Top 10 PHP Frameworks – Detailed Guide

Sector: Technology

Author: Nisarg Mehta

Date Published: 10/20/2014

Top 10 PHP Frameworks – Detailed Guide


Creating a website is not just building a pile of code to make things function correctly. It is about how efficient is the code and identifying the factors which can reduce the life cycle of developing a website and yet create awesome and fascinating features for the website.

In other words, why waste time in coding when you can enjoy the functionalities provided by a framework? With the best PHP development company, you can save a lot of time and effort that you can utilize in working further on your next project.

What is a PHP framework?

PHP frameworks are one of the most popular frameworks that help to create an awesome website in a hassle-free manner.

With the top PHP frameworks, you can have the foundation upon which you can work along with the pre-built modules where you can perform the tedious tasks of coding.

Why use PHP frameworks? If this question arises in your mind, then you should know about the variation and benefits of PHP and the top PHP frameworks provided by it. As PHP frameworks compared to other languages, it has a wide range available with easy coding. You will get a wide variety of frameworks from PHP cms frameworks to PHP MVC and MVP development with frameworks available for better functionality.

PHP’s popularity is due to the vivid range of PHP lightweight frameworks available to choose from.


10 Most Popular PHP Frameworks

Here you will get a list of the best PHP frameworks for beginners and professionals with features, examples, projects, and Pros and Cons of PHP frameworks.

1. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is one of the top PHP frameworks designed by EllisLab has been known widely for its speed and small footprint. It is one of the most favorite simple PHP frameworks among developers across the globe. Also, there is a huge community of users that can assist you at any point in time.

Pros of CodeIgniter

  1. Has a smaller footprint
  2. PHP MVP framework with easy setup options
  3. Offers Modern Separation Concept
  4. Supports both Web Page and Database Caching
  5. Comes with Built-in Security Features
  6. Easy to Extend and Customize

Cons of CodeIgniter

  1. Does not emphasize code maintainability
  2. Lacks Exhaustive Libraries
  3. The absence of default modular separation of code

Example of CodeIgniter Website:

Buffer.Com, Freedcamp.Com, Casio.Com, Choosenissan.Com

2. CakePHP

CakePHP is another widely known Framework amongst coders of all levels of skills. This PHP framework CakePHP is based on the principle of Ruby on Rails, and it is strongly focused on aggressive development techniques which makes it a great option for developers all over.

Pros of CakePHP

  1. Easy Learning Curve
  2. Supports several widely used software development models including Model-View-Controller (MVC)
  3. Convention over Configuration
  4. Built-In Security
  5. PHP database frameworks enable Easy Management of Database
  6. Can Build Restful APIs
  7. Role-Based Authorization Controls

Cons of CakePHP

  1. Does Not Support Default Routes For Fancy URLs
  2. Strict Naming Conventions
  3. Oracle Driver Was Removed For V2.0
  4. More Suited To Older PHP Versions
  5. Large Community But Forum Isn’t Well-Formed

Example of CakePHP Website:,,

If you are looking for reliable partners to associate with for your app development requirements.

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Mobile Apps preferred Over Web

3. Laravel

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework, that was introduced in 2011 intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern and based on Symfony. Laravel PHP framework has expressive, elegant syntax. According to the tweet of the laravel team, the new version is v7.0 will be released on 3rd March.

Pros of Laravel

  1. High-quality and clear documentation.
  2. Large community
  3. Advanced security
  4. Strong encryption packets
  5. Huge libraries
  6. Eloquent ORM support
  7. Avoids traditional architecture
  8. Easy testing and automating dependency loading
  9. Fulfill the requirements for modern web applications (security, etc.)

Cons of Laravel

  1. Is not good with shared hosting
  2. Uses many queries in the database
  3. Legacy systems not easily transferred to Laravel

Example of Laravel Website:,

4. Zend Framework

PHP Framework Zend is now the Laminas Project. The laminas Project is an open-source continuation of Zend Framework, a PHP framework and component library targeting enterprise applications.

It holds the following projects:

  1. Laminas Components and this is the best PHP MVC framework
  2. Mezzio, a PHP middleware runtime, and various components and extensions to the runtime.
  3. Laminas API Tools, an API builder, and an engine are built on top of the Laminas MVC runtime.

Pros of Zend MVC PHP Framework

  1. Advanced tools for front-end
  2. Has wide developers community
  3. Supports third-party components
  4. Support for AJAX
  5. Easy to set up your MVC application
  6. Highly customizable
  7. For all your big data applications, there is Zend
  8. HTML5 Compliant

Cons of Zend Framework

  1. It has a steep learning curve
  2. Getting started is not easy with the Zend framework
  3. Huge documentation can be confusing sometimes
  4. Expensive plug-ins

Example of Zend Framework Website:

5. Phalcon

Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework delivered as a C-extension. Unlike most PHP application frameworks, Phalcon is executed as a web server extension written in Zephir and C, intended to boost execution speed, reduce resource usage, and handle more HTTP requests per second than comparable frameworks written primarily in PHP.

Pros of Phalcon

  1. Best PHP frameworks with extremely fast features
  2. Very flexible project structure
  3. Clean and secure project code
  4. Customizable with Zephir
  5. Requires a minimum of file operations
  6. The ORM technology interacts with databases, which results in very high performance.
  7. All processes occur fairly quickly, due to the framework’s direct access to the internal structures of PHP

Cons of Phalcon

  1. Root/administrative access is required on the server install Phalcon
  2. The compiled extension (complex install, impossible on shared hosting)

6. Symfony

Earlier Symfony PHP web app framework was more focused on enterprise application development and also had some issues with the shared hosting solutions, the reason being the lack of a PHP accelerator. But, this is a very new and much-advanced form of developer framework when we compare PHP frameworks to some of the leading ones in the current time.

Pros of Symfony

  1. High performance due to bytecode caching
  2. Good documentation
  3. Consumes less memory than others
  4. Enterprise PHP framework with a large community
  5. Re-usability of codes
  6. It is easy to configure

Cons of Symfony

  1. Amateur developers may face problems while extending codes and classes.
  2. Does not support MVC
  3. Sophisticated security mechanism.

Example of Symfony Website:,,

7. FuelPHP

FuelPHP is an open-source PHP web application framework written in PHP which implements the HMVC(Hierarchical model–view–controller) pattern. FuelPHP takes a different approach to many frameworks and strives to be community-driven. The Fuel PHP Framework is a fast, simple, and flexible PHP 5.4+ framework. FuelPHP has a high level of security, a large set of templates, a powerful ORM, and its authentication environment.

Pros of FuelPHP

  1. Facilitated positive user interaction
  2. Facilitated positive user interaction
  3. Community enthusiasm
  4. Advanced security
  5. Modular with integrated ORM

Cons of FuelPHP

  1. Not very beginner-friendly
  2. It is a new framework that has less support

8. Yii

Yii Means Yes It Is! Yii is suitable for any scale of website application starting from a small catalog website to a highly complex and feature-rich website. Yii is the best performer with the highest amount of load on the website and has been a fantastic framework to get things done faster and more efficiently.

Pros of Yii

  1. Small PHP framework with lightweight codes
  2. Low Learnability Scale
  3. Enhanced Security Features
  4. Helps in linking different libraries and packages
  5. Easy to debug the program code

Cons of Yii

  1. Presently, lacks the support for creating complex apps
  2. Lack of availability of Yii development experts
  3. Ajax features are not so well-drafted or built smartly enough
  4. highly reliant on the static methods of programming

Example of Yii Website:,

9. Fat-Free Framework

Fat-Free Framework is one of the most simplified, lightweight, and one of the top PHP frameworks currently. It weighs less than 50KB and is considered one of the lightweight PHP frameworks. This is a powerful yet easy-to-use PHP Micro-framework designed to help you build dynamic and robust web applications-fast.

Pros of Fat-Free Framework

  1. Lightweight without losing functionality
  2. Easy to get started
  3. Easy to include your library of PHP classes or other libraries from another framework
  4. The vibrant community behind the framework
  5. No composer, curl, or dependency injectors

Cons of Fat-Free Framework

  1. Requires front-end stack support
  2. Backward incompatible within minor version
  3. has its model class with a custom format
  4. Default ORM doesn’t support joins

Example of Fat-Free Framework Website:,

10. Phpixie

PHPixie is a lightweight Open source PHP MVC-based web framework specially designed for rapid development, speed, and simplicity.

PHPixie started as a PHP micro-framework and has gradually grown to be one of the most popular full-stack PHP frameworks while retaining its high PHP framework performance.

Pros of Phpixie

  1. Fast compiling
  2. Very lightweight
  3. Comes with ORM
  4. 100% Unit tested
  5. MongoDB support
  6. Concentrate on speed and page load time

Cons of Phpixie

  1. Modules are very less
  2. Lack of availability of Yii development experts

Wrapping Up

So, these were the top 10 PHP frameworks. From helping you save development time to creating a more stable app, PHP frameworks can be used to accomplish diverse goals. For your next project, we highly recommend incorporating PHP frameworks in your development cycle. And if you’re looking for a PHP development company, reach out to us.

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