When it comes to optimal frameworks for PHP that will help you make viable products in shorter time, Laravel, CodeIgniter and Symfony are the household names, of course. Yet the list is significantly longer. In 2020, the choice of reliable PHP toolkits is wide and every framework covers a particular set of tasks and features unique advantages. This is why it is essential to understand what targeted framework to use for your product. Then its application will truly accelerate your PHP web development to the third cosmic speed (and yes, go tell us you’ve never dreamed of traveling to the stars).
1. Laravel. The beloved pet of every developer since 2011 is so popular because it unites everything a developer can dream of: capacity to deal with truly complex multifunctional apps at high speed, ease of installation (with Homestead box), high security, streamlined options of authentication, data migration, routing, etc. Add support of MVC architecture and flexibility, and you get a clue why Laravel has become the #1 to mention.
2. CodeIgniter is small, fast and as easy as pie. The winner number two, if we skip Laravel. CodeIgniter is great for development of dynamic pages and can be called the code Lego with its multiple blocks that can be safely reused. Easy to learn, good in bug fixing, makes apps that are scalable without much hassle – what else to desire?
3. Symfony. It is like a big orchestra packed into a small box. It deals well with industry-scaled projects, integrates with third party libraries and even big projects, does not depend on database engines and can be installed easily. Yet there is one big ‘but’: it is quite hard to learn from scratch.
4. Phalcon. ‘Birds flying high’ lyrics is right about this framework. Full stack, MVC web arch support, and C++ based (no need to dabble in C-language). Phalcon is amazing at employing the full memory capacity (and beyond), so websites based on it will literally fly. Phalcon helps to build flexible yet secure and high standard apps, features great asset management, speed of execution and caching. Just mind that rarely found system bugs are not fixed with the same high speed by the Phalcon’s developers.
5. Zend Framework. It is completely object-oriented and agile, do it feels more like a whole programming language. Zend strictly complies with the best practices of PHP and is great in working on large scale projects with high security demands. So, it is the favorite pet of IT and bank departments.
6. Slim is just what’s in its name. It is simple and minimal in composition and number of component. Yet it is super easy in learning and working with, so if you need a framework to build simple but workable and reliable apps, you have found it. Simplicity does not mean primitivity, so you get URL routing, encryption of cookies, caching on the client’s side, and the rest of features necessary for RESTful APIs.
7. Yii. Yes, it is truly universal, and yes, it most probably fits your current or next project. It is easy to install but very secure, so you can build an online shop on this framework. It is customizable, can be extended by new code pieces that appear out there in the wild, and its working speed is high. Instead of SQL statements, database requests are modeled as objects, so yes, it does not rely heavily on database engines.
8. CakePH. Yes, this cake comes as a dessert on our frameworks menu. But it can be enjoyed first or as a one course meal as well. Pros: very easy to learn, relying on CRUD approach (yes, another name for trial and errors method), including several serious security protection tools (cross-site request forgery protection and input validation are just the few). It features such essential element as proper class inheritance, so using this elegant framework is really a piece of cake.