With 8 out of every 10 websites currently running on PHP, it achieved a height that few technologies ever dream of in their respective domains. Be it eCommerce, CMS, enterprise websites, or a simple business website, for anyone looking to build web solutions, PHP inevitably remains the top choice. But PHP itself is just a language and core PHP can take you only so far. The actual reason behind this immense popularity of PHP is the vast set of frameworks and other tools that deliver applications far exceeding the capabilities of PHP alone.
And while there are dozens of PHP frameworks are out on the market- each with their own set of benefits and flaws, some are definitely better than the other. Keeping that in mind, we have here curated a list of best PHP frameworks that can be used to build all kinds of web applications. But before we get on to the list, it is worth pointing out that as important are the inherent benefits of those frameworks, equally important are these two factors:
When it comes to technology and more specifically, technical tools, the latest isn’t necessarily the best nor is the old always the gold. The new ones tend to be buggy with limited support while the old ones are often outdated (unless extensively updated). The sweet spot lies somewhere in-between- when they are mature enough to be polished and have ample support while still not old enough to be called outdated. Generally speaking, the sweet spot for PHP framework lies around 10-15 years.
The higher the number of developers uses any framework, the better it gets particularly if it is open-source. Also, it makes it easier for new developers to adopt the technology due to readily available support.
Launched in 2011, Laravel is currently the most widely used PHP framework that is completely open-source and has immense community support.
- Automation of common tasks like routing, sessions, and more.
- Seamlessly handles scale and complexity at the backend
- Laravel development is suitable for enterprise and B2B solutions.
Launched in 2006, CodeIgniter is known for its rapid development environment. It too is an open-source framework and has over the years acquired a loyal userbase.
- Lightweight and simple to setup
- Excellent documentation and ample security features
- Relatively better performance
Launched in 2005, this open-source PHP framework is the oldest on this list and yet commands wide popularity.
- Quick learning curve
- Excellent security measures
- Feature-rich and ample support
Almost as old as CakePHP, Symfony is a framework that known best for its scalability and reusable components. Though not open-source, it is free to use under MIT license.
- Excellent for building enterprise-scale applications
- A large collection of reusable components and support for third-party libraries
- Seamless integration with other platforms
With its initial release launched way back in 2006, this open-source framework is one of the first frameworks to adopt agile methodology at its core.
- Best suited for ever-evolving enterprise solutions
- Excellent security features
- Support for third-party libraries
Yii PHP Framework was launched initially in 2010, Yii is an open-source component-based PHP framework that owing to its versatility is widely regarded as a universal web app development framework.
- Easy to set up and extremely versatile
- Fine error-handing and security measures
- Layered caching scheme
The latest framework on the list, Phalcon is an open-source full-stack PHP framework that’s particularly popular for its speed.
- Quick onboarding and easy learning curve
- Universal auto-loading, and security features
- Excellent memory and asset management.
While all the above frameworks excel at basic tasks with little differentiation, each one of them carries their own USP when it comes to their niche. And it is ultimately this key factor that turns an application into a good application. If you aren’t sure which framework would best suit your business needs, get in touch with PHP development companies to get a detailed analysis of your project vis-à-vis requisite framework.