Plenty of developers and bloggers have claimed for many years that PHP is a dying language. Despite this, PHP is still here and widely used for a plethora of projects. Facebook, Wikipedia, Etsy, and of course WordPress rely on PHP. On top of that, PHP is the leading server-side programming language by a large margin.
PHP frameworks are tools to simplify the work of a programmer. There are a few noteworthy frameworks that have earned the appreciation of the PHP community. Therefore, if you are looking to secure a job as a PHP developer it would be in your best interests to learn the ins and outs of at least a PHP framework.
Are you unsure of which PHP framework fits your skills and preferences? Here is a list of 7 frameworks that fully deserve your attention.
What a PHP Framework Is?
To make a better decision, you should have a clear understanding of the role and the advantages of a PHP framework. Your PHP knowledge weighs out a lot in choosing the best framework for you. If you have no knowledge of PHP, it will serve you well to take a course and learn the basics.
A PHP framework is a platform aiming to help programmers. The frameworks come with built-in libraries, so you write less code and save time. Besides, frameworks were created having the coding best practices in mind. Finally, some frameworks simplify collaborative work.
None can talk about PHP frameworks without mentioning Laravel. It’s the most popular framework by a large margin and developers love working with Laravel. This is no surprise because Laravel comes with large and complete documentation. In addition, Laracasts is a huge resource containing 370+ hours of video classes.
The biggest advantage of Laravel is its versatility – it works for both simple and complex applications. Laravel has many modules that create an unparalleled ecosystem. Forge is a great tool to deploy PHP applications on cloud hosting platforms like Linode, Vultr, and Amazon. Laravel Socialite helps developers better manage OAuth authentication.
Certainly, Laravel is here to stay, and it should be on your learning list if you want to maximize your chances of getting a job as a PHP programmer.
CodeIgniter was the most popular PHP framework a few years ago and for good reason. The main advantages of CodeIgniter are exceptional performance, minimal configuration, small footprint, speed, and flexibility. This framework recommends building apps on the MVC architecture, but you are free to use whatever model you prefer. Under these circumstances, CodeIgniter’s popularity makes sense.
It’s relatively simple to start working with CodeIgniter, so less experienced users should give it a try. The documentation is simple and clear, and the forum is surprisingly active.
Symphony was released in 2005 and it earned the respect of the developers step by step. It didn’t have the meteoric rise of Laravel, but Symphony is one of the best PHP frameworks in 2021. A framework that is on the market for so many years is a pretty rare exception.
One of Symphony’s main advantages is the support for almost all major sets of databases: MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and SQLServer. Developers love it because of the built-in testing toolbar.
Symphony’s components are decoupled and reusable PHP libraries. These help developers save time and nerves by integrating them into their works. The components are used in countless projects, so rest assured about the code quality.
Finally, the active community behind Symphony is another reason to give it a try. 600,000 developers from 120 countries aren’t a community to ignore.
CakePHP was released in 2005, almost simultaneously with Symphony. It’s a lightweight framework and easy to set up. This framework works for projects where security is a top concern. CakePHP comes with methods for password hashing, encryption, and SQL injection prevention. Besides these, the scaffolding feature and the simple reusable code components ensure a bright future for a pretty old framework.
Fortunately, CakePHP is at the roots of a helpful and active community. Besides, there are tons of resources to learn CakePHP, so you have solid reasons to give it a try.
Laminas is the newest PHP framework on this list and was released at the beginning of 2020. It’s worth mentioning that it’s, in fact, the continuation of the Zend framework, which was released in 2006. So, forget about the Zend framework and switch your focus entirely to Laminas.
This framework supports all the major database sets and has components for input validation and filtering, pagination, feed generation, and parsing. Laminas is suitable for enterprise projects – BNP Paris and BBC use it for their website.
Yii Framework is simple to install and use, robust, secure, fast, and effective. In this context, it makes sense to pay attention to this framework. Gii is a complex code generator included in this framework that saves a lot of time for developers. Instead of writing the code yourself, Gii does it for you.
There is an active community behind Yii, the documentation is well-written, but in spite of that, it’s not the friendliest PHP framework for beginners. Of course, it’s not a problem to start learning Yii, but it will require solid endeavors from you.
While all the previous suggestions are complex frameworks, Slim, as the name suggests, is a micro-framework that provides a minimal set of tools. It works for web applications, APIs, and rapid prototyping.
It doesn’t include third-party dependencies, and as a result, Slim is extremely fast and secure. Other worth mentioning features are URL routing, client-side HTTP caching, and cookie encryption.
Over to You
PHP isn’t the simplest language to learn, but its massive usage is a clear sign of its potential. Definitely, it will be here for many years, and it makes sense to sharpen your skills and eventually learn the ins and outs of a framework.
PHP frameworks aren’t easy to learn, either. It takes a lot of time and nerves, but the endeavors pay off in the long-term. Check each suggestion and roll up your sleeves to learn the secrets of your favorite PHP framework.