Many businesses are continuously realizing the importance of web-centric solutions for their overall growth and expansion through 2022. PHP is one of the most popular server-side programming languages for web development globally and in the USA. So, a large number of websites universally make use of PHP web frameworks in their source code.

The web application frameworks of PHP assist in reliable custom website development. That’s why the number of PHP web frameworks is growing. One of the most popular PHP frameworks is Laravel.

IT companies and developers constantly weigh upon and evaluate numerous web frameworks for high performance and efficiency. Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) helps developers in making agile software and responsive websites without needing redundant functions, variables, and more. Thus, remember that expert PHP developers can enable businesses to provide the finest web experience to users.

The best PHP web frameworks to build robust websites
The best PHP web frameworks to build robust websites

What are PHP web frameworks, fundamentally?

PHP web frameworks are structuring platforms that let the programmers create websites and applications using a set library. That too with a separate overview of the intricacies of the domain-end functions and user interface. Moreover, developers get the ease of building websites without having to repeatedly work on the database and user interface connections.

Users can also choose code blocks from the framework library to perform generic functions. Whereas, coding the same website without a PHP framework can turn out tedious and time-consuming. PHP frameworks use MVC (short for model view controller) principles.

The MVC conventions mean that the programmers can code the model using the controller. They can view (in real-time) the effects of the data manipulation. Accordingly, the separation of code, database connections, and the user interface make web development easier for developers.

What are PHP web frameworks?
What are PHP web frameworks?

Top 10 PHP web frameworks for quality website development

The list of the finest PHP web frameworks depends on various factors. That’s why we are addressing the best PHP web frameworks here. We walk you through the ones that businesses and developers consider the top ones for website development.

Following is the list of best PHP web frameworks for website development in 2022.

  1. Laravel
  2. CodeIgniter
  3. Symfony
  4. Yii
  5. CakePHP
  6. Phalcon
  7. Laminas
  8. FuelPHP
  9. Aura
  10. PHPixie
Top 10 PHP web frameworks for website development
Top 10 PHP web frameworks for website development

Read in detail about the 10 most in-use PHP web frameworks for website development worldwide.

Laravel

Released in 2011, Laravel is the topmost PHP web application framework available to programmers. This was built keeping in mind the best features of other web application frameworks preceding it. Such as ASP.NET, Sinatra, and Ruby on Rails to name a few.

Laravel is accessible, easy to understand, and simple to implement. This lightweight framework provides a readable and elegant syntax. Likewise, the features of this secure framework make it the first choice for web developers everywhere.

Some amazing features for Laravel are given below.

  • Laravel can easily develop applications with complex backend requirements irrespective of their size and domain.
  • Laravel has a variety of features like seamless data migration, MVC architecture support, security, routing, view template engine, authentication, etc.

Verdict

Laravel is the most prevalent PHP framework because of its speed, accuracy, and security to create stellar web applications. With all the features in place, Laravel is an ideal choice for developing B2B, B2C, and enterprise websites. On top of that, these websites continuously perform well with users.

CodeIgniter

Launched in 2006, CodeIgniter is arguably the second most popular PHP framework around the world for web development. CodeIgniter is one of the utmost lightweight PHP web frameworks. It is very simple, easy to set up, and the applications built are small in size.

CodeIgniter delivers inherent protection against cross-site request forgery (CSRF) and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. So, this turns websites built using it more secure. It offers more freedom to create and use code blocks within web applications.

However, one down-size is that the CodeIgniter updates are a bit irregular. So, this makes the wait longer in case developers are looking for a new release. Yet, the remarkable features of CodeIgniter are as follows.

  • CodeIgniter has MVC architecture for creating highly scalable websites and web apps.
  • It has some great tools for error handling and security.
  • CodeIgniter has great documentation, which makes it a great way for beginners to easily learn the framework.

Verdict

CodeIgniter has top-notch performance for developing lightweight web applications that easily run on modest servers.

Symfony

Released in 2005, Symfony is the third most famous PHP framework in existence today. Web agency SensioLabs was initially behind this framework. Symfony framework is flexible and allows the web developers to keep the naming conventions used for classes built with PHP.

Therefore, you can use the code across other PHP web frameworks and platforms as well. The biggest advantage of using Symfony is that works under the open-source MIT license. It means that built web applications face fewer coding limitations.

Here are a few incredible features of Symfony for everyone.

  • Symfony is fairly easy to install and configure on most platforms.
  • It provides the reusability of PHP components, with database engine independence.
  • Symfony is stable as it complies with best web practices and design patterns through integration with vendor libraries.

Verdict

Symfony is a perfect choice for developing enterprise web projects. Moreover, it is extremely flexible to even integrate with large-scale CMS like Drupal. Besides, Symfony has many common features with Laravel.

Read more: Comparison of Laravel and Symfony

Yii

Initially launched in 2008, the Yii framework is an object-oriented PHP web framework. It uses the model view controller (MVC) principles and allows a greater degree of compatibility with other platforms. Yii (pronounced ji) has a simple, hassle-free syntax that permits programmers to easily manipulate its built-in functions to create websites.

It enables an extremely fast code generation backed by a stalwart code generator for PHP classes called “Gii”. Yii framework offers a multi-level support system for caching and query building. Thus, thanks to its high performance and fast loading, Yii is quickly making strides in the web development industry.

Some wonderful features for Yii are these.

  • Yii has an easy installation procedure.
  • Its highly extensible nature fully empowers developers to avoid repetitive SQL statements.
  • Thanks to Yii, developers can model the database data in terms of objects.
  • Great community support enables massive patronage for easier resolution of any concerns, and issues in the code.

Verdict

Yii has robust security features to make the framework suitable for eCommerce projects, portals, CMS, forums, etc.

CakePHP

Released in 2005, CakePHP is a rapid web framework of PHP. This is an open-source framework, so you distribute built applications under the MIT license. So, it allows its users to forego commercial use restrictions.

This framework follows model view controller (MVC) conventions and is portable across many platforms. CakePHP provides features such as authentication, database access, and caching. Thus, it makes web development easier for programmers.

It offers many built-in security features. For example, cross-site request forgery protection, SQL injection protection, cross-site scripting protection, form tampering protection, etc. Subsequently, these plus points are increasing the popularity of this framework among developers over time.

A few brilliant features of CakePHP are like so.

  • The installation process for CakePHP is simple where you only need a web server and a copy of the framework.
  • CakePHP offers built-in security benefits like cross-site request forgery protection, SQL injection protection, cross-site scripting protection, form tampering protection, etc.
  • It is a modern framework that allows fast builds, proper class inheritance, validation, and security.

Verdict

CakePHP is a viable choice for commercial web applications. Primarily, because of its diverse security aspects. Some of these include SQL injection prevention, input validation, cross-site request forgery (CSRF) protection, and cross-site scripting (XSS) protection.

Phalcon

Coming to light in 2012, Phalcon is an open-source web framework for PHP that uses a BSD license. The Phalcon framework was built in Zephir and C languages, as a web server extension. Originally named “Spark” in the draft phase in 2011, it was renamed “Phalcon” to represent “PHP” and “falcon”.

Phalcon has a PSR extension and runs on PHP 7.2+. Realize that this PHP framework is all about providing efficient and faster web-driven solutions. Phalcon aims to run fast with a low-level architecture.

Developers can work with the PHP classes and namespaces the framework generates. This implies that no knowledge of the C language is necessary for using the framework. As well, Phalcon includes a security component with password hashing and CSRF protection.

Claiming itself the fastest PHP framework, Phalcon provides the lowest overhead for MVC web applications. Developers can initialize services once with dependency injection, and virtually use them anywhere in the web application. As well, Phalcon offers a very fast template engine known as “Volt”.

Phalcon comes with ORM functionality and keeps the data integrity with transactions and the Crypt component. The performance improvement is also because Phalcon does not use file reads, and file stats by creating its directory structure. The memory resident nature of Phalcon allows you to call it upon any time as per requirement.

Some prominent features of Phalcon include these.

  • Phalcon delivers high execution speed, reduction in resource usage, and answers more HTTP requests per second.
  • Once, you compile the code with Phalcon, it runs faster in comparison to other frameworks.
  • Thanks to no boilerplate code, creating REST servers and applications with Phalcon is quite simple.

Verdict

Businesses and programmers can use Phalcon for a variety of web projects. With equal support for relational and non-relational databases, you can develop analytical web-built solutions. These solutions enable customers to perform searches involving quick retrieval of large amounts of data.

Tip: Laravel can boost online business

Laminas

The open-source Laminas project is a web framework of PHP that the Linux Foundation hosts. Launched in 2006, it was previously known as the Zend framework or ZF. Originally, it was built in PHP 7 by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, co-founders of Zend Technologies.

This is an object-oriented framework that has a collection of professional PHP-based packages. Laminas is built on the model view controller (MVC) and supports the front controller solution. Furthermore, it provides enterprise-ready components to create any kind of web application.

Laminas delivers several helpful features to programmers. For instance, use-at-will (loosely coupled) architecture, flexible caching, and RESTful API development. Usually, people refer to it as a component library, due to its loose coupling of components.

Some notable features of Laminas (formerly Zend framework) include the following.

  • Laminas provides MVC components, simple cloud API, data encryption, and session management.
  • It can easily blend with external libraries to allow you to use any components in the framework.
  • Laminas integrates with many database systems.

Verdict

Laminas is a great choice for developing complex and enterprise-level web projects. It is suitable for larger IT departments, banks, and other financial organizations. The existing large developer community of the Zend Framework and helpful documentation make it easy to learn Laminas for newbies.

FuelPHP

Launched in 2010, FuelPHP is an open-source web application framework for PHP. It is developed in PHP 5.3.3+ and is licensed under the MIT license. Besides, it uses the hierarchical model-view-controller (HMVC) pattern, which is similar to presentation-abstraction-control (PAC) pattern.

FuelPHP framework is flexible and offers modular and extensible support. Also, it comes with extremely reliable cybersecurity. A few proud features for FuelPHP consist of these.

  • It has a URL routing system, RESTful implementation, template parsing, and a caching system.
  • FuelPHP is extendable, secure, and boosts lightweight ORM.
  • It enables users to freely perform operations without worrying.

Verdict

FuelPHP can deliver holistic web solutions to businesses and brands. These solutions can have varying magnitude and complexity. With HMVC implementation, it’s an ideal choice for web-driven applications.

Aura

This open-source PHP UI framework enables the development of web applications for both mobile and desktop devices. Aura has a multi-tier component for bridging the client and server sides together. It has rich components with higher compatibility for creating powerful apps.

The best part about Aura is that app optimization on different devices is done on the component level. This is a great feature that frees up time for developers. Subsequently, they can focus on other aspects of development.

Aura connects your service, device, browser, and network. So, you can work on the logic and focus on the interaction of your apps. Some helpful features for Aura include the following.

  • Aura is based on the principles of object-oriented programming (OOP).
  • It has constructs for inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation that you can apply at the presentation layer.
  • Aura utilizes events to interact with different components by supporting events like touch, click, mouse, keyboard, etc.

Verdict

Aura is fast and heavily tested for mobile-first web applications. You can use Aura for web-centric applications where desktop and mobile transitions are necessary.

PHPixie

This is an HMVC-based PHP framework that has a core emphasis on web applications for read-only websites. PHPixie uses a bundle system to reuse code and share it with the community support group. It is built using independent components such as auth, HTTP, ORM, and validate.

These components are unit-tested and require minimum dependencies. The one good thing about PHPixie is that you can use these components without the framework itself. Some noteworthy features for PHPixie comprise the following.

  • It includes 100% unit-texted independent components.
  • PHPixie has a bundle system for reusability.
  • Developers can come together by sharing their code with others.

Verdict

You can use PHPixie for creating read-only websites. Use cases include large content-driven websites for newspapers, magazines, and universities. Because here the users only have to access data through the website in read-only mode.

Other famous PHP web frameworks to build quality websites

Here are additional PHP web frameworks to keep an eye on.

Fat-Free

Introduced in 2009, the Fat-Free framework is an open-source PHP web framework. Licensed under the GNU general public license, it was created in PHP 5.4+ and is also called F3 by programmers. It has a full-featured toolkit and a super lightweight codebase.

The Fat-Free framework is a powerful and simple PHP micro-framework built for developing dynamic and robust web applications. Together with a URL router and cache engine, it supports multilingual applications. It offers many optional plug-ins that increase its core functionality.

Slim

Initially released in 2010, Slim is an open-source web framework for PHP. In addition, this micro-framework facilitates writing simple and powerful web apps and APIs. Its features include middleware, HTTP router, dependency injection, and PSR-7 support.

The Slim framework is getting famous due to its simple design and robust speed. This framework is easy to learn and use. Its mico-framework nature makes it the best choice for coding not-so-complex applications.

Build a pro website to earn better ROI
Build a pro website to earn better ROI

Conclusion

All the PHP web frameworks have outstanding features and a great capacity for building powerful websites and web applications. Nevertheless, the primary dominating PHP framework remains Laravel internationally and in the United States. According to BuiltWith, over 1.5 million websites use Laravel for server-side programming.

CodeIgniter, Symfony, and Yii framework are closely following it in popularity. CakePHP, Phalcon, and FuelPHP are also good contenders. Now and then, the list of the top PHP frameworks fluctuates.

Because some new feature updates in a framework slightly push its position forward in the market. As time goes on, one thing is certain. PHP web frameworks and website development through them will get more attention from the IT industry and business market alike.

You must have a website that truly represents your online business. Now is the time to establish a true brand online to better serve users. Professional developers know how to build your website from scratch or revamp your existing corporate website.

Are you aiming to launch an interactive web presence for your business? Then you can hire Techliance as your partner for your next website endeavor. So, discuss with Techliance and get a free quotation.