Top 7 Best PHP Frameworks for 2016

Top 7 Best PHP Frameworks for 2016
May 24

As we all know PHP is the most popular and convenient scripting language. It makes development process much easier and helps to reduce development costs and time. That’s why the focus is turning towards to using this programming language.


Since PHP establishment, the complexity of the web projects (in PHP) has reached to the point when coding from scratch became a senseless solution. To somehow structure development process, PHP frameworks were established.


PHP frameworks boost the programming process. They help to write and structurize code, make it easy to comply MVC and to scale projects. Thus, there is no denying the fact that right PHP framework is the only way to implement development successfully.


Here is the ranking of the best php frameworks:

  1. Laravel;

  2. Symfony;

  3. Phalcon;

  4. CodeIgniter;

  5. Yii;

  6. Zend;

  7. CakePHP.


Let’s look a little bit closer at each of them.


Read also: How Much Does it Cost to Build eCommerce Website?


#1 Laravel

In 2015 Sitepoint responders has recognized Lavarel as the best framework for php development. This framework is fairly new (built in 2011), but it already has an impressive ecosystem which has grown over the past few years.


With no doubts, Laravel documentation is close to a perfection. This framework has many functions the aim of which is to provide as fast development process as it is possible.


Lavarel has its own template engine “Blade” and an elegant syntax which makes it easier to perform common tasks: authentication, session, queue analysis, RESTful routing. Lavarel has a built-in programming environment Homestead, which is built essentially on “Vagrant”. All possible cases for this framework are carefully analyzed in Laracasts video tutorials.


#2 Symfony

This PHP framework consists of a number of components. It is written in PHP5 framework which also uses MVC. Symfony offers fast development and web management that helps to perform easily routine web programming tasks. One of its main advantages - multiple databases support:

  • MySQL database;

  • PostgreSQL database;

  • SQLite or any other PDO-compatible database.

Symfony consists of PHP-libraries, which can be reused and deployed in a variety of tasks: forms creation, objects and templates configuration and authentication, etc. Any component can be installed using “Composer” – PHP package manager.


The Symfony description wouldn’t be complete without mention that this framework can be proud of a huge community and a large number of loyal fans.


#3 Phalcon

Phalcon has been created four years ago and soon became popular among backend developers. This framework is considered to be very fast, because it’s developed in C and C++, that allows reaching high performance optimization. Going forward we want to put all concerns aside – there is no necessity to learn C to work with Phalcon. All functionality resides within the PHP-classes which can be used for any task. Phalcon has many other great features: security system, multi-purpose autoloader, resource management, translation, caching, etc. Phalcon documentation could easily be used despite the fact it is quite extensive.


Since Phalcon was originally created as an extension to C, its architecture has been optimized for a low level. It helps to reduce consumption of resources which is typical to the MVC based apps.


#4 CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter has a long-term experience in the field of PHP-frameworks. It can be easily installed and requires minimal user configuration. CodeIgniter is a good solution if there is any possible conflict of different PHP-versions. It works perfectly on all platforms. It’s important to notice that CodeIgniter isn’t entirely based on the MVC.


This framework is suitable for those who are close to the limits - CodeIgniter has an infinite space for creation. The idea was to make a simple framework to 2 MB, with the possibility to add any plug-ins if there is a need for more complex functionality. One of its other advantages is speed. CodeIgniter copes much faster with databases tasks in comparison to other frameworks.


As you can see, this PHP framework is simple and easy in development. Easily expandable, secure, uses plain and simple approach -  CodeIgniter is perfect for beginners.


#5 Yii Framework

Highly productive PHP-framework that uses MVC. It is designed to develop web applications quickly and effectively. It’s faster than any other PHP-framework because it uses on-demand loading. This is an object-oriented framework, which is exactly why it uses a don't-repeat-yourself principle. According to it the code basis always stays clear and logical.


This framework allows to quickly implement large-scale custom projects such as internet portals, CMS and other complex systems. Yii is a toolkit of efficient and ready to go solutions. Some of them are:

  • Query Builder;

  • ActiveRecord for relational and NoSQL databases;

  • RESTful API;

  • Multi-level caching support.

Skinning and selection mechanisms are simple here, so the framework will appeal to those who have previously engaged in frontend development. Yii has a Gii – code generator which contributes to object-oriented development, fast prototyping and also offers web interface to a user where he can generate the required code.


#6 Zend


Zend is programmed in an object-oriented style that uses the latest PHP innovations. It is designed to be less dependent on other components, each of which can be used separately. Nevertheless, the standard set of Zend libraries brings to us a very powerful and scalable development tool. In addition, it offers a reliable and high-performance MVC and easy-to-use database abstraction, which together make it the best php framework for web applications.


Zend is used to develop web products on PHP 5.3+. This framework uses the most useful PHP 5.3 features and reliable solutions with a variety of configuration options. Usually, Zend cannot be recommended to be used for small applications, but for large-scale projects this might be the one. Zend developers took into account the Agile methodology which allows to create high-quality applications for corporate clients.


#7 CakePHP

CakePHP was written 10 years ago in PHP programming framework for creating web projects and still has an active and growing community. Like most other frameworks, it implements MVC pattern. CakePHP was originally created as a clone of the popular Ruby on Rails, and many of Cake ideas have been borrowed from RoR. The fact that CakePHP supports not only PHP5 but also PHP4 differs it from other competitors on the market.


Ten years have passed but CakePHP is still on the top. It’s easy to learn to work with it. Such integrated application as CRUD is irreplaceable while interacting with the database. In the latest release CakePHP 3.x developers improved management of a sessions, as well as expanded the possibility of creating a larger number of individual libraries.


Among the projects implemented in the CakePHP, there are BMW and Hyundai websites. You can choose this framework if your web application need high level of protection because CakePHP has such great features as:

  • Input validation;

  • Protection system uses the introduced SQL;

  • Prevents cross-site scripting;

  • Protects against cross-site request forgery, and much more.


Top PHP Frameworks. Bottom Line


Today we tried to consider the most popular PHP-frameworks. But what about the winner? Which one is the most popular php framework? Well, let us take a wise decision. Each framework has its pros and cons. But you won’t find the best one because they are all great even there are some differences between them. In fact, everything depends only on needs and client demands. The only thing that can make you confident about final product is a development company. Don’t hesitate and hire a team of a PHP experts. We develop products for startups, for business companies, etc. Over the years, we have programmed dozens of software products and got a lot of successful cases. If you are interested in PHP products contact us for more detailed information.


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