PHP is the most popular back-end programming language. According to the survey by w3techs , 78.4% percent of websites use PHP. PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side scripting language used for back-end web development. To make PHP development even better, we have frameworks for PHP.
This article details the ten best PHP frameworks. PHP has great frameworks that allow developers to build robust web applications in a productive manner. Though PHP itself is able to make dynamic web applications, its frameworks ease the process of developing web applications by saving developers the time to build everything from scratch.
What are PHP Frameworks?
Frameworks are collections of libraries (predefined code in the form of methods and functions) and APIs. These are used to create code and web applications. PHP frameworks are widely used for developing web applications.
Best PHP Frameworks
Here in this article, we will discuss ten of the most popular PHP frameworks, which are:
- Cake PHP
- Fuel PHP
It is an open-source PHP framework and, by far, the most popular framework of PHP. Developed by Taylor Otwell and released in June 2011, Laravel is based on the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It is specially designed to make complex web applications that could also deal with data binding. It provides high security with its authentication feature, which is one of the reasons why big enterprises use it for powering their official websites.
- Laravel comes with a built-in authentication system.
- It provides an innovative template engine for creating dynamic websites.
- It has a built-in ORM with easy PHP Active Record implementation.
- Laravel provides unique unit testing.
- It has a built-in tool for the command line called Artisan.
- The PHP framework is modular in nature.
- It is a developer-friendly PHP framework.
- Laravel has excellent documentation.
- It Supports cache backends, such as Redis and Memcached.
- The composer of this framework is not good enough as other PHP frameworks.
- There is a lack of continuity between versions 4 and 5.
- Some components are not well-designed.
Some Big Companies Using Laravel
- Big Drop Inc
It is a powerful PHP web framework with a storage size of less than 2MB. Like other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter is also used to create dynamic web applications. Due to its lightweight build and hassle-free installation process, it is an ideal framework for PHP beginners. Compared to other PHP frameworks, it is fast.
It also provides features like security, encryption, easy error handling, and negligible PHP adaptation. Its well-organized and extensive documentation helps learners to get the most out of the PHP framework.
However, when we need a web application or website with high security as the main concern, it would not be a good idea to use CodeIgniter. Though it provides security, it’s not enough to serve the demand for high-level security.
- It is extremely lightweight.
- CodeIgniter generates SEO-friendly URLs.
- It comes with a wide variety of libraries that facilitates various tasks, such as manipulating images, sending emails, form validation, and so on.
- It supports full-page caching.
- CodeIgniter supports flexible URI routing.
- It is free to use.
- It comes with an easy and hassle-free setup.
- CodeIgniter comes with built-in security features.
- The PHP framework is extensible and customizable.
- It does not support the modular separation of code by default.
- The PHP framework requires exhaustive libraries.
Some Big Companies Using CodeIgniter
- Dompet Dhuafa
It is a web application framework developed by Fabien Potencier and released on 22nd October 2005, which makes it one of the oldest frameworks of PHP. Based on the MVC architecture, Symfony is mainly used for developing big projects.
Additionally, it offers an easy installation process and supports most platforms. Most developers choose Symfony over Laravel because of its reusable libraries. Also, it has a very huge and active community. Many enterprises choose Symfony because it is used by many popular management systems, such as OroCRM and PHP Bulletin Board (PHPBB).
- It follows the MVC (model-view-controller) architecture.
- It has a flexible URI routing.
- Symfony comes with the Twig template engine.
- Session management and error logging are available.
- It provides high performance.
- Symfony allows developers to create reusable and easy-to-maintain code.
- It enjoys huge community support.
- It provides security against various attacks, such as cross-site request forgery.
- The PHP framework is easily extensible.
- It requires more time to build and launch applications than other PHP frameworks.
- It has a steep learning curve.
- Applications developed using Symfony load slowly due to the dearth of origin elements.
Some Big Companies Using Symfony
- Vogue France
CakePHP is one of the simple PHP frameworks with a low learning curve. It is specially designed to develop visual interfaces and fully-featured dynamic websites. Moreover, the popular PHP framework works on the CRUD principle, which means create, read, update, and delete.
Developed by Cake Software Foundation, Inc. back in April 2005, CakePHP provides support for many operating systems. For a beginner, CakePHP is an ideal framework to learn because of its easy installation process and low learning curve. Even though it is a very simple web framework, it does not compromise security by any means.
- It follows the MVC architectural design pattern.
- CakePHP comes with built-in validation and template engine.
- It easies CRUD-database interactions.
- It works from any website directory.
- The PHP framework enjoys active community support.
- It is open-source and easily extensible.
- It is easy to set up.
- The framework has poor documentation.
- It provides one-way routing only.
Some Big Companies Using CakePHP
- Cotter Web Enterprises
- Jabico Enterprises
5. Zend Framework (Laminas Project)
Zend Framework is an open-source web application framework developed by Zend Technologies and released on 3rd March 2006. It is an object-oriented framework based on the MVC architecture. Its fully object-oriented PHP 5 feature helps the developers write bug-free and crash-proof code.
Additionally, this feature also increases the security level provided by Laminas Project. It comes with support for relational database systems, including MySQL , IBM, Oracle, and SQLite. Laminas Project also offers high security and great performance with a high-quality application. It is specially designed for big enterprise projects. Consequently, it provides features like form validation, authentication, and encryption.
- It is a purely object-oriented MVC-based framework.
- It has a simple cloud API.
- Zend Framework flaunts flexible URI routing.
- It supports developing RESTful APIs.
- The PHP framework has session management.
- It offers seamless integration with PHPUnit for testing.
- It is a loosely-coupled framework.
- Zend Framework supports industry-standard encryption.
- It provides high performance.
- It has an extensive community and massive documentation.
- The framework is highly customizable.
- It has a steep learning curve.
- It has expensive plugins.
Some Big Companies Using Zend Framework
- Cisco Webex
- Melis Technology
- Netretail Holding
It is another simple PHP framework with a low learning curve, and thus, it is an ideal framework for beginners. Yii is an acronym for Yes, it is! and like other PHP frameworks, it also follows the MVC architecture. Yii Framework provides high performance by adding the least possible overhead. It comes with sane defaults and built-in security tools that provide high security and ensure code security.
- It requires less time for development.
- It has error handling and logging.
- Yii Framework provides a skinning and theming mechanism.
- It supports fragment caching, data caching, dynamic content, and web caching.
- Automatic code generation is available.
- The installation and setup are easy.
- It is highly extensible.
- It has a low learning curve.
- Yii Frameworks comes with detailed documentation.
- It prevents various external attacks.
- It is important to have in-depth knowledge of PHP to use this framework.
- You need to stay very organized while using this framework. Otherwise, you will get messed up.
Some Big Companies Using Yii Framework
- Purple – retail
- Fast Company Events
It is a fast, simple, and flexible PHP framework. Moreover, FuelPHP is a free-to-use framework. Although it is based on the MVC architecture, it also provides support for the HMVC (Hierarchical model-view-controller) architecture.
The FuelPHP framework also supports a router-based approach where you might route directly to a closure that deals with the input URL, making the closure the controller and giving it control of further execution.
- It comes with a flexible URI routing system.
- It supports REST API development.
- FuelPHP has a lightweight ORM model.
- It comes with exception handling and session management.
- It has autoloading classes.
- FuelPHP is easy to use and configure.
- The PHP framework is highly secure and extensible.
- It has sparse documentation.
- The PHP framework is not supported by an active community.
Some Big Companies Using FuelPHP
- Wan Wizard
- Front Desk
Developed by Andres Gutierrez and released on 14th November 2012, Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework based on the MVC architecture. Written in C and PHP, Phalcon is an open-source PHP framework that is free to use. Some of its key features are fast execution speed, asset management, a universal autoloader, top-notch security, and caching.
- The PHP framework comes with a powerful template engine.
- It supports routing and caching.
- It is loosely coupled.
- Phalcon features a multi-user system.
- It can seamlessly integrate with PHPUnit for testing.
- It is one of the fastest PHP frameworks.
- Phalcon is open-source.
- It is suitable for projects of all sizes.
- The installation is somewhat complex.
- Debugging is pretty challenging.
Some Big Companies Using Phalcon
- Learny Online
- Marchi Auto
Unlike other PHP frameworks on this list, Aura is a collection of PHP decoupled libraries. Thus, it’s not a pure PHP framework. Nonetheless, it can nicely get the job done. It is an open-source framework, and the most important highlight of this framework is its self-contained libraries that can be used independently in any project.
- All libraries in Aura are decoupled.
- Each library is self-contained.
- It is open-source.
- You can use Aura libraries in any codebase.
- Beginners may find this framework difficult to use.
Some Big Companies Using Aura Framework
Slim is another powerful yet simple PHP micro-framework used for creating powerful web applications. It is a micro web framework, which means it is not capable of full-stack development. Like other simple frameworks, Slim also has a low learning curve.
- It provides a fast and reliable HTTP router. This router maps route callbacks to specific HTTP request methods and URLs.
- It allows you to build your applications with concentric middleware.
- Slim supports dependency injection.
- PSR-7 HTTP message implementation is available in the micro web framework.
- It is easy to set up.
- Slim has excellent documentation.
- It is open-source, modular, and fast.
- It has poor dependency injection.
- There is very little consistency among different versions.
Some Big Companies Using Slim
- Top Web Comics
- Canine Principles
- CG Forge
- Betterplace Academy
These are the ten best PHP frameworks to use for web development in 2022. If you are looking for fast PHP development, then you can go for CodeIgniter, Phalcon, and FuelPHP. On the contrary, Laminas Project and Symfony are ideal for developing big projects. CakePHP, Yii Framework, and Slim are ideal for beginners.
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