In the area of web development, PHP web frameworks have their own ecosystem. Building web applications and websites of all complexity and sizes is made possible by PHP frameworks.
A large percentage of websites around the world are built using PHP code showing the popularity of PHP language among web developers. But developing websites from scratch using raw PHP code would be next to impossible if not for PHP frameworks that has fueled the massive growth.
Hard to say about the ‘best’ frameworks, as it very dependent on the details of what you are going to develop. But I would like to draw your attention on the best opensource web development frameworks, focused on rapid development of enterprise applications.
Laravel happens to be the fastest growing PHP framework. It is one of the most famous PHP frameworks and is used extensively by a large number of web developers. The framework is built in such a way that it is simple to use, easy to learn and supports speedy development of applications. Released in 2011, the framework boasts of a robust development and hosting platform.
In recent past the usage of laravel has increased by leaps and bounds. Web Developers across the world are using it for making sites that have the capability to hold on when the server is really busy answering the queries of the visitors and the framework has some pre-defined libraries that makes the safety features stronger.
Exclusive Features of Laravel
- Inherent Database Version control
- A lightweight Blade Templating Engine that is powerfully driven by template inheritance of files having .blade.php extension. This comes under the View part of the robust MVC architecture of Laravel.
- Restful Routing that manages all the client/server routes easily and connects resources smoothly.
- Composer – An amazing tool that lets you manage your application’s third party packages easily.
- Application Logic that can be incorporated within any of your web applications using two ways – Either the Laravel Controllers or Route declarations utilizing a syntax similar to Sinatra framework.
- Intelligently designed to offer incredible flexibility to developers that helps them create each and everything from small sites to giant enterprise applications.
- Comes bundled with Eloquent – An ORM that offers a beautifully simple ActiveRecord implementation to work with your databases and is relatively faster than all other PHP frameworks
- Built-in unit testing and simply readable impressive syntax
- Automatic Pagination to handle page links with just a single configuration option in the “app/config/view.php” file. Generally pagination is a cumbersome task for developers and especially the bunch of unnecessary configurations clutters up everything in the code. But with Laravel, you can do this task in a jiffy by getting db record count and using a limit or an offset via ‘paginate’ option in two views – Slider View and Simple view. The best part with Laravel is, both of these views are fully compatible with Twitter Bootstrap framework also.
- Larger Community catering to thousands of programming geeks and application developers
Required skills – PHP and OOP knowledge
Even though CakePHP was released in 2005, it ranks among the most popular PHP frameworks that are in use today as it has evolved with the times and has stayed relevant even today. Features such as modularity by decoupling several components, improved session management and the capacity to create additional standalone libraries are the key features of CakePHP 3.0 version.
Tools such as composer, PSR-0 and PSR-1 have drastically improved interoperability. CakePHP is the best web development framework using by most of web development companies.
Exclusive Features of CakePHP
- No complicated XML/YAML file configurations to set up databases
- Classic code generation and scaffolding features that rapidly build prototypes to suit all your needs
- Perfectly suited for corporate applications
- Immense Built functionalities like database access, translation access, caching, validation and authentication
- Securing your App from antisocial elements through CSRF protection, form tampering protection, SQL injection prevention, XSS prevention
Required skills – PHP, OOP and ability to sort out Frameworks
Symfony 2 framework is helpful in accomplishing large scale and complex enterprise projects. The version 2 of this framework is built over existing components of Symfony such as eZ Publish, Drupal and phpBB.
Symfony takes PHP development to the next level by having various reusable components and an active and vibrant community.
Exclusive Features of Symfony
- Extensible upto the brim & is presented as “Bundles” that are intended to add extra functionalities to the framework.
- The most stable, sustainable and flexible 3 in 1 framework that is quickly adaptable to all your needs
- Can be used as a standalone micro framework (Symfony 2) without you having to reinvent the wheel and installing the entire framework
- Lets you build and customize everything as per your own needs
- Entirely Configurable with its “Dependency Injector” and “Event Dispatcher”
- Growing Ecosystem of expert Community, Mailing Lists and IRCs etc. and many other service companies
- Lets you leverage the power and strength of development by allowing to validate roles and improve productivity
- Apparently accessible to satiate professionals and advanced users with its amazing documentation and best practices.
Required skills – PHP 5, OOP , ORM, Console
Codeigniter is one of the lightest PHP frameworks. It has been around for more than ten years and developers prefer it as it is fast, lightweight and easy to learn compared to contemporary PHP frameworks. Codeignitor is a lightweight PHP framework with a straightforward installation process requiring minimal configuration and save the user from a lot of development troubles. As it works on most of the dedicated hosting platforms, PHP version conflicts can be easily avoided.
It has also has mvc pattern. Most of the developers across the world choose codeigniter for the development. When compared with others, it is easier to learn and implement. When compared to Zend and Cake, codeigniter is very powerful framework. Its incomparable features allows a developer to create codes a much faster way and also allows a developer to make a unique design in very less time. This framework is known to have a huge library of functions and of common attributes used in a site development. The libraries that are pre-defined in this framework are used for developing an exquisite and logical interface.
Exclusive Features of Codeignitor
- The best framework for Beginners as it is simply great and easier to learn
- It offers incredible control in comparison to other frameworks specially Yii.
- Exceptionally High performance and broad compatibility delivered with standard hosting
- Zero configuration required to let the task easier for you
- Large scale monolithic libraries that let complexity break into simplicity
- Thorough maintenance
Required skills – PHP and OOP basics
Firstly, forget that you are looking for the “best” framework because that is not how you base your choice.
Secondly, you need to figure out which language you are going to use for your . Only when you have decided on it can you move on to deciding a framework.
Thirdly, you need to understand what kind of features are you looking for in the framework. Most frameworks will give you a sound foundation with routing, database handling, security, etc. This is where you need to have a good understanding of your knowledge and that of your team’s. If you wish to write a lot of middleware yourself, then go for a minimal framework, otherwise go for the one where you only need to write the logic and the actual implementation.
Mr. Hiren Patel is developer, designer, storyteller, thinker at iMOBDEV Technologies. iMOBDEV Technologies and well-known blog writer for the web and mobility solution. He shares his knowledge about upcoming web and mobile technologies periodically.