Zach Adams Web Developer and Programmer

Best Atom Packages for WordPress/PHP Development

May 18, 2015

atom-logoAtom is a new IDE from Github has gained popularity among many different developers, replacing IDE’s like PHPStorm and Sublime Text. What makes Atom different from other IDE’s is it is built to be entirely hackable from the ground up, making it extremely customizable. Atom is designed around packages and themes, it even comes with it’s own package manager “apm” which makes managing these packages a breeze. In this article I want to look at some of the best Atom packages available for WordPress/PHP development.


Before we begin you must install Atom (duh) which you can do from their homepage.

After you install Atom ensure you have Atom’s package manager installed by typing:

apm --version

Essential Packages

Before we get into WordPress specifics, there are quite a few essential packages for general web development you’ll want.


Atom Linter

Validates your code using linters.

apm install linter

Linter Specific Packages

Linter also allows more specific packages for different languages, I’ve provided a quick install command for the most popular. Note that you may need other applications installed to run each one, reference the Linter Atom page for more info.

apm install linter-jshint linter-php linter-phpcs linter-phpmd linter-scss-lint linter-csslint linter-js-yaml linter-tidy linter-htmlhint

Atom Beautify

Beautifies all major languages quickly and easily. Definietly for those of us who write sloppy code

apm install atom-beautify


Provides a Sublime-like minimap preview of the code

Atom Minimap

apm install minimap

Color Picker

Atom Color Picker

A color picker, awesome for web designers. Right click or press CMD-SHIFT-C/CTRL-ALT-C to open it.

apm install color-picker


If you don’t know what Emmet is and you do anything with HTML/CSS, go look it up right now. I’m serious.

apm install emmet

File Icons

Makes the file icons look much prettier.

apm install file-icons

Highlight Line


Highlights the current line in case the theme doesn’t.

apm install highlight-line

Project Manager

Simple and easy project manager similar to the one in Sublime Text

apm install project-manager


Atom Live Reload

Atom plugin for the popular app Livereload

apm install livereload

WordPress/PHP Packages


This package provides support for the WordPress Core API and many helpful snippets to speed up development.

apm install wordpress-api

Autocomplete PHP

Addon for the built-in autocomplete package specific for PHP

apm install autocomplete-php


Simple and quick aligning for PHP arrays, objects, etc.

apm install aligner-php

That’s all I have for now, though I will be updating this list often with new packages I find!


Luke Pettway says:
May 19th 2015 at 12:00am
I've been looking at Atom for a while and your post makes me want to try out all of these packages, many of them I'm sure I'll find immediately useful. Thanks for sharing!
Abhishek Prakash says:
July 19th 2015 at 12:00am
Thanks for the list Zach. I hope my first attempt at WP Plugin development will be smoother with these plugins.
Leon says:
November 30th 2015 at 12:00am
Thanks for this. If anyone get's an error with phpcs locating the path variable, check out the instructions in the phpcs package settings and install various prerequisites.
Stephen says:
December 14th 2015 at 12:00am
Thanks for this, working on a rebuild of my WP based site from the ground up and have also longed to move away from PHPStorm. I think these might just be the plugins to make me completely move to Atom.
Ahmed LAM says:
December 28th 2015 at 12:00am
Thank you for your sharing, it's very useful
Jeff G says:
January 14th 2016 at 12:00am
Thanks for the list Zach. I'm just getting started with WordPress development and stumbled upon Atom and then onto your page. It's about 8 months after your original article and I'm curious if you still agree with your original list or have newcomers come into the fold that you like. Also, "autocomplete-wordpress-hooks" ... Does that replace WordPress-API, augment it, or do they do the same things -- and if so, which one would you recommend? Finally, so far I haven't seen any obvious way to determine which packages may be better than others without trying each one out. Do you have any thoughts there? Thanks ... Jeff
mehdi says:
January 21st 2016 at 12:00am
thank u man ;) ;)
crx4 says:
March 17th 2016 at 12:00am
thanks for your recommendations!
Pablo says:
March 18th 2016 at 12:00am
Wow man great post! I'm now installing atom and all these packages, sounds like i'll be a more happy developer :-)
shawn says:
April 24th 2016 at 12:00am
danke sir!
Imtiaz Rayhan says:
June 20th 2016 at 12:00am
Hi Zach, Thank you for the list. I just started using Atom few days back. I have been using Sublime Text for a long time. Thought may be it's time I try out something new. So far Atom looks good. Thank you again for the list.
Stefano says:
July 10th 2016 at 12:00am
I haven't understand what exactly do the wordpress-api plugin... I haven't found any example on plugin home dir.
vijay says:
July 31st 2016 at 12:00am
i installed all those packages in my atom text editor. now i am very comfort with php coding and wordpress development. Thanks
Ron McCranie says:
August 20th 2016 at 12:00am
Great post. Quick and easy setup.
Tom Jacobs says:
August 28th 2016 at 12:00am
Wow amazing plugins, thanks! :D

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