Updated on 22 Dec 2020 | 4 Min Read

For many years now, PHP or Hypertext processor language is being widely used for web development worldwide. Though it is considered to be a lot secure and stable, it has had its share of upgrades and evolution since day one.

So, basically, PHP Developers have to write long lines of code and code. The cycle goes on and on. This can be very time consuming and harm productivity. In addition to that, every time a change has to be made, the code has to be written from scratch.

This is where PHP Frameworks come into play. A framework is technically an abstraction of the original language (PHP) in software that provides generic functionality and selective changes through reusable user-written code. Has been one of the most used programming languages for developing websites and applications.

If you are a noob, intermediate, or expert in PHP, it does not matter. A PHP framework can help you to dramatically increase your efficiency and swiftness, thus completing your project with quality code in less time.

There are literally tons of frameworks out there in the community for you to choose, but, we have a list compiled of the five most efficient and straightforward PHP Frameworks, you can choose anyone as per the project's need.

Which framework is most used in PHP?

1. Laravel

On top of our list is the latest and most popular framework of PHP, Laravel. Released in 2011, this framework has swept off its competition and is literally topping the charts as the developer community's favorite PHP framework.

The primary reason for the growing demand is due to its ability to handle complex web application code with enhanced security, speed, and simplicity of usage. In addition to this, it makes the process of development very easier as compared to other frameworks by reducing the complexity faced by PHP Developers in carrying out simple tasks such as routing, sessions, queuing, and authentication.

Laravel has a vast ecosystem that offers an extensive, instant, and diverse hosting, along with screencast tutorials, enabled development platforms. It has a feature called Homestead, and a prepackaged development environment called Vagrant Box which ensures hassle-free coding.

Finally, it also offers highly encrypted packages, versatile overloading capabilities via dynamic methods, and a variety of functionalities. To understand more about this framework, you can access Laravel Interview Questions for getting a better overview of the subject

2. CodeIgniter

This is a very light framework known for its incredibly small footprint and seamless installation. Being simple yet powerful, CodeIgniter is only 2MB in size, including the documentation of the framework. It is used specifically for building dynamic websites due to its pre-built modules, which help develop robust, reliable, and reusable components.

The thing which attracts the developers more towards this particular framework is its smooth workflow on shared as well as dedicated hosting servers. It is considerably faster than other frameworks with reliable performance, thus an excellent choice for developing small and lightweight applications running on simple servers.

Having a negligible adoption struggle for PHP, it has many features like enhanced security, encryption, and simplified error handling. Being very organized and documented, CodeIgniter is the best choice for budding PHP Developers who are shifting towards a framework. To get a better understanding of the subject, read CodeIgniter Interview Questions.

3. Symfony

One of the most trusted and oldest PHP frameworks, Symfony, was launched in 2005 and has since ousted many business competitors. It is an extensive PHP framework and honestly the only one who actually follows all the standards of PHP to the letter.

Its components are widely used in various Content Management Systems such as Drupal, PHP Bulletin Board, OroCRM, and more. Symfony is the first choice while searching for PHP Frameworks due to its reusable library components, object configuration, and templating functionality along with many others.

Due to the myriad of functionalities, it is chosen consistently for large-scale enterprise projects. Having a massive ecosystem and a highly active developer community, Symfony is updated regularly and has been selected by many PHP Developers as their choice for a framework.

4. CakePHP

Being more than ten years old, CakePHP is still being used mostly among PHP developers as a framework, which ultimately speaks of its trust and reliability among the developer community. With each update, it has kept up with changes and evolves according to the user needs appropriately.

Its latest update has changes leading to improved modularity and ability for the creation of standalone libraries. Being very straightforward and easy to learn, it is a popular choice among new PHP Developers. Moreover, the installation process is also straightforward, and the requirements for running CakePHP include only one web server and a copy of the framework. Having a prime focus on security such as SQL injection prevention, cross-site scripting, cross-site forgery protection, and more, it is a trendy choice among organizations developing a commercial application.

5. Yii (Yes it is)

One of the most evolutionary and straightforward PHP Frameworks, Yii, is a high-performance component-based PHP framework that is used in developing many modern and dynamic web applications.

Yii is a universal web programming framework that is suitable for developing almost all types of web apps. It has a straightforward installation process and focuses on security, which makes it perfect for eCommerce platforms, CMS forums, portals, and whatnot.

It has excellent speed and performance stats, which make it highly scalable, thus, enabling developers to avoid the complexity of writing redundant SQL statements by modeling data in the database in terms of objects. Having an active and massive developer community in addition to a core developer team, there are regular updates with excellent support for developers having any issues during development.

Yii is one of the most resourceful and customizable PHP frameworks with the ability to rewrite almost every single line of code. Although having these advanced features makes it a bit difficult to learn, hence, it is a popular choice among seasoned PHP developers with enough experience to know their way around the code.


So, after reading about the most used PHP frameworks, you might have come across some which are lightweight, some with enhanced security, some having a variety of libraries, and standalone functionalities. Be that as it may, it is the combination of the most efficient, secure, and lightweight PHP framework is none other than Laravel.