Whenever it comes to develop websites or Apps, the first programming language that comes to everyone’s mind is PHP. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most widely used programming languages. And, not only now, this open-source scripting language has been acclaimed for being secure and stable for years. Though, it has evolved a lot over a period like PHP 8.0 is about to release
with the JIT inclusion.
Moreover, PHP developers also performed a tedious task, i.e., they wrote custom codes for every single functionality. But with time, they understood that they lacked something important and came up with the concept of PHP frameworks.
Yes, the PHP frameworks offer ready to use components, ensure separation of model, a structured architecture, view, and control of MVC, and so on. Plus, these frameworks can make you more productive & make web development for you a fun experience.
So, why not learn about the best PHP frameworks you can choose while developing for the upcoming year. Before that, let’s learn briefly about the language to understand well. Let’s begin!
What is PHP?
In simple words, a programming language that enables web developers to create dynamic content that further interacts with databases is what we call the PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP). Typically, it is used for developing web-based software applications.
Is PHP a Framework?
Before choosing a framework, it is very important to know whether PHP is a framework or not. Well, because it has all the required web development elements built into it by default, it is regarded as one.
Moreover, as the PHP framework can be used for building websites and web apps of diverse sizes and complexities, it is a universal platform of reusable software. Also, it can be explained as a library of code base along with a standardized way to allow developers to create web solutions of their choice.
And, it has offered simplicity and ease for the developers who need not rewrite the same code repeatedly for every page.
Why Use a PHP Framework?
Besides all, the question arises that why we use a PHP framework? Well, the major reason behind this is it offers a basic structure for streamlining the development of web apps. Plus, we use them the most because they speed up the development process as it is one of the components of a successful PHP website development project.
Moreover, the responsiveness of applications as well as websites built using PHP frameworks helps businesses fulfill their performance needs. So, undoubtedly, PHP frameworks will continue gaining attention and popularity in the upcoming years.
Reasons Why Web Developers Rely on PHP Framework
Here are the reasons why developers rely on PHP frameworks:
1. The application of reusable, maintainable code expedites web development.
2. Web apps based on frameworks offer the benefit of scalability.
3. Ensures a high level of security for the PHP site
4. Its Model-View-Controller paradigm guarantees the separation of logic and presentation.
5. With the use of these frameworks, Developers can adopt modern web development practices like OOP.
Best PHP Frameworks to Look Forward to in Upcoming Years
When we talk about clean and structured web development, PHP frameworks can be considered as most useful as they enhance the speed of creation, as well as maintenance of websites, ranging from small and static websites to large-scale and complex websites with content management systems.
Apart from all, it is the most popular language of choice for web developers; near about 80% of all existing websites are thriving on PHP codes. We can say that it would be impossible to develop web applications by using raw PHP codes.
But the most daunting task for you is how to select the right framework as there are different frameworks available in the developer community; some of them are actively maintained while some are adaptable to modern web development practices.
So, for your ease of use, here we have listed the top PHP frameworks that can be considered as the best among the rest.
Symfony makes a perfect choice amongst the PHP frameworks, especially when it comes to developing large-scale enterprise projects. Yes, with a big set of reusable components and an active community of developers, its ecosystem is a huge one.
Moreover, the components fulfill the purpose of completing diverse tasks like for creation, authentication, the configuration of objects, templating, routing, and much more. All such components are being used to power up projects like Drupal, PHPBB, Laravel, OroCRM, and Piwik.
Reasons to Choose Symfony:
a) It comprises advanced features.
b) Its testing process is easy.
c) Offers extensive community support
d) Helps to deal with large-scale applications
Laravel is one of the newer frameworks; still, it has well surpassed its rivals in popularity. It has so many features that speed up the web development process and offers a huge ecosystem that comes with instant deployment and hosting platform.
On the other hand, the lightweight templating engine of Laravel enables repeat tasks such as authentication, caching, sessions, queuing, and RESTful routing. Laravel is also empowered with Homestead, the packaged Vagrant box that enables hassle-free development.
Reasons to Choose Laravel:
a. It comprises Advanced MVC architecture.
b. It is one Developer-friendly framework.
c. It has this amazing ORM.
d. Its query library is very powerful.
3. Yii 2
Yii2 is the latest version of Yii, which happens to be one of the oldest PHP frameworks and has recently come up with its latest version to get a much-needed popularity boost. Yii 2 is one purely object-oriented framework, which employs the lazy loading technique what makes it faster than the others.
And, since it can be integrated with Jquery and AJAX features, it excels for large-scale website development. At its best, it offers the powerful code generator tool Gii.
Reasons to Choose Yii2:
a. It attains a very simple configuration.
b. It supports AJAX.
c. One of the highly secured frameworks.
d. It supports third-party components.
Now we come to the Zend framework, which comprises some great features such as a cryptographic coding tool, user-friendly drag/drop editor, instant online debugging tools, and a connected Database Wizard.
As the scalable framework offers a myriad of configuration options, it is ideal for complex websites. Although it is one of the most difficult frameworks to learn, once you learn it well, it is one great option to work with.
Reasons to Choose Zend:
a. It has a lightweight component library.
b. The framework offers a simple working curve even though it is hard to learn to work on it.
c. The framework is very SEO friendly.
d. It supports multilingual features.
A lightweight framework, CodeIgniter is one popular framework as it offers a hassle-free installation and that too with minimal configuration needs. Its capacity to work smoothly on all shared as well as dedicated hosting platforms, adds to its popularity. And, as CodeIgniter is not all based on the MVC pattern, it offers great flexibility to developers.
Maybe there is a compulsion to use Controller classes in it, but it still offers an option for using Models and Views. Other features than that include simple security and encryption steps, easy error handling, and no PHP adoption struggle.
Reasons to Choose Codeigniter:
a. The framework offers simple solutions for complex problems.
b. It gives out excellent performance.
c. There are no large monolithic libraries in the framework.
d. The documentation is very clear in it.
The framework Phalcon excels in performance, and the major reason behind it is that it is based on C and C++. Phalcon, a well-documented and easy-to-use framework, is loaded with exceptional features such as asset management, translation, universal auto-loader, security, and caching.
Reasons to Choose Phalcon:
a. The framework offers superlative performance anyway.
b. It offers reliable security
C. The memory consumption is very low.
d. Its Autoloading mechanism is helpful as well.
Featuring next on this list is CakePHP, which brings speed, reliability, as well as security. Although the framework is here for a decade now, it holds high in terms of popularity.
And, the credit for it goes to unbeatable features such as SQL injection prevention, cross-site scripting (XSS) prevention, and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection.
Reasons to Choose CakePHP:
a. It has clean MVC conventions.
b. It has a flexible database access layer.
c. The code reusability is easy.
d. It offers powerful scaffolding.
Another widely appreciated member of this list is Slim, a light-weight micro-framework that is relevant for small to medium websites, services, and RESTful APIs.
Despite being minimalist in design, Slim comes packed with rich features such as Client-side HTTP Caching, session and cookie routing, URL routing, and support for flash messages across HTTP requests.
Reasons to Choose Slim:
a. The framework is quite broad and lightweight.
b. One of the Ideal frameworks for developing REST APIs
c. It offers well-organized documentation.
d. There is an easy template rendering via it.
Another framework FuelPHP is one very modular, flexible, and extendable PHP framework. Moreover, this full-stack framework supports the MVC pattern as well as Hierarchical Model-View-Controller (HMVC), its evolved version.
Besides all, the framework is suitable for delivering end-to-end web solutions beyond diverse complexities & sizes.
Reasons to Use FuelPHP:
a. It attains Advanced authentication packages.
b. It is extremely fast.
c. It offers enhanced security features.
d. Its built-in modular structure also helps.
Next on this list is Aura, which comprises a collection of library packages, and each of them is usable independently in any codebase. However, we must say that this framework is relevant for those developers who prefer to write codes even without relying on full-stack opinionated frameworks.
Reasons to Choose Aura:
a. It offers a self-contained library.
b. It offers extensive documentation.
c. High flexibility.
d. Swift development
How Hard are PHP Frameworks to Maintain?
It’s very crucial to track errors as part of your PHP workflow. Well, with most PHP frameworks, Raygun Crash Reporting works, and it will accurately help you diagnose and detect software errors. Not only that, but you can also be alerted to issues affecting your users the second they happen with smart PHP error monitoring software from Raygun.
Ideal PHP Framework for the Beginners
As we have learned above that PHP has diverse frameworks, and almost all do not differ much in features. And though all these platforms work on a similar MVC architecture, only some are easier to understand compared to others.
That is what makes it apt for beginners. To name one, Codeigniter is the PHP framework that is easiest to work with as well as to learn. Plus, it works on MVC architecture too.
Choosing a PHP Framework That Works for You
Well, after learning about so many best PHP frameworks, choosing the best one for creating large scale applications can be a tough job. So, a few generalized questions can give you a fair idea about the one that would be ideally suited for you while you can compare all such available frameworks.
So, here are the questions that you can consider while you choose a framework:
a. What functionalities and components you expect the framework to offer?
b. How often is the framework being developed?
c. How large community the framework has?
d. Inquire about the learning curve of the framework.
Apart from these key questions, speed, scalability, and security are the basic aspects that every developer must look for while exploring such frameworks for a smooth web application development journey.
Also, it is vital to collaborate with a great PHP web development company that has comprehensive knowledge and experience with all these platforms. Before choosing any PHP development company, consider several points
like its Development Technologies, services, etc. because only such a provider is not only capable of developing a top-notch application for you but can also decide the best framework option.
Well, we believe you have learned enough information to shortlist the best option in PHP frameworks for your needs. And, to get started with your application, you can get connected with a PHP development specialist.
We, at Covetus, offer excellent website application development services and PHP expertise, so connect with our team for successful projects ahead.