Eclipse IDE for web developers

Eclipse PHP IDE
Published: by Renier Delport
Last updated: 25 August 2017

Eclipse is a free, open-source integrated development environment (IDE) used in computer programming. It is very popular for developing Java applications, but through plugins Eclipse can be turned into a multi-language programming software application. Eclipse has all the features one would expect from any proper IDE, including the following:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Content assist
  • Code formatting
  • Refactoring
  • Code templates
  • Code navigation, etc.

Eclipse IDE is available for download on Mac OS X (64 bit) and Windows and Linux (32 & 64 bit) operating systems.

Eclipse IDE for beginners – my experience

Not being a great programmer, I was simply looking for something that can handle PHP with CSS and HTML. I also realised that I need something that can easily connect to remote websites. So far I’ve found all the information regarding my needs on the internet. With this post I would like to share some of my notes regarding this great piece of software.

Eclipse IDE Remote System Explorer

For PHP, HTML and CSS developers, Eclipse has what they call a Remote System Explorer (RSE) plugin which uses FTP (among other connection protocols) to connect to a website on the internet. The RSE can also connect to a local network web directory via SSH or SFTP and can be used to do basic FTP commands such as copying, renaming and creating directories.

The RSE can be installed by the following steps:

  • After starting the Eclipse Workbench, choose Help > Install New Software.
  • Under Work with: select –All Available Sites– Under filter, type “remote” and select all remote system explorer entries (there should be 2) > Next
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install them
  • Go to Window > (Perspective) > Open Perspective > Other > Remote System Explorer.

In order to connect to a remote website work with the Remote System Explorer Shell (RSE): (Shells node > Launch – icon also on the top right of the screen).

Right click in the Remote Systems window and create a new connection. Multiple remote site connections (accessible at the same time) can also be created.

Additional requirements


Upcoming or newbie web developers definitely need to give Eclipse IDE a try. It’s fast, efficient, comprehensive, but fairly simple to get the job done.

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About the author
Renier finds himself busy with creative web design and his websites, motorcycling, photoshopping, micro electronics, non-commercialised music, superhero movies, badass series and many other things that are not interesting to most people.