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Best PHP Frameworks

The world of programming offers myriads of ways to learn programming languages. There are multi-purpose languages as well as languages suitable for a specific use. The most popular ones for web development are JavaScript, Python, PHP, HTML/CSS/Sass, Ruby, and C#. All websites have a few basic modules in their skeletal structure. These include sign up forms, contact forms, login authentication, admin panel, etc. It is inefficient and time-consuming to have to program all of this from scratch. This is where frameworks come in. Frameworks are nothing but a collection of pre-programmed modules that a developer uses to build a website on. This helps the developer to work efficiently and to plan the structure of the website properly.

Today, we will look at some of the PHP frameworks that developers around the world use.

1. Symfony

Sponsored by SensioLabs, this framework was designed back in 2005. It is one of the leading PHP frameworks in terms of usage.


  • Suitable for large scale, high-performance projects
  • Convenient API for searching and manipulating folders and files
  • Offers modular solution architecture
  • Supports third-party packages and libraries, and includes the ability to customize them
  • Improved stack control in case of an error, and a dump function


  • Symfony has a steep learning curve which makes it unsuitable for beginners
  • A lot of features change between updates so it is difficult to match your Symfony version with your collection of bundles
PHP Laravel Logo

2. Laravel

Designed by Taylor Otwell, Laravel is the leading PHP framework that makes use of MVC architecture. It is also the most common framework.


  • It comes with a built-in templating engine
  • Laravel offers route abstraction
  • Flexibility for creation of a Rest API
  • Fluent object-relational mapping
  • Availability of an advanced administration panel
  • Laravel lets you integrate easily with NoSQL solutions


  • There are imperfections in Laravel’s debugger
  • Laravel is lightweight and has less inbuilt support than Ruby on Rails or Django
PHP CodeIgniter Logo

3. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter was originally created by EllisLab. It is now a project of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. This framework is well-known for its speed.


  • It has an easier learning curve than Symfony
  • Offers a built-in hashing system
  • It offers an increase in page generation speed
  • It has a built-in ActiveRecord template. This gives you an edge while working on databases.
  • Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, SQLite, Oracle


  • CodeIgniter’s coding style is different from the generally accepted coding models
  • Missing Dependency Injection pattern
  • Underdeveloped caching system
PHP Phalcon Logo


Phalcon is a C extension that is renowned for its fantastic performance. All functional elements are represented as PHP classes from the Phalcon namespace. This essentially means that developers need not know the C language to work with this framework!


  • Low consumption of memory resources
  • Supports Dependency Injection patterns that are missing in CodeIgniter
  • HTTP requests are processed faster
  • Supports caching in object-relational model
  • Mutual integration with PhalconQL and MongoDB
  • Fluent creation of Rest API
  • Phalcon provides built-in form constructors


  • There are a few difficulties while working with the Phalcon CLI(Command Line Interface)
  • Debugging your code requires knowledge of C or Zephir


This framework was initially created as an alternative to the well-known Ruby on Rails. CakePHP is another popular framework that makes use of the MVC architecture.


  • Extensive package support
  • CakePHP offers a built-in mechanism for creating multilingual websites
  • Built-in security features
  • There is extensive community support available for CLI(Command Line Interface) based utilities
  • CakePHP offers a built-in object-relational model
  • SQL queries are automatically generated


  • CakePHP is slower and less flexible than a few of its competitors like CodeIgniter
  • It has not been able to update and adapt to newer PHP versions as it should.
PHP Zend Framework


Developed by Perforce, this PHP framework is generally used because of the large number of DBMS it supports.


  • Use-at-will architecture that assists the developer in building modular components
  • Supports a huge number of Database Management Systems
  • Flexible caching system
  • Offers many components for security applications
  • Makes abundant use of Object-Oriented Programming
  • Fluent creation of Rest API using RPC


  • The learning curve is rather steep
  • There are extensive plugins available for specific features that are very helpful, but these plugins are quite costly
TronGate PHP Framework Logo

(Bonus) Trongate

This one is a personal favourite of mine! It is new and something we haven’t any experience with… but the whole website and the YouTube channel is one of the most entertaining things I have seen in a long while. Check it out for yourself…


  • Offers nested modularity
  • The Trongate file asset manager lets you add pictures, CSS and even JavaScript to your modules! If that is not enough, you don’t even have to specify the path! Trongate figures it out
  • Trongate updates itself so you don’t have to worry about your bundle being compatible with the latest PHP versions
  • Trongate uses Modular Hierarchical Asset View Controller(HAVC), which is essentially an upgraded version of HMVC.
  • Trongate has a very flexible coding style
  • It makes no use of Command Line Interface(CLI), template engines, unit testing and all of that tedious work.


  • Trongate is a bleeding-edge technology. It is extremely new, so any possible vulnerabilities have not yet been explored
  • Being extremely new, community help is almost non-existent


What next? 

Humand Talent Solutions can offer consultancy around PHP, deliver your PHP projects for you, build a PHP Development team, provide PHP Consultants or offer guidance to PHP Developers on their careers.

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