Top 5 PHP Frameworks for web development in 2018

Top 5 PHP Frameworks for web development in 2018

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is one of the oldest programming languages in programming. According to W3Techs, 83.4% of all websites whose server-side programming language uses PHP. With PHP being the most popular server-side programming language to date, Selecting a web development platform/framework often becomes a scary affair. Today, we will dive into the 10 best PHP frameworks that are popular in 2018 and help you decide which one might fit you best.

Essentially a framework is a structure that you can choose to build your program on. It can allow you to connect to many different API’s as well as determine the structure of your own application. To be concrete, frameworks provide the scaffolding that can allow you to develop faster/more cleanly.

Following is the list of best PHP frameworks in 2018.


Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Laravel uses many components from Symfony. You can develop from small web application to enterprise level web application using Laravel. Laravel was first introduced in June 2011 as version 1. It’s the latest version is 5.7 which was released in August 2018. You can learn to create CRUD application from scratch in laravel reading this article.

The top features that make Laravel on top of other frameworks are as follow:

  • Authentication: Build-in authorization technique makes simple way to organize authorization logic
  • Blade Templating Engine: It makes is one of the best features that makes it simple but powerful
  • Eloquent: The Eloquent provides a convenient, fluent interface to creating and running database queries.
  • Artisan Command: Artisan is the command-line interface included with Laravel which gives a number of helpful commands that can assist you while you build your application.
  • Migration for database: Laravel provides a nice way to programmatically create and define databases.


Symfony is another mostly used popular framework after Laravel. Symfony is a PHP web application framework and a set of reusable PHP components/libraries. The first version of Symfony was published as free open-source on October 18, 2005. The current version of Symfony is 4.1. Symfony also follows the model-view-controller architecture pattern.

The best features of Symfony that makes it popular are listed below:

  • Faster devopment due to generic components.
  • Symfony provides timely upgrades and security upgrades.
  • Easy testing due to PHPUnit independent library.
  • Symfony is stable
  • Symfony has a larger community


CodeIgniter is the easiest to use among others frameworks. It is simple and elegant to create full-featured web applications. It is lightweight. This framework has a small learning curve and easy to install. This framework is not on MVC architecture where you must have a controller but models and views are optional. But, you can extend to adapt it. It can also be modified to fit HMVC architecture. It was first released in 2006 by EllisLab.

The main features of this framework are listed below:

  • This framework is famous for its speed compared to other frameworks.
  • Full Featured database classes with support for several platforms
  • Query Builder Database Support
  • Query Builder Database Support
  • XSS security features


CakePHP is an open-source web framework. It follows the model–view–controller approach and modeled after the concepts of Ruby on Rails, and distributed under the MIT License. This is one of the earliest PHP frameworks that comes in the market. This was released in 2005 by Cake Software Foundation. CakePHP brings speed, reliability, and security to this list of best PHP frameworks. It comes with code generation and scaffolding functionality to speed up the development process.
Some of the top features of CakePHP are listed below:

  • Supports MVC architecture
  • Development is fast due to code generation technique
  • Already includes many features such as caching, database access, validation, authentication.
  • Sets a conventions designed to guide through development
  • Not to be missed, it have a great documentation

5Zend Framework

Zend Framework is an open source, object-oriented web application framework implemented in PHP 7 and licensed under the New BSD License. The framework is basically a collection of professional PHP based packages. This framework mainly focuses on Simplicity, Reusability, and Performance. It was released in March 2006 by Zend Technologies. It supports MVC architecture. This framework is mainly used for enterprise-level and complex applications.

The main features of Zend Framework are as follows:

  • Focused on Simplicity, Reusability, and Performance
  • Built with security best practices.
  • It’s very decoupled. Only use whatever is necessary.
  • Object-Oriented framework which means ability to reuse the code
  • Provides support for Unit-Testing
  • Provides support for Unit-Testing

Now, we know some of the best PHP frameworks widely used. Every framework has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you, which one suits your requirements. Most importantly, frameworks are just one of the tools that are available to help you develop better and faster. You can choose whatever suits your requirements.


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