The best PHP frameworks for web developers

The best PHP frameworks for web developers

Author: HostZealot Team
2 min.

Development using a PHP framework is not for everyone: many IT specialists with extensive experience prefer to do everything on their own. However, the Framework can make life a lot easier, since it is a ready-made foundation on which you can build a solid and proven "building" in the form of a new application with ready-made functions and settings much faster.

The PHP framework itself is a collection of ready-made language libraries, which are regularly updated. The toolbox of the framework contains many ready-made modules that simplify the development process. Simply put, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time – all the basic and widespread functions can be found in the PHP framework base. Such modules only need to be slightly adapted to your product, and you don't have to spend a lot of time writing code from scratch.

Advantages and disadvantages of PHP frameworks: is it worth using them

Let's go through the key advantages of using ready-made software platforms that determine the structure of a software system:

  1. Convenience and simplicity. As a rule, the code presented in frameworks has the most simple and elegant semantics.
  2. Faster development process and reduced costs. Many frameworks use design patterns, they greatly simplify and speed up work on software.
  3. A higher level of security – software written using frameworks is usually more secure than the one written in pure PHP.
  4. All ready-made templates and modules are written according to the "Don't repeat yourself" (DRY) principle. This principle is aimed at reducing the amount of repetitive code, which is especially important for systems with multiple layers of abstraction.

In fact, any framework is a unified structure for software built on its basis. Hence another important advantage – it is much easier to develop and modify such software in the future because the standardized structures will be well understood not only by the author of the original code but also by any other developer familiar with the PHP framework.

This approach, however, has disadvantages as well:

  1. The development of the site's functionality will take longer than when using a CMS - this is because the framework structure contains only fundamental elements of business logic, and some of the functions will have to be implemented manually anyway. It's harder and longer than in the case of CMS, but it's still faster and easier than in the case of pure PHP programming.
  2. The bulk of PHP frameworks is paid.
  3. There are no ready-made templates for administrative modules, they will have to be organized manually, starting with pages for managing content, and ending with the development of an authorization system.

How to choose the right PHP framework

Several criteria are important to consider before starting development:

  1. Flexibility and functionality – whether the selected framework has all the necessary tools to implement your tasks.
  2. Is the platform adapted to modern programming methods and does it allow you to implement those functions that are currently relevant? In particular, object-oriented method support is important for modern development, but it is implemented on all modern platforms, so it is not a significant advantage.
  3. Convenience and scalability for projects created using a particular framework.
  4. The regularity of updates, the quality of support from the community and developers.
  5. Availability of support for the model-view-controller (MVC) data separation scheme. This scheme allows you to separate the business logic (model) from its visualization (view). The approach allows you to reuse code in places, which is especially convenient for projects where the same data must be displayed simultaneously in different contexts.

Now that this has been sorted out, let's look at the most popular and relevant PHP frameworks.

TOP 5 best PHP frameworks in 2022

Each PHP platform has its unique features and application specifics. Some of the frameworks from our TOP are paid, but we have also selected free solutions for those who are looking for the most budget option for implementing their ideas. So let's get started.


An open-source object-oriented component PHP framework that was originally developed to simplify and improve the efficiency of working with AJAX. An important advantage of the platform is an amazing optimization for caching tasks. It is very easy to configure, it provides very high performance, and has extremely flexible tools for working with code.

The previously mentioned MVC scheme is fully implemented here, and it is also possible to quickly generate controllers and models through the browser element Gii – visual interface. The Yii framework scales and expands well, it contains a lot of tested and ready-to-implement components, including for multi-level caching.


Another top free web framework optimized for software development using MVC architecture. The platform has a number of key advantages:

  • an elegant and simple syntax that is easy to work with;
  • full integration with third-party libraries and platforms, which is good for highly scalable software;
  • the basic functionality of the platform is well expanded with the help of add-ons;
  • the ability to run tasks asynchronously in the background;
  • built-in functions for managing routing, accounts, caching, etc.

The Laravel architecture is based on a large number of features: packages, application logic, class autoloading, Blade template engine, pagination, control inversion, and much more. All this makes this framework an optimal choice both for personal projects and for solving corporate-level tasks.

the best php frameworks for web developers


A popular PHP framework with a fairly simple and convenient configuration, which is suitable for writing the most simple and concise applications. With this framework, the process of writing code is maximally simplified, and in the output, at the expense of this, we get a high-quality optimization and speed of the software components.

CodeIgniter is optimal for developing web applications, its tools are sharpened to create small but elegant software solutions. In addition, the platform has an open-source code, so if necessary, developers can modify the framework adapting the functionality for themselves.

There are a huge number of video tutorials on this web framework on the Internet, which makes it easy and fast for even a beginner to get used to it. Of the key features, it is worth noting:

  • availability of MySQL database support, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, SQLite, and Oracle;
  • there are a large number of libraries in the arsenal that allow you to adapt the software for any task, whether it's sending mail or working with images;
  • the ability to cache SQL queries and generated pages in HTML format on the server;
  • modularity is implemented, there are a large number of additions;
  • the possibility of using third-party template engines.

The platform is licensed under the CodeIgniter License Agreement, it is actively supported by the community, so you can count on regular updates during development. Well, cross-platform is also an important advantage.


An open-source platform supported by a development team from SensioLabs. Symfony has a modular structure, the PHP framework consists of many independent blocks that allow you to develop flexible software with a high level of optimization. Here are the main advantages of the platform:

  • the developed ecosystem of the project;
  • availability of detailed documentation in different languages, including French, English, German;
  • a bug tracking mechanism using unit tests simplifies the polishing of software.

The framework is often used to develop complex multi-level projects, including E-Commerce. It is also worth noting the fact that this is a completely free framework published under the X11 license developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is a permissive license that allows programmers to safely use the licensed code in closed software.

Zend Framework

A free PHP framework, also known as The Laminas Project. The platform is based on the principles of MVC with all the advantages and disadvantages. It also contains many libraries that will be extremely useful when building applications with the integration of popular services like YouTube, Instagram, Tik-Tok, and others.

All components of the Zend Framework are written in object-oriented code PHP 5, here is a very flexible architecture of linking. This means that the individual parts of the project will have minimal dependencies on each other.

An important advantage of this framework is its versatility – it is compatible with all current database management systems, including MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle Database, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and Informix. Zend Framework is considered one of the best solutions for those who prefer object-oriented programming when developing websites and software.


We hope that our TOP 5 PHP frameworks will help you decide on the right platform for development. If you have any questions, please contact our specialists. We will answer all your questions, as well as provide favorable conditions for renting servers for the placement of projects of any complexity.

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