Best PHP Frameworks
Published 1 year ago | Last update 1 year ago
Each PHP framework has pros and cons. Which one you choose depends on your coding styles and preferences. We've rounded up a list of the top 10.
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Top 10 PHP Frameworks for Web Development
PHP frameworks make rapid web development possible, if you're thinking of creating a project in PHP you should consider picking a PHP framework from the list below. They provide you with a solid base for well organised, maintainable and reusable code. They make it far easier for you to grow and scale your application over time.
Almost all modern PHP frameworks follow the MVC (model, view, controller) approach that makes sure there is separation between presentation and logic. This is considered to be best practice in modern web development.
This article will give you a small overview of a pick of the most common PHP frameworks. They are listed here:
- Zend Framework
- Yii 2
Despite being a relatively new PHP framework, it's become extremely widely used and has to be the most popular PHP Framework out there to date. Thanks to their huge community, solid documentation, screencasts and tutorials Laravel is extremely easy to pick up.
Rapid web development is very possible with Laravel thanks to it's features. Artisan (a command line interface) provides a good number of helpful commands while you're developing. We also have to mention their templating engine also, which provides simple methods for common tasks like authentication, sessions, RESTful routing, queuing and caching for it's developers.
Not only is all this put together to make Laravel great, it also has a massive ecosystem with an instant hosting and deployment platform. Laravel is prepackaged with Homestead(Vagrant).
If you're looking for a large scale PHP framework ideal for developing for enterprise projects, Symphony is a perfect choice. It provides developers with a set of reusable PHP components and code enabling them to develop quickly with very few issues. These included components in Symphony Framework are used by many CMS's like PHPBB, PIWIK, OROCRM and Drupal. Even laravel itself uses some of these components.
Along with these great features, Symfony's ecosystem is large and supported by a great community of active developers.
If you have been involved with web development for any period of time you're more than likely going to already know about Code Igniter. It's one of the oldest PHP Frameworks but it's known for being both simple and powerful.
It can be easily installed and requires very little user configuration. It requires very little resources to run, making it great on small or shared hosting platforms. Another strength of CodeIgniter is it's speed, it runs very quickly with database intensive tasks compared to other frameworks.
One point worth noting is it's not based on the MVC framework, in CodeIgniter Models and Views are optional.
Code Igniter is a very well documented framework, and is ideal for PHP developers and veterans alike!
Zend Framework is widely known for being very difficult to learn, but also fantastic for complex projects.
It includes a great set of features such as instant online debugging tools, a database wizard, cryptographic coding tools and a drag and drop editor.
5. Yii 2
Much light Code Igniter the veterans among us are going to be familiar with Yii. Thanks to the recently released Yii 2 it's popularity is returning again!
Yii 2 is built on the Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) approach, designed for pure object oriented programming. Thanks to it's lazy-loading functionality, Yii 2 is an extremely fast PHP Framework when compared with others.
It's also fully integrated with AJEX and JQuery, making it perfect for large-scale web development. It also features a massively powerful class code generator called Gii which handles all your OOP (object-oriented programming), allowing for rapid prototyping to provide a web-based interface to interactively generate the code you need.
Yii 2 has a wonderful and active community, and should be simple to pick up for new PHP developers.
If you're looking for a lovely little micro-framework you may want to look at Slim.
Slim is a lightweight PHP framework ideal for developing RESTful API's and services. It's packed with features such as client-side caching, session and cookie routing, URL routing and support for messages over HTTP requests. It's excellent for developing small applications where a full stack PHP framework is overkill.
PHPixie is only a baby, first released in 2012 filling a gap of providing a high performance PHP framework for read only websites. PHPixie shares a lot in common with FuelPHP, they both implement the HMVC design pattern and composes of independent components which can be used outside of the framework.
All of PHPixies components are unit tests and require very minimal dependencies. Some of it's features are object relational mapping, validation, caching, authentication and authorisation.
PHPixie allows you to use HAML markup language, enables schema migration and has a very powerful routing system.
CakePHP has been out for over 10 years at this point, but it's still one of the most popular PHP Frameworks. Combining speed, reliability and security CakePHP offers developers of all levels a framework they can trust. It has a huge community of developers who keep CakePHP at the top of the pile and inline with the latest technology trends. It's a very modern framework and is suited for commercial development.
Some of it's unbeatable features include form validation, SQL injection prevention, solid documentation, cross-site scripting (XSS) prevention, cross site request forgery protection and caching.
FuelPHP is an awesome modular, extendable, and flexible PHP framework. The full-stack framework uses the MVC pattern as well as its evolved version Hierarchical Model-View-Controller (HMVC) in the lower architectural level. It addresses security concerns by offering features such as input and URI filtering and output encoding. It comes with its own authentication framework, with many other sophisticated features and backed with extensive documentation. FuelPHP is suitable for delivering end-to-end internet solutions of diverse sizes and complexities.
And now for something completely different to the frameworks above. Phalcon stands out compared to other PHP Frameworks as it's based on C++ and C's coding style.
Phalcons framework is delivered as a C-extension, it's optimised at low levels which is greatly reduces the overhead typical of MVC based apps. Phalcon is loaded with fantastic features like asset management, translation, caching, security and universal autoloader.
It's a fairly easy to use framework, if you're moving into web development with a background in C programming you're going to love Phalcon.
Which PHP Framework Is The Best?
Unfortunately there is no clear winner.
The best framework for you (and your team) will depend on the following factors:
- Your skills and experience.
- Your coding styles.
- The project you're trying to build.
Each framework has it's pros and cons and the one that's right for you could be anyones guess. I would read the development documents for all of these and perhaps give them all a try.
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Based on the data shown below, the answer is basically that Laravel is the most popular and clearly has the largest community around ir right now. Clearly one of the newest PHP frameworks out there, but it's been around for long enough that most of the bugs and so on have been sorted out. It's been roughly 11 months since Hash Brown made this post initially and have seen some decent updates over that time, but it's stable enough that the probability of running into something like that time AngularJS was completely redone when making Angular 2+ (i.e., a ton of work for developers who built things in AngularJS/Angular 1.x who later had to choose between an involved and time-consuming upgrade or sticking with version 1 (although there were/are still a number of updates to AngularJS and it's still being supported by its developers).
Anyway, for the lulz, here are some estimates for how popular various PHP frameworks are, estimated by Ahrefs' estimated search volumes:
PHP Framework Popularity and Ahrefs' Search Volume
As an HTML table:
Also, the search volume for "Yii 2" in this screenshot is misleading for obvious reasons. Better terms for that:
Also "Slim" and "Symphony" for the same reasons:
|php slim framework||33||150|
Also, "Zend" instead of "Zend Framework":
Anyway, the estimated search volumes are also fairly relevant in that higher search volume means more people are using the framework, which means there are more people reporting bugs, submitting patches, and answering framework-related questions that show up in search results.
Google Trends Data - PHP Framework Popularity Over Time
Google Trends supports up to five queries at a time. Chose what seem to be the top five most popular for these two graphs/charts.
PHP Framework Popularity 2019/Almost 2020 (Over 12 Months)
PHP Framework Popularity Data from All Time (2004-Present)
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PHP is widely used language in recent days. It is server based scripting language for web development. These frameworks helps. Thanks for sharing.
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