You must be thinking why are we talking about PHP in 2021, isn’t it dead?
Well, it’s not. Even today 79% of all websites use PHP, eight times more, compared to its server-side programming language ASP.NET.
Since its creation in 1994, there have been various frameworks released to make it easier to develop website and apps.
Frameworks are platforms that make it easy to create a PHP based web application via a set of pre-written code for most used functions. They are widely popular, as the websites are becoming more and more complex, frameworks are a faster and secure solution than coding from scratch.
PHP frameworks have many upsides to them. Apart from faster development and less code to write, they also organize code in a neat and manageable manner. Frameworks have a clear set of rules which are best for teams with multiple developers working on the same project from distant locations.
Best PHP Frameworks in 2021
Since its user demand is high, PHP has a ton of frameworks. Wikipedia lists around 40 frameworks for PHP, but most of them are CMS (Content Management System).
Assessed on multiple features we have created a list of the best PHP Frameworks to help you pick which one is most suited for your next PHP project.
Introduced in 2011, Laravel is the most popular open-source PHP frameworks. Laravel is built for the artisans of the web by Taylor Otwell for functionalities that Codeigniter didn’t have. With a vast ecosystem, it has the necessary structure to support complex web apps with better security and speed.
It is also the developers’ first choice as Laravel speeds up the development process by allowing to automate repetitive tasks and reduce the intricacy of processes such as caching, security, routing and authentication.
Laravel has a vast online community support system with extensive documentation and a lot of free tutorials to learn from.
Symfony is the most trusted of all the PHP frameworks. Been around since 2005, the framework has gained the trust of many companies and developers alike. It is an extensive PHP framework that has evolved over the years and has been used by big content management solutions like Drupal, Joomla, OroCRM, Magento and more.
Symfony is the only PHP framework that follows the standards of PHP and the web entirely. It is the best solution for enterprises that plan to scale their software development solutions. It is constantly backed by Sensio Labs, that is, Symfony has professional support for both learning and customer support.
Among all the other frameworks, Symfony also supports most databases including Drizzle, Oracle, MySQL, SQLite and more.
CodeIgniter is known for its lightweight framework and almost negligible footprint. It is just 2 MB in size and contains the documentation as well. Due to its small size, it is one of the fastest PHP frameworks.
CodeIgniter is flexible and any kind of components can be added to it. It is the best pick for web applications that run on simple servers and needed to be developed fast.
The speedy framework has a thriving online community and is a great choice for beginners. It is easy to learn compared to other frameworks steep learning curve. Other impressive features of CodeIgniter are simple security, hassle-free PHP adoption, and easy error handling.
4. Laminas Project
Laminas is the new Zend framework. The Zend framework is an old and widely popular framework with over 570 million installations by enterprises.
But recently the Zend framework has moved to the Laminas Project. It is wise to get started with the newer version of the framework as Zend doesn’t receive any updates either.
It is designed for enterprise-level solutions thus offers top PHP practices, authentication services, forms, high-level performance, and customizability.
Like Symfony, in Laminas Project individual component can be added as per need. It operates by the PHP Framework Interop Group (PHP-FIG) standards, i.e. the code in Laminas can be ported to other frameworks without difficulty.
Even though the Zend framework offers drag and drops editing functionality, coding and online debugging tools for application development, it is still not the fastest framework.
It is also one of the hardest frameworks to learn and thus it requires an experienced PHP developer to handle a large and complex Laminas project.
It has the Gii code generator which writes the code skeleton in no time. The documentation is very well written and easy to follow. Yii takes no time to install and you can get started in minutes.
Yii has various security features such as authentication, authorization and encryption. It also supports multiple caching to speed up websites and web apps. One can also run third-party codes within Yii development projects.
Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework uniquely build for speed. Delivered as a C extension and written in Zapier and C, it doesn’t require any working knowledge of C what so ever.
The most prominent feature of Phalcon is its lighting speed. It is an excellent choice for PHP developers who don’t have much overhead expense to spare.
Since its release in 2012, it has had many updates and the recent ones have support for ORM, MVC, and caching. It is easy to learn Phalcon on social media platforms, discord server, tutorials and more.
One of the earliest PHP frameworks, CakePHP is still relevant due to its regular feature updating and strong user base. The configuration of CakePHP is streamlined and minimal. Is it pretty simple to get started, after the database setup, one can start coding without the hassle of XML or YAML files.
CakePHP offers good security features such as password hashing, encryption, and CSRF protection. It is a great fit for commercial web application projects.
The support forums for CakePHP are extensive. Professional support is also available through its parent company.
Slim is a micro-framework designed to serve simple yet powerful web applications. Slim is created for the specific purpose of receiving an HTML request and returning a response. It is very fast, lean and has no third-party dependencies.
It is a micro-framework packed with rich features such as URL routing, HTTP caching, cookie encryption and messages across HTTP requests.
It has an active user base across the world, is easy to learn and is extremely user friendly.
As we discussed in the beginning, that PHP has over 40 frameworks each with its specialty and feature build-up.
If you are having a hard time picking one for your web application project, just have a call with expert PHP developers, they know which will be the best PHP framework for your enterprise.