Top 10 PHP Frameworks that Developers Can Use

PHP Frameworks

PHP frameworks can be considered as most useful when we talk about clean and structured web development as they enhance the speed of creation and maintenance of websites that can range from small and static websites to large-scale and complex websites with content management systems.

Nearly 80% of all existing websites are thriving on PHP codes as it is the most popular language of choice for web developers.

It would further have been impossible to develop web applications making use of raw PHP codes.

The massive growth of the web has been powered by PHP frameworks that are your best bet for modern web development.

80% of all existing websites use PHP frameworks

The reason why frameworks gain prominence is that they offer ready to use components, a structured architecture, ensure separation of model, view, and control of MVC and so on.

In simpler terms, PHP frameworks can make you more and more productive and make web development for you a fun experience.

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However, selecting the right framework can come out to be a daunting task for you as there are different frameworks that are popular in the developer community, some which are actively maintained and some which are adaptable to modern web development practices.

For your own convenience and ease of use, we have made a selection of top 10 PHP frameworks that can count as the best among the rest.
1. Laravel

Laravel PHP Framework

Although Laravel is a relatively new PHP framework in the web community, launched in 2011, it has actively become the most popular choice among web developers.

It has become the undisputed leader of PHP frameworks with older ones clamoring for attention. 

Laravel’s ecosystem is large and has grown at an unprecedented pace which boasts of platforms having instant hosting and deploying capabilities and offering several free tutorials.

Laravel has been built for simplicity and supports rapid speed application development.

As a developer, you get a rich set of features that can breathe life into any large-scale project within a matter of days. 

Laravel further comes with its own template engine which is called “Blade”.

It allows you to write in plain PHP in templates and does not bring in any performance overheads to your application.

Furthermore, it includes “Homestead” which is basically a packaged Vagrant box which lets you commence the development in a hassle-free environment.

A dedicated website called hosts hundreds of PHP video tutorials which are easily accessible at minimal cost.

Quite recently, Laravel has released a micro PHP framework called “Lumen” for web developers who wish to build fast-paced APIs and Laravel based services.

2. Symfony

Symfony PHP Framework

The Symfony ecosystem, by and large, contains a large set of reusable components, a vibrant community, a Symfony framework and the basic philosophy of taking PHP to the next level. 

Symphony can be used best when there is a complex and large-scale project at hand.

Symfony is fuelled by its reusable and decoupled set of components that it contains in its structure. 

Even Laravel utilizes some of Symfony’s components which make it quite the preferred choice in the developer community and several fans.

Symfony has the ability to power some of the large open source projects such as Drupal, PHPBB, Piwik, OROCRM and Laravel.

3. Phalcon

Phalcon PHP Framework The Phalcon framework has been built for high speed. Released in the year 2012, it has gained popularity in the web development network with developers vouching for it.

It is basically an extension written in C and is the fastest PHP framework available today. 

It is considered as a full stack MVC framework and offers several modern features like view templates, routings, controllers, Caching and ORM among others.

This framework is simple to learn and beats most other frameworks in margins in performance. 

It further brings together all features to develop web applications of varying sizes and complexity and is quite popular among PHP developers.

Phalcon has achieved much success in a relatively short span of time owing to its execution speed, decreased resource usage and many of its cool features like asset management, security, caching among others. 

The framework’s main quality lies in its ease of use and is well documented.

4. Yii


yii PHP Framework

Yii can be traced back to the year 2008 and can be considered as one of the oldest among the PHP frameworks. It used to lag behind Laravel and Symfony since the past few years but with the coming of Yii

It used to lag behind Laravel and Symfony since the past few years but with the coming of Yii 2.0 it is fast becoming the choice of developers for enterprise web application development.

Yii 2.0 is a modern framework that contains several features which cater to the needs of modern websites and applications development.

It is absolutely object-oriented and provides you with a clean and logical code base to develop. I

It further features a powerful code generator tool which is called Gii.

Yii is in competition with Symfony in terms of building secure and power packed applications that need complex workflows. CMS and CRM are the categories where Yii can compete with Symfony.

Yii 2 is integrated with jQuery and contains a set of AJAX enabled features.

The Yii 2.0 community is active and supportive; it is determined to take the Yii 2.0 framework to the next level and hosts the best documentation in PHP frameworks.

5. Slim

Slim PHP Framework

Slim as the name suggests is a micro-framework that provides you with everything you need. When starting with a micro framework like Slim, you don’t need to waste time in learning it.

The code base is too tiny that you can complete entire coding in one night. Since micro frameworks have minimalist designs they are best for small apps where a full stack framework is not needed.

Slim is an open source and stylish micro framework that comes with URL routing and efficient class middleware architecture.

It can also support encrypted cookies, flash messaging and caching.

Slim is best suited for you when you wish to build a simple application or API’s grounds up with full flexibility.

You can easily write the code around this framework or simply plug the existing components from any other framework, thereby, creating a functional web application.

6. CakePHP

CakePHP Framework

The CakePHP framework is over a decade old (first released in 2005, although now available under MIT license) but it is still among the popular PHP frameworks owing to its ability to keep up with changing times and technologies.

You can use CakePHP free of cost in commercial projects as it is an open source framework.

It used to hold the top slot in frameworks and attracted several big names like BMW, Hyundai etc. it is excellent for the creation of web apps which need high-security levels as it contains in-built security features like input validation, SQL injection prevention, XSS (cross-site scripting) prevention among many others.

CakePHP 3.0 is its latest version with enhanced sessions management and improvised modularity contains enhanced ability to create standalone libraries.

7. Zend

Zend PHP Framework

The Zend framework is almost a decade old in the web development industry and can be counted as one of the greatest PHP frameworks of all times. 

Several corporate bigwigs like BBC, Paribas etc. have made use of the Zend framework in some of their web projects.

Zend is a robust PHP framework that is packed with ample choice of configuration options and hence it is not recommended for smaller projects but it is good for complex ones.

This framework is probably quite difficult to master and hence has a steep learning curve.

The existing Zend framework 2 has several cool features like cryptography coding tools, a simple drag and drop editor and it supports front-end technologies as well, debugging and connected wizard.

Since it is quite complex to learn and execute, using Zend framework for small /medium sized projects or PHP beginners is a strict ‘NO’.

Several of the developers are moving onto simpler frameworks like Phalcon and Laravel nowadays.

8. CodeIgniter

Codelgniter PHP Framework

The Codeigniter framework is a light PHP framework that almost a decade old and yet has maintained itself quite well over the years.

It has a simple and straightforward installation process which requires minimal configuration which saves a lot of time and effort.

It works comfortably on almost all shared and dedicated hosting platforms (currently requires only PHP 5.2.4).

It has a simple and straightforward installation process which requires minimal configuration which saves a lot of time and effort.

It works comfortably on almost all shared and dedicated hosting platforms (currently requires only PHP 5.2.4).

It works comfortably on almost all shared and dedicated hosting platforms (currently requires only PHP 5.2.4).

This framework is not strictly based on MVC pattern. Here using controller classes is a must; however, models and views are optional and a developer can use his/her own coding and naming conventions.

Although it is lightweight and has seen the best times in the past, CodeIgniter isn’t the preferred choice anymore as developers are attracted towards Laravel, Phalcon etc.

9. FuelPHP

Fuelphp Framework

The FuelPHP framework is a flexible, simple and full-stack framework that not only supports the ordinary MVC pattern but also evolved version called HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) at the architectural level.

FuelPHP is modular and can be extendable as it takes care of security concerns with the help of certain features like input and URI filtering along with output encoding and has its own authentication framework along with other smart features and detailed documentation.

At its core, this framework offers everything that is needed to build an end-to-end web application of any size or complexity.

10. PHPixie

phpixie Framework

This is a relatively new framework, came out in 2012 with the objective of creating a high-performance framework for websites that are read-only. 

It is further capable of implementing HMVC design pattern like FuelPHP and is built by making use of independent components which are usable in the absence of framework itself. 

Its components are 100% unit tested and need a minimal dependency.

Its official website contains a tutorial as well which says you can learn this framework in about 30 minutes and their blog further gives details on practical use cases. 

There are features like standard ORM (object-relational mapping), caching, input validation and authorization capability.

PHPixie further permits you to make use of the HTML markup language, enabling schema migration, and contains a sophisticated routing system.

PHP frameworks have existed in the web world for a long time now; however, with the changing landscape of web development, frameworks need to stay afloat as well.

PHP frameworks have always been the choice of web developers for creating web applications, especially large scale and open source projects along with enterprise CRM and CMS systems.

Frameworks come with different methods and concepts but they attempt to meet one fundamental need, which is the speedy development of large-scale applications with scalable and maintainable code.

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