The VSCode extensions I use to make it more like PhpStorm

I’ve been using PhpStorm for about ten years now. Before that, I used Zend Studio, and before that I used Netbeans. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I was a Windows application programmer before I switched to web development, so I’ve always preferred feature-full IDEs to lightweight code editors when I’m coding. I like having built-in support for things like autocomplete, function lookups, and auto-formatting baked right into the IDE, as opposed to having to choose between different extensions that add these functionalities.

However, when I present Learn WordPress Online Workshops, I generally tend to prefer to use a free or open-source code editor. The main reason for this is that not everyone attending will want to pay for a fully-fledged IDE, so I use whatever is the most popular open-source/free code editor, and configure it to resemble the features I need from the IDE I’m using.

At the moment, that code editor is Visual Code Studio, and so I’ve had to install and configure a bunch of extensions for Visual Code Studio to emulate some of the functionality in PhpStorm that I need the most. Often, workshop attendees will ask what that list of extensions is, so instead of repeating it again and again, I’m going to list it in a blog post here and share it in my workshops if anyone asks.

Extensions for PHP development

PHP Sniffer & Beautifier: I probably use this the most, as it helps me to auto-format my PHP code to match the WordPress coding standards (or any other coding standard for that matter). It requires having phpcs and phpcbf installed and configured.

PHP Intelephense: this extension adds auto-complete and function lookups.

PHP DocBlocker: support for writing PHP doc blocks.

PHP Debug: while print_r() or dd() work for quick debugging instances, there’s nothing better than Xdebug for more advanced PHP debugging, and this extension enables support for that in VS Code.

Other extensions

Path Intellisense: this one is very handy for auto-completing path names.

HTML CSS Support: Intellisense (auto-complete etc) for HTML and CSS.

ESLint: Integrates ESLint into VS Code. Generally used to lint JavaScript code so that it also follows a specified coding style.

GitHub Copilot: Provides autocomplete-style suggestions from an AI pair programmer as you code. Requires a GitHub Copilot account, which I managed to get for free via their “open source maintainers” offering.

Markdownlint: Because I write in Markdown a lot.






3 responses to “The VSCode extensions I use to make it more like PhpStorm”

  1. Larry Avatar

    A note in the author’s details about PHP Sniffer & Beautifier Maintenance Status
    A while ago I moved on from PHP and now work in DotNet. I don’t currently have the bandwidth to work on this project. As far as I can tell this project is still fully functional in its current state. If you want to take over this project or just be an additionly maintainer and help solve any of the issues that are present, please contact me.

    Not sure how this effects anyone since sniffer is highly used by so many people.

    1. Jonathan Avatar

      I know, which is why I did this

  2. Larry Avatar

    Very nice to know. It is a shame when plugin authors have to abandone stuff. But that is life, as they say on Mars. 🙂 And that is what is great about Open Source. Someone should and can pickup on a good plugin.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: