12 Top PHP Frameworks For Developers To Consider In Design

There are a variety of PHP Frameworks that a majority of developers still utilize to date. As web development continues to evolve, so do the tools and frameworks used to build digital experiences. Perse, PHP Frameworks have been evolving to meet the ever-increasing needs of web developers and their growing demand for more robust web applications.

With the new year, on the horizon, it’s time to look at the topmost PHP frameworks that can help web developers create dynamic, powerful, and interactive web experiences. Okay, PHP might not be the best or the most modern programming language. But, that doesn’t mean it’s dead, and it’s pretty tough to argue with the PHP statistics here…

As a matter of fact, according to data by W3Techs, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. So, almost 8 out of every 10 websites that you visit on the Internet are using PHP in some way. This leads us to this fact… PHP can not just die like that if 17% of the web is still using it. PHP is faster and better than ever, too!

The fact is that with the latest PHP versions, it’s faster than ever — recent PHP benchmarks show a huge performance increase for PHP 7.X over PHP 5.6. Using WordPress and popular eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, PHP 7.3 was pushing 2-3x the number of requests per second as PHP 5.6. And the recent PHP 8.1 by Kinsta is even faster.

The Topmost PHP Frameworks For Developers

To enumerate, a PHP framework is a platform to create PHP web applications. PHP frameworks provide code libraries for commonly used functions, cutting down on the amount of original code you need to write. There are many good reasons for using PHP frameworks as opposed to coding from scratch per see.

Just like Kinsta puts it, when you think of web development, aside from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the PHP language is one of the names that come to mind. Contrary to popular belief, PHP is not dead yet. It’s still widely used by sites, including big names such as Facebook and Wikipedia. PHP frameworks typically follow the Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern.

This concept separates the manipulation of data from its presentation — it stores the business logic and application data. It passes data to the View, the presentation layer. Technically, the User interacts with the View and can input instructions via the Controller. The Controller gives these commands to the Model, and the cycle continues.

In simple terms, the Model is about data, the View is about appearance and the Controller is about behavior.

A Video Tutorial Guideline: What You Need To Know Before Using Any PHP Framework

You’ve probably heard about how the new WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg) brings block-based editing to WordPress. There is a change going on behind the scenes that casual users might not notice, that Gutenberg blocks are made using JavaScript (React, JSX, and ES6), not PHP. That change, along with other webdev shifts, might have you wondering, “is PHP dead?”.

Well, first off, it’s important to point out that there’s a big difference between wanting PHP to be dead and PHP actually being dead. Most people have been calling for the death of PHP for years now (you can find “Is PHP Dead?” posts as far back as 2011). And yet, PHP still persists…

Better yet, PHP 7 also stacks up favorably against other languages, as well. Beyond that, PHP 7.X versions also bring new improvements for developers.

Including but not limited to:
  • Combined comparison operator
  • Null coalesce-based operator
  • New type hinting
  • Anonymous classes
  • Nullable types
  • Iterable and void returns
  • Multi-catch exception handling
  • Keys usable in lists
  • Trailing commas
  • More negative string offsets
  • Number operators and malformed numbers
  • HTTP/2 server push

Of course, yes, you’ll only notice these improvements if you’re actually using the latest version of PHP. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. According to WordPress.org, ~64.0% of WP sites are using PHP 7.1 or lower, with 22.9%, the plurality, using PHP 5.6. PHP versions 7.1 and under no longer receive active support — they lost security support as of 2018-19.

The fact that so many websites are running on a PHP version that’s officially reached its end of life probably doesn’t help PHP’s reputation with developers. That said, make sure that you also read this post if you’re still not sure why you need to update your PHP version for more details. Because of PHP’s popularity, it’s easy to find PHP developers.

And not just PHP developers – but PHP developers with experience. For newer frameworks, it’s harder to find developers, especially ones with experience. More importantly, sometimes experience just flat out isn’t possible without a time machine. For a humorous take on it, there’s this Reddit post where a job description wanted a React developer with 5 years of experience.

More so, back in 2017, at which point React had only been around for ~4 years. Besides finding. a PHP developer it is relatively easy to learn the language from scratch if you are a beginner webmaster. To help you get started, you can have a look at the best free and premium PHP tutorials for more details. And now, let’s look at the key PHP Frameworks to note.

1. Laravel

If you’re looking for a popular choice for your next project, Laravel is an excellent choice. Developed to make web development easier and faster, Laravel is a great framework for development teams of all sizes. It’s a free, open-source framework and includes many features, including a built-in authentication system, object-relational mapping, and automated testing.

Plus, it’s easy to learn, and its large community of developers means you can always find support. If you’re looking for a reliable, feature-rich PHP framework, Laravel is a great option.

Ready to take your web development project to the next level? You can hire Laravel developers with high skills and experience. They will help you to create a custom, scalable, and secure web application. Whether you need a simple website, a complex e-commerce platform, or anything in between,

2. Symfony

When it comes to reliable and stable PHP frameworks, Symfony is a safe bet. It’s been around since 2005 and is still actively maintained and developed. Companies like Airbnb, Spotify, and Vogue trust the framework for their projects. Symfony is known for its strong focus on scalability and performance and its low learning curve.

Additionally, Symfony has many components and libraries to help developers get up and running quickly. Symfony is great for fast-paced projects with large teams and high demands.

3. CodeIgniter

This easy-to-use framework makes developing web applications a breeze with its intuitive and straightforward syntax. It requires minimal configuration, so you can get your projects up and running quickly.

Plus, CodeIgniter offers loads of libraries that provide robust features like database access, session management, and authentication. If you’re looking for a reliable, powerful, and easy-to-use framework, CodeIgniter is the way to go!

4. Yii

If you’re looking for a great framework to use on large-scale applications, then Yii is an excellent choice. This open-source, object-oriented PHP framework was designed to help developers create robust web applications quickly.

Yii is especially useful for developing applications that need a high level of security, such as e-commerce websites. It also includes many great features, from database access objects (DAO) to query builders, code generators, and more.

5. CakePHP

Web developers looking for a robust yet easy-to-use framework should consider CakePHP. It’s an open-source framework that’s great for building complex websites.

It has many features, including caching, validation, and authentication, and it’s very easy to set up. Plus, CakePHP is highly extensible, so it’s easy to add additional features and functionality.

6. Phalcon

The sixth framework on our list is Phalcon, a high-performance framework for PHP. If you’re looking for something lightweight and fast, Phalcon is a perfect choice. It’s built on C and designed around performance, offering some of the best performance and scalability of any PHP framework.

It also offers a wide range of features and libraries, making it a great all-in-one solution for web developers. Phalcon is also incredibly easy to learn, making it the ideal choice for beginners and experienced developers.

7. Slim Framework

Slim is a lightweight and simple framework that is great for developers who want to get up and running quickly. It’s also perfect for those who want to keep things light, as Slim has a minimalistic approach to coding.

It’s a great framework for small-scale web applications, as it doesn’t require a lot of extra libraries and packages to get the job done. Slim is well-known for its ease of use and robust API, so developers can rest assured knowing that their projects can be completed quickly and efficiently.

8. FuelPHP

FuelPHP is a great choice if you’re looking for a powerful and flexible framework. It’s compatible with almost all versions of PHP, from 5.3 to higher, ensuring that you won’t be left behind as the language continues to evolve. It also offers a robust set of features, such as security-focused authentication, URI routing, and a host of others.

Whilst, making it a great choice for developers looking to build a wide range of applications. FuelPHP also makes it easy for developers to switch between using the framework’s built-in features and using popular 3rd-party libraries, giving them the flexibility to work the best way for them.

9. Zend Framework

Zend Framework is an open-source, object-oriented web application framework implemented in PHP 5. It is based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern and was developed by Zend Technologies to make web development easier. It provides developers with various components and libraries to build feature-rich, secure websites, and applications.

Additionally, Zend Framework includes robust security features such as authentication, authorization, input filtering, output filtering, and more. With its comprehensive support for common web standards, Zend Framework is a powerful tool for creating modern web applications.

10. Laminas Project

The Laminas Project is an open-source, community-driven PHP framework designed to meet the needs of modern web development. This reliable, stable, and extensible framework provide developers with an intuitive design, powerful performance, and a wide range of features.

Built on the Zend Framework, the Laminas Project offers a consistent development experience and a wide selection of components, including a database abstraction layer, a universal authentication system, a templating system, and a flexible caching system.

No matter the application, the Laminas Project provides the reliable yet flexible platform needed to bring your web development project to life.

11. Fat-Free Framework (F3)

Fat-Free Framework (F3) is an open-source, lightweight web development toolkit that makes creating feature-rich web applications a breeze. It is fast, easy to use, and reliable, allowing developers to quickly and efficiently code without knowing the technical details.

F3 comprises features such as a templating system, a database abstraction layer, an object-oriented router, and an extensive library of helpful functions. No matter the web development scenario, F3 is the perfect solution to get the job done quickly and easily.

12. Lumen

The Lumen PHP framework is a powerful and efficient tool for web developers. Based on the popular Laravel framework, Lumen is designed to be a fast and lightweight alternative with uncompromised performance. It is easy to learn and use, allowing developers to quickly create powerful applications without sacrificing quality.

Lumen also provides a range of features and components to streamline development and simplify the creation of high-performance applications. With its robust security architecture, Lumen is an ideal choice for applications that require a secure and reliable security framework.


You might not like PHP, yes. Heck, even though we’re an applicationdatabase, and managed WordPress host, we’d be lying if we said all of our developers love PHP. Yes, PHP does seem to be losing some steam according to W3Techs’ data. But even if PHP keeps decreasing at the same rate, it would take 25+ years before PHP even dropped under the 50% mark!

To summarize, the topmost PHP frameworks in this blog post provide web developers with a wide range of project options. Each of these frameworks will offer something different for developers, depending on the type of project they are working on. For example, Laravel and Symfony are great for larger, more complex projects.

While Laravel Vapor and Silex are better for smaller projects. Ultimately, the best framework for a developer will depend on their preferences and the type of project they are working on. Be that as it may, if you’ll need more support, you can always Contact Us at any time and let us know how we can sort you out. Until the next one, thanks for stopping by, you are welcome!

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