Best Tools for Monitoring PHP Applications

According to W3Tech, approximately 80% of websites are powered by PHP. This open-source programming language is widely used, especially in popular content management systems like Drupal and WordPress. The lightweight structure and rich features of PHP make it a preferred choice for many developers.

Monitoring the performance of PHP applications is crucial for maintaining their optimal functionality. It allows for code-level observability, faster recovery, troubleshooting, and easier maintenance. In this article, we will explore some of the best tools and software available in 2023 for monitoring PHP applications.

1. Better Stack: The Ultimate Log Management Platform

Better Stack is an innovative log management platform that is built on ClickHouse. It offers a simple and efficient way to collect and monitor real-time data from any PHP application. With its advanced collaboration features, resource-efficient ClickHouse, and visually appealing dark-mode UI, Better Stack allows developers to spend less time debugging and focus on delivering high-quality software quickly. Better Stack Logs, along with Better Stack Uptime, provides a complete observability solution with built-in incident management. By integrating with Better Uptime, you can easily alert your on-call team members about any irregularities in your application’s behavior.

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Better Stack

2. New Relic: Unleash the Power of PHP Performance Monitoring

New Relic offers a comprehensive PHP application performance monitoring solution that helps identify and troubleshoot performance issues. It tracks key transactions, monitors critical metrics, and visualizes everything through intuitive dashboards. With New Relic’s PHP monitoring, you can optimize performance, improve query efficiency, and gain instant observability.

3. Sentry.io: Advanced Error Monitoring for PHP

Originally developed for python frameworks, Sentry.io now supports a wide range of languages and frameworks, including PHP. Sentry.io’s PHP error monitoring feature allows you to gather crucial data about performance bottlenecks, errors, and exceptions. This data is invaluable for monitoring, issue resolution, and efficient debugging. Sentry.io enables end-to-end observability by collecting complete stack traces and providing easy filtering and grouping of data.

4. PHP Server Monitor: Open-Source Performance Monitoring

PHP Server Monitor is an open-source tool specifically designed to monitor the performance of PHP servers and websites. It checks the availability of your website and server and provides data visualization through a simple, web-based interface. PHP Server Monitor offers features like cronjob monitoring, email and SMS notifications, and basic log collection.

PHP Server Monitor

5. Atatus: Gain Actionable Insights with APM

Atatus is a powerful APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tool that supports PHP performance monitoring and error handling. By using Atatus’ PHP Monitoring tool, you can obtain actionable insights into root cause issues, optimize business metrics, and improve overall application performance. It identifies the longest transactions, slowest database queries, slowest network calls, and exceptions that impact your users’ experience.

6. ManageEngine APM: Monitor PHP Performance with Ease

ManageEngine APM provides comprehensive monitoring of PHP performance and end-user experience. It offers an overview of important parameters such as response time, throughput, and exceptions. With ManageEngine APM, you can gain insights into database operations, identify slow queries, and monitor SQL transactions effectively. It simplifies PHP performance monitoring, making it easy to identify and resolve performance-related issues.

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7. Stackify Retrace: Code-Level Performance Monitoring

Stackify Retrace is an effective APM solution that includes PHP monitoring features. It continuously monitors and tests your PHP application, providing summaries and reports on any performance issues or anomalies. Retrace enables you to monitor error rates, average load times, requests per minute, APDEX, and App Score – a holistic rating based on multiple metrics.

8. Instana: End-to-End Observability for PHP Apps

Instana offers end-to-end observability for monitoring PHP applications and infrastructure. It monitors average latency, error rates, requests per second, and captures every call within the application to ensure complete logging for potential errors. Instana automatically detects PHP components and adapts the monitoring accordingly, making it a seamless experience.

9. Dynatrace: Comprehensive Performance Monitoring

Dynatrace tracks the entire application stack using its powerful OneAgent. It captures every transaction, relevant metrics, SQL statements, and lines of code, and presents them in pre-configured dashboards. Dynatrace provides performance monitoring support for popular PHP-based apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.

10. Datadog: Optimize Performance and Troubleshoot Issues

Datadog’s PHP APM features allow you to optimize performance and troubleshoot issues, ensuring you meet your SLAs and SLOs. It provides a comprehensive view of PHP services through automatically generated maps and allows monitoring at various levels, including app, endpoint, and user-level with Trace Search and Analytics. With Datadog, you can identify unknown issues, configure smart alerts, create composite alerting, and export alerts to third-party solutions. It supports popular PHP frameworks like Laravel, Zend, and Symfony, and automatically instruments common PHP libraries.

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11. Site24x7 APM Insights: Enhance PHP Performance Monitoring

Site24x7 offers PHP performance monitoring using traces to identify methods with performance issues and fetch their execution details. It visualizes the sequence of invocations and can identify poorly performing database queries. For a complete performance overview, Site24x7 suggests integrating both APM and RUM (Real User Monitoring).

12. AppOptics: Real-Time Monitoring and Observability

AppOptics, an APM tool from SolarWinds, enables real-time monitoring and full observability of PHP applications. It monitors the impact of remote calls, frameworks, and user-defined methods on overall PHP performance and memory footprint. AppOptics discovers performance-related issues and allows for code-level analysis or the creation of custom plugins.

13. Raygun: Real-Time Performance Monitoring and Error Reporting

Raygun provides web application performance and error monitoring for PHP applications. It offers real-time insights into application performance issues for both web and mobile applications. Raygun collects metrics about customer experiences, monitors errors and crashes, and provides code-level insights during outages. Combining Raygun with RUM and Crash reporting creates a client-focused, full-observability monitoring solution.

Conclusion

While PHP may not be the trendiest language in the developer community, it continues to thrive and remains widely used. Platforms like Facebook’s Hack suggest that PHP is here to stay and the market recognizes its value. Monitoring PHP applications is crucial for their sustainable and secure maintenance. Thankfully, there is a wide range of open-source, premium, startup, and enterprise/government-fit applications available to suit different needs. Stay on top of your PHP application’s performance by choosing the right monitoring tool for your requirements.

ProgramMatek