The 8 Best PHP Frameworks for Web Developers & Web designers
If you have used frameworks before, you will know that each tool is quite unique. We will do our best to provide you with all the information you will need to choose the best PHP (Personal Home Page) framework for you. All these options are free and open source, so you can try the ones that interest you. So let’s start!
When people talk about PHP frameworks, one of the names that sound most frequently is Laravel. This particular framework is known for its elegant syntax that is easy to understand and is a pleasure to work with.
With Lavarel, you can start working on your projects quickly. You can also omit a large number of basic elements, since you will have access to functions such as user authentication, session management and caching. In general, Laravel has all the functionality you will need to build a modern PHP application, which already says a lot.
If you are interested in the technical reasons why it is a good idea to use Laravel, we can summarize them easily. First of all, Laravel’s core is solid from the performance point of view, and you can extend the framework using many extensions.
- It uses a framework that prides itself on its elegant syntax.
- Extends the main functionality of Laravel using extensions.
- Use the built-in functions to handle routing, user management, caching and much more.
- Finally, Laravel has a very active community, which means you will not have problems finding help or tutorials. If it’s the first time you use a framework, that makes Laravel a great option.
CodeIgniter uses different components to handle specific development tasks. This approach is very popular with developers because it allows you to create highly scalable web applications with a smaller size.
If you are new to PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter can be an excellent choice because it is easy to learn and easy to start. In addition, the platform has an excellent documentation, which means that you should not have difficulties to learn the basics. CodeIgniter also offers solid performance, which means that it is ideal for creating lightweight applications that run well on modest servers.
It uses a light framework, made with performance in mind.
It starts quickly, thanks to the simplicity of the framework and the excellent documentation.
Create scalable applications using the MVC-based architecture.
CodeIgniter has many benefits. However, we did not dare to call it the best PHP framework, because it also has its disadvantages. For example, their releases are somewhat irregular, so it may not be the best option for applications that require high-level security standards.
If there were a competition from the best PHP framework, Symfony would be up to CodeIgniter and Laravel in terms of popularity. And when you start delving into this framework, it’s easy to see why.
In addition to having a great name, Symfony is quite flexible. It has a package and component system that allows you to choose the PHP functions you need, or simply use the entire framework.
To ensure that your applications run correctly, the framework also includes built-in test functionality. However, based on our experience, applications created with Symfony often do not have the best performance. In addition, the framework has a very steep learning curve compared to the other options we have seen so far.
It uses a highly flexible framework that allows you to configure individual components.
Take advantage of the built-in test functionality in the framework.
Symfony can be a good option if modularity is important to you. You can use only the components you want instead of a full library, which can make this the best PHP framework if you just need a little help.
Many people refer to Zend as a “glue” framework, which is a way of referring to its component-based nature. Zend is a framework based on MVC, oriented to objects, which allows you to load only the components you want as individual libraries.
To put it another way, Zend allows you to focus only on the components and functions you want, and ignore everything else. Thanks to this approach and the object-oriented nature of the framework, you should be able to reuse a large part of the code you write, which is always good news. In addition, it is quite easy to integrate the platform with external libraries to further expand its functionality.
It uses an object oriented PHP framework with an MVC architecture.
Reuse your code thanks to the design of the platform.
Integra Zend with external libraries easily.
However, there are some disadvantages with Zend. The platform is quite complex to understand, for example. In our experience, if you’re going from a tool like Laravel to Zend, the jump can be quite challenging, and it can be intimidating if it’s your first framework. Anyway, Zend can be the best PHP framework if you have development experience and you like object-oriented programming.
Phalcon is a bit strange in the world of PHP frameworks. Its source code is written in C, so it is basically a C extension of PHP. This sounds weird, but in practice, it turns out to be one of the fastest frameworks we’ve had the pleasure of using.
In terms of performance, Phalcon lives up to its name and delivers consistent results. Phalcon is also very light in terms of resources, and uses an MVC architecture. Also, it’s unique because the framework itself has almost no files once you install it. Instead, you only add the modules and libraries you need when you need them, making it a very clear development process.
Use a PHP framework based on C.
Take advantage of Phalcon’s fantastic performance and reduce resource overload.
Use only the modules and libraries you need.
So far, Phalcon must be sounding pretty good to you. We are great admirers of this framework, but it is worth noting that since we are talking about a less popular tool, its documentation is not up to the likes of Laravel. Finding help with mistakes may also require more work. However, Phalcon is very close to being the best PHP framework you can use, especially if you want to have performance.
The new versions of CakePHP have improved their performance over time and have added many new components. However, where CakePHP really stands out is in the way it addresses programming conventions. This means that with CakePHP, once you master your set of conventions, you can focus on the development and do more work faster.
Along with that, CakePHP offers a wonderful set of libraries that include a lot of useful components (as every PHP framework should do). During our tests, we found that CakePHP offers one of the most complete component sets you can find, making it an excellent choice if you need to implement hard-to-find features.
Take advantage of an extensive set of components.
Use the CakePHP conventions to schedule projects faster.
Of course, CakePHP can be a bit restrictive because of its fascination with conventions. If you like to program on your own and be as creative as possible, CakePHP may not be the best option for you. Even so, it is a strong alternative for many developers.
Yii is another strong candidate in our list of the best PHP frameworks, and is a worthy competitor. The first thing we can say is that Yii stands out for its ease of installation. Along with that, the framework is up to Phalcon in terms of performance, which is very attractive.
Like the other PHP frameworks we’ve seen so far, Yii offers a solid set of components that you can use to accelerate the development of web applications. However, it stands out for its robust set of security features, which you can use to create highly secure projects.
Excellent speed and performance.
Use the default settings or customize it to meet your specific needs.
Create websites and secure applications.
As for its disadvantages, Yii can be a bit difficult to learn if this is your first framework. It is a competitor superior to the title of the best PHP framework, but if you are new to the language, there are other more friendly options for beginners that you can use.
FuelPHP is a relatively new PHP framework, launched for the first time in 2014. The creators claim to have gathered the best practices of other powerful frameworks and created something new and exciting. Some of the most unique aspects are described in the features section.
Full support for HMVC
Strong security by default.
A unique command line function.
The framework supports PHP version 5.4 and higher. In addition, it offers detailed documentation that will help you to start developing as quickly as possible.
There are many programming languages you can use, but PHP is still the top choice when it comes to server-side scripts. However, even if you are a PHP professional, programming all the parts of each new project that you embark on will take a lot of time.
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