In the previous article, we discussed Why PHP should be everyone’s programming language of choice?. PHP being an open-source, dynamic server-side scripting language offers many content management systems and frameworks to make programmers’ life easier. Frameworks offer ready-to-use libraries, components, modules, ensures separation of model view controller code (MVC architecture), provides security with built-in functions for encryption and protection against vulnerabilities. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss popular PHP frameworks and its features.


Released in 2011, Laravel is perhaps, PHP developer’s most favorite framework for application development. Laravel was created by Taylor Otwell in an attempt to provide a more advanced alternative to the CodeIgniter framework with built-in support for user authentication and authorization.

Laravel comes with an entirely new directory structure with features like route caching support, multiple file system support, improved method injections etc. It’s built in artisan command makes it easy for developers to interact with the framework. Laravel’s default configuration reduces the amount of work required to build applications, unlike other frameworks. It provides an entire ecosystem of various tools to reduce repetitive work.


Codeigniter is another PHP framework that is loosely based on Model View Controller architecture. Latest CodeIgniter 3.1.4 comes with image library enhancements and security bug fixes. CodeIgniter makes Models and Views optional while Controller is a mandatory part of development. CodeIgniter is known for its speed compared to the PHP frameworks. PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf’s took on CodeIgniter and said that “because it is faster, lighter and the least like a framework.”


Symfony is one of the oldest PHP frameworks that was first published in 2005. Symfony contains reusable components and libraries for web application development. The main aim of Symfony was to reduce the amount of time taken to create and maintain applications by replacing repetitive coding tasks. Symfony has a good reputation and is well recognized internationally by professionals.

An entire ecosystem has grown up around Symfony since its launch: the community (mailing lists etc.) and the many other service companies that have invested in the framework.

Zend Framework

Zend has been around since 2006 and is considered to be a powerful PHP framework offering high-level performance, security and extensibility that makes it suitable for complex projects. Its collection of professional PHP packages, layouts, and PHP-based templates are supported by default with the implementation of extensible MVC.

Yii Framework

Yii is a high-performance, component-based MVC PHP framework best for developing Web 2.0 applications. Yii is explicitly designed to work with AJAX efficiently. Yii has powerful caching support and it only loads the features that you need. Yii is secure with SQL injection, cross-site scripting prevention, input validation, and output filtering. Yii is suitable for developing applications such as forums, portals, content management systems (CMS), e-commerce projects and so on.


The initial version of CakePHP was released in 2005. Latest version CakePHP3.4 is built using modern PHP7 framework features that make building small and complex systems simpler. CakePHP is fast, easy to configure and secure with SQL injection prevention, XSS (cross-site scripting) prevention and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF). Inspired by Ruby on Rails, CakePHP uses well-known software engineering concepts such as convention over configuration, model view controller, active record, and front-controller.

If you a web development project that wants to get kick started or just need some advice then get in touch with us here at Zoom Digital and we’ll be happy to help.