Love it or hate it, PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is still the world’s most widely used web development technology. It powers the likes of Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress. And it has approximately 8 times more users than its closest rival ASP.NET.
PHP frameworks are platforms that simplify and speed up the creation of PHP web applications. These frameworks comprise a collection of different libraries, functionalities, and design elements.
The frameworks reduce the amount of code that needs to be written, enhance consistency and reduce coding errors. For PHP web developers, this translates into reduced workload and enhanced accuracy.
In this guide, we’ll look at the most popular PHP frameworks in the world and the features that have earned them that acclaim.
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Laravel markets itself as “a framework for web artisans”. Its stylish, expressive syntax and vast range in features and applications definitely support that claim. It’s a free and open-source framework with excellent customization capabilities.
Laravel uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Its templating engine Blade makes the creation of HTML layouts a breeze.
Symfony is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) based platform with more than 50 different components that can be customized for varied projects. Its template engine Twig compiles templates in plain PHP code, significantly reducing the overhead.
Twig can also double as a template language for web applications wherein the template design can be modified.
Phalcon is a PHP extension that’s actually written in C. It’s lightning-fast, user-friendly, and has extensive documentation. It supports functions such as asset management, universal autoloader, and caching.
Phalcon is perfect for creating flexible web applications that strictly abide by the rules of corporate web development.
CodeIgniter is a lightweight Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. The latest version, CodeIgniter 4 will only take up 1.2 MB of your disk space. The size of the user guide is just 6 MB. It’s fast and has detailed, illustrated instructions for the benefit of new web developers.
CodeIgniter requires virtually no configuration and doesn’t force you to use MVC patterns. You can go with any design pattern you like.
Yii is a PHP platform based on Object-Oriented Patterns (OOP) and Model-View-Controller (MVC). It’s predominantly focused on the core functionality which leads to less overhead than most popular PHP platforms.
Yii is both fast and versatile and can be used to build applications as varied as blogs, Software as a service (SaaS), and social media.
CakePHP is a rapid-development PHP framework with a convention-based setup. Its set of pre-defined conventions guides you throughout the process of developing your web application.
CakePHP uses the CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) structure and has a vast components library. An excellent choice for building both simple and complex web applications.
Laminas is the community-supported successor of the popular Zend framework. It’s a Model-View-Controller (MVC) based object-oriented framework.
With Laminas, you can choose to only load the essential components as separate libraries. The framework strictly adheres to the rules of corporate web development principles. This makes it ideal for building sophisticated enterprise web solutions.
FuelPHP is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) based PHP platform with full support for Hierarchical Model-View-Controller (HMVC) and ViewModels (presentation models). This framework has a router-based approach that allows you to directly route to closure.
Lumen is a micro-framework that was developed by Laravel’s creator to meet the needs of lighter-weight installations. It’s quite similar to Laravel and is maintained by Laravel’s user community.
This web development framework utilizes the same components that are used in Laravel. This allows developers using Lumen to upgrade to Laravel when they feel the need for additional features.
PHPPixie claims it can be learned in just 30 minutes. As such, it’s ideal for both new and experienced developers seeking a framework focused on minimizing page loading time.
PHPPixie has a linear execution flow and a Hierarchical Model-View-Controller (HMVC). The stable codebase allows the flexibility to write your own code the way you like it.
There you have it—the top PHP frameworks of the day and their best features. Now that you’re familiar with these, hire a dedicated PHP developer and develop a custom web application for your needs.
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