PHP is right now the most popular programming language which is being used to build all kinds of websites. Look at this statistics which says that right now PHP is used by about 79.1% of all the websites on the internet. PHP is known for its many popular frameworks that help PHP developers by providing them highly functional modules, a platform for creating robust web applications, reusable components and enabling them to build web applications rapidly. PHP frameworks also provide developers a basic structure and foundation so that they don’t need to always start from scratch.
These PHP frameworks provide coding standards and developer guidelines by standardizing the process of web development. Nowadays, developers are required to build multifaceted websites and web applications and PHP frameworks offer developers an adequate solution to work in a more structured and efficient way. There are many PHP frameworks available in the market like Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, Yii, CakePHP and more.
In this article we are giving you top PHP framework list so that you can go through it and choose the best PHP framework for your project. First let’s look at this Google Trend which shows that Laravel still remains the most searched framework for all new PHP projects.
Now let’ look at the most popular PHP frameworks one by one. All of these latest PHP frameworks are free and open source hence you can try out anyone which you find interesting.
Laravel was released in 2011 and no doubt it is the most popular PHP framework among clients as well as developers. As per a survey, Laravel is the most loved framework used by web developers. It has amazing ecosystem and an instantaneous hosting and deployment platform. Laravel is also known for its elegant syntax, which is easy to understand and pleasure to work with. Using Laravel, you can complete your projects rapidly and also you won’t need to do lots of foundation work since you will get access to functions like user authentication, session management and caching.
Actually Laravel has all the functionality that you need to build an amazing and latest PHP application. Laravel core is perfect from performance point of view and you can extend the framework using many add-ons easily. Good thing is that Laravel can be easily integrated with other third-party libraries and platforms like Amazon Web Services or AWS, which enables the developers to build highly scalable PHP applications.
Another good thing is that Laravel has a highly-active community which means you can get any kind of help, tutorials, guidance easily. Especially for first timers who want to use framework, Laravel is the best option.
CodeIgniter is a powerful, highly used, lightweight and one of the best PHP web development frameworks which is built for those developers who need a simple yet elegant toolkit for creating fully featured web applications. CodeIgniter uses Model View Controller or MVC architecture which means CodeIgniter uses different components to handle specific development tasks. This is one of the best approach for developers as it enables them to build highly-scalable web applications easily. This framework comes with a quite easily installation process which needs only a minimal configuration and therefore it saves developers from lots of issues. It is also the best choice if you want to keep away from PHP version conflicts as it works perfectly on almost all of the shared and dedicated hosting platforms.
CodeIgniter also has an amazing forum community which helps lots of developers by providing them with solutions and answers to their problems and issues. It is a lean framework and enables developers to easily add third party plugins if the PHP application requires more complex features.
The Symfony PHP framework was launched in 2005. It has been in existence for so many years therefore it is a reliable and mature platform. Symfony is an extensive PHP MVC framework and known for following accurately the PHP and web standards. Symfony is easy to install and configure on most platforms and it is best choice for developing large-scale enterprise projects.
One of the best feature of Symfony is its reusable PHP components. It also supports database engine independence. It is very stable, complies with best web practices and design patterns and also allows easy integration with other third party libraries. Symfony is very flexible and can easily integrate with other bigger projects like Drupal. While Laravel targets all kinds of users but Symfony targets advanced users and it is bit complex to start with. To make sure that your applications run smoothly, this framework also includes inbuilt testing functionality. It also provides excellent documentation which is a great help for developers.
CakePHP was the first PHP MVC framework to be launched in the market in early 2000. At that time, it was not less than a revolution. Still it is one of the best frameworks for PHP web development in the market. CakePHP has been upgraded many times to enhance its performance and to add many new components. One of the good thing about CakePHP is its approach and convention in coding. It is said that if you master its set of components and focus on development then you can do the development work at very fast rate.
CakePHP has amazing set of libraries which include a lot of innovative and highly useful components. CakePHP is the best framework if you want to implement rare set of features. Hence we can say that if you are looking for a toolkit which is simple and elegant then CakePHP is best for you. CakePHP can help you to develop visually impressive and feature loaded websites. CakePHP is also one of the easiest framework to learn because of its CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) framework. Also CakePHP provides great documentation, good community support, and premium support through Cake Development Corporation.
Zend is a highly powered PHP web application framework which provides rapid application development. It is recommended by huge community of developers and it is one of the most advanced PHP framework in the market. Zend is an object-oriented, MVC based framework which enables you to load only the components which you want as individual libraries. Thus Zend enables you to focus only on the components and functions which you want actually and it can ignore everything else. Due to this feature and object-oriented nature of Zend framework, you can reuse a lot of code you write which is highly beneficial. Also, it’s very easy to integrate this framework with external libraries to extend its functionality if requires.
This framework is packed with many advanced features which make it easy for developers to create robust PHP web applications. It also has many optimized features like cryptographic coding tool, PHP Unit testing tools, front-end supported drag and drop editor and more. Zend has partnered with many big tech companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google among others.
Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework which employs the MVC web architecture design pattern. Phalcon was released in 2012. Phalcon’s source code is written in C hence it is basically a C extension of PHP. Practically, this results in one of the fastest frameworks in the market. Hence when we talk about performance, Phalcon is one of the topmost and it gives consistent good results.
Good thing about Phalcon is that it is very light on resources and it uses an MVC architecture. This framework itself keeps almost no files after its install and actually you just need to add the modules and libraries which you need which makes the development process highly clutter free. Some of the key benefits of Phalcon include increased execution speed, asset management, a universal autoloader, and top security and caching.
Phalcon optimizes performance due to its efficient memory utilization hence if you want to create an amazing fast website then you should go for Phalcon. Actually its innovative architecture makes Phalcon the fastest PHP framework ever built.
The Yii Framework which stands for Yes, it is! is actually one of the most simple and innovative framework. It is a high-performance and component based PHP framework which is used for developing modern web applications. Good thing about Yii is that it can be used to build and kind of web applications. That’s why it is called a universal web application development framework.
Yii has an easy to follow installation process. Its robust security features make it best for highly secure web applications like Ecommerce websites, portals, forums, CMS and others advanced websites. It provides excellent speed and performance and it is also highly scalable. It also lets developers to avoid writing complex repetitive SQL statements as it models the database data in terms of objects. Another good thing is about Yii is that it has a core developer team of developers which regularly updates it. It also has a huge developers’ community and you can easily get help for your queries if you post them on Yii forums. Yii also stands out due to its robust set of security features which you can use to create highly secure projects.
FuelPHP is a highly flexible, scalable and full-stack PHP framework released first time in 2011. It supports MVC design patterns and also it has its own version called the hierarchical model view controller i.e. HMVC. With HMVC, the content doesn’t need to duplicate to show on multiple pages therefore it consumes very less memory and takes very less time to perform. This FuelPHP framework helps the developers to deliver amazing web solutions which are diverse in size and complexities. Some of its benefits are RESTful implementation, a URL routing system, vulnerability protection and caching feature. This framework takes care of security aspect very much and implements beyond ordinary security measures. Hence it is one of the best framework if security is crucial for your project. FuelPHP also offers a unique command line utility which is highly useful. This framework supports PHP version 5.4 and above. Also it offers detailed documentation which is highly helpful for developers.