How to choose a PHP framework

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages around the world, and the recent PHP 7 release made this server-side programming language better and more stable than ever.

PHP is widely used in major projects. Facebook, for example, utilizes PHP for maintaining and creating their internal systems. WordPress uses PHP to power its internals, which in return is powering more than 26% of the web. Currently, PHP powers more than 82% of websites (whose server-side programming languages the Web Technology Surveys site is able to track).

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most popular PHP frameworks: Symfony, Laravel, and Yii. We’ll examine how they compare to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your needs.

Why pick a PHP framework?

What’s the point of using a framework instead of raw PHP to develop your application? A few benefits of using a framework include:

  • A PHP framework makes development faster. For example, you don’t have to write complex queries to retrieve the data from the database. PHP frameworks provide CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, and Delete).
  • Frameworks enable developers to scale systems easily.
  • Code maintenance is easier than with a vanilla PHP application. The application code is concise and easy to work with.
  • The MVC model ensures rapid development.
  • Frameworks are better in securing the web application from common security threats.
  • The don’t repeat yourself (DRY) principle ensures that minimal code has maximum impact.

The above benefits are too significant to be ignored. Even though raw PHP can be used to create any application, the current development standards require tools and time-management skills to meet the market demand.

How to choose a PHP framework

Answering a few questions can help you choose a framework:

  1. What are the features and functionality of the framework? (Does it offer what I need?)
  2. What is the learning curve of the framework?
  3. How scalable is the framework?
  4. Is the framework actively developed and maintained by the core team?
  5. Does the framework provide long-term support (LTS support) ?
  6. Does the framework have a strong community support?

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