Top PHP Frameworks For
Modern Web Developers in 2023

Although PHP programming language and its frameworks are popular, each of its frameworks might not meet your requirement for development. According to Wikipedia, there are 37 PHP frameworks, so how do you find the top PHP frameworks for modern web developers? 

That’s where our list comes in handy. We have made this list on the basis of RAD (Rapid Application Development). So, you don’t have to repeat the primary tasks, such as updating configuration settings and creating classes for developing your website or application.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the best PHP frameworks.  


7 Top PHP Frameworks For Modern Web Developers in 2022

Laravel

 

Coined in 2011, Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks in the market. To this date,  1,621,831 websites have been made using the PHP framework. While none of its competitors are close by. 

The reason for this PHP framework’s popularity is the plenty of features it comes with and the flexibility it promises of. You can use Laravel to reduce complexity when making apps. 

Some of its popular features are user authentication, caching, routing, queuing, MVC support architecture, data migration, and session management. With Laravel, you don’t need to download PHP or a web server for development. 

No matter the type of PC you have, Laravel is ready to use on every device. This is especially beneficial for Mac users since there’s an option to choose between Laravel Homestead and Laravel Valet. 

Pros 

  • Easy to use and ready to get started 
  • Usable on every device without PHP or other web servers 
  • Tons of features and flexibility 
  • Secure and stay updated with recent web development trends 
  • Large community to support in case of issues 

Cons 

  • Isn’t ideal for a big team since it requires a separate admin panel 

5 Popular Businesses Using Laravel 

  • Olx
  • Restaurants.com
  •   Vogue Archive
  • Fischer Homes
  • Visit Maine

CodeIgniter

 

Launched in 2006, CodeIgniter is one of the most famous PHP frameworks after Laravel. It’s ideal for beginners since the interface is smooth while installation and setup take minimal time. 

In total, this framework consists of a 2 MB file size. Let us mention that the documentation to walk you through installation is included in this 2 MB file. 

1,479,137 websites on the internet today that are built using CodeIgniter. Developers trust this PHP framework due to its flexibility in working with MVC and non-MVC architecture paradigms. 

Caching and security settings also make it worth it in the PHP frameworks. It shields your site and application from CSRF and XSS attacks. While the security tools include content security policies and context-sensitive escaping. 

CodeIgniter has a large online community discussing problems and helping each other solve them. You can engage with its users on forums and Slack groups. 

Pros 

  • Smooth download and speedy processing 
  • Supports multiple caching methods 
  • Protects your website against attacks 
  • Offers MVC and non-MVC design patterns
  • Small file and lightweight PHP framework 

Cons 

  • Doesn’t offer high security
  • Infrequent updates and releases 

5 Popular Businesses Using CodeIgniter

  • Buffer 
  • Casio
  • G-Shock
  • WooBox
  • Barracuda

Symfony

Symfony is a smart choice in PHP frameworks for enterprise-level applications, and 110,973 websites have used it for development to this date. It is advanced and contains rich features to build a secure and modified website and application. 

While the best part is that it backs multiple databases other PHP frameworks keep you from. These databases include Oracle, Drizzle, MySQL, SQLite, SQLServer, and PostgreSQL. 

There are 50 prebuilt and reusable PHP components, so you can pick one you need for a particular project. With its debugging tool, you can work on your projects just as you want.  

Since it’s highly advanced, it will be challenging for you to learn it as a beginner. However, there are five different channels to learn Symfony from and a large community of 600,000 active users participating in the discussion.

Pros

  • Featured rich and advanced-level development 
  • Pre-built debugging tool allows easy debugging 
  • Highly flexible with 50 reusable PHP components 
  • Multiple learning resources and a large community 
  • Possess multiple databases that other PHP frameworks lack 

Cons 

  • Is a little challenging to learn for beginners 

5 Popular Businesses Using Symfony 

  • Sainsbury’s Magazine
  • Sony VAIO UK site
  • Intelius
  • Statista
  • Foot District

Laminas (Zend Formerly)

Like Symfony, Laminas is one of the MVC PHP frameworks that allow you to use components of your choice for development. It is a perfect framework for large enterprise applications that need tight security and a strong database. 

Another similarity between Zend and Symfony is that both are difficult to learn and require expertise to work with. However, Zend has plenty of features (including coding tools, an online debugging tool, drag and drop editor) that make development smooth than ever. 

Based on three parts and following PHP Framework Interop Group (PHP-FIG) standards, this framework allows an easy shift of code from one framework to another. 

Pros 

  • Allows using required components 
  • Consists of its forums and Slack community 
  • Multiple rich features to count on 
  • Easy to port from one framework to another 
  • Excellent performance and ideal for large enterprise applications

Cons 

  • Need the expertise to work with and challenging to learn 
  • Plugins are expensive 

5 Popular Businesses Using Laminas 

  • Best Buy 
  • Ebay
  • BBC  
  • DHL 
  • Cisco 

CakePHP

One of the eldest PHP MVC frameworks, CakePHP is mostly the go-to choice for enterprise-level applications. It offers multiple features, including CSRF protection, password hashing, encryption, and safeguarding form data for tight security.

To build a site or application with CakePHP, you’d need to follow a set of coding guidelines. However, it’s time-consuming to adapt to these guidelines, and you might struggle with it as a beginner. 

You’ll find some rare features on CakePHP that are unavailable on other PHP frameworks. It has an easy configuration and installation and a large community, and multiple resources to learn and support.

Pros 

  • Robust ad multiple security features 
  • Large community and wide learning sources 
  • Easy installation and configurations 
  • Consists of some rare features 

Cons 

  • Following CakePHP’s convection is mandatory 

5 Popular Businesses Using CakePHP

  • BMW
  • Hyundai
  • Visit NC
  • Citizens
  • 10 Fast Fingers 

Yii

Included in one of the easy to setup PHP frameworks, YII offers you straightforward operations. It is highly secure, with tons of reliable features (including SQL injection prevention and user-based authentication controls) to help you make a customized application or website. 

Setting up YII is a simple process, all thanks to its documentation. It gives a detailed explanation of installation while the vast user community supports you if there need be. 

With an extendable setup, YII allows you to change the core code. However, that’s where you need to be careful. One wrong code can disrupt the performance of the entire application. 

Pros

  • Secure framework with quick loading 
  • Large community and thorough manual 
  • Easy integration and feature-rich 
  • Customizable according to need 

Cons 

  • Small errors in the code can disrupt the entire application 

5 Popular Businesses Using YII

  • Lenovo
  • Purple
  • WordCounter 
  • Purple
  • YMCA

Phalcon

 

Written originally in C programming language, Phalcon is a C extension and full stack. However, it doesn’t ask you to learn this language and keeps updating regularly. 

Phalcon is the PHP lightweight framework consisting of low-level architecture, compiled code, and memory resident. All of this constitutes its high execution speed. 

You can manage tight security, asset management, and caching with Phalcon. Its security component aids in CSRF protection and password hashing. 

The recent update of Phalcon includes new components. ORM, and MVC architecture, for instance. Although this framework is reliable and efficient, it hasn’t got popular as other PHP frameworks. 

Pros 

  • Easy installation and asset management 
  • Gives tight security to applications 
  • Quick performance handling requests smoothly  
  • Keeps updating and integrating advanced features

Cons 

  • Guide isn’t comprehensive and has irregular updates 

5 Popular Businesses Using Phalcon

  • Learny Online
  • Good Game Studios
  • Outsmart
  • ESCHER
  • Marchi Auto

Conclusion 

PHP frameworks are widely used by modern developers and businesses, including Facebook, Whatsapp, and Zoom. This is due to PHP frameworks’ reliability, efficiency, and quick performance. 

Based on stats and performance, we are confident to say that Laravel is the best backend PHP framework. It comes with plenty of features that include user authentication, caching, routing, queuing, MVC support architecture, data migration, and session management.

Additionally, it has a large community and thorough guidelines that navigates you to install and get over issues, if there comes any. However, this framework cannot be suitable for every type of application you want to make and the expertise you have. 

So, we’d suggest you check out the features of every PHP framework to see if it matches the technical requirements of the application or website before picking one.

Also Read: What is Java Used for Today? 7 reasons Why You Should Learn Java