8 Popular PHP Frameworks For Web Development in 2020

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Top programming languages used by web developers are Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, CSS/HTML. Amongst these PHP is perhaps the easiest to grasp  – approximately 80% of websites were built using PHP as of Jan 2020.

However, today the coding complexity of websites has increased massively. Developers are facing designing glitches every day. Codes are getting more modular in web development. Developers bringing in new tools, frameworks, and libraries for designing and development of websites.

The downside of this change is that it’s becoming more difficult for developers to start from scratch every time and it is also a time-consuming process.

This is where PHP frameworks make a difference

PHP frameworks effectively reduce loads from developers while coding on the web project. Using these frameworks, several coding functions can be configured easily, allowing developers to focus on other core functionalities.

So, if you are a professional developer, then you must know about the best PHP frameworks to use in 2020 and should start practicing them from the very next piece of your coding project.

PHP Frameworks Benefits

  • Allow organizing codes for easy maintenance
  • Support standardized application architecture
  • Easy debugging of codes
  • Speed-up the development process
  • Improve the responsiveness of websites and applications
  • Protect your website and app from security hazards

All these benefits make it more value-oriented for programmers to use PHP frameworks for fast and unparalleled quality development needs.

Let’s dig deeper into the PHP frameworks topic to know which one is the best and most popular for creating websites and web apps.

Top PHP Frameworks 2020 For Web Developers

Let’s first view how trends have changed over time on Google trends for PHP frameworks.

  • As you can clearly see in the above image that Laravel is the clear winner in the list of best PHP frameworks. Codeigniter giving tough competition. There is a spike in the numbers of Symfony, Zend, and CakePHP framework.

I’m going to discuss here the top PHP frameworks to facilitate application development.

Let’s start with the popular one:

1. Laravel One of the Most Popular PHP Frameworks

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework that follows the MVC model that helps programmers to handle their coding tasks in an easy, simple, and
well-documented manner. First released in 2011, the PHP framework has
gone through heavy criticism from the developers’ community who
complained about its inconsistencies in syntax design, which has
improved with the time.

The popularity of the framework can be attributed to its ability to code and handle complex web applications with complete security and speed. Currently, the latest version of Laravel is version 6.14.0 with a new

dispatchAfterResponse()

method, which you can use for your web project. This feature can be useful to dispatch a short coding job instantly instead of sending it to a queue system.

To have a glitch-free web development experience, making use of Laravel’s own artisan CLI (command-line interface) help in task scheduling during the occurrence of an event. Some of the Artisan CLI commands that can speed up the development process. 

Laravel framework automate the tedious coding tasks with its built-in command-line tool called Artisan. This tool creates a skeleton code and makes it easy to manage the code database system. 

Some More Benefits of Using Laravel

Laravel is suitable for building applications with complex backend requirements. It’s a framework that helps you customize your complex web applications. It is best for developers who want to build enterprise-grade or B2B applications and websites.

Laravel offers speed and security in line with expectations from a modern PHP framework. It is because of MVC support which separates business logic and presentation layers to improve application performance, security, and scalability.

It’s a PHP framework that lets you customize complex apps by offering seamless data migration, MVC architecture support, routing, view template engine, and authentication.

Laravel is a preferred framework for web application developers today due to its easy installation process and unit testing. This framework can allow you to run multiple unit tests to ensure that new changes done by the developer do not unexpectedly break the web application. 

It’s easy to expand the web application database structure with the Laravel migration system and there is no need for re-creating code every time. So, there is no risk of losing data.

Laravel offers Object Relational Mapping (ORM) allows you to write database queries with PHP syntax that too without writing the SQL code. 

Ideally, Laravel based web applications offer stable releases and make it easy to write error-free unit tests.

2. CodeIgniter PHP Framework for Beginners

CodeIgniter is an application framework with a small footprint of about 2 MB in size including documentation. It offers a simple toolkit and numerous prebuilt modules to build full-featured web applications. It is really fast and lightweight. It also uses the MVC (Model-View-Controller) approach that separates the business logic and presentation part within the code.

Originally developed by EllisLab and later adopted by the British Columbia
Institute of Technology, CodeIgniter compared to Laravel also getting
the attention of developers, because the framework functionality and
coding style are a bit better.

Some More Benefits of Using CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is an easy to install PHP framework that comes with a full-range of libraries commonly needed for web development tasks for e.g.,
maintaining sessions, validating data, accessing the database, managing
images and XML-RPC data, and many more. Check here for the list of libraries.   

The key features include inbuilt security tools, error-handling tools,
simple setup process, and highly illustrated documentation. In addition,
it allows the creation of scalable web applications.

Compared with other frameworks, CodeIgniter generates clean and search-friendly URLs using the “query string” approach to URL that is similar to dynamic systems.       

CodeIgniter is considerably faster and also offers excellent performance. It’s a good choice to develop lightweight applications.         

It’s easy to extend the CodeIgniter system to your own libraries using
system hooks. This is the reason why programmers prefer to code on
CodeIgniter, as it has a well-documented structure than other
frameworks.    

CodeIgniter framework is a great option for an application that requires security and a fast development process. It is easy to learn for beginners
whereas Laravel offers many additional features to developers to build
web applications with elegant and advanced features.

3. Symfony for Large-Scale Enterprise Web Projects

The Symfony is an open-source framework that was launched in 2005. It also has an MVC architecture and is a reliable platform to use for web development. The basis of Symfony is to offer hectic free coding and saving your time of development. It allows developers to add additional modules according to the project needs. It has a set of readily available framework components to define the style and architecture of your application.

Symfony is great for developing large-scale enterprise projects. It’s also easy to install and can also be configured easily on most platforms. It
allows you to write codes in fewer lines and runs 7% faster to make your application work smoothly. 

Some More Benefits of Using Symfony

Symfony is one of the best PHP frameworks to build complex business websites, as the framework boasts database engine–independence that complies with most web best practices and allows for integration with other libraries.

Symfony is based on MVC (Model, View, Controller) pattern, follows strict object-oriented languages and helps in creating testable codes that save the development time. It offers a variety of command-line tools (CLI tools), which are helpful in the process of web development.

Symfony 5 is the latest version with the option of a new String Component and an object-oriented API that works seamlessly with environment variables and allows developers to have a consistent coding experience quickly and safely.

Symfony offers full customization features for developers so that you can make your web application more user-friendly. It has two options for
customization, one is Full stack that allows building complex products
with multiple functionalities. The second one is Brick by Brick approach
that allows building a web application with specific features and
selective functions.

However, while Laravel delivers simplicity and value, Symfony targets advanced development methods and is a bit harder to start with. No doubt, Symfony offers a “do it all,” approach for coding and becoming a preferred choice to build performance-rich web applications as per the
requirements of clients.

4. CakePHP For Modern Web Development

CakePHP is one of the most used PHP frameworks around the globe. It simplifies the development of complex and big size applications still simple and elegant to use. It will help you build impressive websites with loads of
visually-impressive features. In addition, CakePHP is the easiest framework to learn for developers, as it is based on the concept of CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) framework.

With the passage of time, CakePHP has gained better performance and many new components with features that simplify the coding tasks such as code caching, validation, translation, database access, and authentication.

The updated version of CakePHP 4.0 was released in December 2019, and it has come with several new features to accelerate the process of web
development and make developers more productive.

The PHP developers must take advantage of new features of CakePHP 4.0. For example, dashes are going to be used over underscores for routes handling. In addition, CakePHP 4.0 comes with the support for PSR-15 this means that the middlewares will implement the Psr/Https/Server/MiddlewareInterface.

Some More Benefits of Using CakePHP

One of the main reasons why CakePHP has wide popularity is that it is
simple and easy to install. It is an open-source web development
platform that only needs a web server and a copy of the framework to
create an amazing website or web application.

CakePHP uses pre-written codes which saves a lot of development time which developers can use for the creation of other parts of the application.

Its MVC model gives a more professional approach to the coding that
collaborates the data with the logic and save it in the database. The
Views display the content in a presentable way to the end-user. The
Controller processes the information before it reaches the database.

CakePHP also supports a modern framework, proper class inheritance, validation, and security. It also provides great documentation and premium support through Cake Development Corporation.

5. Yii Framework

Yii is an object-oriented framework and is based on the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) concept. It is also one of the oldest PHP frameworks that is right for the development of large-scale websites, as it can be easily integrated with the features of jQuery and AJAX. Yii lazy loading technique makes it faster and suitable for all kinds of web apps.

Furthermore, it comes with an extremely easy installation process and is highly extensible. Yii powerful class code generator Gii. Help ease out the
process of object-oriented programming, helping the developers to
generate the desired code easily. It allows developers to ensure the
rapid development of apps with the availability of multiple packages for
security and sets of configuration for speeding things up.

6. Zend Framework

Zend is next on the list of PHP frameworks. It is completely based on the object-oriented framework and is extendable in nature due to features such as interfaces and inheritance. It is built on the agile methodology that aims to deliver you high-quality development of web applications.

The framework offers high customisability and is an excellent choice to
incorporate in your project-specific functions. Zend Framework comes
with a surplus of components for creating tasks such as authentication,
services, and forms.

In addition, Zend framework features an easy to use drag and drop editor,
coding tools, online debugging tools and a scalable interface useful for
complicated websites. However, the Zend framework is also one of the
most difficult frameworks to learn, especially if you are a beginner in
web development.

7. FuelPHP

First released in 2011, FuelPHP is a flexible PHP framework that supports the MVC as well as the HMVC model (Hierarchical-Model-View-Controller) at the framework architecture level. It has key features including HMVC implementation that consume less time and memory unlike with MVC platform, URL routing system, caching system, and vulnerability protection system. With HMVC, developers can build web applications with diverse features, complexities, and sizes.

The FuelPHP framework is more focused on security concerns. For this
reason, it tackles the security concerns using URI filtering along with
output encoding. All in all, FuelPHP is a perfect fit for creating
web-based solutions of diverse sizes and complexities.

8. Phalcon

Phalcon is a high-performance PHP framework that was originally written in C and C++ programming languages. Its innovative architecture and prominent features make it blazing fast. It is also easy to install and suitable for creating web applications with high configurations in line with the enterprise-grade standards. This is because it makes use of a handful of resources, unlike other PHP frameworks available in the market.

Phalcon key features have been updated continuously since 2012 and have seen quite a few upgrades in the recent releases such as asset management, universal autoloader, security features, and caching.

Unlike other PHP frameworks, Phalcon optimizes code performance by efficient use of memory utilization. The speedy development of codes can be extremely important for developers who work with complex web systems.

End Note

These are some of the best PHP frameworks to use in 2020 for web developers. If you are looking to build wonderful web applications for your firm, then it’s time to choose the right framework for rapid web development service.

Any suggestions and comments are always welcome.

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