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PHP Frameworks: 5 options you need to know!

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nivedha Varun
PHP Frameworks: 5 options you need to know!


Frameworks exist to make developers' lives of custom software development company easier and this is no different with PHP Frameworks. They exist so that the PHP developer does not need to create a new feature or application from scratch when needed. It's as if the framework were a structure, a well-advanced basis of software, which gives you the possibility of great customization (in most cases).


Frameworks, when used well, help to reduce the execution time of a project , as well as costs and, of course, increase the quality of an application.

If you are starting to develop in PHP, this article was made for you. We will present the main frameworks on the market, as well as their characteristics, use cases, pros and cons.

But first, what is the definition of a framework?

What is a Framework?

A framework is nothing more than a large panel of tools (or even a store), filled with ready-made functions, which can also be customized.

The reason a framework exists is: you don't need to develop anything from scratch if you don't want to.

Imagine the game The Sims — or, if you like football, imagine PES — I believe these are efficient analogies. Both The Sims and PES offer you a highly robust graphics library for building people. In these games, you will find a pack of different hairstyles, body types, and eye shapes. You don't create these elements of the human body from scratch, but there is a level of customization too.

Imagine now that The Sims is a PHP framework and PES is another. Both create fictional people.

Logically, The Sims will have some different options, such as clothing, while PES will have beard styles and greater member customization.

To choose the ideal one, the question is: what is your objective? Do you want to build a man, a woman, or a child?

The logic of the frameworks is the same. To choose the ideal framework, it is always interesting to carefully investigate the tools that each one has and, from there, analyze which resources will make your project more efficient and with better performance.

Let's start talking about them then, PHP frameworks 🙂

1. Zend

To begin with, the PHP Zend framework is open source and uses the MVC (Model View Controller) architecture. To use Zend, you need to have a good command of Object Oriented Programming , so if you already have experience with PHP programming you will have an advantage in using Zend.

Zend is also one of the most robust PHP frameworks on the market. This is quite notable due to the large number of resources that the framework has.

Oh, for those who don't know, Zend is also the maintainer of the PHP language. Did you feel the level of advantage? So it is.

Another very advantageous point about Zend is that many companies that have applications developed in PHP use the framework.

As it is a relatively new framework, Zend also does not have many certified professionals, which ends up creating an opportunity to qualify and have Zend on your resume.

Why use Zend?

  • Zend is very extensible . You have a huge range of things ready, but that doesn't mean you can't adapt them to your needs.
  • Zend is a high-performance framework . Its components and architecture provide high code quality;
  • If you want, you can use it to build both the back and front end of the application. Zend is fullstack. But, if you want, there is also the option of using only its components;
  • Zend is secure . The framework has encryption features;
  • Zend has one of the largest communities among frameworks. Support is highly active and, as it is open source, it guarantees constant evolution of the technology;

Zend Disadvantages

  • The learning curve for Zend is a bit long. There are many features, which makes the tool complex at first glance. If you want to create a project quickly, perhaps Zend shouldn't be your first option.


2. Laravel

There is no denying it and it is a fact: Laravel is one of the most popular names in the PHP framework market. Unlike Zend, Laravel is much more advisable for those who are learning.

Due to this essential characteristic, it has perhaps become one of the most used frameworks on the market (perhaps the most used).

Despite not being as robust as Zend, Laravel has all the features necessary to build a PHP application. It is also important to emphasize that Laravel does not lose anything in terms of employability.

Although Zend is a requirement for vacancies in large companies, Laravel is more common in small and medium-sized companies. We can also say that it is the PHP framework that opens the most doors when it comes to the job market.

Why use Laravel?

  • Like Zend, Laravel is open source and has a large community. This favors the constant evolution and support of technology;
  • Laravel has a low level of complexity compared to Zend and others. It is one of the easiest PHP frameworks to learn, although it is also robust;
  • Laravel has impeccable documentation . You can easily find everything you need;
  • Laravel has a command interface called Artisan Console. With Artisan you have several commands that make custom software development services much easier;
  • Laravel has an ORM called Eloquent. With Eloquent, you can create an application from scratch without having to mix pure SQL into the code;

Laravel Disadvantages

  • There is a consensus that, to use Laravel, the developer cannot use common hosting.


3. CodeIgniter

Like Zend, CodeIgniter also uses the MVC architecture. Going in the same vein as Laravel, it is also relatively simple to learn, compared to frameworks like Zend, for example.

  • Low complexity ends up becoming its biggest advantage.
  • Furthermore, its documentation is also super good, which makes learning easier and, consequently, reduces the delivery time of an application or feature.
  • It can work with simpler servers, unlike Laravel.


Why use CodeIgniter?

  • The MVC architecture favors scalability and reduces coding time , as it works with components for specific tasks;
  • Light and good performance . Despite having fewer features than other PHP frameworks on the market, CodeIgniter is still one of the best in terms of performance;
  • It can work with simpler servers , unlike some frameworks that are more complex in terms of resources. Furthermore, CodeIgniter also has high compatibility with servers;


CodeIgniter Disadvantages

  • In addition to losing resources to other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter also has fewer updates for its product, which also means it has a lower level of security. This scenario is perhaps due to the fact that it has lost market share over the years.


4. Symfony

  • The Symfony PHP framework is also very popular and is therefore on our most used list. Symfony was born in 2005 and was designed for companies that work with agile development, precisely because of one of its strongest characteristics: modularity.
  • Just like CodeIgniter, Symfony is also a very flexible framework. Almost everything in Symfony can be customized.
  • Another super interesting point about Symfony is that the framework has a code testing feature, something that few PHP frameworks have.
  • There is no denying that Symfony is a framework suitable for more robust and large-scale projects. All this because its structure allows it to deal with software development services and work of this magnitude.

Why use Symfony?

  • Symfony is very flexible . Customize almost anything you want!
  • Good documentation and active community;
  • It also uses the MVC architecture, which, as we have already said, reduces scalability and coding time, as it works with components for specific tasks. Is modularity what you want? Here you can find!


Symfony Disadvantages

  • Symfony lacks performance, which may be associated with the level of customization it has. Symfony has a more complex learning process than other frameworks.


5. CakePHP

CakePHP was born in the 2000s and was one of the first MVC frameworks to hit the market. Because it is open source, its community is still super active and engaged.

Loved by some and hated by others, CakePHP is famous for putting an application live without the developer writing a single line of code.

And here's a fun fact: CakePHP was written in PHP, you know, right? The point is that CakePHP follows the concepts of the Ruby on Rails framework.

CakePHP is a lot of knowledge because it has a lot of code conventions. That is, it has its own mechanisms to help those who work with PHP, JavaScript, Ajax, HTML forms, etc.

Why use CakePHP?

  • Large component library;
  • Code convention . This can be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on your project and your objective, since the act of coding becomes very simple, but it also creates limits on the programmer's creativity;
  • It still has a very active community ;
  • Ease of learning . With this, the Programmer who uses it can also quickly run a feature or application. Although this has been seen as an advantage, some say that there are frameworks that are easier to learn than CakePHP;
  • It has support for MVC architecture ;
  • Resources to prevent cross site scripting (XSS), among other security measures;


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nivedha Varun
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