Core PHP Vs PHP Framework

PHP today has evolved into a language that powers almost 60% of the web. Here’s the complete guide to know the difference in development between Core PHP & PHP framework

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

How are web applications made? Web applications are made of tools called frameworks and programming languages, and in the world of frameworks PHP frameworks needs no introduction.

How are web applications made?

Web applications are made of tools called frameworks and programming languages, and in the world of frameworks PHP frameworks needs no introduction.

How do these frameworks run?

Frameworks run on programming languages, which stand as the backbone to a framework.

To be precise, a framework is just a collection of different types of programming languages, libraries, design patterns etc. which make the process of building web applications much faster.

So why are we comparing Core PHP which is a basic PHP programming language and a PHP Framework?

Because they both are capable of building amazing web applications, and in this blog we are going to find out which one of these is better for building web applications.

So let’s understand their capabilities.

There a many differences between both PHP web development and Core web PHP development even though they are from a single parent the PHP programming language.

How different is Core PHP from PHP Frameworks?

Core PHP is a very basic PHP programming language; it is used to create dynamic web pages.

Don’t worry about what’s a dynamic web page, there are basically two types of web applications Dynamic and Static, but more about that later. Or actually Learn here.

Core PHP works without any extra library, which a PHP framework cannot, so it is very important to learn core of principle PHP programming to create dynamic web applications.

Core PHP uses the purest form of PHP script, a developer needs to know the language thoroughly in order to write a clear and concise code using core PHP.

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It required a good amount of skill to write flawless code using its Core form. And it actually saves time if you are really good at it.

Core PHP has a rich set of functionalities available so that the developer does not have to embed the same code again and again.

When it comes to PHP framework, they usually have a fixed set of rules and hence the code can be passed from one developer to another without any hassles.

But with Core PHP, a PHP developer cannot read other developer’s code that easily.

PHP framework on the other hand provides consistency in the code and are big time savers when the project needs to be handled by several developers at the same time.

Also Framework rarely allows you to write bad code which ensures less time in debugging later and helps you to finish a project faster.

Integrating your entire module becomes very easy as you do not have to separately understand each developer’s code.

Frameworks actually ensures you to separate the logic from the views by using the MVC models. This is a great practice and helps keep the code clean and makes it easy for modifications.

Let’s do something interesting, let us compare how Core PHP and PHP Framework can be related to mathematics.

What do you do when you were to solve a really complex sum of mathematics?

You either do it in a step by step process on a sheet of paper using formulas and methods and what not or if you are someone who needs some help, you would use a Scientific calculator for the solution.

It’s exactly the same with coding of programing languages.

But which process is step by step and which one is like a calculator?

Core PHP is similar to solving problems step by step and PHP framework is similar to that of scientific calculator.

And what are their results?

It’s a simple phenomenon that a person who is smart can complete a given task with less calculations and has the ability to use shortcuts.

Which means an average programmer or developer will struggle with using the Core PHP and A PHP framework is something for all the average coders out there.

May be because of this results of Core PHP are mostly inconsistent as there is no assistance provided, and the results are much better on the PHP framework.

Framework using Scientific calculator

When a person uses a scientific calculator there are many advantages, like the results are accurate and error free, it takes lesser effort and much lesser time to solve a problem.

The results are much reliable as they methods used could be understood by everyone and the same might not be possible when it is done step by step, even if you can read the method it consumes a lot of time in understanding.

When you bring this same method to the PHP development.

In core PHP, developers script the code with their own skills and logic. So, if the bunch of teams are working with the Core PHP, the method of scripting the code differs from one programmer to another.

This results into inconsistent solutions, even though it meets the deadline but the quality of the solutions would not be satisfying.

If you want to perform the best in PHP, developers require the thorough knowledge of the core PHP language.

Learn More about Top 10 PHP Frameworks that Developers Can Use 

What exactly happens inside the framework?

Frameworks have made a web developers live a lot easier, it is indeed popular for its consistency, reliability and they are absolutely accurate.

When you are working as a team building effort, most of the developers working as a team can deliver a consistent result to the project.

Since the framework has a systematic platform, with its functionalities, a developer can code as pet the client’s requirements, then the work can be shared across the developer’s team and a better result can be produced.

You will have a control of the functionalities to go in line with the desired project result instead of coding again and again.

You will also have the access and control on the web application since the Framework is developed using OOPS.

When you are developing a web application, there are several parameters to be kept in mind. Framework developers can easily coordinate and integrate the programming codes into a single platform.

The projects which are in need of document support, database support and model view architecture can be integrated and controlled by the team of developers.

Due to the framework’s key functionalities, integration of a project code by several programmers has an advantage of not identifying or point out person specific contribution.

As a tem contribution it helps you to analyze each of the team member’s code.

But on the technical side, if one has to look about the functionality in the PHP framework, the key contributor in the web programming language is Model view controller which is also called as the MVC, which enables in separation of the designs, functions with logic.

Core PHP still has its own charm…

It may be faster and more accurate to build a web application in the PHP framework, but if you can learn and understand Core PHP, you can work on all the frameworks that are out there.

You create an amazing foundation for coding and it greatly improves your understanding of web development as a whole, you wouldn’t be limited to a particular framework.

It is a common notation that if you are a beginner, a framework is a good place to start with. Which is just a myth if you ask me.

Start with Core PHP and everything else is a child’s play, which is because, even frameworks require the basic knowledge of core PHP functions, classes and methods.

However, websites and web applications built using a framework can provide you with a very systematic method of coding which is easy to maintain even when the PHP developer who has actually built It is not around.

On top of that, if you decide to create a web application or a website for your business and are looking at hiring a PHP web development company to do the task for you, make sure that you consider the type of development you want for your website.

You need to be specific if you want a Core PHP or any of the PHP frameworks for custom php development, make sure that you understand all the pros and cons that come with them.

Pros and Cons of PHP frameworks

Pros of PHP frameworks

  • Faster development: In the current market situation, building a web application faster could actually make or break a deal for your business.

    Using a PHP framework is one of the ways to deal with the criteria.

    A well-designed PHP framework selects the best implementations to common problems from the open-source community and build on top of them, provides you with an application architecture to guide your development.

    This way, instead of spending time planning your applications architecture and evaluating the various libraries available, you get to start from a fully functional, if bare bones, template and get right to building the features specific to your application.

    Many PHP frameworks also come with a command-line tool that you can use to generate code and save more of your development time.

  • Secure: Even though a framework code is readable by other developers it is really secure.

    Build a Faster and Dynamic Version of your Application with Laravel Framework

    The solutions included in a modern PHP framework are continuously tested and peer reviewed and validated by multiple developers using the framework.

    As the Frameworks are open source, security issues and other problems that you might look over in your proprietary code get quickly noticed and fixed.
    It is really important to remember using a framework doesn’t mean you can forget all about security and good development practices.

    Make sure you use the framework as it is meant to be used, keep it updated, and do your part in things such as parameter validation – using the frameworks’ tools, it isn’t all that difficult.

  • Easy maintenance: Since the coding on a framework does not differ unlike Core PHP it is easier to maintain and you don’t really need a same developer to fix or debug something on your web application.

    Another way in which using a framework makes maintaining your application easier is through its shared components.

    As the framework libraries and helpers are developed independently of your application, you get to offload a big part of your application’s maintenance to the framework developers.

    In a way, it’s like you’re having a team of developers working for you, for free!

  • Strong Teamwork: If you are a developer, you actually know your classes and functions by heart and can use them easily. But as you bring in team members, the situation changes.

    Without knowledge of your design decisions and complete documentation, they will find it hard to wrap their heads around your application’s code.

    Using a PHP framework will help you make it easier for new developers to get started with working on the project.

    Chances are they are already familiar with the framework and can put all their attention into understanding the specifics of the application.

    Even if the framework is new to them, the documentation, online tutorials, and the familiar design patterns will help them get up to speed with minimal effort.

    All this while you can keep working in the application rather than teaching the developers your ways of thinking.

  • Framework community: Ultimately, a significant benefit of using a PHP framework comes from the active communities of developers and users that gather around them.

    Having a community of developers will always help you grow as a PHP developer, you can learn a lot of things, learning quickly and applying what you learn to your application development.

    An if you are motivated, you can give back and participate in the open-source projects in any way that feels natural and fulfilling you.

Pros and Cons of Core PHP 

Pros of Core PHP

  • Useful in Long-term: Core PHP is not for everyone, I admit. But if you can put in some efforts, you will gain immense knowledge which no-one could possibly take it away from you.

    There is no framework you cannot work on, and you can create some of the coolest custom php web applications using Core PHP.

  • Custom-based: Core PHP is custom based, which makes it really flexible and great for out of the box ideas of web application development. Custom php development companies love working on Core PHP as it has to offer a lot to their business needs.

  • Full control over the code: you have total control over the code, because you would be building things from the scratch.

    There are cons to it which we will discuss later but you are in total control over your project.

  • Only minimal things are added: Since you have absolutely zero libraries or such sort of things you have minimal things which needs to be added in creating a web application.

    Which eradicates the hassles caused in building an app through a framework.

    You will create things which are needed. And execution is much faster compared to a framework.

Cons of PHP frameworks

  • Slower Execution: Compared to Core PHP or any other PHP programming languages, a framework Is really slow in execution and always creates some or the other complexion and overhead in the form of classes and libraries loaded before your code even gets called.

    The difference can be significant in quick scripts and APIs with a limited set of functionality that needs to run fast.

    General solutions for Specific Problems: The Idea of a PHP framework is to be a general solution for the recurring requirements most developers will face in developing a web application.

    But where should we draw the line in what to include in the framework and what to leave for the applications.

    Or third-party add-ons to implement. According to some developers, this is where many frameworks go wrong.

  • Takes time to learn: While a PHP framework nudges you towards good code, there is no guarantee for it. If you work with a framework without understanding it and the design patterns behind it, you will most likely end up with a big, structured mess.

    For someone who is already familiar with these design principles, form other frameworks or projects, the learning curve will be relatively short.

    For a developer with less experience, learning takes longer.

    And you will be limited to a particular framework unlike learning Core PHP where you can work on any framework after learning it.

  • External dependency: A framework is always an external dependency for your application which is code controlled by someone other than you and your team.

    While this is usually not a problem, it is something worth considering if the software you are building is a core part of your business.

Cons of Core PHP

  • Not Easy to Learn: Forget about mastering Core PHP, it’s not even easy to learn if you are someone who puts in average efforts. Rewards of learning Core PHP is great but, to reach there is not an easy job.

  • Costly affair: Custom PHP development using Core PHP might bring you great results but the costs are high.

    That’s because all the modules and functionalities must be developed from scratch, but it’s not the same case in a framework.

Why Do People Still Use Core PHP?

Although many PHP Frameworks have become extremely popular, many people still translate their applications to Core PHP for several reasons. Here are some of the key factors that contribute to this preference:

1. Simplicity and Control

  • Direct Coding: The high-level plugin can be organized around checking the validity of the user details and displaying the relevant information on the dashboard, while code in core PHP can be rewritten to code directly without the abstraction layers that frameworks introduce. That offers more advantages to so-called codebase management.

  • Flexibility: Customized instrumentation will allow developers to choose solutions according to their project needs that a framework might not offer.

2. Performance

  • Lightweight: Core PHP is normally faster because simple apps are smaller and may be separated into single executable files without the need for unnecessary components that frameworks require.

  • No Overhead: Since one can probably do without the extra layers and libraries found in frameworks, Core PHP scripting is more productive in terms of the abstraction levels used, and consequently, resource consumption goes down.

3. Learning Curve

  • Ease of Learning: Core PHP, the entry point for beginners, is perhaps the simplest of the PHP frameworks, through which newbies can easily learn the basic concepts of PHP programming.

  • No Framework Dependency: A framework doesn't need to be learned by developers, so they might spend more time catching up with the principles of language if they already know the unique concepts of the framework, which could be good for those who prefer to understand the language of a project.

4. Customization

  • Tailored Solutions: While program frameworks offer great functionality and convenience, they often place limitations on their users, which may keep them rigid.

  • Freedom of Choice: Developers may select the tools, libraries, and methodologies they like and consider them without being forced to use a certain system or framework.

5. Legacy Systems

  • Existing Codebases: Many older projects and legacy systems were built using Core PHP. Maintaining and updating these systems often requires a deep understanding of Core PHP.

  • Compatibility: Core PHP ensures compatibility with older versions of PHP and various hosting environments, which might not support the latest frameworks.

Thus, Core PHP remains a popular choice among developers for its simplicity, control, performance, and ease of learning. It offers unparalleled customization and is indispensable for maintaining legacy systems. Despite the advent of numerous PHP frameworks, Core PHP's direct coding approach and flexibility ensure it retains a dedicated following in the development community.


PHP framework is indeed a powerful tool in the hands of a skillful php developer, which is the same in case of Core PHP.

So which is better? Core-PHP or PHP frameworks?

To be honest, it depends on the project you have chosen, both are great at different situations as explained above.

Selecting the right tool for the job is the right key. If you approach a Custom PHP development company they would suggest only according to your project requirement and it’s not the other way around, where you get to choose a platform and build the project around it.

Once you have determined your project, selecting a platform should future-proof your web application.

If you have a Custom web development project on your mind, feel free to get in touch with NMG. They’ve done some amazing web application projects lately, don’t forget to check them out.



Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PHP?

PHP is known as an open-source server-side scripting language that has been widely used to develop static and dynamic websites and web applications. Prior known as “Personal Home Pages” the scripting language now transformed as “Hypertext Pre-processor”, winning the trust of web development agencies.

2. What is the core PHP?

Core PHP is referred to as the basic PHP scripting language useful for creating the best-in-class web pages and applications. It goes well without external libraries and custom functions thus required for developers to be learned profoundly with all its basic principles and programming syntaxes.

3. What is core PHP and advanced PHP?

Writing code with Core PHP requires in-depth knowledge to create web pages and applications. On the contrary, advanced PHP is fully based on creating the projects using frameworks including custom functions. Both are great sources of development where one has been considered as a step-by-step process and the other is a direct and fast method of completing the task.

4. What is a PHP framework?

PHP frameworks are well developed with numerous in-built libraries and custom functions and came into the picture to provide developers’ a structured, easy and fast way to create effective code, transforming their scripting monotony into a fun task.

5. What is the difference between core PHP and PHP?

As the name suggests, Core PHP is an initial staircase to climb the ladder of scripting which uses basic concepts and principles to create a project. On the other side, advanced or upgraded PHP specifically meant to develop web pages and web applications with the help of customized frameworks built with a large number of functions and libraries.

6. What is the difference between core PHP and framework?

Core PHP carries all the basic knowledge that lets the developers learn the scripting step-by-step and also in a diligent manner. It doesn’t require hefty effort when it comes to learning PHP frameworks as these are custom made and easy to access and can be used for any PHP project. But, don’t think you would be able to proceed with PHP frameworks without mastering core PHP.

7. What is the difference between PHP and Laravel?

The difference is clear - PHP or Core PHP is a basic scripting language where Laravel is a full-structured PHP framework. Both act as the best web development sources, making projects worth using for en-users.

8. Why is Laravel the best PHP framework in 2020?

Laravel is a highly secure, scalable, and maintainable thus being accredited as the best PHP framework to be used by developers. It supports MVC (Model View Controller) that makes development far clear and excellently documented.

9. Which framework is best for web development in PHP?

The most used frameworks include CodeIgnitor, Laravel, Zend, Symfony, CakePHP, Phalcon, Yii, FuelHP. You can choose any one of the listed ones to get the desired web development results.

10. Which PHP framework is fastest?

If you’re in a fix which one to choose from the long list of PHP frameworks for the fastest web development, CodeIgnitor is the best one you can go with.

11. Which PHP framework is in demand?

All the available PHP frameworks make the most out of their potential but Laravel can be on the top when it comes to single out the most demanded one.

12. What PHP framework should I use?

The debate to find the best PHP framework would be of no use as all are doing great in the web development industry, assisting businesses in achieving their desired goals.

13. Is PHP good in 2020?

Since inception, PHP has been extensively used for developing super-functional static and dynamic websites and web applications. It’s gaining rapid traction among developers and web development companies due to its nature of offering a variety of web development including simple landing pages and complex business websites.

14. Is PHP useful in 2020?

PHP stands as the best, fast and most used web development language. It has created uncountable success stories by offering businesses next-level web development to deal with their business operations. It’s winning the market and continues to keep a stronghold in 2020.


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