Top 10 PHP frameworks

A PHP framework is a platform which allows a web developer to develop the web application. In simple words, it provides a structure to develop web application. These frameworks save lots of time, stop rewriting the repeated code and provide rapid application development (RAD). PHP frameworks help the developers to rapid development of application by providing the structure.

Following a list of top 10 PHP frameworks is given below:

Top 10 PHP frameworks
  1. Laravel Framework
  2. CodeIgniter Framework
  3. Symfony Framework
  4. Zend Framework
  5. CakePHP Framework
  6. Phalcon Framework
  7. Yii Framework
  8. Slim Framework
  9. FuelPHP Framework
  10. PHPixie Framework

1. Laravel

Laravel is an open-source web application framework which released in June 2011. It is developed by Taylor Otwell. Laravel is very popular because it handles complex web applications more securely and faster than other frameworks. Laravel makes lots of common tasks of web projects much easier, such as authentication, session, routing, and caching, etc.

The main goal of Laravel is to make web development easy and best for the developers without sacrificing application functionality. It provides powerful tools which are necessary for large and robust application. An inversion of control container, tightly integrated unit testing support, and expression migration system provides the tools that help to build any application with which we are tasked.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Laravel Framework

Laravel follows the MVC design pattern. It offers the following benefits that are given below:

  • Laravel makes web application scalable and more secure than other frameworks.
  • It includes interfaces and namespace, which helps to organize and manage resources.
  • Laravel reuse the components from the other frameworks in web application development that saves the time of developer to design the web application.
  • Website designed in Laravel is easy, secure, and protects from several web attacks.
  • It supports automation testing, which saves lots of time.
  • Laravel uses its own template engine called Blade and ORM called Eloquent.

Disadvantage of Laravel Framework

  • Legacy systems do not easily transfer to Laravel.
  • Some upgrades might be problematic in Laravel
  • Methods like reverse routing and caching are complex.

2. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is an application development framework with small footprints which makes it much faster than other frameworks. It was released on February 28, 2006, by EllisLab. It minimizes the size of code needed for a given task and provides easy solutions to the complex coding problems.

CodeIgniter is not totally based on the MVC framework. It is one of the oldest frameworks with faster and high performance. We can develop projects much faster than a scratch, as it provides a large set of libraries, simple interface, and logical structure to access these libraries. It can be easily installed, and it requires minimal user configuration.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of CodeIgniter Framework

  • CodeIgniter is an open-source and lightweight framework.
  • CodeIgniter is faster with database tasks than compared to other frameworks.
  • It is easy to install and well documented, so it is good for PHP beginners.
  • It offers built-in security tools.
  • CodeIgniter provides exceptional performance.
  • CodeIgniter offers some features that help to protect web application with security threats such as SQL injection, remote code execution, and cross-site scripting attack.

Disadvantage of CodeIgniter Framework

  • CodeIgniter does not support modular code separation. Hence, developers need to put extra effort and time to maintain the code.
  • It is the only PHP based but not object-oriented in some parts.
  • CodeIgniter has no built-in ORM.
  • It has fewer tools and built-in libraries than other frameworks.

3. Symfony

Symfony is another popular framework which was introduced on October 22, 2005, by Fabian Potencier. It is released under MIT license. It is a set of PHP components to create websites and web application. Symfony framework is a perfect choice among frameworks to develop large-scale enterprise projects.

Symfony is an open-source framework of PHP which is sponsored by SensioLabs. This framework is designed for developers who create a full-featured web application. Lots of open source projects like Drupal, Composer, and phpBB use Symfony components. Symfony integrates with PHP Unit and independent library. Symfony framework is flexible and handles enterprise application with billions of connections. It is used to build micro-sites.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Symfony Framework

  • Symfony is a flexible and powerful framework.
  • As Symfony is an open-source framework, it allows us to develop without any constraint.
  • It prevents from web attacks and SQL injection.
  • Symfony framework provides code reusability and easy maintenance.
  • It maintains complete, clearly written, well-structured, and up-to-date documentation.

Disadvantage of Symfony Framework

  • Symfony framework needs more efforts to learn than other frameworks such as Laravel and Yii.
  • Security is a bit hard in the Symfony framework.
  • File parsing is difficult to handle in Symfony framework.
  • Performance and speed are the main drawbacks of it.
  • Large-scale applications are developed using Symfony rather than small-scale.

4. Zend Framework

Zend is an open-source, web application framework, which is developed on March 3, 2006. It is a collection of 60+ packages which is available on GitHub and can be installed via composer. Zend is pure object-oriented, which is developed on the basis of the MVC design pattern. Zend was developed in agile methodology that helps to deliver a high-quality application to the enterprise client.

IBM, Google Microsoft, and Adobe are the partners of Zend. There are many features comes with Zend Framework version 2 such as drag and drop editor with front-end technology support (HTML, JavaScript, CSS), cryptographic coding tool, PHP Unit testing tool, instant online debugging, and a connected database wizard.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Zend Framework

  1. Zend is highly customizable framework. Performance of Zend Framework version 3 is four times higher than its previous version.
  2. We can easily test the framework because PHPUnit is integrated with Zend.
  3. Zend has a large community base, and it is well-documented.
  4. We can delete modules and components which has no use in the application.
  5. We can use the components of our own choice.
  6. It supports multiple databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, and Oracle.

Disadvantage of Zend Framework

  • Zend Framework is heavy and huge as it has a larger set of libraries, components, and classes.
  • Cost of plug-ins of Zend Framework is higher than other frameworks.
  • It has large documentation with minimal detail of the framework, hence documentation is hard to use as a guideline for the whole development of the project.

5. CakePHP

CakePHP is a web development framework of PHP which was released on April 2005, and it is licensed under the MIT License. It is based on MVC (Model View Controller) architecture and follows ORM techniques. CakePHP 3 is running on PHP 7.3 version. It has excellent speed, security, and reliability. CakePHP is an open-source framework, hence it is free to use.

CakePHP offers several features, such as SQL injection prevention, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection, Form tampering Validation, good documentation, and cross-scripting platform (XSS) prevention. It has a set of conventions which guide while developing the application. Due to CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) framework, it is one of the easiest frameworks to learn. It powers BMW, Express, and Hyundai websites.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of CakePHP

  • It follows ORM (Object Relational Mapping) techniques which help developers to create a good query and as well as code.
  • It provides plug-in support to keep the code clean and graceful.
  • CakePHP allows the developer to create reusable code, so it is not required to write new code all the time, thus it saves lots of time and effort.
  • Most of the developers prefer the CakePHP because of easy debugging and testing of any application.
  • CakePHP provides built-in security features and authentication that protect the application more than other frameworks.

Disadvantage of CakePHP

  • It is a slowest performing framework.
  • It is best for the small and medium project rather than large.
  • One-way routing in CakePHP is often a disadvantage compared to other frameworks like Rails and Ruby.
  • While using CakePHP, we have to update the default routes for creating effective URLs, which required more work than other frameworks.
  • Documentation is not good. It needs improvement.

6. Phalcon

Phalcon is a full-stack web framework which is written as a C-extension. It is released on November 14, 2012, and licensed under the BSD License. Phalcon framework is developed by Andres Gutierrez and his group of collaborators. Phalcon is a combination of C and PHP language, but developers do not need to learn C to use Phalcon.

It is an open-source framework which is based on MVC (Model View Controller) design pattern. Phalcon provides equal support to both relational and non-relational databases. It is the first framework that implements the ORM technique in C language. Phalcon is a loosely coupled framework.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Phalcon

  • Installation of Phalcon framework is easy, and it is suitable for developing a highly configurable web application.
  • It provides several features, such as asset management, a universal auto-loader, translation, security, and caching.
  • Phalcon is well-documented and easy to learn.
  • Applications designed using Phalcon framework are highly secured.
  • Phalcon is a loosely coupled framework so as per application requirement the developer can build a project with a directory structure.

Disadvantage of Phalcon

  • It cannot run on shared hosting.
  • It is not as much as popular like other frameworks. Many developers are not aware with the Phalcon framework.
  • Developer should have knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript before starting development with the Phalcon framework.

7. Yii

Yii is a high performance, open-source framework of PHP for rapidly developing web applications. Yii is pronounced as Yee or [ji:], which means "Simple and Evolutionary" in Chinese. It also stands for Yes it is! Yii is a universal web programming framework because it is suitable for all kind of web application. It is built around Model-View-Controller.

Yii is a component-based PHP framework. It is suitable for large-scale application development such as forums, E-commerce projects, Content management system (CMS), and portals, etc., because of its component-based architecture and sophisticated caching support. Yii is a secure, fast, efficient, and pure object-oriented.

Yii version 2 comes with a set of AJAX-enabled features and also integrated with jQuery.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Yii

  • It offers the maximum functionality by adding the minimum possible overhead.
  • Yii is very efficient as we can write simple and more code in less time.
  • Using Yii framework developer can easily create an application in a very short time.
  • This framework is highly secured and provides excellent support for third-party components.

Disadvantage of Yii

  • The developer needs to know the basics of OOP because Yii is a pure object-oriented programming framework.
  • There is less number of experts of Yii frameworks as compared to other frameworks.
  • Yii framework does not provide AR queries.
  • While developing applications, Yii seeks more attention from the developer.

8. Slim Framework

Slim is a micro framework of PHP that helps to develop simple and powerful web application and APIs quickly. It is developed and maintained by Josh Lockhart, Rob Allen, Andrew Smith, and their team. Slim's creator was inspired by Sinatra micro framework of Ruby. It is a lightweight framework.

Slim, which is a micro framework, is suitable to create a CRUD application with PHP for small-scale rather than a full-stack framework. Slim is a perfect tool for rapid prototyping. We can create full-featured web applications with the user interface. As Slim is a dispatcher, it receives HTTP requests, invokes a callback routine, and returns an HTTP response.

Slim offers several features such as Client-side HTTP caching, URL routing, session, and cookie encryption, and flash messages.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of Slim Framework

  • Slim is easy to learn like PHPixie. It is used to develop RESTful APIs and web services.
  • It is an excellent framework for developing a small web application with great functionalities.
  • We get complete control of external tools because Slim supports dependency injection.
  • We can inspect and manipulate HTTP message method, URI, status, headers, body, and the cookie because Slim supports any PSR-7 HTTP message implementation.

Disadvantage of Slim Framework

  • It is required to learn the different version of Slim to work on them.
  • It just a configurable container, not dependency injection, i.e., dependency injection is too weak.
  • We need to have strong bases of patterns and extreme knowledge of libraries to convert it into a Slim dependency.
  • It is not beneficial for long-running projects.

9. FuelPHP

FuelPHP is an open-source PHP framework build with advanced functionalities. Dan Horrigan started the FuelPHP framework at the end of 2010, after that Phil Sturgeon, Harro Verton, Jelmer Schreuder, and Frank de Jonge joined the team immediately. Steve West joined the team in 2013, and after that in 2014, Mark Sagi-Kazar joined.

FuelPHP is a flexible, easy, and community-driven PHP web framework. It is an MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework which is extremely portable framework so it can work on almost any server. FuelPHP have full HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) implementation.

Note: FuelPHP is supported by the above version of PHP 5.3.

Top 10 PHP frameworks

Advantage of FuelPHP

  • FuelPHP offers a utility called "Oil" which is designed to help in fast development, increase efficiency, and also assist debugging and testing.
  • It supports CSRF prevention with tokens, Query Builder, and input filtering that assists us in preventing from SQL injection attack.
  • We can provide more functionality into packages that extend the FuelPHP core.
  • Using powerful PHPSecLib, it handles encryption, decryption, and hashing.
  • It offers full-featured RBAC authentication, which is based on ORM and secure hashing function for passwords including (PBKDF2).

Disadvantage of FuelPHP

  • The developer needs to learn each time when a new version releases because the documentation guides keep on changing.
  • The developers have to learn ahead for effective use of FuelPHP.
  • It is not friendly for beginners.
  • The developer's community is not much active with FuelPHP as with other frameworks.

10. PHPixie

Top 10 PHP frameworks

PHPixie is an open-source PHP framework which was introduced in 2012. It is easy to use and requires fewer configurations. The main goal of this framework is creating a high-performance framework for read-only websites. Like the FuelPHP framework, it also implements the HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) design pattern.

PHPixie is built by using independent components which can be used with the framework itself. These components are 100% unit tested and require minimum dependency. It is a lightweight framework which supports MongoDB database. PHPixie offers some features such as input validation, ORM caching, authentication, and authorization capabilities.

Advantage of PHPixie

  • PHPixie is good for social networking websites, web application development services, and customized web applications.
  • It is built by using independent components so that we can use it without the framework itself.
  • Experienced in CodeIgniter or Kohana can easily understand and learn it.
  • It provides more adaptability, as everything is effortlessly expandable, over-ridable, and simple to learn.
  • PHPixie offers a full-stack framework that focuses on effectiveness.

Disadvantage of PHPixie

  • It is not as much as popular compared to other frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, Zend, etc.
  • It provides fewer modules.

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Top 10 PHP frameworks