The most popular framework for PHP development

PHP frameworks are: 1. Laravel framework; 2. CakePHP framework; 3. CodeIgniter framework; 4. Zend framework; 5. Symfony framework; 6. Yii2 framework; 7. Phalcon framework; 8. ThinkPHP framework and so on.


The Laravel framework is probably the most popular framework among web developers. Laravel is a free and open-source PHP framework for web application development, as well as for mobile application scenarios. Laravel provides several specific packages that make web development a powerful task. For example: Unit Testing, Object Relational Mapping (ORM), A Packaging System, Lightweight Blade Template Engine, RESTful Controllers.

easy to learn;

seamless data migration;

very popular in the PHP community;

MVC architecture support;

Extensive training material (documentation, images and video tutorials);

template engine;

Simple unit tests.

  1. CakePHP framework

The CakePHP framework is completely free for individuals and offers paid commercial use. It will help you develop feature-rich and visually impressive websites. CakePHP was the best PHP framework back in the early 2000s. After all this time, it’s still one of the best PHP frameworks you can use.

CakePHP started out as a simple and elegant toolkit, and over the past 15 years it has become even more powerful. CakePHP is the easiest framework to learn thanks to its CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) framework.

Deploying a web site with CakePHP is “a piece of cake”, all you need is a web server and a copy of the CakePHP framework.

CakePHP is ideal for commercial applications due to the following enhanced security features:

SQL injection prevention;

Cross-Origin Request (CSRF) protection;

input validation;

Cross-site scripting (XSS) protection;

The framework brings code generation and scaffolding capabilities to speed up the development process;

CakePHP provides developers with excellent documentation, many support portals, and premium support through Cake Development Corporation.


Easy extension of plugins and components;

proper class inheritance;

Zero configuration;

modern framework;

AJAX support;

fast build;

Built-in validation.

  1. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is probably the best PHP framework for developing dynamic websites. It is a very simple and lightweight PHP framework. It’s only about 2 MB in size (including documentation). Therefore, CodeIgniter itself has a minimal footprint, and it allows web developers to add third-party plugins to develop more complex functionality. CodeIgniter also provides several pre-built modules for creating robust, reusable components for web development. Due to the simple setup process, this PHP framework is great for beginners.

If you want to avoid PHP version conflicts, CodeIgniter is the right choice for you. It works seamlessly on almost all hosting platforms (shared and dedicated). Although CodeIgniter is considered to be a PHP MVC framework, it is not entirely based on MVC architecture, as Model and Views classes are optional for CodeIgniter, while Controller is mandatory.

CodeIgniter PHP Framework Pros: MVC Architecture; Top-Notch Error Handling; Offers Excellent Performance; Several Tools Are Provided in the Package; Built-in Security Tools; Excellent Documentation.

  1. Zend

Zend Framework is a complete object-oriented PHP framework. This PHP framework is customizable, which is a benefit for developers who need to add project-specific functionality. Built on agile methodologies, Zend is a framework that helps developers create high-quality web applications for large clients. Ideal for complex enterprise-level projects, Zend focuses on security, performance, and scalability. The Zend framework is mainly favored by large IT companies and financial institutions such as banks.

Zend framework features: real-time online debugging; PHP unit testing tool; database connection wizard; encryption coding tool; drag-and-drop editor with front-end technical support.

Zend Framework integrates seamlessly with external libraries, so developers can choose to use more of the components they want. The framework has adequate documentation and a large community base. Zend also works with several tech giants including IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, and Google. If you like object-oriented coding, Zend Framework is the best PHP framework for you.


MVC components;

Excellent front-end technical support tools;

large developer community;

Simple cloud API;

support for third-party components;

data encryption;

AJAX support;

Session management.

  1. Symfony

Launched in 2005, Symfony has been around for longer than any other framework on this list. The framework is an extensive PHP MVC framework, and currently Symfony has become a solid and mature platform framework. Symfony is very stable, well documented, and performs well. These features make Symfony the perfect choice for developing large enterprise projects.

One of the features that makes Symfony unique among PHP frameworks is its reusable PHP components. Using reusable components, development time is reduced by many modules such as form creation, object configuration, templates, etc. Can be built directly from legacy components with significant cost savings. Symfony is easy to install and configure on most platforms and can be database engine independent. It is highly flexible and can be integrated with larger projects such as Drupal.


Official long-term technical support;

Built-in test function;

Rich framework built-in functions;

Official training courses and certifications.

  1. Yii2

Yii2 is a magical being that basically gives you all the features you’d expect from a PHP framework. It is a revised and advanced version of the Yii framework, a component-based high-performance PHP framework.

Yii2 is popular with web developers for its security features, which make it suitable for projects like e-commerce, CMS, portals, forums, and more. With Yii2, you can model your database as an object, thus avoiding writing repetitive complex SQL statements.

Yii2 is extremely extensible and can customize almost every core code. It is the first choice when programmers need to ensure scalability and develop efficient, easy-to-maintain web applications. This powerful and easy-to-use framework is suitable for all kinds of web applications.

Yii2 framework advantages:

AJAX support;

Efficient tool for handling errors;

Customize default settings;

Simple third-party component integration;

Strong community support.

  1. Phalcon

Phalcon is written in C and C++, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn C to use the Phalcon framework. It might sound strange to have a PHP framework with C extensions at the bottom, but Phalcon is the fastest PHP framework.

Phalcon is very easy to install and ideal for creating highly customizable web solutions. One of the highlights of this framework is that Phalcon has few files after installing the framework, you just add the modules and libraries you need to use, which makes the development process very neat.

The PHP Phalcon framework creates websites and web applications that comply with enterprise development guidelines. Phalcon (among the most popular PHP frameworks) uses very few resources compared to other frameworks, making it possible to process HTTP requests quickly.

Phalcon PHP Framework Advantages:

Fast execution;

low overhead;

Asset Management;

Unique C language extension;

Universal automatic loader;

Developer friendly framework;

Top security and caching;

Ideal for building performant REST APIs.

  1. ThinkPHP

ThinkPHP is a lightweight PHP development framework with excellent performance and rich functions. It has many original features, and advocates the concept of simplicity, development by me, and complete more functions with the least code. The purpose is to make WEB Application development is simpler and faster. Compatibility with PHP4 has been dropped since version 1.*, so the architecture and implementation of the entire framework can be more flexible and simpler.

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