you in navigating the IDE more efficiently.

Tip 1: Customize Your Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the first things you should do when starting with PHPStorm is to customize your keyboard shortcuts. Go to the Settings menu, and under the Keymap tab, you can assign your preferred shortcuts to various actions. This will significantly speed up your workflow and make IT more tailored to your needs.

Tip 2: Utilize Code Inspections

PHPStorm has powerful code inspection capabilities that help you identify and fix errors and warnings in your code. Make use of the code inspections by enabling them in the IDE settings. This will ensure that your code is clean and follows the best practices.

Tip 3: Master Navigation and Search

PHPStorm provides several powerful navigation and search options that can save you a lot of time. Learn to use the “Go to Declaration” (Ctrl + Click) and “Find Usages” (Alt + F7) features to quickly navigate through your codebase and find references. Additionally, you can search for any file, class, or symbol using the “Search Everywhere” (Double Shift) functionality.

Tip 4: Efficiently Use Code Completion

Code completion is an invaluable feature in PHPStorm that helps you write code faster and with fewer errors. Make sure to get acquainted with the available code completion options, such as Auto-Complete (Ctrl + Space) and Smart Type Completion (Ctrl + Shift + Space). These can greatly speed up your coding process and provide suggestions based on the context.

Tip 5: Utilize Live Templates

PHPStorm allows you to create and use live templates, which are snippets of code that can be quickly inserted into your project. By utilizing live templates for commonly used code patterns or boilerplate code, you can significantly improve your productivity. Explore the available live templates and create your own to suit your development needs.

Tip 6: Take Advantage of Version Control Integration

PHPStorm has excellent integration with various version control systems like Git, SVN, and Mercurial. Familiarize yourself with the version control features offered by PHPStorm, such as branch management, commit history, and conflict resolution. Using these tools within the IDE will help you streamline your development workflow and collaborate seamlessly with your team.

Tip 7: Use Debugging Tools

PHPStorm offers robust debugging capabilities that allow you to step through your code, set breakpoints, and inspect variables at runtime. Learn how to use the debugger effectively to identify and resolve issues in your code. Being proficient in debugging will save you significant time and effort during the development process.

Tip 8: Customize Your IDE Layout

PHPStorm provides a flexible and customizable layout, allowing you to optimize your workspace according to your preferences. Experiment with different layouts, tool windows, and editor configurations to find a setup that suits your workflow best. Customizing your IDE layout will enhance your productivity and make working with PHPStorm a more comfortable experience.

Tip 9: Use Refactoring Tools

Refactoring is an essential practice in software development, and PHPStorm offers numerous tools to help you safely refactor your code. Familiarize yourself with refactorings like Rename (Shift + F6), Extract Method (Ctrl + Alt + M), and Change Signature (Ctrl + F6). Utilizing these tools will make your codebase more maintainable and reduce the chances of introducing bugs during code changes.

Tip 10: Stay Updated with PHPStorm Releases

Lastly, make sure to stay updated with the latest releases and updates of PHPStorm. JetBrains, the company behind PHPStorm, constantly introduces new features and improvements to enhance the IDE’s functionality. Upgrading to the latest version will ensure that you have access to the latest tools and bug fixes, improving your overall development experience.


PHPStorm is an incredibly powerful IDE for PHP development, and with these 10 tips and tricks, beginners can enhance their productivity and maximize their efficiency. By customizing your shortcuts, utilizing code inspections, and becoming familiar with navigation and search features, you can significantly improve your development workflow. Additionally, taking advantage of code completion, live templates, and version control integration will further streamline your coding process. Remember to also leverage the debugging tools, customize your IDE layout, and utilize the refactoring tools provided by PHPStorm. By staying updated with PHPStorm releases, you can ensure that you are making the most out of this feature-packed IDE.


1. Can PHPStorm be used for languages other than PHP?

Yes, PHPStorm is primarily known for its strong support for PHP development. However, IT also offers excellent features for web development in other programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and more.

2. Can I use PHPStorm on multiple operating systems?

PHPStorm is built on the IntelliJ platform, which is compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This ensures that PHPStorm can be used seamlessly across different platforms.

3. Does PHPStorm have a free version?

No, PHPStorm does not have a free version. IT is a commercial IDE developed by JetBrains and requires a license for usage. However, JetBrains does offer a free 30-day trial, allowing users to evaluate the IDE before making a purchase.

4. Can PHPStorm be extended with plugins?

Yes, PHPStorm has a thriving plugin ecosystem that allows users to extend the functionality of the IDE. There are numerous plugins available for various purposes, such as code analysis, frameworks integration, version control tools, and more.

5. Is PHPStorm suitable for beginners?

While PHPStorm offers advanced features and options, IT is also suitable for beginners. With a bit of learning and practice, beginners can benefit greatly from PHPStorm’s intuitive interface, code completion, and debugging tools. The provided tips and tricks in this article are designed specifically to help PHPStorm beginners navigate the IDE more efficiently.