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Best PHP Frameworks For Web Development

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  • Last Updated : 21 Jun, 2022

The existence of frameworks is a boon to all the developers as it contains actual programs using which software is built. To speed up your development, it provides ready-made components. We can’t forget about PHP when we are talking about frameworks. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a fast, flexible, and very popular scripting language specially implemented for web development. According to a report by W3Tech, PHP is used by 78.9% of the websites as a server-side programming language.


The newest version of PHP is 8.1, but still developers prefer to work on version 7.4 due to its vast feature and easiness. Using PHP in your websites helps in managing dynamic content, session tracking, databases, and even building entire websites. With all these advantages, let’s look around the Best PHP Framework for Web Development that you could use. 

1. Laravel

Laravel, released in 2011 is one of the best, free, open-source, and very popular PHP frameworks wherein you can build customizable web applications. Pfizer, Tour radar, and BBC are some companies that use Laravel as their server-side development language. It is well known because of its securely handling of complex web applications. It offers a vast ecosystem and simplifies the process of development by lowering the complexity of sessions, queuing, routing, caching, and authentication. It has more than 20 built-in libraries which makes the development of the web easier. With Laravel, automating tasks which were done manually is quick.   

Features of Laravel:

  • Scalable and Secure
  • Functionality packages
  • Email Integration system
  • Highly active community
  • Supports MVC architecture

To get more information about this amazing framework click here.

2. Symfony

Symfony, which was released in 2005, is a modular-based PHP framework that is an ideal framework for large-scale corporate applications. Also, the best thing about Symfony is within a click, deployment is done. Moreover, setup and configuration are also easy. Popular projects which use Symfony are Drupal8, publish, eZ, and Open sky. Being an extensive PHP framework, it also has high community support. Due to the extensive availability of libraries and components, it is generally the first choice of developers. It allows integration with other vendor libraries and this is why Symfony should be the preferred choice if you want to create flexible and feature-rich applications. 

Features of Symfony:

  • Building APIs and microservices is easy
  • Reduces redundant coding 
  • Supports MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and SAP
  • Uses Doctrine ORM for operating database
  • Database-engine independent

3. Laminas (Formerly Zend)

Released in 2006, Laminas is an open-source and object-oriented PHP framework helping developers to provide high-quality apps to business-oriented customers. It is customizable and can integrate with external libraries, unlike other frameworks. The main intention to use it is security, speed, and performance. It has collaborated with companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. It comprises three parts namely components and MVC, Mezzio, and API tools. 

Features of Zend:

  • Extendable due to inheritance and interfaces
  • Session management, simple cloud API, and data encryption
  • Extendable due to features such as inheritance and interfaces
  • Drag and drop editor, an online debugging tool
  • Extensible and excellent performance

4. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter, released in 2006, is another popular and lightweight PHP framework and has the smallest footprints (file size of 2MB, including documentation). The framework offers error handling and is the perfect one to create dynamic websites. It offers prebuilt modules that help in creating reusable and robust components. It has a library having a simple interface and requires a logical structure to access. The latest version of the framework is merely 1.2MB in size. Firms like Udemy, QuinStreet, Adobe, and Medical Guardian use this framework.

Features of CodeIgniter:

  • Encryption steps
  • Simple Security and Extendable
  • Negligible PHP adoption struggle
  • Easy to implement CRUD operations without using raw SQL
  • Promotes quicker page loads

5. CakePHP

CakePHP, released in 2005, is the easiest and most open-source framework following MVC architecture. It has a set of libraries and components which helps in creating commercial applications quickly. Implementation of CRUD operations is quite easy in this framework. It uses CoC (convention over configuration) approach which explains about coding guidelines developers need to follow. The updated version 4.0 brought skeleton design and provides APIs for the rapid development of applications. Earlier companies like MBW, Hyundai, and Express were attracted by the framework.

Features of CakePHP:

  • SQL injection prevention
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
  • Secure and Scalable
  • Inbuilt ORM 

6. YII

Released in 2008, Yii which means “Yes, It is” in Chinese is a simple, fast, and component-based PHP framework that comes with excellent speed and performance, best for developing modern web applications. It is indeed a strict object-oriented PHP framework and requires knowledge of all OOPS concepts. It offers a powerful class code generator, named Gii. It also follows the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) concept which makes it suitable for large-scale applications. Websites that use YII are Deloitte and General Electric. 

Features of YII:

  • Can be integrated with AJAX and jQuery
  • Extensible and efficient.
  • Unit and functionality testing
  • Layered caching support
  • Encryption and authentication

7. Phalcon

Released in 2012, Phalcon is a PHP full-stack framework that is flexible, fast, and whose development style is based on C and C++. Its uniqueness is that it is as fast as lightning and was written C and also comes with a C-extension. However, it comes with an extensive development option to develop flawless web apps. Asset management, universal autoloader, and caching are some of the prominent features this framework has. There are 34 organizations that use the Phalcon framework for development, some of them being, Urban Sports Club, the Proshore, and Edureka.

Features of Phalcon:

  • Code compilation
  • MVC architecture
  • VOLT template engines
  • Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
  • Phalcon query language for writing queries and Phalcon transactions that ensures data integrity.

8. FuelPHP

Released in 2011, FuelPHP is a full-featured, flexible PHP framework that comes with an HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) architecture. Using HMVC, there’s no need for duplicate content to display on several pages, hence it takes up less time and consumes less memory. With great community support, FuelPHP takes up security measures seriously and provides seven security features. It is the best option if you’re working on a project where security is a major concern. Companies reportedly using FuelPHP are Spookies, InventoryBase, and Amitum.

Features of FuelPHP:

  • URL routing system
  • Robust security feature
  • RESTful implementation
  • Own command-line utility
  • CSRF and XSS filtering

9. Pixie

Released in 2012, Pixieis a full-stack PHP framework and follows HMVC architecture. Using Pixie, the developers build highly optimized web applications. With huge active community support, upgrades are possible in Pixie which adds new features to it leading to high-performance products. the components in PHPPixie are 100% unit tested and require minimum dependencies. It comes with a routing system which makes it impressive. Companies that integrate with Pixie are Amazon EKS, Azure Kubernetes Service, and Google Kubernetes Engine.

Features of Pixie: Follows bundle system (reuse code)

  • ORM (Object-Relational Mapping)
  • MongoDB support
  • Offers low coupling 

10. Slim

Released in 2010, Slim is a simple yet powerful framework that focuses majorly on HTTP requests and responses. It is a lightweight micro-framework used for developing RESTful APIs and services. Being 4.10 as the latest version, Slim comes with major changes in PSR-7 updates and interfaces. It comes with immense features such as session, URL routing, client-side HTTP caching, and cookie encryption. Firms like E-commerce, HHEY, PathMotion, Directus, and WebbyLab.

Features of Slim:

  • Extensible
  • Easy to learn
  • No third-party dependencies
  • Dependency injection
  • Error handling and debugging

Which PHP Framework Is Best for Beginners?
Beginners should stick to simpler and leaner frameworks that are straightforward to understand. If needed, developers can progress to more feature-rich frameworks once they’ve mastered these.

CodeIgniter is the best PHP framework for beginners because it is simple to use and understand. It uses the MVC architecture, is simple to install, comes with various instructions, and is simple to comprehend for beginners who want to start developing web applications in PHP.



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