Why I switched from PHPStorm to Visual Studio Code

Ritesh Singh
2 min readDec 31, 2020


Visual Studio Code vs Phpstorm

Visual Studio Code is an amazing editor, I used to work with PHPStorm for most of the development purposes, and sublime as editor.

But now, VS Code has replaced PHPStorm and sublime for me. It's incredibly fast and I love how we can customize its look and feel, and It has wide range of community, So You will get a plugin for almost everything.

Main reasons for me to switch from PHPStorm to vs code:

Performance: PHPStorm is good, but when It comes to speed, Vs code is faster and lightweight than PHPStorm, I use a Laptop with Ryzen 7 Processor and I have 16GB of RAM, Still PHPStorm takes around 5–10 seconds for indexing, each time i open a new project, and I cannot use autocomplete and many features until indexing completes. While VS code opens instantly, and intelephense takes 2–3 seconds for indexing, and Its crazy fast.

Customization: PHPStorm by default has everything needed for development, but sometimes it's too much, while VS Code is ships with bare minimum, I can add plugins to make my life easier. I really love that I can customize everything in VS Code, through a single JSON File(settings.json).

And I can save my settings to cloud, so that I don’t have to go through everything, whenever I switch to a new system.

Languages Support: PHPStorm is brilliant for PHP related development, but when you want to work on frontend or other languages than PHP, PHPStorm is not that good, while VS Code has no such issues, add a plugin and you are good to go.

Cost: PHPStorm is not free, while VS code is open source.

Debugger: The XDebug plugin is awesome, even somewhat better than PHPStorm . You have options to automatically break on various error levels, quick breakpoint navigation, quick expression evaluation & watch and exploring all in-scope variables.

GIT: Try Git Lens and you will fall in love with the extension, It does better and more than PHPStorm.

And Many more…

Although PHPStrom is great, but now I prefer VS Code for my day-to-day use.

VS Code’s default support for PHP is not good, you can use PHP Intelephense, it has great support for PHP and has autocomplete, automatically import for classes, unused variables, methods and many more.

PHP Intelephense — Visual Studio Marketplace

For Anyone who wish to see my vs code settings, can check my gist from the link below.

Visual Studio Code Settings Sync Gist (github.com)

Happy Coding!