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10 Best PHP Frameworks for Developers

Before moving to find the best PHP frameworks, we should now learn more about PHP, PHP is the most popular server-side programing language used for creating web applications, and the PHP framework is the platform that helps to make these applications. Many in-built libraries are provided with these frameworks, which contain many functions we can use in the web development process. These frameworks also speed up the development process because development can be done with less amount of code. Further, these frameworks help a developer decide how to start the development process by providing the basic foundation of the development.

Moreover, the code written with these frameworks is easier to maintain. Many tasks such as form validation, reading, updating, and deletion of data can be quickly done in less time with the help of in-built functions and tools of these frameworks without creating new functions. In this article, we will discuss these frameworks in detail. Let’s start.

What are PHP Frameworks?

As discussed earlier, the PHP framework provides the basic structure for developing applications. You can call them the skeleton of the application. These frameworks contain in-built libraries with predefined functions and classes that help developers to build applications and websites in an easy and fast way. Also, the development process can be simplified with the help of these frameworks. Predefined code and components of the built-in libraries reduce the repetitive coding in the project.

Furthermore, as you know, PHP supports other languages also, so you can also use these languages in PHP frameworks with HTML and PHP. These frameworks allow you to create and export the different text and graphic files in the project. Also, they support a large number of databases. So this versatility of PHP frameworks gives developers more freedom in the development process.

In addition, PHP frameworks are based on the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern. The MVC pattern allows a developer to separate the manipulation and updating of data from its presentation and provides a well-organized, maintainable code. This further makes the development fast and scalable. Stability is another important feature of these frameworks because they minimize the chances of security threats such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, etc.

Finally, these frameworks have colossal community support that allows the developers to take help from other developers in case of any issue. Also, there are a large number of PHP frameworks available such as Laravel, Symfony, CakePHP, Slim, etc. You can choose any of them according to your development needs.

10 Best PHP Frameworks for You to Use in 2022

After discussing what the PHP framework is, let’s discuss some popular PHP frameworks that you can use in 2022. Many factors must be considered while choosing a good framework, such as ease of use, technical requirements, testing, security, scalability, documentation, and many more. Here is a list of some popular PHP frameworks you can consider for your project.

1. Laravel

The top name in the list is the Laravel framework which was released in 2011 by Taylor Otwell. This framework is based on MVC architecture. It is the most popular framework among the other frameworks because it can handle complex web applications with more security and speed than others. You can choose it for any project, such as SaaS, eCommerce, and other small or big applications. It uses its own template language called Blade in development. Further, many tasks in the development, such as sessions, routing, queuing, etc., can be easily handled by this framework.

Moreover, for beginners, Laravel is an excellent choice to start because of its extensive community support and good documentation features. Also, it is an easy-to-learn framework. So a beginner with no previous experience can easily understand it. Further, many packages, features, and applications of Laravel make it the developer’s first choice. Every part that makes your website or application more advanced is present in Laravel. You can also add new features to it according to your requirement. Lastly, to build highly scalable, secure, and robust applications with good performance, you can go with this PHP framework.

Many big companies that are using Laravel in their applications are Big Drop Inc, CIS, IndiaNIC, etc.

2. Symfony

Symfony is another PHP framework that was launched in 2005, so you can call it more mature than other PHP frameworks. It is maintained and supported by SensioLabs and a large community of developers. Many reusable components are present in this framework that you can use in any PHP project or any other open-source tool. Further, these components are also used in many popular content management systems such as Drupal, PHP Bulletin Board, etc. You can use this framework for more complex web projects and some other enterprise projects as well.

In addition, Symfony is based on the MVC pattern and helps you to render HTML codes quickly with the Twig template engine. The well-designed codebase of Symfony helps you to maintain your applications easily. Also, with the help of the built-in testing capabilities of this framework, you can easily do advanced testing in projects such as functional and unit testing. Lastly, many features of Symfony, such as its maturity, ample community support, and excellent documentation, allow the developers to trust this framework for developing long-lasting applications. Some of the famous companies using Symfony are Spotify, Trivago, Dailymotion, etc.

3. CodeIgniter

Codelgniter PHP framework is famous for its lightweight. Many small and big organizations use this framework for developing dynamic, lightweight web applications and APIs. You can also create many strong and reusable components with the help of the prebuilt modules of this framework. Also, this framework is the right choice for developing lightweight applications because of its smooth working and faster speed. These features of Codelgniter also allow you to use this framework on both platforms, shared and dedicated. One main thing about this framework is that it doesn’t force you to follow the MVC approach, and you can choose any design pattern according to your choice.

Furthermore, this framework provides a fast-loading feature and solid performance, making it considerably quicker than other frameworks. Apart from this, many other parts of Codelgniter, such as easy error handling, caching, support for multiple databases, and many more, make it popular among developers. Also, this framework is the perfect choice for beginners because of its good documentation and colossal community support features. Some famous names using this framework in their projects are Woodbox, Dompet Dhuafa, etc.

4. Zend

Zend is an open-source PHP framework developed by Zend Technologies in 2006. It is an object-oriented framework and provides all the object-oriented features such as interfaces, inheritance, etc. These features help developers to develop highly secure and extensible applications at a reasonable speed. Further, for developing high-quality applications of big enterprises, Zend is a perfect choice. One can easily do many tasks of these applications, such as form validation, authentication, encryption, etc., with the help of this framework.

In addition, Zend allows you to develop highly secure, bug-free applications, which are the topmost priorities of developing applications. Apart from this, other features of this framework, such as scalable interface, online debugging and decoding tools, etc., help developers to create highly complex web applications. Also, it supports many relational database systems such as MySQL, IBM, Oracle, etc. But one thing to mention here is that this framework is not a suitable choice for beginners because it is challenging to learn. Many big companies using this framework are BBC, AutoTrack, Cisco Webex, etc.

5. CakePHP

CakePHP is another big name among PHP frameworks. It is one of the simple PHP frameworks with straightforward learning and easy-to-install features. That’s why this framework is an ideal choice for beginners. CakePHP was developed by Cake Software Foundation in 2005 and followed the CRUD principle, which means create, read, update, and delete. This framework is designed to build highly interactive interfaces and dynamic websites quickly with less configuration. Also, CakePHP allows you to create simple as well as complex software systems.

In addition, it provides support for many operating systems and also offers flexible support for database access. Many advanced security features, such as encryption, password hashing, CSRF protection, etc., are also provided by CakePHP. Further, the improved modularity and ability of this framework allow you to create additional standalone libraries. Some big companies using CakePHP in their applications are Cotter Web Enterprises, Jabico Enterprises, etc.

6. FuelPHP

FuelPHP is a fast, simple, flexible PHP framework that supports not only the MVC pattern but also the enhanced version of the MVC, the Hierarchical Model View Controller (HMVC) pattern. So, if you are looking for a framework that supports advanced MVC patterns, you can choose FuelPHP. Also, the advanced modular and extensible features of this framework allow you to develop high-performance applications. You can organize your code and reuse it in a better way by using this framework.

Furthermore, the security features of FuelPHP are also superb. Some advanced security features of this framework are CSRF protection, output encoding, filtering of uniform resource identifiers (URIs), cross-site scripting, etc. There are some other features also, such as a URL routing system, caching system, and vulnerability protection, that make this framework popular among developers. Further, you can use FuelPHP for an end-to-end web application, such as small as well as complex. Some big names using this framework in their projects are Wan Wizard, Front Desk, etc.

7. Slim

Slim is a simple but powerful PHP framework used for creating web applications. It is a micro-framework that is suitable for developing small applications. Slim comes with an active user base, regular updates, and maintenance features that further make it a user-friendly framework. As we said, it is a simple framework with a low learning curve, so it is a good choice for beginners. You can use this framework for building microservices, scalable systems, and restful APIs for single-page applications.

Furthermore, it has many features such as routing, middleware, cookie encryption, session, client-side HTTP caching, etc. All these features help developers to build applications quickly. As it is a micro-framework, it is unsuitable for full-stack web development. Database access tools are also not presented in Slim, but you can install them easily with the help of the Composer Dependency Manager. Some big companies using Slim in their applications are Top Web Comics, Betterplace Academy, etc.

8. Phalcon

Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework developed by Andres Gutierrez in 2012. This framework is open-source, so it is free to use. Phalcon was written in C and Zephir but delivered as a PHP extension. As it is written in C so you can directly compile this framework from C. If high performance is your topmost priority, then Phalcon is the best choice because this framework can handle more requests per second than any other framework.

In addition, Phalcon offers some other vital features also, such as caching, templating, security, asset management, universal autoloader, etc. You can create views easily and fast with the help of Volt, which is Phalcon’s templating engine. Also, the code written in Phalcon is lightweight because it does not live in the project directory, which further improves the performance of the application. Some companies using the Phalcon framework are Edureka, Catho, Outsmart, Marchi Auto, etc.

9. Yii

Yii is an open-source PHP framework. It is based on object-oriented programming and MVC patterns. It is a simple framework with a low learning curve that makes Yii the best choice for beginners. This framework provides high-performance features with the main focus on the core functionality of an application. You can use this framework to develop projects such as SaaS, Social media websites, blogs, etc. As a lightweight framework, you can expect high performance with fast loading time from Yii.

Moreover, the built-in security tools of Yii provide high security to your code. Also, it is a full-stack framework that allows you to do many front-end operations easily using AJAX. Also, this framework comes with a Gii code generator that builds skeleton code for you and saves you time. The documentation of Yii is well-written, and you can easily follow it. Some big names using Yii in their projects are Purple-retail, Pastebin, Crowdcube, etc.

10. Aura

Aura is another PHP framework and is a collection of high-quality, well-tested, PHP decoupled libraries that can be used in any codebase. Documentation for each library is present in this framework. It is an open-source framework with independent libraries, which means that you can use these libraries in any project without any dependencies. Further, Aura is updated and maintained regularly, and that’s why it is perfect for all essential applications.

In addition, with the Aura framework, you can integrate any number of libraries in your projects according to your need and can increase the flexibility of your application. Also, Aura comes with a large set of packages, such as autoloading, routing, filtering, dispatching, session management, etc., that further help you develop efficiently. Some big companies using this framework are Explee, PriceLizer, Ramen, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind When Working with PHP

As we all know, PHP is a prevalent server-side scripting language that is used by a large number of web developers to create dynamic web applications. Many features of PHP, such as ease of understanding, flexibility, lightweight, etc., make it a suitable language for web development. But there are some limitations of this language. So when working on PHP, you should consider them. Let’s discuss a few of them.

First of all, PHP is not a secure language because of its open-source features. The source code of PHP is readily available to everyone. So if you are working on a project where security is the primary consideration, you must be extra careful while using PHP. Another thing that is necessary to keep in mind is that this language is not suitable for sizable content-based web applications. That’s why if you are working on a large and complex project, you face difficulty maintaining it. Also, the error handling method of PHP is not suitable and has significantly few debugging tools as compared to other programming languages, so you should consider this point also when working with PHP.

Furthermore, if you are using PHP frameworks to develop your application, then you should be aware that the performance of the applications can be affected by using a large number of frameworks and tools. Also, these frameworks do not allow you to change or modify the core behavior of web applications. Programmers have to put some effort also to learn these frameworks.

Lastly, PHP is no doubt a prevalent programming language, and if you keep in mind the above-mentioned points, then you can make the best use of it in developing applications.

Future of PHP

PHP is one of the most popular server-side languages used today. One of the big reasons why PHP is used by millions of websites is WordPress which uses PHP in its applications. Another main reason for the popularity of this language is its simplicity. Many application development issues can be easily solved by using PHP. That’s why it is still adopted by a large number of developers. Further, many content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla, and many eCommerce management systems such as Magento, etc., are using PHP in their applications which makes this language essential and popular.

In addition, more and more businesses require effective web solutions that satisfy the needs of their customers adequately. PHP can serve them properly because each new version of PHP comes with a large number of functionalities and features that further help a developer to speed up the development process and also simplify many tasks. For example, PHP 7 comes with many new features, such as type declarations and new operators, etc. Many improvements in terms of speed, memory usage, and error handling are also made in it.

Furthermore, another reason for the secure future of this language is that you can use PHP for the implementation of single as well as progressive web applications. Also, PHP is the well-suited language for the back end of these applications. There are many PHP frameworks available today, such as Laravel, CakePHP, Zend, etc., that help developers to develop applications in less time with more flexibility. They can also maintain their code easily with the help of these frameworks.

Lastly, after discussing all the key features of PHP, we can say that this language will stay at the forefront of web development because of its variety of tools and frameworks that can help to develop all types of applications.

Conclusion

We hope now you have plenty of knowledge about Best PHP frameworks. These frameworks are necessary tools to create applications flexibly within less time. Choosing the right framework is difficult, and many factors, such as scalability, ease of use, proper documentation, security, etc., are considered when making a choice. For example, if you want to create a large and complex application, then Laravel and Phalcon are the best choices, and if you want to develop small applications, you can choose Symfony or Slim.

In addition, every framework has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is always recommended to learn about the requirements of the application first before choosing the framework. These requirements help you in choosing the best framework that suits your needs properly. I hope this article gives you the best understanding of PHP frameworks.

Vijay Singh Khatri
Vijay Singh Khatri
Graduate in Computer Science, specialized in Digital Marketing. I am very fond of writing tech articles and creating my own blog to teach my audience.

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