Contrary to the popular belief, PHP is definitely not dead. The technology is still very popular with names such Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia and Tumblr using it. As per a survey conducted by W3Techs, PHP is used by 79% of all major websites. It is by far the most popular server side programming language and it has maintained this position and reputation to this date.
But why is PHP the go to programming language for backend web development? It is due to the abundance of frameworks that it offers. It supports Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, which not only simplifies coding but also helps in creating robust web apps. PHP frameworks have built in libraries and tools to ensure faster development. They also provide better security and are easier to maintain.
Are you thinking of using PHP for your next project? If yes, then here are top 7 popular PHP frameworks that you can choose from-
Laravel is not only the most popular PHP framework, but also one of the most popular web frameworks out there. Launched in 2011, within just one decade, it has gained immense popularity. It is based on MVC architecture and has a very clear syntax. It is adaptable as well as provides lightweight and customizable website templates which is a favourite among web developers. Other strengths of Laravel include security and authentication, with handling process queue management and NoSQL databases.
Once again a framework based on MVC architecture, Symfony’s main advantage lies in the fact that it has reusable components and libraries. It is useful for large scale applications and ideally used by experienced developers who have previously worked with PHP and its related frameworks. Symfony forms an integral part of CMS (Content Management Systems) like Drupal, OroCRM and PHP Bulletin Board. The overall Symfony ecosystem has grown a lot since its inception in 2005 and is backed by active community support from developers all over the world.
Similar to Laravel and Symfony, CodeIgniter is also based on MVC architecture that is mainly used for rapid web application development. It is so scalable and lightweight that it is merely 2MB in size, which even includes the documentation. This makes the framework a good choice for beginners too. It offers very speedy performance and optimises the URLs for SEO. Since it also has the option of prebuilt modules, you can build yourself strong and reusable components. It is equally smooth on dedicated as well as shared platforms.
If you are looking for a simple yet elegant framework that will allow you to build a feature packed website with top level security, then look no further. It is also easy to learn because of its CRUD (create, read, update and delete) framework. With each new update, CakePHP has just gotten better and better. It is the best choice for building e-commerce websites due to the high-end security and related features such as SQL injection prevention, cross-site scripting protection and forgery.
Like most PHP frameworks, Zend is also based on MVC architecture and built on agile methodology. If your next project demands speed, performance and security to build an enterprise level application then Zend can be a good choice. It has some very good features to offer such as code reusability, interface, inheritance and an object oriented nature. However, in comparison to other PHP frameworks, it is not at all easy to learn. You can get the best results from Zend only if you are proficient with PHP, since the framework has a complex nature.
Yii 2 Framework
Standing for “Yes, It Is!” Yii 2 is the successor to Yii. which is based on the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) Concept. This object-oriented framework is simply the best when it comes to component based architecture and large-scale website development due to its easy integration with jQuery and AJAX features. The loading speeds of Yii 2 are faster than any other framework in this list. The developers can avoid writing repetitive codes and SQL statements when using YIi. It is the best choice for creating forums, portals, CMS, RESTful Web services and even e-commerce sites.
Phalcon is a full stack PHP MVC framework which was originally written in C and C++. Since it is an extension of C, it eliminates the need for developers to learn C in order to use Phalcon. It is blazingly fast and easy to install which makes it suitable for creating highly configurable web applications. With new updates, it has received very useful features such as caching, asset management, universal autoloader and top security. It optimises performance very well due to efficient memory utilisation.
Carefully take into account the needs of your project and choose the framework that suits it best. In most cases, Laravel seems to do the job well, but of course, if your priorities cannot be met with Laravel, then by all means choose another framework. There are also some great PHP frameworks which are not mentioned above viz. FuelPHP, Slim, PHPixie and Aura. Make sure to hire a trusted PHP developer who can take care of all your project requirements in the best manner.