Top 5 PHP Frameworks


PHP, being the most powerful and popular Server-side Scripting Language in the world, which provides large spectrum of Frameworks. These Frameworks come with different advantages and functionalities for developers having different levels of expertise and ‘taste’. Furthermore, the most popular PHP Frameworks have significantly evolved only in the last a few years.

It’s not really simple to compare the available PHP frameworks because of the diverse features they are providing and the ways they are addressing different scenarios.

Here are the salient features of the five most popular PHP frameworks for the developers to evaluate them before they decide to choose the most suitable one for their purpose.


  • Laravel has a huge ecosystem and by far is the most top rated PHP framework available at the moment
  • Consists of a Modular Packaging system having a dedicated Dependency Manager
  • Provides different ways for accessing Relational Databases
  • Extremely powerful
  • Provides complete control of every thing
  • Perfect for medium and large scale applications and preferable by job-seekers
  • Built-in Authentication
  • Blade HTML Templating Engine makes life easier
  • Eloquent ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) Almost eliminates the need for SQL language
  • Comprehensive provision for Business Logic, Events Triggering and Handling, Job Queues
  • Clean Code and follows Good practices
  • Restful Controllers
  • Route Caching feature speeds up the application route registration
  • Unit Testing is provided as an integral part of Laravel framework
  • Provides native support for Multiple File System
  • Doesn’t work on Shared Hosting plans


  • Requires minimal user Configuration
  • No specific Dependencies
  • Extremely Light Weight
  • Form and Data Validation
  • Easy to learn and implement
  • Instead of Query strings, CodeIgniter uses clean and Search-Engine-Friendly URLs
  • Relatively fast Development because of ease of use
  • It is a thin framework, but it allows you to add third-party plugins if you need more complicated functionality
  • Application Profiling
  • Neat Documentation
  • Hassle-free Installation
  • Can also be customized to use Hierarchical Model-View-Controller which allows developers to maintain Modular Grouping of Controllers, Models and Views arranged in a Sub-directory format


  • Built for large scale Projects
  • Reusable super awesome PHP Libraries assisting you in tasks like Routing, Authentication, Templating and many others
  • The Components of the Symfony 2 framework are used by many well-known projects such as the Drupal content management system, or the phpBB forum software
  • High performance as a result of Bytecode Caching
  • Multiple Database Support
  • Encourages to use Best practices such as having an organized structure for your files and folders
  • A stable and Well-documented Framework
  • Its a huge framework and requires a substantial Learning curve

ZEND Framework

  • Basically a collection of professional PHP based Package
  • It uses various Packages by the use of Composer as part of its Package Dependency Managers
  • Leverages Agile Methodology
  • All components are fully Object-Oriented
  • Customizable architecture which allows loosely-coupled components and minimal interdependencies
  • Supports multiple Database Systems and Providers
  • It employs a more complex configuration compared to other Frameworks such as CodeIgniter, making it NOT much suitable for Rapid Application Development
  • Difficult Learning Curve
  • No good Documentation
  • Recommended for Experienced Developers


  • Very Mature Framework
  • Rapid Development: New Modules and Plug-ins can be installed via Composer
  • It has built-in Security features like Cross-Site Scripting Prevention, Cross-Site Request Forgery Protection and SQL injection
  • CakePHP supports CRUD (create, read, update and delete) for database interactions, which allows users to view the application in just one single line of code
  • Impressive Showcase
  • Easy to Configure
  • It enables to create Prototypes and Reusable Code rapidly
  • Also comes with a Templating system which is highly customizable
  • Provides a simple and comprehensive Instructions Manual

Remember that there are still many more PHP frameworks available, like, Slim, FuelPHP, Phalcon etc. which are being used by a fairly large community of developers, yet the above five are by far the top most frameworks regarding various aspects like popularity, extensibility, performance and ease of use etc. which make them stand out of the rest.

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