The 6 best PHP frameworks in 2021

Websites have become more complex and sophisticated over time, and the positive thing is that they now deliver far more value than before. For most developers, it is PHP frameworks that provide tools to create websites that bring these websites to life. Therefore, almost 80% of web pages on the Internet are supported by PHP frameworks.

What is a PHP Framework?

PHP is a widely used, powerful programming language that we can use to develop large web applications. PHP frameworks optimize the development of web applications written in PHP by providing a basic structure for creating web applications. Thus, PHP frameworks encourage rapid application development (RAD), which saves you time, creates more stable applications, and reduces the amount of repetitive coding for developers. Frameworks can also help beginners build more stable apps by ensuring proper database interaction and coding at the presentation level. This way, you can spend more time building the actual web application instead of writing repetitive code.

Why should I use a framework?

Developers use PHP frameworks for different reasons, but the main one is to speed up the development process. By reusing code from similar projects, the developer saves a lot of time and effort. A framework provides out-of-the-box modules for performing tedious coding tasks so that the developer can spend their time developing the actual application instead of building the foundation for each individual project.

What should you pay attention to when choosing a framework?

Finding the right PHP framework is not that easy. You should know what a framework can do. Not every PHP framework offers the same support. If you are already familiar with a framework, it should have several options or advantages:

  • Extensive database support
  • Good support from a community
  • Good documentation
  • Model View Controller architecture


List of popular PHP frameworks:

The reason it is so popular is because of its ease of use and virtually no learning curve required. And yet, it is a framework that developers use for serious work. At first sight, it may seem like a simple tool, but it can become very complex when it comes to producing concrete work.

Laravel has many built-in features that support rapid application development on any web hosting for PHP. It includes the platform’s own template engine called Blade, the local development environment Homestead and many other features.


Symfony has a large community of over 300,000 developers. The Symfony development team not only offers training in different languages but also regularly updates their blog to keep the large community active. The framework is highly recommended by the developers because of its advanced features and easy-to-understand environment.

Symfony components use reusable PHP libraries, which greatly simplifies various development tasks such as form creation, routing authentication, object configuration, templates, and many others.

Unlike Laravel, Symfony has a learning curve due to the multitude of functions. However, the rapidly growing community and several unofficial support groups make it a lot easier to learn and familiarize yourself with what the framework has to offer.

Yii 2

Yii is one of the oldest PHP frameworks and is not supported by any company. Instead, an international team of developers provides support and provides efficient and modern requirements for web development. Yii 2 is a direct competitor to Symfony 2, although with an easier learning curve.

Benefits: With its outstanding features, Yii 2 is primarily chosen when developers need results quickly. Because of its design, it works well with AJAX and has powerful caching support. This makes Yii 2 another great choice among developers.

Developers can use it to model database data into objects to avoid the complexity of repeatedly writing SQL queries. With Yii2, developers ensure extensible, efficient, and easy-to-maintain web applications.


CakePHP has seen many ups and downs in the PHP framework community. But with the release of version 3.7, the framework has arrived in our time.

CakePHP was released in 2005 and is available under the MIT license. It can be used free of charge for personal or commercial use. In earlier stages, the CakePHP attracted names like Hyundai, Express, and BMW, etc., as corporate users.

Zend Framework

Zend is a powerful PHP framework that enables rapid application development. The Zend Framework is supported by a broad community of developers and is one of the most advanced PHP frameworks on the market. This PHP platform has many advanced features that allow developers to easily build robust applications.


CodeIgniter is a powerful PHP framework with advanced features and the ideal framework for developers who want to develop their projects quickly. It contains a library with a simple interface that requires a logical structure to be accessed. CodeIgniter shines for many developers because it allows them to focus on the creativity part and requires little to no coding work.


Regardless of how great your experience as a developer, you can reduce your workload by implementing a PHP framework. A PHP framework speeds up the coding and development process and eliminates the need for repeated coding. The suggestions above can be used as a good starting point for choosing the right framework.
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