When comparing Geany vs PhpStorm, the Slant community recommends PhpStorm for most people. In the question“What are the best IDEs or editors for PHP?” PhpStorm is ranked 1st while Geany is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose PhpStorm is:
PhpStorm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion. Structural autocompletion makes predictions based on its understanding of PHP, while the latter tries to predict the word currently being typed based on previously typed words. Word expansion also works in comments and docstrings and it's similar to vim's omnicompletion. Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Light and fast
Geany is very lightweight thanks to the smaller offering of features.
Pro Built-in plugin manager
Geany has a built-in plugin manager which can be used to install plugins and add new powerful features to the editor.
Pro Simple project management
Pro Cross platform
Geany is a cross platform editor, very similar to Notepad++ in Windows.
Pro Actively developed Free (as in freedom) Software
This software respects your freedom.
Pro Build in terminal
Press F5 and code will run without the need to switch between windows.
It is a real app and not another frankenstein web/electron app. This means it runs great and doesn't extraordinary amounts of RAM.
Pro Quick search on large files
In Geany you technically search once for a whole search query, unlike Gedit, where once you start typing, the file is searched for in accordance with each substring of what you're typing, all the while leading to terribly annoying lag.
Pro Options in the menu are easy to find
For example, there is an easy way to change the font and theme in the View menu. No need to search through several syntax styles like in Notepad++ just to be able to change the used font.
Pro Real syntax parsing (not just coloring)
Hence it is capable of showing the methods and inner classes of, e.g., a Java source file.
Pro Intelligent code completion
PhpStorm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion.
Structural autocompletion makes predictions based on its understanding of PHP, while the latter tries to predict the word currently being typed based on previously typed words. Word expansion also works in comments and docstrings and it's similar to vim's omnicompletion.
Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Pro Supports various PHP frameworks
Supports Symfony2 (including Twig and Doctrine), Yii frameworks, and Laravel.
Pro PHPDoc support
PHPDoc is a documentation generator. It allows automatically generating documentation from specifically formatted comments.
Pro Inspections of all kinds
Pro Database view
The database tab, while not perfect, provides all the tools you need for daily usage. You always have your DB overview on the side (you can hide it when not needed).
Pro Built-in debugger
Has built in support for Xdebug including remote debugging.
Pro Phar package recognition
Phar support allows running complete applications out of .phar files.
Pro Plugins allow futureproofing and customization
Active development work on plugins is always a plus, as it can extend the use of the IDE.
Pro Auto-sync with remote folders
It allows monitoring code and sync the files that need to be changed with a remote server. This works more efficiently than libnotify and faster than vagrant auto rsync.
Pro Integrated Git GUI support
Allows users to manage their repositories directly from the IDE with a GUI which lets you do all Git commands.
Pro Code Refactoring
Quickly rename classes, methods, and variables used across multiple files in the project.
Pro Zero latency typing
Type codes with pleasure. Delay of visual feedback on a computer display has an important effect on typist's behavior and satisfaction, as cited here.
Pro Templating support
Supports Twig and Laravel's Blade (among others). Technically the later is part of a framework which Phpstorm supports but I've seen IDEs (e.g. Netbeans) with Laravel support but no blade support so it does deserve a notable mention.
Pro It comes with Testing RESTful Web Services
Save time of building your own or integrating libraries for testing RESTful Web Services. PHPStorm enables you to test endpoints without leaving your workspace or disrupting your workflow . You can code your endpoints in one window and test it immediately from another window.
Pro Regular updates for fixes and new features
PhpStorm is clearly being developed continually, which gives confidence that it will be available for some time and is not abandonware.
Pro Lots of plugins
Lots of plugins from JetBrains and the community are available, from useful things like support for Docker, Vagrant, Angular, Vue.js and more useless (but fun) like a nyan cat progress bar.
Pro External command support
Ability to setup custom external commands, which is something inherited from eclipse and found lacking on netbeans.
Pro Has built-in console and SSH clients
This allows execution of needed commands without switching to other windows. It also keeps track of what's happening right in the IDE, which is especially good with Vagrant, because you can connect to a VM in a single click.
Pro Emmet integrated
Pro Integrated Vagrant support
It recognizes Vagrantfile and allows full control from the IDE.
Pro Task/Context functionality
Similar to Eclipse Mylyn: you can create tasks or retrieve them from your ticketing system, and each task keeps its own context (opened files, modifications, etc.).
Pro Responsive core developers
Pro Excellent search tools
Especially the "find in path" feature that displays both results and file preview!
Con Not very advanced
Although it has some IDE features, it is not as advanced as some other text editors that can be extended to contain IDE functionality.
Con Not many third-party plugins
Geany is not as popular as some other text editors with plugin support. As such it's understandable that it's missing lots of powerful plugins available in other editors.
Con Windows installer not digitally signed
Con Resource exhaustive
It often maxes out even 4 cores, not to mention several hundred MBs of RSS with a single small project opened.
Currently costs £78 but does not seem to offer much more than some free counterparts.
It is not free software (free as in freedom).
Con Slow performance
A very slow indexing, many memory leaks, large projects after some time will be very slow, opening large files like 10mb can even break IDE.
Con FTP Extremely Slow
FTP File transfer is extremely slow compared to filezilla or other ftp programs
Con Interface is cluttered
Con Sometimes buggy
Index gets corrupt which results in errors in syntax presentation, code validation and auto-completion. Version-control system sometimes stops working, occasionally freezes in big files