PHP has been since 1994 and even after almost 3 decades, it still maintains its relevance among the growing list of computer languages. But why? Because: -
PHP has a huge community
It is fast and secure
It is trusted
Such has been the journey of PHP that many of its frameworks have come up to better promote the language. Let’s have a quick introduction to some of the most popular PHP frameworks.
Top 5 PHP frameworks
Laravel is the most popular PHP framework. Period. Since its inception in 2011, it has quickly amassed a huge following. This is can be clearly proved by the fact that over 1.5 million websites have been powered with Laravel as of this writing.
Beginner-friendly to learn and start web development because of its great documentation.
Easy to integrate cloud service providers such as Amazon AWS.
It is more than just a framework. It’s an ecosystem to get all your web development solution in one place.
Laravel is stable and provides security measures to follow for making your website more secure.
Laravel has just too much in it. Due to that, it may be a tad slower than other PHP frameworks.
You may find its syntax and project structure a bit rigid.
Symfony has taken PHP development to the next level. It is a mature framework that is continuing to grow with the help of its thousands of patrons. Symfony offers a variety of features, a large support community, and powerful code components.
Highly customizable for giving your website a personal touch.
Powerful built-in testing capabilities.
Easy to maintain your project.
It is a bit difficult to understand.
Doctrine ORM is relatively more complicated than ORMs of other frameworks.
Even though it is a PHP framework, it is not exactly written in PHP. It is actually a PHP extension written in C. But this turned out to be in favor of this framework. How? Due to this, Phalcon races ahead of all PHP frameworks in terms of speed.
Low overhead to your application.
Ideal for projects whose primary requirement is high performance.
More complex than other PHP frameworks.
Supports only 3 database adapters - MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
Hard to install.
CodeIgniter is another popular PHP framework that uses MVC structure, just like others. But it also offers flexibility to use other approaches. It is great for both - small and large companies for the development of APIs, websites, and web apps.
High in performance and speed.
Doesn’t enforce the MVC approach. It allows you to choose the design pattern you like.
It has fewer built-in features.
Difficult to maintain code.
Not updated regularly.
Yii, an open-source PHP framework, is based on the OOPs principle and follows MVC architecture. Yii boasts speed and offers flexibility to create websites as small as a blog to something big like social media website.
It is a full-stack framework allowing you to easily design the frontend of a website as well as the backend.
It is lightweight in size. Thus, it enables a fast loading time.
Poor ORM support for complex queries.
It is not beginner-friendly.
Many necessary features are not supported by Yii.
What exactly is Laravel?
Even though you may have got some idea of what Laravel is, I feel the need to elaborate it further to show you how it is more than just a framework - it’s a whole ecosystem even though its official website introduces itself as “The PHP Framework For Web Artisans.”
“What is an ecosystem?” you may be tempted to ask. So let’s differentiate it from a framework. A framework consists of pieces of code for components that are commonly used in web development. For example - a menu bar or a footer.
But an ecosystem provides you with a complete solution for web development and not just some components. That means, whatever your website and web app will ever require, Laravel has it or will develop it with each update.
Why Laravel is the best PHP framework of all?
First of all, every PHP framework has its keep, each having its pros and cons. Laravel also. It is not like Laravel trumps all other PHP frameworks in all aspects. If that was the case, they would have been knocked out of the picture a long time ago.
Thus, it is not about what a framework has and what it hasn’t. But what matters is that is it capable of fulfilling your requirements without giving you a lot of headaches. When looked at from this perspective Laravel fits the frame better than any other PHP framework.
Now let’s go deeper to see why you should pick Laravel over others.
Laravel’s stability is one of its standout features. What I mean by stability here is that a website built on Laravel can easily serve a large number of requests at the same time. Many times, a website crashes once huge demands are made on it in a short period of time.
But a Laravel website has the power to withstand strongly in such cases and stays intact even when the web traffic on your website is high, saving you from embarrassment.
With a growing security concern, you need a framework that ensures that you won’t have sleepless nights due to your website being hacked. Laravel offers you high-standard security measures for your website and web app.
Laravel is one of the most secure frameworks which has pre-built functions to help your website guard itself against the wave of cyberattacks.
3. Large community
Laravel enjoys a humongous community that has already fallen in love with it. And it is growing very quickly. One of the biggest benefits of having a large community is that you can easily find a solution, if and whenever, you are struck.
Not just that, Laravel is also quickly growing due to this community. It is getting better and better with each update. Its latest update was Laravel 9 which was released in February this year.
4. Trusted framework
A growing community shows that it is loved all over the world by developers. Businesses too trust Laravel for their website development. As I mentioned earlier, over 1.5 million websites have already been built with it. Though Laravel isn’t perfect, it doesn’t give you much to complain about.