With almost three decades of tradition, PHP has been the most popular scripting language for web projects, having several important backend frameworks in its inventory. With newer, constantly evolving alternatives to this programming language like Node.js, Phyton, and Ruby on Rails one might still wonder for which kind of applications will PHP still suitable in 2019 and which PHP frameworks are the best to use.
Is PHP still trending in 2019?
One might think that PHP is a thing of the past or that is only used by small enterprises. But this is quite far from the truth. For instance, Facebook uses PHP to maintain and create its internal systems. PHP powers the top three CMS engines: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. WordPress utilizes PHP to power its internals, which in return is powering more than 26% of the web. According to W3Techs, PHP is used by 83.4% of all websites whose server-side programming language we know and 244 million websites and web applications are running on it.
Advantages of PHP frameworks for business software development
Ever since PHP conquered the programming world, a large number of frameworks arrived in the market with their own set of tools and functionalities to let developers complete their small or large projects better and faster. Because businesses require complex websites and highly scalable web apps and creating code from the start makes it a tedious process, it was required a more structured way of web development, which led to the formation of frameworks for PHP to complement its working.
PHP Frameworks are platforms with pre-built modules, object-oriented programming tools and reusable codes for faster development and design of websites. PHP frameworks use rapid application design (RAD) to eliminate repetitive coding. Frameworks are super useful tools because they provide a structure and unified environment that will help you to build your projects faster and more efficiently. Using frameworks is also just good-overall web development practice that enhances scalability and long-term maintenance so you can dedicate more time to building high-quality code.
PHP frameworks offer some undisputable advantages for companies’ software:
- Cost Effectiveness
- Ease of Development
- Help with faster speed to market
At Clarisoft Technologies we’ve made an inventory of the frameworks we use with the best results in terms of performance and effectiveness, recommending them for enterprise software development. Among the most popular PHP are Laravel 5+, Symfony2+, Zend, Yii2+, Phalcon, and CakePHP, with Laravel gaining the most interest since 2016.
Created by Taylor Otwell in 2011, at the moment, Laravel is the most popular PHP framework. It is best suited for developing small to large applications with complex backend requirements. Laravel is a relatively new framework that simplifies the production process and takes much of the pain out of web app project. It is preferred due to the clean and elegant PHP code and simplifying tasks such as authentication, routing, containerization, and queues. Laravel has its own migration system for manipulating database queries. Laravel framework is extremely secure because it uses only hashed and salted password. It has a user-friendly dashboard (Laravel Horizon), Laravel Dusk for browser automation, API testing & Laravel Echo for event broadcasting.
Laravel’s main features
- RESTful routing
- Supports Postgres, MySQL, SQL Server and SQLite database systems
- Native PHP or lightweight tempting engine called “Blade”
- Uses MVC controller
- Inherent Database Version control
- Built-in unit testing and simply readable impressive syntax
- Local development environment called Homestead that is a packaged Vagrant box
- Extend Laravel’s core functionality using add-ons
- Integrate Laravel with third-party libraries and platforms such as AWS
- Run tasks asynchronously in the background to improve performance
- Large and highly-active community of developers
Zend Framework is a collection of professional PHP packages with more than 200 million installations. Robust and stable, Zend Framework Development is appreciated as a very strong and valuable framework mentioned for enterprise-level projects. Usually not recommended for smaller projects but excellent for more complex ones. Zend has partners such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Adobe. It has a vast variety of features which ease the development of quality applications for business clients. Due to its standard set of libraries, Zend is a very powerful and scalable development tool. It provides a 100% object-oriented code, an authentic and high-performance MVC and easy-to-use database concept.
Zend’s main features
- Web & CLI Programming
- MVC Components
- Integrate Zend with external libraries easily
- Object-oriented web application framework
- Simple cloud API
- Re-use your code thanks to the platform’s design
- Session management
- Data encryption
- Flexible URI Routing
- Use only the components you want, and ignore everything else
Yii Framework stands out due to its robust set of security features, which you can use create highly secure projects. From input validation and output filtering to SQL injection attacks and cross-site scripting (XSS) prevention, it offers everything to ensure your application is safe and secure.
Because of its component-based architecture and sophisticated caching support, it is especially suitable for developing large-scale applications such as portals, forums, CMS, e-commerce projects, and RESTful Web services.
Yii 2 comes with rich features including MVC, DAO/ActiveRecord, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, testing. It provides excellent support for writing and running both unit tests and functionality tests, which are prominently based on PHPUnit and Selenium. It works extremely well with 3rd party codes. It is designed in a way that you can even use codes from PEAR or ZEND framework into your Yii Web Application. Yii Framework is well with JQuery and comes bundled with major Ajax-enabled widgets like auto-completion input field, Treeview, Data Grid etc that lets you write highly efficient and versatile UI. Yii is extremely extensible – can customize or replace nearly every piece of the core’s code.
Yii’s main features
- Excellent speed and performance
- Use the default setup or customize it to meet your precise needs
- Create secure websites and applications
- Allows developers to model database data in terms of objects and avoid the dullness and complexity of writing repetitive SQL statements
Although it is more than a decade old, CakePHP is still among the most popular PHP frameworks. CakePHP has big names in its portfolio, powering the websites of big brands such as BMW, Hyundai, and Express. CakePHP is modeled after the concepts of Ruby on Rails and distributed under the MIT License. As Yii, it is suitable for web apps that require a high level of security high-level of security, like commercial applications. That’s why comes with many built-in security features such as input validation, SQL injection prevention, XSS (cross-site scripting) prevention, CSRF (cross-site request forgery) protection. The framework offers a flexible architecture for the development, maintenance, and rapid deployment of applications. Also, due to its simple and elegant toolkit is favorite for creating a feature-loaded and visually impressive web application.
The modern PHP7 framework offers access to a flexible database layer and one powerful scaffolding system, which makes it easy to offer PHP best practices and build both – small and complex apps.
CakePHP’s main features
- Modern framework, Supports PHP 5.5+
- Scaffolding system and Fast builds
- Very good for commercial web applications (MIT License)
- Database Access, Caching, Validation, Authentication, are built in
- Use CakePHP’s conventions to code projects faster
- Extensive safekeeping tools include cross-site scripting prevention, SQL Injection prevention, SRF, and Form Validation
- Good Documentation
- Actively developed
CodeIgniter was created by EllisLab, and is now a project of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. CodeIgniter is known for its small footprint, is used for developing rapid web frameworks, which ultimately helps in the development of the dynamic websites in PHP. It is a light-weight PHP Framework that has been in the market for 10 years and has an easy installation process that requires minimal configuration. It works well on both shared and dedicated hosting platforms, uses the popular MVC controller approach and is known to be fast compared to other frameworks. Its drawback is that its releases are somewhat irregular, so it may not be the top option for applications that require high-level security standards.
CodeIgniter’s main features
- Use a lightweight framework built with performance in mind
- Gets started quickly, thanks to the framework’s simplicity and excellent documentation
- Create scalable apps using the framework’s MVC-based architecture
When it comes to developing large-scale, stable enterprise projects, Symfony makes a perfect choice among PHP frameworks. The components of the Symfony framework are used by many content management systems like Drupal, PHPBB, PIWIk, OROCRM and even the popular Laravel itself uses it. Symfony is highly flexible. It features a package and component system that enables you to cherry-pick the PHP functions you need, or simply use the entire framework. The bundle architecture of the framework provides a plug-n-play capability for all external libraries. Symfony is extremely speedy because it has less repetition of codes. Symfony APIs enable easy integration with third-party applications. It can be used with popular front-end frameworks like AngularJS.
Symfony’s main features
- Stable, sustainable and flexible 3 in 1 framework that is quickly adaptable to all your needs
- Symfony is a set of reusable PHP components
- Easy to install and configure on most platforms
- Database engine-independent
- Compliant with most web best practices and design patterns
- Enterprise-ready–adaptable to existing information technology
- Stable enough for long-term projects
- Allowing for integration for other vendor libraries
With a big bucket of robust, stable and secure frameworks, PHP remains a great backend tool for enterprise software development that complements very well modern frontend modern technologies. At Clarisoft Technologies we have used with great contempt from our clients Yii, Laravel, and CakePHP, easing the development of quality applications for business clients. Deciding on which framework to use depends on a variety of factors like ease of use, features available, documentation, scalability, etc. Contact us and we can talk about choosing the PHP framework that suits your project’s requirements best. Or get started by hiring PHP developers.