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How To Choose A PHP Framework For Your Web Application?

by Mariya Parackal


Top 11 PHP Frameworks and How to Choose One?

Are you scouring the internet to find the best framework that is appropriate for your business application?

Most experts you asked you different opinions about which is the best PHP Framework to select.  When you decide to develop a website or web application, you need to decide the language or tech stack.

You would hear LAMP, MEAN, Python, Django, Ruby, Vue and the likes. Even after you decide on the language, your developer asks you which framework you want to select.

Even though you might not think it is important, you should select the PHP framework carefully as it can impact scalability, future expansions, maintenance, future support etc..

In this article we will discuss the main  PHP frameworks and how to choose the best for your web applications project.

Since you are here, we will assume you selected PHP as the main language for your project. PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is the most commonly used open source scripting language which is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

PHP is a server-side scripting language designed for web development. It is also used as a general-purpose programming language. PHP is the most natural framework to develop visually appealing and distinct websites unlike with other scripts or technology.

You could develop customized websites with advanced technologies and dynamic functionalities. PHP is a versatile and incomparable scripting language with several benefits. If you haven’t selected a language/tech stack for your project, take a look at the article on how to choose the language for your web application

Have you ever wondered which is the most sought framework and which companies out there are ruling the internet with PHP websites? Right from Facebook to Yahoo and many others, PHP remains at the core of every successful business.

PHP remains at the heart and soul of most successful companies worldwide. Some of the top 10 websites that have dominated the internet using PHP are Yahoo, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, WordPress, Youtube, SourceForge, iStockPhoto, and MailChimp.

Frameworks are similar to a catalyst for development languages. They expand capabilities, enhance performance, and provide libraries and shortcut for coding to developers so that they wouldn’t have to start from scratch.

Frameworks enable you to streamline development of web applications with features such as APIs, models etc. The best way to put it will be if you’re making pasta or a sandwich, it’s easier to get the pre-made, packet pasta or the sliced bread from the store than it is to create or bake it on your own from scratch.

Frameworks are your packet pasta or website’s sliced bread, and they speed up the process by leaps and bounds.

PHP is the ideal language for your website due to the following reasons:

  • Easy to learn and code: Opposed to other programming languages, it’s quite easy to learn or code. If you have mastered Syntax of C or Perl, then learning to code in PHP would be a cakewalk since the syntax of this language is quite easy.
  • It’s a free open-source: PHP development can be done free allowing PHP developers to customize their websites quite easily. The best part is since it’s free and open source, no payment has to given to manufacturers or to upgrade it.
  • Cost-effective: Maximum features can be created at the least cost with no recurring cost.
  • Multi-platform Support: This platform supports Windows, MacOS, Linux or UNIX.
  • Reliable and controllable: You wouldn’t have to enter gigantic codes, and you get the flexibility to alter the website in the future in case your not thorough with PHP development.  So with PHP, you have the shortest codes which perform efficiently.
  • Secure and Tested: It secure and have been tested for more than two decades by millions of developers all over the world.
  • Multi-Server Support: PHP based websites are supported by significant web servers like Microsoft and Apache and Ngnix and all web browsers.
  • Speed: The server has lesser workload and lesser loading time which accelerates the website speed which is possible because the PHP utilizes its memory. Even the development time for PHP developers are significantly reduced.
  • Seek Technical Support: Whether you want to hire offline or online freelancers, you have large PHP developer community who are accessible to seek expertise when required.
  • Dynamic websites: PHP language enables the expansion of website functionality.

Now let’s look into different PHP frameworks:

  1. Laravel

If you’re looking for a PHP with an elegant syntax that aids web developers in efficiently doing general tasks such as routing, authentication, caching and session?

The Laravel web application framework provides exactly that! It delivers accessible and expressive powerful tools that are required to develop complex and rich apps. Laravel offers powerful migration system, an inversion control container and highly integrated unit testing support.

Laravel is a versatile framework that can be used for basic JSON APIs or even high-end enterprise level applications. Developed on many Symfony attributes, it provides a strong foundation of well tested reliable code.

The composer allows you to control applications third-party packages and works perfectly with MySQL, SQL Server, Postgres, and SQLite.

  1. CodeIgniter

Developed for those who require an elegant, and simple toolkit to develop fully featured web applications, Codelgniter is an efficient PHP framework that uses the MVC controller approach.

The MVC controller approach permits great breakup between logic and presentation especially for projects where designers are working on template files.

Codelgniter provides a vast library for general tasks, an uncomplicated interface, and logical structures to utilize these libraries. It barely requires any configuration, provides basic to high-end application requirements with no restrictive rules for coding.

3. CakePHP

CakePHP provides easy configuration and code generation features to instantly develop prototypes. All you ought to do is set your database up. The framework provides database access, validation, translations, caching, authentication and many other features.

CakePHP is an all-rounder framework that can take care of your requirements from the initial phase to the delivery of a web page.

Whether its filenames or database tables, CakePHP provides the complete organizational structure to ensure your application is logical and consistent.

It gives inbuilt tools to protect against SQL injection and validation, form tampering etc and keeps your application secure.

4. Yii

Denotatively designed to efficiently work with AJAX, Yii is a powerful PHP framework that has powerful caching support. Yii gives high priority to security and therefore provides prevention of SQL injection and cross-site scripting and does input validation and output filtering.

With Yii, you get a clear distinction between logic and presentation and get to use the clean and reusable code as it follows MVC pattern. With Yii framework, database data can be modeled as objects to save you from the headache of writing repetitive SQL statements.

Armed with several validators and widgets and supportive techniques, collecting form input is made both secure and straightforward by Yii. Yii provides outstanding error handling, significant support to write and run unit tests and functional tests.

Along with these, Yii also provides categorization, filtration, and routing of log message to various locations. Data from other frameworks can be integrated into your Yii powered application as Yii is made to be compatible with third-party codes.

5. Slim

If you don’t require a full-fledged framework and need something that can aid rapid application development, Slim is the best micro-framework. You could prototype sans consistent learning and wouldn’t have to worry about performance issues that would normally occur with large frameworks.

With a micro PHP framework like Slim, you can write a simple and successful web application and APIs that features both custom HTTP and standard methods. The framework also provides access to flash messages, debugging and error handling, route parameters, route redirects, and page templates.

Slim being easy to use framework enables AES-256 encryption, HTTP caching, and secures cookies. Since it’s easy to configure and has a sophisticated URL router and middleware architecture, its apt for API prototyping and speedy development.

If you are still not convinced about Slim and want to look for other micro-framework alternatives then Flight, Silex, and Limonade are micro-frameworks that you could review.

  1. Phalcon

Phalcon is a PHP 5 framework that ensures high performance and minimal resource utilization. With PHP framework one is spared from learning or using the C Language since PHP cases are ready to be used framework. Since phalcon is structured in such a way that you can use particular parts or the complete framework.

Phalcon saves processor time and enhances overall performance. You can download and install as a PHP module. Phalcon saves processor time as it creates a complete framework with a package of PHP extension and is coded entirely in C.

  1. Symfony

Symfony is a PHP framework that provides complete control to its developers to configure from the directory structure to foreign libraries enabling developers to customize anything. Symfony allows the development of robust applications for enterprises and enables them to test, debug and document projects.

Symfony speeds up the development and maintenance of web applications replacing repetitive coding tasks. Symfony also provides a set of pre-assembled components that can be instantly integrated with your application.

If you want to develop a complex application, you can either choose the full-stack version or build your framework from scratch based on the functionality you require or the use of Micro Framework to build specific features for your project.

  1. Fat-Free

Fat-Free is easy to use PHP micro framework to help build rich and unique web applications. You can instantly start as it is compressed into a file of only 60KB to give you a strong foundation and base code.

PHP provides an appropriate web development toolkit, efficient routing, and cache engine with inbuilt code highlighting. Requiring no complex configuration, it supports both NoSQL and SQL databases.

Fat-Free provides additional plugins to expand its efficiency with its unit testing toolkit, markdown to HTML, Geodata Handler, image processor, custom logger. Fat-Free tries to create a balance between performance, code, and productivity.

  1. Kohana

Kohana is an Object-Oriented Programming framework that offers all primary features to develop web applications rapidly with the help of translation tools, database access, code profiling, encryption, validation etc.

Developed using PHP 5 objects and classes, it’s quite easy to set up since there are no complex configuration files or code generators. Kohana is an HMVC PHP5 framework that enables you to use tools and libraries and detect bugs and take care of performance issues. The commented code and natural routing structure allow easy understanding.

  1. Zend Framework

Zend Framework 2, an open-source framework for developing web applications uses an object-oriented code. It’s easily extensible and versatile and aided with a modular base which lets you take advantage of building blocks along with other frameworks or applications.

The available Zend services enable you to implement client libraries that give you access to the standard web services available. You could just load the components and apply the framework however you want without any inhibitions.

  1. Iscripts ICARUS PHP Framework

iScripts ICARUS PHP Framework is created by Armia Systems to develop a number of internal products. It provides extensive support for SaaS by default.

The highly customizable framework provides all required features like user management, content management, database management etc, (category management, product management, CMS). For the admin user, the highly efficient framework provides CRUD- Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete so that the admin make alterations as per his requirement.

The versatile framework supports bootstrap and provides layouts that are known to be highly responsive. The configurations are quite developer friendly and reusable so that you wouldn’t have to keep coding for everything and anything.

Since the framework has been formulated with years of experience in exploring and developing PHP, it’s a framework that caters to the diverse requirements of website development. The iScripts ICARUS PHP Framework enables developers to create APS and configure BAS (Back-end as a service).

You can quickly develop entities and configure with this advanced PHP framework. Projects like Ravox.com, iScriptsCloud.com are developed using this framework.


With so many frameworks consistently storming the web development industry, you may be clueless or maybe a tad bit uncertain so as to which PHP framework to go for.

So if you’re looking for Web application framework to streamline your web app and website development, web services, and web resources, we are here to help you. We could help you to choose the best framework that syncs perfectly with your project.

We have a robust team of more than 40+ highly skilled PHP developers with hands-on experience dealing with software frameworks, who could help you complete your project within the stipulated time without exceeding your budget.

Get in touch with our experts today to find out which framework would be apt for your project. You could also get in touch with our proficient team if you require help in coding a framework. Contact us today for a free technical consultation.

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