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06 January 2023

8 Best PHP Frameworks in 2021

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Without a doubt, using a PHP framework is optional, you can try and do it yourself. However, it is much wiser to take advantage of modern technology, and here's why.

The use of frameworks always greatly speeds up and facilitates the development of any mobile application or website. The essence of this process consists, as a rule, in the partial automation of the process of writing code, simplifying the formation of the structure of an innovative software solution, and also minimizing the complexity of combining components of that part of the project that concerns software (software component). Moreover, most of them provide for the possibility of quick integration, as well as settings for the interaction of your own product and third-party services.

The peculiarities of the PHP structure, in addition to everything else, made the Rapid Application Development concept available to developers (rapid application development). This method pays the main attention to the speed of work and an environment comfortable for programming and also levels out all the limitations of a specialist's capabilities.

The next important advantage of almost any PHP framework is the low entry barrier for beginners in relation to other programming languages in 2021. As a result, a specialist of even the lowest qualification level is able to master basic functions in record time and optimize his own workflow with their help.

Of course, there are a lot of such frameworks, but among them, there are the most useful and popular ones available for PHP developers. This graph clearly shows the level of competition between the five most popular, but in addition to them, three more are mentioned here, which did not receive such a resounding success among developers, but at the same time are not worse than the choice of the majority.


This framework is by far one of the favorites among developers. Moreover, in terms of global popularity, it ranks first. Laravel is used mainly for the development of the most complex sites and applications, being at the same time, surprisingly, one of the oldest infrastructures of this sort and kind, launched back in 2011. As a rule, this factor does not benefit the technology, since products in this area age extremely quickly. In this case, the early creation of the technology gave it a much larger amount of the most valuable resource today - the time. The work of the developers has brought simply amazing results: the framework has evolved and turned into one of the most convenient tools for development.

The first very prominent advantage is the high level of security of the framework. In resolving this issue, the developers were guided by the fact that the two main security problems of the PHP framework are SQL injection and cross-site scripting. The first was solved using ORM, which by default eliminates any possibility of a "raw" SQL query, while normalizing all parameters when building them. Simply put, all components that could harm the data are removed. The second problem was solved by escaping forbidden html tags and output as plain text without the possibility of executing a screen line.

The blade templating engine also stands out among the many advantages. It is with its help that standardization and repeated use of the same template in different parts of the application becomes possible. Quite unexpected and pleasant is the fact that the abovementioned does not prevent the template engine from leaving the developer complete freedom of action in the sphere of using the "native" PHP templating techniques. For all its positive qualities, this component is amazingly lightweight, due to which the performance of generating web pages does not worsen.

The MVC architecture of the platform is also noteworthy. By following the rules of this architecture, a clear differentiation is achieved between such abstract layers of the application as model, controllers and view. These layers become independent of each other, so developers can use them separately. As a result, the possibility of a situation is leveled out in which the correction of bugs in the logic destroys old developments, as a result of which even more errors arise, a person is simply not able to predict and take into account each of which, as a result of which it is easier to get rid of such connections.

Well, and the last positive quality, which you should definitely pay attention to, is free access to a large amount of data about Laravel. The popularity of this framework has borne fruit not only for developers, but also for clients, since the network provides a huge amount of useful information about the specifics of working with it: manuals, instructions, useful tips and tricks, developer discussions, active communities and forums.

Nevertheless, despite all of the above, Laravel also has disadvantages, among which we can highlight the fact that the framework leaves a lot of manual labor for the specialist. Undoubtedly, this provides flexibility in the process of creating software solutions, but at the same time greatly slows down the work.


What this framework cannot be denied is in the highest level of stability and reliability of the workflow. Experienced developers quite often choose Symfony, because it is this program that makes it as easy as possible to create an Internet resource or application of any complexity. The above-mentioned Laravel was created on the basis of this framework, which only adds to its popularity points not only among experienced users, but also among beginners who want to succeed.

Symfony's strengths are undeniable. First of all, this platform already in the early stages of development provides the project with all the opportunities to scale and expand functionality.

The next big plus is the rather high customization flexibility. It is also important to mention the possibility of integration with a variety of popular CMS and services. The proper level of specialist background will provide a high level of optimization of software solutions based on this platform.

In addition, Symfony greatly simplifies integration with best JS frameworks, which is very important for development. At the moment, the Symfony platform is used by many popular services, for example, phpBB and Drupal.


This framework has gained popularity primarily due to its simplicity and elegance. This is expressed in a simple and convenient configuration, which greatly speeds up coding. As a result, developers get an almost perfect platform.

CodeIgniter is best suited for developing software solutions that require simplified coding. In this context, one can observe another important advantage of the platform - high performance during work.

All of the above characterizes this framework as one of the best solutions in the field of web application development because clean source code helps to provide a decent level of performance and reduces the number of errors significantly. Just as importantly, the software solutions that were created on this platform are easily amenable to complex testing.

The advantages do not end here. The first thing worth mentioning is open source, available for viewing, studying and changing, which in turn allows developers to personally verify the presence or absence of vulnerabilities, as well as functions unacceptable to the user, such as hidden tracking of user actions by the program. Also, open source software will make it possible to modify the program, and moreover, to use the code to create new programs and fix errors already in them by borrowing the source code, if, of course, the compatibility of licenses allows, or by studying the used algorithms, data structures, technologies, methodologies and interfaces.

An undeniable plus should also be called the presence of the MIT license. Doubts may be caused by the fact that this license is one of the earliest free licenses, which, it would seem, made it possible to call it obsolete, but contrary to popular belief, this license is as simple as possible and quite clearly adheres to the basic principles of free licensing. The main clause of this license is permission for programmers to use the licensed code in proprietary software only if the text of this license is included with the software.

Comfortable refactoring of databases should be considered an equally important point. This solution combines all those qualities that are appreciated in any modern product, from the most primitive to the most complex: for all its simplicity, this change in the database schema contributes to the improvement of the project while maintaining information and functional semantics.

Also, the framework has an amazingly high level of support for PHP Data Objects, which adds universal interface for accessing various databases to the advantages already mentioned above.

We must also not forget about effective work with sessions, a large encryption library, and, finally, the maximum convenience of this platform for developing software solutions of any complexity.


If the above PHP frameworks won in ease of use, visual design, ease of learning, and so on, then this one wins in the "Reliability" nomination, and with such a margin that it is called the benchmark. The platform presents a flexible architecture that provides developers with scalability and modern auxiliary components of the FlashHelper and FlashComponent classes, which makes the framework incredibly convenient for working on web applications and Internet resources. The ability to manage sessions provides, in turn, a solid amount of opportunities for expanding the functionality of the software solution.

CakePHP also boasts excellent performance, which saves developer’s time and nerves when downloading and configuring the platform, creating helper templates and routing.

The use of new components in the infrastructure also had a positive effect, since it was this factor that made it possible to get rid of a number of problems when creating software platforms due to the statistical class, which was used to manage sessions in most of PHP frameworks.

In addition, when working with CakePHP, you should pay attention to the uniformity of the framework of the solution itself and its plugins, thanks to which the interaction between all elements of the framework is significantly optimized.

The next important feature that has become an indisputable advantage of CakePHP is the conversion of themes into plugins, which, as a result, made it possible to create, without exaggeration, the best themes among all the frameworks listed in this article. Using plugins as themes significantly expands their functionality and simplifies the assembly of the software product.


While mentioning all of the above platforms, we must not forget Yii, which was originally created in order to simplify and improve the efficiency of working with AJAX. A specific important feature of this framework is that it copes well with caching, and saves a lot of time needed to create sites, services and applications due to quick decisions for the developer.

An equally important positive quality is that the platform has a convenient set of tools that will help to form effective and trend user interfaces, as a result of which it is highly appreciated and often preferred by leading UI specialists to others. In addition, Yii surpasses all other similar systems in terms of speed due to its almost instant load.

Also, this framework provides integration with jQuery. This greatly eases the work of the team of specialists on the project, as well as interaction with third-party developers. Also Yii has elements for quick development.

At the same time, all the above advantages create some problems. The main one is that the framework is not suitable for a novice developer. Yii has an overestimated entry threshold and a large number of features, due to which even the slightest mistake can lead to damage in the final product. For example, mishandling can significantly increase the amount of generated code, which will immediately affect performance, which is initially stated as the main advantage. Nevertheless, the proper level of specialist training will ensure that the platform is used as the most effective tool for quick creation of websites, services and applications. This is why Yii is often the choice of experienced professionals around the world.


This platform was developed on the fifth version of PHP. It is important to pay attention to this, since it is for this reason the framework's capabilities for using the latest innovations. An object-oriented system is facing us, that stands out, first of all, for its ease of use and multifunctional architecture for working with various types of software solutions, as well as expanding the set of functions.

Zend is often used by large companies to provide high protection and security of the project, provided that it is easy enough for developers to learn.

Also, the framework has the following significant advantages. The first is an object oriented entity. This is expressed in the fact that the platform for the site is not directly an object, which will help to reuse the program code. There is also a disadvantage, since it is impossible to increase the complexity of the code itself.

The next advantage is the availability of ready-made answers for solving a large number of problems. The main and most valuable feature of Zend is, without a doubt, a wide range of special and unique in nature components.

The last, and very pleasant, albeit controversial plus was the ability to create your own options in the absence of a model implementation. In turn, this fact is usually considered a disadvantage and frightens off most modern developers.


This framework provides the developer with the highest quality libraries that have passed a full and comprehensive review. It uses closed library types that do not depend on additional packages at all, resulting in clean, optimized code. As a result, Aura becomes one of the best solutions for developers looking for self-managed packages.

This system provides a very standard, but at the same time proven architecture, with which you can create applications that use multiple data sources at the same time. What's more, Lightning App Builder provides the ability to manage Lightning components.
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