PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages to create dynamic websites, read and write web files, and track sessions.

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However, writing a PHP script from scratch can be complicated. In some cases, you’ll need to rewrite the same functions multiple times, making the work time-consuming.

PHP frameworks help streamline these processes and improve workflow. These tools provide resources to simplify the web development process, including libraries of pre-made code and components to avoid repetitive coding.

This article will help you find the best PHP framework for web development. We will go over the 11 best PHP frameworks and discuss their technical specifications.

Why You Should Use PHP Frameworks11 of the Best PHP Frameworks For Web Development

Why You Should Use PHP Frameworks

A PHP framework provides the basic structure and components to build web applications. Moreover, it reuses code to avoid repetitive tasks. That said, there are a lot more benefits other than just speeding up the development process.

Saves Development Time

Many contributing factors help users cut development time. PHP frameworks have built-in functions that let you cherry-pick code instead of writing your own.

PHP libraries also offer common components of web apps such as form validation and CRUD operations so that you don’t have to build them from scratch.

Most full-stack PHP frameworks for web development use the MVC architecture. This allows developers to write separate code for its three different components – Model, View, Controller.

The Model contains programming logic and application data, the View presents the data to the user, and the Controller interacts with the user and passes the commands to the other components.

This architecture supports parallel development, meaning that one developer can work on the Model while another developer works on the Controller, streamlining the process.

Code generators like the Gii Code Generator are another example of how you can save time with PHP frameworks. Use them to generate code for common tasks that you can modify.

Good Coding Practice

PHP frameworks let you write code in a neat and organized manner. They also divide the code into directories based on their functions. This makes the script easier to work with and maintain.

Most PHP frameworks also have coding conventions that you should follow to make the code more organized. However, it may take some time to get familiar with them.

Better Collaboration

If you are part of a team of developers, PHP frameworks help you stay on the same page. They follow a single code standard and set the rules for the script. This way, you don’t have to worry about miscommunication that can lead to wrong scripting.

In addition, most PHP frameworks have clear documentation. Therefore, even if there’s a team member unfamiliar with the framework, they can catch up easily.

Better Security

Cross-site scripting and SQL injection are among the most common PHP security threats. PHP frameworks employ data sanitation and good coding practices to minimize risks.

How We Chose the Best PHP Frameworks

Each PHP framework is unique, so it can be hard to pick one that is the best for all users. In this list, we’ve included two types of PHP frameworks: full-stack PHP frameworks and micro-frameworks.

A full-stack PHP framework helps programmers with the entire spectrum of web development processes, from the user interface to data storage at the back-end.

On the other hand, micro-frameworks carry fewer features but are useful for creating small applications for specific uses, like an HTTP request router. Their libraries typically contain less than 5,000 lines of code.

We considered that difference when picking the PHP frameworks. Aside from that, here are other aspects to consider:

Learning curve – each PHP framework has different conventions, so it takes time to understand how to use it. That said, the availability of documentation helps flatten the learning curve and minimize the time to learn the framework.Debugging feature – whether it’s built-in or an extension, a debugging feature helps to ensure that the web application works as it should.

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Caching system – a PHP framework with a caching mechanism helps improve performance by temporarily saving static data and serving it back when requested.Security – great PHP frameworks should have vulnerability protection for web applications, such as cross-site scripting protection and cookie attack prevention.

11 of the Best PHP Frameworks For Web Development

We have selected the 11 best PHP frameworks for web development. Each of them is unique and caters to different needs, so be sure to choose the right one for your project.

All of these frameworks are open-source. Therefore, you can try any that spark your interest before settling for the most suitable one.

1. Laravel


Key Features:

Lightweight codebaseModular framework keeps your apps lightweightGreat optional pluginsMultiple database compatibility

Fat-Free Framework, or F3, is a straightforward PHP framework. Its codebase is only 65 KB, and the framework is modular, allowing you to only use the necessary code.

Getting started requires only a web server and a copy of Fat-Free Framework. The framework doesn’t need complex configuration, such as setting up Composer, curl, or a complex directory structure.

While it is simple and lightweight, Fat-Free is an extendable PHP framework thanks to the availability of optional plugins. They include a unit testing toolkit, a clean template engine, an image processor, and database-managed sessions with automatic cross-site request forgery protection.


PHP is still one of the top programming languages when it comes to server-side scripting. However, writing a PHP script can take a lot of time.

PHP frameworks provide a development groundwork so that developers can focus on the creative aspects of programming rather than doing repetitive tasks and rewriting code.

With plenty of popular PHP frameworks available and each of them unique, picking one that’s right for your project can be challenging.

To recap, here are the highlights of each PHP framework we’ve discussed in this article:

Laravel – a popular PHP web framework with great extendability for high-quality applications.CodeIgniter – one of the most popular PHP frameworks with MVC support, great for creating lightweight web applications.Symfony – a modular PHP framework with a built-in debugging system and extensive documentation.Laminas Project – an object-oriented framework that consists of three parts: the main MVC-based PHP framework, the middleware application builder, and the RESTful API builder.Phalcon – a lightweight C-based PHP framework designed to be fast.CakePHP – the first MVC-based PHP framework with the most thorough set of libraries.Yii – a PHP framework that packs many features, including built-in security measures, a code generator, and a customizable setup.FuelPHP – a powerful PHP framework that supports HMVC architecture.Slim – a PHP micro-framework that’s perfect for developing web applications for HTTP requests.

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PHPixie – an HMVC-based PHP framework that features fully-tested independent components.

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