Comparing the best PHP frameworks for senior and junior developers

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PHP is the most widely used programming language, deployed by popular websites such as Facebook and WordPress. The latter is the CMS that powers nearly 40% of websites in the world. It is easy to learn and allows you to quickly create web applications. Thousands of developers around the world use frameworks that were built on the PHP language. 

Software development is becoming more and more complex, requiring powerful tools to produce reliable applications in less time. This is precisely where frameworks can make a big difference. The most common functions are available as libraries, essentially reducing the amount of time you need to spend coding for basic tasks.

Wondering which PHP framework is best for your particular project requirements? In this article, Bocasay presents the world’s most popular PHP frameworks.

Discover PHP frameworks with Bocasay, our offshore outsourcing company ©Canva
Discover PHP frameworks with Bocasay, our offshore outsourcing company ©Canva


Symfony is a mature framework that has revolutionized PHP development. It provides a set of components that can be reused within any PHP project. 

These components can be found within countless open-source tools (including Laravel). Maintained and supported by SensioLabs, Symfony has hundreds of contributors and an active developer community.

It’s perfect for even the most complex web projects, has a large ecosystem and plenty of tutorials to help you get started.

🟢 Advantages:

  • Ability to handle very large-scale projects.
  • Design of special arrangements.
  • Convenient programming interface to search and control hosts and records.
  • Easy to maintain.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • Complex to learn. 
  • It relies on other technologies, so some applications may load more slowly.


Laravel offers a vast ecosystem with a hosting platform, instant delivery and tutorials hosted by the official Laravel website. It also includes an out-of-the-box development environment. 

When compared with other frameworks, its popularity stems from its ability to handle complex web applications with extra security and speed. It simplifies the development process by reducing the complexity of common tasks such as sessions, routing, queuing and authentication.

🟢 Advantages:

  • Simple programming.
  • Scalable.
  • Secure.
  • Easy data migration.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Customizable choices for implementing REST programming interfaces.
  • Easy SQL integration.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • Fairly high information limit.
  • Some flaws in the debugger. 
  • High cost.
  • Frequent updates.


CodeIgniter is one of the most widely used PHP frameworks. Although it is a lightweight framework, CodeIgniter allows PHP programmers to easily create custom web applications through its sophisticated toolkit. 

As an open-source framework, it helps users reduce the cost of application development. CodeIgniter is constantly evolving to keep up with new trends in web application development. 

🟢 Advantages:

  • Support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, SQLite, Prophet.
  • Smaller carbon footprint.
  • Easy configuration options.
  • Modern separation concept.
  • Support for web page and database caching.
  • Built-in security features.
  • Easy to extend and customize.
  • Support for countless libraries. 

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • Does not focus on code maintainability.
  • Lacks comprehensive libraries.

𝕃𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕠𝕦𝕥𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕔𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕨𝕖𝕓 𝕕𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕡𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥? ℂ𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕠𝕗𝕗𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕠𝕦𝕥𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕔𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕡𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝔹𝕠𝕔𝕒𝕤𝕒𝕪! 𝕆𝕦𝕣 𝕕𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕡𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕖𝕒𝕞𝕤 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕢𝕦𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕚𝕖𝕕 𝕥𝕠 𝕗𝕚𝕟𝕕 𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕤𝕠𝕗𝕥𝕨𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕤𝕠𝕝𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕤𝕦𝕚𝕥𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦. ℂ𝕠𝕟𝕥𝕒𝕔𝕥 𝕦𝕤 𝕟𝕠𝕨, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕗𝕣𝕖𝕖 𝕢𝕦𝕠𝕥𝕖.


Phalcon can actually handle many more requests per second than any other framework.

It is interesting because it is not written in PHP. It is provided as a PHP extension written in C, which allows it to be incredibly fast. But no worries, because developers don’t need to know C in order to work with Phalcon.

Apart from its amazing performance, Phalcon offers many features. It is preferred by many big companies for its high performance.

🟢 Advantages:

  • Speeds up the processing of http requests.
  • Common integration with pHQL and MongoDB.
  • Easy creation of REST programming interfaces.
  • High performance.
  • Feature rich.
  • Consumes few resources.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • C source code.
  • Lacks popularity and visibility: many developers are still unaware of Phalcon’s existence.
  • Is an extension (cannot be run on shared hosting).
  • Cannot repair the code.


This is a great choice for application development enthusiasts. CakePHP is very popular among programmers, as it makes web application development faster and easier. Being open-source, it allows developers to create modern applications without having to write long lines of code. 

Although written in PHP, CakePHP follows some of the concepts of Ruby on Rails. At the same time, it supports PHP4 and PHP5 web development and some software development concepts. 

🟢 Advantages:

  • Extensive bundle support.
  • Object-relational mapping.
  • Easily readable.
  • No pre-configuration required.
  • MVC design.
  • Security.
  • Implicit component to create multilingual targets.
  • Robotization in the age of SQL queries.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • Considered weaker in terms of speed and adaptability. 
  • Documentation not as complete as other platforms and requires more specific guidelines.
  • One-way routing compared to other frameworks.


Zend is an open-source, purely object-oriented framework. Built around the MVC design pattern, the Zend framework contains a collection of PHP packages that can be used to develop applications and web services. 

Essentially, Zend enables you to create powerful and efficient web applications with less time and effort.

🟢 Advantages:

  • Perfect for Big Data applications.
  • HTML5 compliant.
  • Object-oriented.
  • Great support from the community.
  • Very fast and efficient.
  • Freedom of integration.
  • Follows industry best practices.
  • Multi-functional functionality.
  • Support for database and MVC components.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • No custom coding.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • Massive and cumbersome documentation.
  • Expensive plug-ins.
Thinking about offshore outsourcing? Consider our offshore outsourcing company ©Canva
Thinking about offshore outsourcing? Consider our offshore outsourcing company ©Canva


Yii, (an acronym for Yes, It Is), is a lightweight PHP framework with intelligently written documentation that makes web development significantly faster than other frameworks. 

Much like other PHP frameworks, like Laravel and Symphony, Yii is an open-source framework that supports both front-end and back-end programming. It offers extensive explanatory documentation and it is supported by a large community.

🟢 Advantages:

  • Visual code generator.
  • Most intuitive MVC architecture.
  • Uses standard problem-solving techniques that reduce or eliminate code tangling.
  • Facilitates code support by using a common architecture and methods.
  • Has an active community of developers.
  • Reduces time spent on routine tasks.
  • Easy to configure for better performance.
  • Various caching options.
  • Easy integration of third-party libraries and classes.
  • Suitable for projects of any complexity and scope.

🔴 Disadvantages:

  • Simple code, but not 100% sophisticated.
  • Backend and frontend parts are too connected.
  • Steering framework, not really adjustable.

How to choose the best PHP framework for your business?

The task of selecting the best framework should not be arbitrary. You will need to consider many elements in order to make an informed decision. 

In the field of web application development, user demand for scalable software is on the rise. Therefore, it is crucial for software developers to keep up with the launch of new applications and updates.

Before you choose your team’s framework, you should establish a list of criteria. This will ensure that the framework you choose matches your needs and purpose.

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