What is a PHP framework? Which one is the best?

A PHP framework is a platform for building PHP applications. A framework is a collection of libraries that provide easy implementation of common tasks. A PHP framework provides a basic structure to streamline web application development. PHP frameworks enforce MVC architecture, which is highly recommended for complex projects.

Some of the top level PHP frameworks:

1. Laravel

Laravel has become the world’s most popular free and open source PHP framework. It can process complex web applications securely and arguably much faster than other frameworks. It’s a feature-packed PHP framework that you can use to customize complex applications. These include, but are not limited to: seamless data migration, MVC architecture support, security, routing, view model engine and authentication.

2. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is a lightweight and simple PHP framework that unlike other frameworks is easy to install. A simple installation process and very illustrated documentation make it ideal for beginners. Compared to other frameworks, CodeIgniter is significantly faster and easier to learn without compromising the quality.

3. Symfony

Symfony framework was released in 2005 and while it has been around for much longer than the other frameworks, it is a reliable and mature platform. Symfony is the perfect choice for developing large business projects. In Symfony, there are reusable PHP components. It is also database engine independent and stable, conforms to most web design best practices and patterns and allows integration with third-party libraries.

4. CakePHP

CakePHP helps you develop visually stunning and feature rich websites. In addition, CakePHP is one of the easiest frameworks to learn. It became popular because of its CRUD technology (Create, Read, Update and Delete) which is easier than other frameworks.

5. Yii

Yii is indeed simple and scalable. It is a powerful, component-based PHP framework for modern web application development. Yii is suitable for all types of web applications and that’s why it is a universal web programming framework. It offers great speed and performance, highly extensible and allows developers to avoid the complexity of writing repetitive SQL statements by allowing them to model the data in the database in the form of objects.

6. Zend Framework

The Zend framework is ideal for complex enterprise-level projects. The speciality of Zend framework is it can be integrated seamlessly with external libraries. The Zend framework comes with very good documentation and has a large community. However, if you’re a mobile app builder, expect a steep learning curve.

7. Phalcon

Phalcon is easy to install and ideal for building highly configurable web applications that conform to business development guidelines. Key features include increased execution speed, asset management, a universal autoloader and optimal security and caching. In contrast to other frameworks, Phalcon optimizes performance through its efficient use of memory.

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