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    The Top 5 PHP Frameworks for Building Software Products

    The Top 5 PHP Frameworks for Building Software Products

    The Top 5 PHP Frameworks for Building Software Products

    Posted by Tech.us Category:

    The choice to hire PHP developers is a simple one, and choosing to outsource can create a smoother and higher-quality process. When you outsource PHP development, you have flexibility in the number of PHP frameworks you can use.

    Each PHP developer will have their own strengths and weaknesses, and preferred frameworks. Additionally, each framework has its strengths and weaknesses, and there are five in particular that stand out as the best PHP frameworks for building software products. If you hire PHP developers for your project, they should be familiar with at least one of these:

    1.  Laravel

    As one of the most popular PHP frameworks, Laravel is used by developers around the world and is particularly popular for its accessibility, and universality. Laravel simplifies the development process through the reduction of task complexity for session, queuing, routing, and authentication.


    Since Laravel is so popular, it has a vast ecosystem that includes an instant hosting and deployment platform. The addition of online tutorials lets developers fill in knowledge gaps without interrupting their work and respond to developing issues as they arise.


    It has the ability to handle complex web applications, so PHP developers are not limited in the scope of their work. Combining this capacity for complexity with security and speed, it’s no wonder Laravel is topping the charts of PHP frameworks.

    2.  Symfony

    Symfony has the advantage of time, and being around for more than 15 years gives it an advantage many other frameworks don’t have: time-tested experience. It is trusted by PHP developers to handle all of their development needs and has gotten the job done reliably for years. Many content management systems take advantage of Symfony components, including Drupal, OroCRM, and PHP Bulletin Board.

    Availability of Reusable Resources

    Libraries and components can be reused and repurposed easily, making authentication, templating, and object configuration simpler and less time-consuming. Instead of starting from scratch with each new project, you can take something off the shelf, tinker with it, and customize it to your liking.

    Perfect for Large-Scale Projects

    For companies implementing new or fixing old large-scale enterprise projects, Symfony checks all of the boxes. The ecosystem is massive, incorporating a highly active programming community, with forums and online tutorials if you are just getting started. If you hire PHP developers familiar with Symfony, you are getting a strong resource with the support of a programming community to go with it.

    3.  Slim Framework

    Often used for simple and powerful web applications, Slim Framework lets you get your PHP development done in a micro-framework that prioritizes simplicity and efficiency.


    Slim is considered a micro-framework, which means it is designed to work best for small applications. If you do not require the feature of a full-stack framework, then Slim will be perfect for you and your PHP developer.

    Minimal, But Feature-Packed

    Although Slim is designed to be minimal and efficient, it still has all the features you need and more. It includes URL routing, session and cookie encryption, client-side HTTP caching, and the support for “flash” messages across HTTP requests.



    The Slim Framework Community is popular and active and gives you more tutorials and support than you will likely ever need. If your developer runs into trouble with a specific request, they can fix it on their own by troubleshooting with a community of other Slim developers.

    4.  Phalcon

    While Slim was the minimal, and efficient option, Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework that was originally written in C and C++ language. Luckily, you don’t need to learn C to use it.

    Need for Speed

    Phalcon is laser-fast, making your work time and product delivery seamless. It uses a handful of resources instead of a single resource like many other available frameworks. Speed is especially important for keeping your costs down if your developer does not have much room for overhead expenses.

    Constant Improvement

    Phalcon has been consistently updated with big upgrades since its inception, and that continues to be a focus for developers. The latest release includes support for ORM, MVC, caching, and PHP 7.

    5.  CakePHP

    With over a decade in use, Cake PHP continues to rank among the most popular frameworks. Adaptation to the needs of the market and keeping up with modern times put it on the top five list for the best PHP frameworks.

    New Features

    Cake PHP is constantly under development and continues to offer new features, keeping the user base growing steadily. If your PHP developer is using CakePHP, it is a good sign that they will have all the tools they need to execute your vision.

    Commercial Projects

    The framework is best for commercial application projects, and this is the most common application for developers. If your PHP development requires SQL injection prevention, cross-site request forgery protection, cross-site scripting protection, CakePHP has all of this covered for you and your PHP developer.

    Which One Is Right for You?

    This list is by no means an exhaustive one, and each framework has its limitations. For example, Slim may be able to handle your smaller web applications, but if you need variety, you may need to switch to Laravel. Deciding which framework is right for you is a question of how you might answer your development needs.

    Selecting Developer or Framework

    If you have the project requirements in hand, then it’s likely you already know what you’re looking for. Should you find the right developer first and then discover if they can use the right framework or filter by developers who can already use the framework you need?

    All of the frameworks listed here will work for different applications, but your core needs should be addressed first. Finding a developer who can work with the framework you need should be the first priority.

    Framework First

    If your developer doesn’t know how to use the PHP framework you want to use or the one your project requires, then it’s time to switch. While many frameworkds have abundant support and tutorials, you don’t want to wait for a developer to learn how to use the framework before they start working.

    PHP developers who specialize in certain frameworks will also have higher quality skills and be able to execute your vision for your project better. A PHP developer unfamiliar with the framework may be able to learn through tutorials and self-learning, but it will take longer and may not be done to the level of quality you expect.

    Prioritize the Project

    Above all, when selecting a framework, you should prioritize the project and choose the one that best suits your goal. Trying to work around limitations from either the developer or the PHP framework will mean making compromises, sometimes in critical areas.

    Limited Features


    A minimal or feature-specific framework will not work to make your project better; it will only hinder it. You should be choosing a framework that lets you expand the scope of your project if you think of something else you would like to add.

    Your PHP developer should also be able to change frameworks if necessary to accommodate the shift in thinking and change the project. Flexibility in features and developers are key ingredients to the recipe of a successful PHP development project.


    Whether big or small, you need to prioritize the power of the framework to avoid getting caught flat-footed halfway through. If the framework can’t solve every problem or create every feature of the applications of your dreams, skip it.

    Using full-stack PHP development platforms will help you avoid this. Focus on Laravel or Phalcon if maximum power and features are a priority for your project. It is better to have too much at your disposal than too little and risk getting caught with the tide pulling you out to sea.

    Next Steps

    Your framework is as essential to PHP development as your developer is, and so both need to be chosen carefully. If your project is in place and everyone knows what they want to accomplish, it’s time to get started.

    Make a Decision

    Decide on your PHP development framework and stick with it. Cost overruns are common with development projects and can be problematic if you want the highest quality for the work. If you need to change midway through the project, it is going to cost you time and money.

    Choose People, Not Just Skills


    There are a lot of developers who can program using these PHP development frameworks. Many of the frameworks have been around for decades and have built a loyal user base that continues to grow. The issue is not finding someone that can program using the PHP framework but finding someone that mixes well with your company framework.

    Your PHP developer should have the obvious qualifications, but they should also work the same way that you do and mesh well with your existing team. All of the frameworks listed above require collaboration with the front-end development team, and they will need to communicate well to make that happen effectively.

    If you can get on board with their skills and who they are as a developer, then that is a good sign you should hire them if they come with the ability to program using the framework you want.

    Take It Slow

    Mistakes are common in PHP development, mostly due to the complexity of executing someone else’s vision for a web application or from a disconnect in communication with the front-end developer or team. Your PHP framework should be chosen carefully and slowly, with input from your PHP developer.

    Take it slow, take it easy, and get the job done right the first time so there is no second time.


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