PHP Frameworks

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

In today’s world, applications and websites have made everything easier; people can visit various applications in seconds and get their work done. However, developing an application or website from scratch requires skills and hard work. Any programming language can be used to create an application.

When you think of web development, you can go for the PHP language as an alternative to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. With PHP versatile frameworks, you can create innovative PHP web applications. According to a survey, PHP is widely used for creating web applications. PHP is considered one of the most secure and stable programming languages, making it popular for developers. With PHP, developers no longer have to waste time writing code from scratch.

This article will learn why to consider PHP, the benefits of PHP frameworks, and various PHP frameworks in use.

Why consider PHP?

Whenever you start developing any application, the most common question arises which language to choose and why? The benefits of PHP to developers include open-source, free, and a variety of tools and integrations. Listed below are some reasons why developers choose PHP for developing applications:

  • Simplicity- PHP has simple English-like coding, easy to learn and understand. This language is compatible with all systems and produces productive results. PHP is popular among developers due to its simplicity compared to other available alternatives.
  • Zero cost- PHP is an open-source programming language with various frameworks available in the market. If you are starting to develop an application, PHP can be a great choice for low-cost projects. Being open-source makes it readily available for new developers who want to test their coding skills in PHP.
  • Works exceptionally great with CMS– PHP allows developers to change the code dynamically, making PHP more flexible for developers. If you look at PHP websites, they are highly customizable which can be altered as per the business requirement. You can use PHP with CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal.
  • Versatile- with PHP, you can run your code on any available platforms that help the designers coordinate the websites in their different stages. It helps the business increase the utilization of the existing framework and run it on platforms such as UNIX, Linux, and Windows with support for Apache and MySQL.
  • Extensions and other ad-on– PHP is well known for its immense extensions and add-ons that allow developers to create more updated functionalities that keep the users engaged. With these add-ons, developers do not have to code for all features and can use plugins for ready-made functionalities.
  • Large Community/Libraries– PHP has a huge library of resources and tutorials. Being open-source, developers can learn from users worldwide, making it a widely adapted language globally by every web developer.

Why use PHP Framework?

Using the PHP framework will allow developers to use various extensions and code libraries for commonly used functions and help in reducing the project code. There are various reasons to choose the PHP framework for application development, and they are mentioned below.

  • Quick Development– as PHP frameworks come with built-in libraries and tools, it will take less time to develop. For example, many popular PHP frameworks come with the integrated PHPUnit library for easy testing.
  • Requires less code- Using pre-built functions in the framework means the developer does not have to write code from scratch.
  • Libraries for Common Tasks– PHP comes with various libraries available for every common task like validation, data sanitization, CRUD operations (create, read, update and delete). Also, you can use these functions as a part of the framework.
  • Good Coding Practices- PHP frameworks usually follow best coding practices. PHP divides the code neatly into several directories according to function.
  • Easy maintenance– The PHP framework works on the refactoring of the code and focuses on DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) development, resulting in less code maintenance.

Points to Consider in a PHP Framework

Below are some factors that you should consider while choosing the right PHP Framework.

  • The learning curve for the framework should not be too steep. It should take up less time to learn and understand the framework.
  • The framework should be easy to work on and need less maintenance.
  • The framework you choose should meet your business requirement for the project.
  • Make sure the chosen framework has database support and works well with the project web server.
  • The framework should have the required features, tools, and extensions for project support. It should offer additional features like testing, cache storage, security, and templating engine.
  • A PHP framework must also have good documentation and support from a large, vibrant community.

PHP Frameworks

Below are some commonly used PHP frameworks.

1. Laravel

Laravel, a PHP framework introduced in 2011, is a widely used open-source PHP framework. This framework enables handling and managing complex web applications in a secured manner and at a faster pace. It helps the developers simplify the development process by easing every common task like caching, sessions, and authentication. It comes with elegant syntax, making it easy to work. It shows strong performance and can be extended using add-ons. You can easily integrate this framework with third-party libraries and platforms (like AWS).

Key features-

  • You can use this framework for small or large projects having complex backend requirements. You can easily install Laravel using Homestead (prepackaged all-in-one vagrant box).
  • It allows easy customization of complex applications such as seamless data migration, MVC architect support, security, etc.
  • Developers can run tasks asynchronously in the background that leads to better project performance.
  • Lavarel is highly expressive. If you want to create websites with changing web trends, then Laravel is the right choice.
  • It comes with a high-active community, so there will be no challenges in solving problems.

2. CodeIgniter

This PHP framework is also known for its small footprint as it is only 2MB in size, along with the documentation. If you want to create dynamic websites and applications, then the CodeIgniter framework is the right choice for you. You will get several pre-built modules that help to create robust and reusable components.

Key features-

  • This framework uses different components for handling the specific development tasks, making it widely popular among developers to create highly scalable web applications.
  • This framework comes with great documentation, making it easier to learn and understand.
  • You can create scalable applications using the MVC-based architecture.
  • It provides additional features like error handling, inbuilt security tools, and fast speed development.
  • It is a light-weight and straightforward PHP framework, easy to install and learn.

3. Symfony

This framework was launched in 2005 and is one of the oldest frameworks in use. It is much more reliable than other alternatives and is considered a more mature and flexible platform.

Key features-

  • This framework comes with in-built testing functionality.
  • This framework allows the developers to set up the individual components.
  • You can use this framework for large-scale enterprise projects. You can install and configure this framework on any system easily.
  • This framework is highly flexible and can be easily integrated with bigger projects like Drupal.

4. CakePHP

In comparison with other frameworks, this framework is simple, elegant, and easy to use. CakePHP allows developers to create visually stunning and feature-rich websites and applications. With its CRUD-based framework, it is easy to learn and implement. The application was introduced in 2000 and has gained a lot of popularity since then.

Key Features-

  • You can easily install CakePHP; all you need is the webserver and a copy of the framework.
  • It comes with a wide range of components that makes coding easier.
  • You can use CakePHP’s code conventions for creating projects at a faster pace.
  • This framework has been improved over time with several libraries and components.
  • It comes with additional features like fast builds, proper class inheritance, validation, and security.

5. Yii

This framework is simple and evolutionary. This framework shows high performance and is widely used by developers for creating modern web applications. However, you can use this framework for any type of web application. It also contains a robust set of components like other alternatives for speedy development.

Key features-

  • It has excellent speed and great performance.
  • You can use the default setup of the framework’s component or can customize the application as per the business requirement.
  • It helps in creating secure websites and applications.
  • It is easy to install and is highly secure due to its advanced security features.
  • It is highly extensible and prevents developers from writing complex SQL statements repetitively.
  • Yii has an active community and core development team that contributes to its development.

6. Zend Framework

This is an object-oriented framework and uses features like interfaces and inheritance, making it more extendable. This framework follows the agile methodology that helps the developers deliver high-quality applications.

Key features-

  • You can use this framework for complex and enterprise-level applications. It is highly preferred for large IT departments and bank projects.
  • It provides additional features like simple cloud API, data encryption, and session management.
  • You can integrate it with external libraries and use the components you need for your project.
  • It comes with great documentation with large community support.


All developers use PHP as a programming language and as a framework for their projects. PHP offers several advantages over other programming languages. Depending on your project’s requirements, you can choose from several frameworks. We have described some of the frameworks that you can use based on their components and benefits.You can choose one based on your requirement.

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