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Plugins are extensions to PhpStorm core functionality. They provide the IDE integration with version control systems (VCS) and application servers, add support for various development technologies, frameworks and programming languages, and so on.
The more plugins are installed and enabled, the more features you have available. On the other hand, disabling unnecessary plugins may increase the IDE performance, especially on "less powerful" computers.
Certain plugins are independent, certain aren't. Dependent plugins require other plugins to be enabled.
Categories of plugins
In relation to PhpStorm, plugins may be attributed to one of the following categories:
- Plugins bundled with the IDE. These plugins are installed and enabled by default. You can disable unnecessary bundled plugins, but you cannot uninstall them. See Enabling and Disabling Plugins.
- Repository plugins, that is, plugins stored in plugin repositories (e.g., the JetBrains Plugin Repository). To be able to use the repository plugins, you should download and install them. See Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins.
PhpStorm provides access to the JetBrains Plugin Repository at http://plugins.jetbrains.com and to the dedicated PhpStorm Plugin Repository. The PhpStorm Plugin Repository resides at http://plugins.jetbrains.com/phpStorm and stores numerous plugins created by the PhpStorm community members.
You can set up your own, enterprise plugin repositories, for example, to store plugins that you want to reserve for your company's internal use only. (A plugin repository corresponds to one or more Web servers.)
You can register such repositories in PhpStorm and then work with them the same way as with the JetBrains Plugin Repository. See Managing Enterprise Plugin Repositories and Adding Plugins to Enterprise Repositories.