Before I start discussing the best frameworks that can be used to build a robust website, let us know what PHP is? PHP is prominently chosen for being the best & simple server-side scripting language. PHP frameworks were developed to support the developers with numerous built-in modules & a structure to make development process smooth & make it feel like breeze.
Frameworks improved the reliability & consistency with time savvy development. Moreover, frameworks also play an important role in making the feature enhancement tasks easy. Developers are ought to follow coding standards & guidelines for clean & commented coding which leads to stabilize the development process.
PHP frameworks are backed up with MVC architecture which keeps all the parts of development process independent of each other. That is, business logic, presentation logic & database logic all are handled & programmed independently. This helps ease the development as the business logic developer need not concern about the development of presentation & vice versa.
It helps the developer to focus on specific modules without worrying about other modules getting affected. This architecture not just brings focus & simplicity but also reduces development time.
Moreover, it brings stability & improves the quality of the final product.
Advantages of using frameworks:
1. Supports Rapid Application Development
2. Simple & Easy upgrade
3. Better Maintenance
4. Community Support
5. Security Features
6. Time savvy
7. Flexible scalability
Coming to the frameworks I have taken top 5 in-trend frameworks of PHP that can be used to develop a robust website in PHP. And the report is generated from Google Trends which depicts these trending PHP frameworks in past 12 months.
Google Trends Report
As you can see I have taken 5 frameworks to compare their demand & trends in past 12 months. Check out the list of Frameworks that can be used to develop a robust website in PHP:
1. Zend PHP Framework
2. Laravel PHP Framework
3. Symfony PHP Framework
4. CakePHP PHP Framework
5. Yii PHP Framework
Clearly, we can see that Zend Framework is in trend in last six months & stands above all the frameworks which we are going to discuss here.
Zend Framework was launched in 2006 & licensed by New BSD. It is a collection of PHP packages used by developers to ease the development. Zend became so popular and reliable that developers & users installed it more than more than 176 million times. To develop web apps & services you will need to use PHP 5.6+ and it serves a 100% object-oriented code using an extensive set of language features.
The main features of Zend Framework are that it has a package dependency manager referred to as the Composer. In order to perform package testing, Zend has a PHPUnit and for Continuous Integration service, Zend has Travis CI. Like each framework has coding standards & guidelines Zend follows PHP-FIG standards, and for HTTP message interfaces Zend has an implementation of PSR-7.
Zend Framework 3 has evolved from Zend Framework 2 and Zend Framework 1; progressively which runs on PHP 7. The previous versions of Zend Framework witnessed around 15 million downloads. Zend, a Rogue Wave company is the main sponsor of Zend Framework. Apart from Zend, many others have contributed for features and components of this framework. Big brands such as Microsoft, Google and StrikeIron have partnered with Zend.
Zend’s prominent projects:
2. BNO PARIBAS
3. Cisci Webex
Zend Framework supports many features such as end-to-end encryption, package dependency manager & continuous integration service.
Laravel was first launched in 2011 and till 2015, according to Sitepoint’s survey Laravel framework was on top among the PHP frameworks existed then. No doubt, Laravel got all attention & support very quick but with time we can see Zend & Symfony has survived and maintained its position among the PHP developers.
With the Launch of Laravel 5.5 which got released on August 30, 2017, I being a PHP Developer got inclined a bit towards Laravel Framework. As it is more stable and has been released as LTS (Long-term Support). That is why many IT companies have started providing Laravel Development services.
Laravel’s prominent projects:
1. Deltanet Travel
2. World Walking
4. Asgard CMS
MVC architecture is the strongest feature of Laravel Framework. There are many more features such as database agnostic migration, authentication facilities, schema builder, a toolkit that includes ORM queue library routing methods & more. This makes the development process a breeze for Laravel Developers.
Symfony is an old framework, it is considered as the stable base for recently launched frameworks including Laravel Framework. Basically, Symfony was created for enterprise-level robust web applications. It facilitates the user to develop scalable & high-performance applications. Symfony supports Rapid Application Development (RAD) for development with the help of its extensive set of modules.
Symfony is easy to install, is compatible with most of the databases & supports easy 3rd party integration. Moreover, has a very small overhead which results in more benefits than the cost incurred in hosting it.
SYMFONY’s prominent projects:
4. OR CRM
Symfony provides YAML, Event Dispatcher, Dependency Injector & Templating Engine.
CakePHP also provides rapid development of applications. It uses general design patterns such as Front Controller, Association Data Mapping, MVC & more.
CakePHP facilitates developers with the least applicable codes and rapid project building, which leads to reducing the cost of development.
CakePHP’s prominent projects:
Apart from the above-discussed features CakePHP also supports CRUD scaffolding, requires almost no specific configuration, and has built-in validation & more.
Yii framework was Launched in 2008, Yii was made secure, quick & high-performance web application development framework. People in business find it highly attractive & valuable. Yii provides powerful caching support, acute security & professional approach in the development process.
Yii makes use of the Composer Dependency manager for PHP for the purpose of handling distinct dependencies and installations. Though all frameworks, be it Zend, Symfony, Laravel, CakePHP or any other, Yii happens to the fastest PHP framework as it is powered by the lazy loading technique. Alike Symfony, Yii makes use of built-in components to facilitate rapid application development.
With the release of Yii 2, it is being considered as the best framework by some of the PHP developers. Yii 2 supports PHP 5.3 and there are functionalities which have been inherited from Yii 1.1. Moreover, it provides high-level extensibility with acute security & proper testing.
There are two ways of doing any work: hard way & smart way. I will say if you are smart enough then you would choose a framework for the development of any project.
Framework enforces a structured development process & provides built-in modules to develop applications. Development using frameworks is not just easy but it also saves time and feature enhancement is carried out with ease.
Above are the numerous reasons you should choose to develop using frameworks for stable & robust development. Though Zend Framework is doing great in the search results I will suggest Laravel Framework to the developers if any developer wishes to learn or start to code in PHP language.
You should always do rigorous research before taking any decision upon opting for a framework for your next project or learning purpose. So these are the top frameworks of 2017 to be used to develop a robust PHP website or application.
Thanks for reading!