6 Top PHP Frameworks For Web Developers

PHP is a globally acknowledged web programming language that has been largely adopted by the web developers. The popularity of this web programming language can be measured with the results of the survey conducted by W3Techs wherein the findings showed that approximately 82% web servers use PHP. This boundless popularity of PHP is neither a fluke nor came overnight. Web developers all around the world recommend using PHP because of its interactive properties, support for HTML & database integration, easy usability, etc. This language allows developers to work with its different frameworks. Let’s understand the ins and outs of top PHP frameworks further in this post.

PHP Frameworks: A Brief Introduction

PHP frameworks prove to be a boon for the PHP developers in terms of writing clean and reusable codes. Based on MVC architectural pattern, these frameworks assure the developers with a neat segregation of presentation and logic. It has always been a debatable matter for the developers which PHP framework is the best. In this post, we are not going to challenge the perception developers have made about the PHP frameworks they use.Here we are endeavoring to enlist the top PHP frameworks with their key specifications.

1. Laravel

laravel In a short span of time, Laravel has concreted its identity as the most sought-after PHP framework used by the developers. Though it is new as compared to other frameworks, but it is equipped with the smooth and expressive syntax to make even the daunting challenges of web development notches easier. With Laravel, it is easier than ever before for the developers to perform various web development tasks including caching, sessions, routing, queuing, authentication, etc. Few of the featured attributes of this framework are:
  • Reversible Restful Routing
  • Neat & Clean Coding
  • An Advanced Toolkit
  • Eloquent ORM
  • Unit Testing
  • Built-in Support for IoC (Inversion of Control)

2. CodeIgniter

codeigniter CodeIgniter is another PHP framework that is highly preferred by the PHP developers to a large extent. This open-source web framework is quite lightweight and helps developers build dynamic websites rapidly. A comprehensive documentation and incredibly flexible nature make it an easy to learn micro-framework. Hence, even the novice PHP developers fall in love with CodeIgniter easily. The main features of this framework can be listed as below:
  • Provide amazing control
  • Easy to learn with thorough documentation
  • Standard hosting for high compatibility
  • Almost zero configuration needed
  • Large scale monolithic libraries
  • Small Footprints

3. CakePHP

cakephp CakePHP is counted among the top open-source PHP frameworks that are based on Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It requires less coding and is lightweight, thereby being preferred by the PHP developers on a large scale. It offers a seamless database interaction with its exclusive CRUD feature. This highly secure framework is enriched with various advanced features for handling of cookies & requests, session, email, etc.
  • Minimal coding and scaffolding feature
  • No XML/YAML file configuration needed for database set up
  • Offers Caching validation and authentication
  • Advanced functionalities like database access & translation access
  • Highly secure with SQL injection prevention, CSRF Protection, etc.

4. Yii

Yii Framework Yii Framework is well-known for its optimized performance and advanced features. It’s remarkably popular among the developers as it hosts various functionalities such as rapid web development, scaffolding, role-based access control, caching, testing, authentication, etc. Yii has undoubtedly contributed a lot to the success of PHP as a web programming language. Ideally suited for intermediate developers, this framework is licensed under BSD. The exclusive features of this frameworks are tabulated as below:
  • Highly secure with input validation, output filtration, and SQL injection
  • Great caching support and works smoothly with AJAX
  • Provides tremendous support for PHPUnit and Selenium-based unit tests
  • Accepts codes even from the 3rd parties
  • Role Based Access Control facilitates inbuilt authentication support
  • Clean & reusable coding based on MVC pattern

5. Symfony

Symfony The global acceptance of Symfony as a stable PHP framework is not hidden within the web development realm. It has been used by the PHP developers worldwide to build feature-rich websites and other web applications. Its properties like scalability and flexibility allow the developers to perform their skills freely. Being a flexible framework, it is enriched with an array of reusable PHP elements that are used by the developers in form of Form Configuration, Validator, Templating, Security, etc. A developer needs to be skilled in PHP 5, OOP, ORM, Console, etc. to utilize this framework to the fullest. Let’s have a look at its tremendous features below:
  • Flexible to the developers' needs
  • 'Event Dispatcher' & 'Dependency Injector' for no configuration issues
  • Allows developers to use it as a micro- framework
  • Enables the developers to do customizations easily
  • A comprehensive documentation makes it an easy to learn framework
  • Highly extendable for better web development

6. Zend Framework

Zend Framework Zend Framework’s USP is its simple structure and object-oriented concepts. It is majorly used by the PHP programming experts for developing and managing the web applications and websites for businesses. The agile structure of Zend allows the programmers to deploy the web development rapidly. The scalability and flexibility of this framework make it stand apart from others. Its special features are as following:
  • Swift to deploy API Applications and workflow
  • Adopts the agile design methods to build the top notch enterprise apps
  • Offers incredible cloud support for servers
  • Seamless automation and streamlining process
  • Great front-end support with drag & drop editor
  • Amazing database connectivity


Certainly, it is imperative to choose the most appropriate PHP framework for adding wings to the website development. A wrong selection can hamper the entire development progress badly. So, after going through this post, you can make the selection in an easier manner. It is suggested to shell out time to analyze the functioning and features of each framework thoroughly so that you can make an informed choice in this regard.
  • Article written by David Meyer. David Meyer holds the immense expertise as an expert PHP developer and works at CSSChopper- a pioneer in website development. He loves sharing his knowledge that he has gained while working as a PHP developer. When he is writing, his prime motto is keeping the readers well-informed about the nitty-gritty of PHP.
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