Top 5 PHP Frameworks

PHP is without a doubt the most popular coding language in the World Wide Web.  However, PHP in itself is certainly not the chosen method of developing web solutions. Many frameworks have been created and accepted with open arms in the coding community as they make the task of coders more organized and efficient.

Using PHP frameworks allow coders to let loose their creativity and build intuitive web applications that will pave way for a better online future. Here is a list of 5 frameworks and why they are the top contenders for web application development.

  1. Laravel:


As a web application framework, Laravel has gained immense popularity in the past few years because of its expressive and elegant syntax. It’s a blessing in disguise for coders who finally get the opportunity to be creative because it makes the common coding tasks like caching, routing, authentication and sessions easy by creating automated tools for them.


  • Highly structured
  • Makes the code readable so debugging the program gets easier
  • Strong pattern
  • Teaches MVC almost intuitively
  • Not maintenance intensive
  • Great focus on visuals
  • Inbuilt unit testing and even extremely easy to understand syntax


  • Documentation is hard to come by
  • Steeper learning curve
  • Not relaxed about the MVC pattern like CodeIgniter

Most Suited For: PHP Experts

Release date:  June 11, 2011

  1. CodeIgniter:


More of a micro-framework, it is an excellent stepping stone for newbies. It has been around on the web since 2006 and in these years it has mustered up credibility as well as excellent documentation. It is a good option for developers who have just begun dappling with PHP and need a well-organized system to help them create sizeable web applications.

CodeIgnited is currently used by many developers who find this framework comfortable but if it doesn’t release an upgraded version with latest PHP compatibilities this awesome micro-framework may very soon become history.

It is best for users need a framework that:

  • Has a small footprint
  • Has excellent compatibility features
  • Requires zero configuration features
  • Does not require a command line
  • Does not require you to get constricted by strict coding rules


  • Lot of documentation
  • High performance as well as easy compatibility with standard hosting
  • Excellent control of coders over the framework
  • Lightweight framework
  • A great collection of possessed libraries
  • Great option when speedy app development is required
  • Intuitive directory structure



  • Framework itself lacks a built-in ORM
  • Legacy code is PHP4
  • Irregular update releases
  • Hasn’t evolved much compared to other frameworks
  • Not very object oriented in some parts

Best For:  Amateur coders

Release Date:  28th February 2006


  1. Phalcon:


Phalcon is a fairly recent PHP based framework. But, in its little time of presence in the coding community it has made a name for itself. The reason for Phalcon’s popularity is the fact that it is a C extension. That does not mean that you need to know C to operate on it. You just need to be skilled with PHP.

But because is functions as a C extension makes it the fastest PHP frameworks to date.


  • Fastest PHP framework
  • Open source
  • Freedom to set up and directory structure you like
  • Multi-language support
  • Easy learning curve


  • On every request, all files are read from the hard drive, which is then translated in bytecode and then gets executed.
  • Not a lot of documentation

Most Suited For: Experienced coders

Release Date: November 14, 2012

  1. Yii Framework:


Yii is another superbly fast framework that is an excellent choice for programmers planning on building web applications with high level functionalities.

It is best for users need a framework that:

  • Can accommodate sizeable web applications
  • Works with the latest version of PHP


  • High performance
  • Low resource usage
  • Uses jQuery natively and requires PHP 5
  • Auto-generates most of the code and folders
  • Has excellent documentation
  • Official internationalization support


  • Steep learning curve
  • Building RESTful API is not easy on Yii
  • Lack of documentation, however, many developers swear by Larry Ullman’s articles on Yii.

Release Date: 3rd December 2008

  1. CakePHP


CakePHP is a great PHP platform that was modeled after Ruby on Rails. It is best suited for small to medium businesses. It is full based on MVC architecture that helps coders to neatly separate their different coding requirements based on their functions.

Learning to work on CakePHP isn’t as easy as working on CodeIgniter, but it is also not too tough. If you can give your time to this fantastic framework the results will definitely be pleasing.

Best for users who want a framework that:

  • Compatible with the latest versions of PHP
  • Has excellent security features
  • Is perfect for beginners


  • You get official internationalized support
  • Lots of built in functionality
  • Excellent security features
  • Uses convention over configuration, that helps makes this framework more intuitive as it helps users easily cover all aspects of their application
  • Huge library of plugins


  • Glitches in one-way routing as compared to other platforms
  • Not a good option for sizeable projects as they can messy as the code grows
  • Documentation needs to be improved

Release Date: May 2006

With this list of the best PHP frameworks in use, you can figure out which framework will be the most suitable for your coding needs. Choosing a framework is like picking the perfect sword.

It is not about using the best sword. It’s about using the right one. What you need to do is figure out your needs as well as aptitude as a coder. In order to build intuitive and flexible web-based applications, you need to find the framework that brings out the best in your code.