What software do you use for your WordPress related needs?

Please state your OS.

On windows XP I use:

  • filezilla (FTP)
  • notepad++ (for reading of PHP / CSS files)
  • firebug (a firefox extension to allow me to play with a website elements)

Other things which I don't use regularly, but would like to use more - xaamp (local version of WP) - github/SVN (a version control system for my files)

What about you?

  • 7
    GREAT question for a community wiki! Aug 16, 2010 at 3:26
  • Debugging is essential when developing WordPress Themes and Plugins. Also I know that this is a really old question. But hope this will help someone. I have written an article for an easy way to debug WordPress plugins. Find the below link. digitecz.com/web-development/…
    – Dushan
    Aug 29, 2022 at 6:45

27 Answers 27


OS Windows 7 x64


Version control


  • Chrome plenty development extensions already, Firefox is damn slow


  • Notepad++ almost never use it since picked up NetBeans
  • PHPXref easier to navigate code inside NetBeans
  • WP Tuner great performance profiling, unfortunately not maintained and broke for WP3
  • MoWeS became too much trouble to struggle with component updates and stability issues (Apache started to crash all the time)
  • NetBeans moved on to PhpStorm
  • eAccelerator - modern version don't provide object cache, somewhat unstable (occasional crashes)
  • webgrind - no need anymore, PhpStorm can now parse and display profiler logs
  • CSE HTML Validator just never get to use it on top of everything else
  • MySQL Query Browser replaced with HeidiSQL
  • i tried NetBeans after your post. Just opened a utf-8 encoded file that include utf-8 chars and it fails. file was contained "şŞ Üü Çç İı Öö" etc chars. Btw notepad++ have no problem with that file Nov 5, 2010 at 19:58
  • @Ünsal Korkmaz I hadn't looked deep into how NetBeans works with UTF-8, can only say I had no issues so far with Cyrillic characters.
    – Rarst
    Nov 5, 2010 at 22:11
  • How is Uniform Server compared to Bitnami WAMP stack?
    – Antony
    Sep 2, 2016 at 15:24
  • Hadn't used the latter, still using Uniform though.
    – Rarst
    Sep 2, 2016 at 16:10

I use both Mac and PC. Here are my respective toolboxes:

I have a personal subversion repository on my server (Mediatemple dv)

For both platforms:

For PC (Vista Home Premium):

For Mac (OSX):

  • Coda for text editor, SVN, and SSH CLI
  • Transmit for FTP (again, I usually just use SVN) Parallels w/ Windows XP for cross-browser testing
  • Terminal for SVN (sometimes)
  • I'm on a Mac, is XAMPP better than MAMP?
    – milesmeow
    Sep 13, 2010 at 4:08
  • I have no idea, since I've never used MAMP. All I can say is that XAMPP works for me. What's important is that you use a LAMP stack. Sep 13, 2010 at 13:33

xdebug (the best way for write great source and see the hints of WordPress, maybe deprecated functions) and also the possibilities of WordPress, like constant WP-DEBUG

/** Debugging WP */
define('WP_DEBUG', true); //enable the reporting of notices during development - E_ALL
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true); //use the globally configured setting for display_errors and not force errors to be displayed
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true); //error logging to wp-content/debug.log
define('SCRIPT_DEBUG', true); //loads the development (non-minified) versions of all    scripts and CSS and disables compression and concatenation,
//define('E_DEPRECATED', true); //E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_STRICT

more about my toolbox in this post , but current I use PhpStorm as IDE, also GitHub as Repository.

Inside WordPress I use the plugin Debug Objects for a lot of jobs in the debugging content.


I used a PC until last year and now Mac and PC so here are mine:

For both Mac & Windows:

For Mac (OS X):

  • PhpStorm+Zend Debugger - Debugging IDE (Nothing better on the MAC)
  • VirtualHostX - Manages Apache Virtual Hosts Locally (I LOVE this)
  • Transmit FTP Client w/synchronization
  • Terminal for SVN (sometimes)
  • Fraise - Lightweight Text Editor (Fork of Smultron)
  • Espresso - Text Editor w/great visual regex search & replace
  • Safari 5 + Glims - For inspecting HTML+CSS + Safari Enhancements
  • HTTP Scoop - Reasonable HTTP debugger\
  • Acorn - Image Editor
  • Skitch - Image Annotator and Uploader
  • Balsamiq - Mockups and Wireframes
  • Cinch - Easy Full Screens (OS X should do this but it doesn't)
  • DropBox - Automated core file backup and file synchronizer across computers
  • Paparazzi! - Batchable screen-shot tool
  • TotalFinder - Tabs Finder

For Windows (Vista Business):

That's about it.


I deleted Flow (FTP client) from my list and replaced it with Transmit (FTP Client) which is a much better tool. Thanks for the great recommendation @John P Bloch!

  • Mike, there is a great Firefox Add On called Screengrab that may reduce your need for Paparazzi!
    – davemac
    Apr 9, 2011 at 4:22

For plug-in development, I use Eclipse for PHP development.


I run on Ubuntu (always the latest version)

I like to keep things as simple as possible

My tools of choice:

Geany for writing code

Filezilla for FTP

Gimp for slicing and dicing designs prepared by my design team (who run Photoshop/Illustrator on Windows)

Dropbox for sharing files between developers/designers

Googletalk and skype for chat/voice comms between developers

A white board for planning

And testing in Chrome, Firefox on Linux and for Windows: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IETester (for IE) which I fire up on an ancient Windows XP PC I call my 'deadbox'


Recently made the move to Mac from Windows

Currently Using: Mac OS 10.6.7

  • PHP Storm 3 with the CSS-X Plugin (Integrates with Firebug and saves and versions live CSS edits.
  • Xdebug
  • Capistrano
  • Transmit and ExpanDrive (Mounts remote folders on startup) for SFTP
  • Coda for basic editing when I don't want to open PHP Storm
  • I do all code editing in PHP Storm now
  • LittleSnapper for screen shots and annotations
  • Terminal and nano for working on my live server
  • MAMP Pro for local dev environment
  • Photoshop CS5 for graphix
  • Omnigraffe for wireframes
  • VmWare Fusion for running Windows 7 inside my Mac


Deprecated (for me) Windows Software

  • NetBeans IDE
  • Notepad ++
  • Core FTP
  • Putty and PuttyGen
  • WinSCP

Windows Software using in Virtual Machine

  • IPMI View kvm-over-IP for controlling my server
  • Putty Deprecated?
    – Wyck
    Apr 6, 2011 at 19:51
  • Deprecated for me because I don't use Windows anymore.
    – Chris_O
    Apr 6, 2011 at 19:52
  • ah you should have said Windows:Everything. lol
    – Wyck
    Apr 6, 2011 at 20:14

I'm on Ubuntu 10.04:

  • Vim (text editing)
  • Firebug (CSS debugging)
  • Gimp (image manipulation)
  • Inkscape (vector art)
  • Git (version control)
  • Filezilla (FTP)
  • Apache (local Wordpress install)


  • Coda & Espresso for PHP/CSS
  • Netbeans IDE for CSS, XHTML, PHP editing etc.
  • Firebug for debugging in FireFox
  • Transmit for FTP
  • Balsamic for wireframes
  • Git for version control
  • Photoshop for Comps
  • Vmware Fusion for development machines:

    Anyone can download "for free" any LAMP, Python, Django etc prebuilt VM from http://turnkeylinux.org

  • +1 for the link to TurnKey Hub - very, very interesting, especially for site migration.
    – davemac
    Apr 9, 2011 at 4:28

On my PC:

  1. XAMPP for local dev
  2. Winscp for SFTP/FTP
  3. Git for version control
  4. Sublime for editing text

On my Mac

  1. Transmit for SFTP/FTP
  2. MAMP for local Dev
  3. Textmate for coding
  4. Terminal for working with Git
  5. Gitx for the odd visual view of Git repos
  6. Snippets for storing my code snippets

I'm developing on ubuntu (currently running 10.04).

For wordpress development, I use:

  1. geany (quick editing script)
  2. eclipse (when on full development)
  3. RapidSVN (or eclipse's SVN plugin)
  4. FileZilla
  5. PHPMiniAdmin and PHPMyAdmin
  6. FireBug (for javascript and CSS editing)
  7. Password management with LastPass.com

My strategy when developing plugin hosted on wordpress, I develop that plugin on eclipse's workspace and create symlink from trunks to wp-content/plugins. That way, I can manage my plugins better.


This is a nice thread. I use many of the same tools as above and on windows and linux flavors. Maybe the ones that I use specifically and not mentioned:

  • I am huge fan of Total Commander, but I won't recommend to use it for FTP. That part had always been unstable for me and support for secure protocols is only available via rough plugins, because developer can't legally develop such features in his country.
    – Rarst
    Nov 14, 2010 at 8:20
  • Well... lets take this to ghisler.ch/board/index.php :)
    – edelwater
    Nov 14, 2010 at 16:09

Not many have listed the things they use on the customer end of things so I thought I'd share my list:

  • Zendesk for customer support and forums
  • Unfuddle for source control and bug tracking
  • Postmark for reliable sending and tracking of e-mails to customers
  • Maxmind for fraud checking and automatic phone confirmation on developer edition
  • oDesk for when I get behind fixing bugs
  • Mailchimp for e-mail marketing to customers
  • RamShyam - First level of tech support

I also use this Yahoo pipe I made to monitor WordPress security issues and releases and I like to use Ideone for quick testing of code snippets.


Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP (primary)
  • Windows Vista 64 (when i'm not on the laptop)


  • Notepad++ with the Zen Coding plugin (for everything code)
  • FileZilla (for FTP when i need it)
  • Uniform Server (PHP/MySQL/Apache + xdebug which i installed)
  • Firefox Nightlies + Firefox Stable (trunk + stable)
  • Firefox Ext:

    • Firebug
    • Web Developer
    • Stylish _
  • TortoiseSVN (for SVN goodness)
  • Fireworks CS3 (image manipulation)

I think i've covered the important (can't live without) ones.. :)


On Windows XP I use:

  • FileZilla (FTP)
  • Dreamweaver (PHP/CSS/JS)
  • Firebug (a lot of debugging)
  • IETester (To make sure things don't explode in IE6)
  • WAMP (To run a local testing server)
  • Tortoise SVN (To track local changes and sync with the WP Plug-in Repository)
  • Flyspray (an online bug tracker I run on a hosted server)

I use Windows 7 for development and the following tools:

  • Netbeans IDE for CSS, XHTML, PHP editing etc.
  • Notepad++ for some quick editing...
  • XAMPP for local development environment.
  • Firebug for debugging.
  • Google Page Speed and YSlow for site speed optimization.
  • FileZilla for FTP.
  • SilkSVN for Source control.. Required for Wordpress Plugins
  • Putty for ssh
  • etc....

I just use Netbeans php ide,heidiSql,FileZilla,Firebug and Web Developer. Question,is there a similar tool like PHPXref?Some other widnows app?

  • I think commonly mentioned alternative is phpDocumentor. Only used PHPXref myself and mostly switched to navigating in NetBeans since I started to use it.
    – Rarst
    Oct 9, 2010 at 23:31

Well most everything is covered here:)

So I will list stuff that isn't, most this is for Windows.

Agent Ransack its grep for windows and it's free.
NexusFont free font manager for windows, simple has no really good advanced tagging:(
Xenu link sleuth broken link checker, crawler and site maps, amazingly fast.
iBBDemo iphone and ipad tesing
VirtualBox Virtual boxes!
Poedit For translating code/stuff and making .mo/.po files.
CamStudio make vids for clients.
Vector Magic the magical world of vectors, not free but well worth it
Collorzilla for firefox, can't work without.
Ruby backup for linux/osx
Whenever Gem ruby cron tool


I use Fakemail to test diverse mailing functionality of the software.


on OSX:

  1. Aptana for code and svn.
  2. MAMP for the Apache server.
  3. YummyFTP for ftp.
  4. Safari.
  5. VMWare Fusion and Windows XP for testing.

I've always liked to keep things pretty simple.

  • Notepad++
  • FileZilla
  • Google Chrome (love "Inspect")

I really should learn about GIT/SVN etc, but haven't needed it so far.


Most of my tools have already been listed, so repeating them won't add to this discussion any, but some ff extensions not mentioned before that I find useful are:

  • Codeburner for firebug (Reference tool, by SitePoint)
  • Colorzilla (eyedropper tool)
  • MeasureIt (ruler/measurment tool)

I'm on a mac.


My main editor is Dreamweaver CS5, Dreamweaver's had a bum rap in many developer's eyes I think but it's improved a lot in the last few versions. For WordPress dev then the latest CS5 release brings direct support for working with WordPress as well as greatly improved PHP auto-completion so it's a pretty nice coding environment, as well as offering some pretty handy tools for those with a more visual development leaning.

I'm working on OSX but it's pretty much the same on Win or Mac really. Dreamweaver does also offer Subversion integration but personally I prefer to use either Cornerstone or Versions on Mac to deal with SVN.


I try to keep things simple and separated.

I run a Ubuntu server with Apache, MySQL, PHP to use exclusively for testing and hosting work-in-progress for review by others.

Tools on my Mac (development machine):

  • Coda for editing files
  • Transmit for FTP - I can mount the server's www directory right on my desktop!
  • Terminal for SSH to the server ...and Google for help!

I'm surprised no one has mentioned BBEdit yet.

I made the switch from Windows to OS X a year or so ago and the one thing that I couldn't find was an editor that just felt right. I finally settled on BBEdit and have not looked back. There are so many layers of functionality within it, which I am enjoying discovering.


W7 / x64:

  • NetBeans for PHP, HTML, CSS (& LESS, though the plug-in does not function perfectly).
  • XAMPP for environment.
  • TortoiseGIT for some projects (with GitHub)
  • TortoiseSVN for other projects (with Beanstalk)
  • Browsers, all.
  • Photoshop.
  • Excel (CSV -> SQL).
  • WP Plugin Theme-Check

On Mac OSX 10.6.8

  • Aptana v1.5 - this old version has some amazing php capabilities and an awesome local/remote syncing tool with diff previews. Sadly even v3 can't match v1.5 for php features and I've yet to find a more modern IDE that can browse a complex object hierarchy so intuitively. Not easy to configure for remote xdebug, but can be done.
  • Forklift - FTP with local/remote sync capability
  • gitx - basic git gui for OSX
  • CSSEdit - For really big stylesheets or non IDE work. Now part of Espresso
  • Kod - Lightweight text editor
  • Ubuntu server in VMWare Fusion. I prefer this to MAMP as I can create different VMs to match the production environment of different hosts.

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