PHP, known as the most popular server-side scripting language in the world, has evolved a lot since the first inline code snippets appeared in static HTML files.
These days developers need to build complex websites and web apps, and a certain complexity level it can take too much time to always start from scratch, hence came the need for a more structured natural way of development. PHP frameworks provide developers with an adequate solution for that.
Why Use A PHP Framework
Why many developers like to use PHP frameworks and how these frameworks can level up development process. Here’s what PHP frameworks do:
Make speed development possible
Provide well-organized, reusable and maintainable code
Let you grow over time as web apps running on frameworks are scalable
Spare you from the worries about low-level security of a site
Follow the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern that ensures the separation of presentation and logic
Promote modern web development practices such as object-oriented programming tools
List of best PHP Frameworks
Laravel is a relatively new PHP framework , according to Sitepoint’s recent online survey it is the most popular framework among developers. Laravel has a huge ecosystem with an instant hosting and deployment platform.
Laravel has many features that make rapid application development possible. Laravel has its own light-weight templating engine called “Blade”, elegant syntax that facilitates tasks you frequently need to do, such as authentication, sessions, queueing, caching and RESTful routing. Laravel also includes a local development environment called Homestead that is a packaged Vagrant box.
Released In : 2011, Latest Version number : 5.5.0, Php Version required : 5.5.9
The components of the Symfony 2 framework are used by many impressive projects such as the Drupal content management system, or the phpBB (free flat-forum bulletin board software solution that can be used to stay in touch with a group of people or can power your entire website) forum software, but Laravel – the framework –also depends on it. Symfony has a wide developer community and many ardent fans.
Symfony Components are reusable PHP libraries that you can complete different tasks with, such as form creation, object configuration, routing, authentication, templating, and many others. You can install any of the Components with the Composer PHP dependency manager.
Released In : 2005, Latest Version number : 4.0.1, Php Version required : 5.5.9
CodeIgniter is a lightweight PHP framework. CodeIgniter has a very straightforward installation process that requires only a minimal configuration. It’s also an ideal choice if you want to avoid PHP version conflict, as it works nicely on almost all shared and dedicated hosting platforms.
CodeIgniter is not strictly based on the MVC development pattern. Using Controller classes is a must, but Models and Views are optional, and you can use your own coding and naming conventions, evidence that CodeIgniter gives great freedom to developers. If you download it, you’ll see it’s only about 2MB, so it’s a lean framework, but it allows you to add third-party plugins if you need more complicated functionalities.
Released In : 2006, Latest Version number : 3.1.6, Php Version required : 5.4
4. Yii 2
Yii framework give a boost to the performance of your site as it’s faster than other PHP frameworks, because it extensively uses the lazy loading technique. Yii 2 is purely object-oriented, and it’s based on the DRY(Don’t Repeat Yourself) coding concept, so it provides you with a pretty clean and logical code base.
Yii 2 is integrated with jQuery, and it comes with a set of AJAX-enabled features, and it implements an easy-to-use skinning and theming mechanism, so it can be a great choice for someone who comes from a frontend background. It has also a powerful class code generator called Gii that facilitates object-oriented programming and rapid prototyping, and provides a web-based interface that allows you to interactively generate the code you need.
Released In : 2010, Latest Version number : 2.0.12, Php Version required : 5.1.0
The Phalcon framework quickly gained popularity among PHP developers. Phalcon is said to be fast as a falcon, because it was written in C and C++ to reach the highest level of performance optimization possible. Good news is that you don’t have to learn the C language, as the functionality is exposed as PHP classes that are ready to use for any application.
As Phalcon is delivered as a C-extension, its architecture is optimized at low levels which significantly reduces the overhead typical of MVC-based apps. Phalcon not only boosts execution speeds, but also decreases resource usage. Phalcon is also packed with many cool features such as a universal auto-loader, asset management, security, translation, caching, and many others. As it’s a well-documented and easy-to-use framework.
Released In : 2012, Latest Version number : 3.2.0, Php Version required : 5.3
CakePHP is already a decade old (the first version was released in 2005), but it’s still among the most popular PHP frameworks, as it has always managed to keep up with time. The latest version, enhanced session management, improved modularity by decoupling several components, and increased the ability of creating more standalone libraries.
CakePHP has a really remarkable showcase, it powers the websites of big brands such as BMW, Hyundai and Express. It is an excellent tool for creating web apps that need high-level of security, as it has many built-in security features such as input validation, SQL injection prevention, XSS (cross-site scripting) prevention, CSRF (cross-site request forgery) protection, and many others.
Released In : 2005, Latest Version number : 3.4, Php Version required : 5.5.9
7. Zend Framework
Zend is a robust and stable PHP framework packed with a lot of configuration options therefore it’s usually not recommended for smaller projects but excellent for more complex ones. Zend has partners such as IBM, Microsoft, Google and Adobe.
Released In : 2006, Latest Version number : 3.0.0, Php Version required : 5.3
Slim is a PHP micro framework that provides you with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Micro frameworks are minimalistic in design, they are excellent for smaller apps where a full-stack framework would be an exaggeration. Slim’s creator was inspired by a Ruby micro framework called Sinatra.
Slim is used by many PHP developers for developing RESTful APIs and services. Slim comes with features such as URL routing, client-side HTTP caching, session- and cookie encryption, and it supports “flash” messages across HTTP requests as well.
Released In : 2011, Latest Version number : 4.0, Php Version required : 5.5
FuelPHP is a flexible full-stack PHP framework that doesn’t only support the ordinary MVC pattern but also its evolved version, HMVC(Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) at the architecture level. FuelPHP adds an optional class called Presenter(formerly called ViewModel) between the Controller and View layers to hold the logic needed to generate Views.
FuelPHP is modular and extendable, takes care of security concerns by providing features such as input and URI filtering and output encoding, and it comes with its own authentication framework, with many other sophisticated features.
Released In : 2011, Latest Version number : 1.8, Php Version required : 5.3.3
PHPixie is a quite new framework, started with the goal of creating a high-performance framework for read-only websites. PHPixie also implements the HMVC design pattern just like FuelPHP, and is built by using independent components that can be used as well without the framework itself. The PHPixie components are 100% unit tested, and require minimum dependencies.
Among the PHPixie features you can find the standard ORM (object-relational mapping), caching, input validation, authentication and authorization capabilities. PHPixie also allows you to use the XAML markup language, enables schema migration, and has a sophisticated routing system.
Released In : 2011, Latest Version number : 1.8, Php Version required : 5.3
Comparision Of PHP Frameworks
When surveying google Trends, it is explicit that Laravel still remains the most searched framework for all new PHP projects.
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