Web20 University

Which PHP Framework Is Best?

Selecting the “best” PHP framework is largely dependent on the specific needs of your project. However, here are some of the most popular PHP frameworks, along with their respective pros and cons:

  1. Laravel

    • Pros:
      • High-level abstractions of common web development patterns and concise syntax, making it very developer-friendly.
      • Incorporates modern PHP development practices and features.
      • Rich set of functionalities, including an ORM, routing, queuing, and authentication.
      • Vibrant community and a large ecosystem, including many third-party packages.
    • Cons:
      • Can be overkill for small-scale projects due to its complexity.
      • Performance can be an issue for high-scale applications, although optimization practices can mitigate this.
  2. Symfony

    • Pros:
      • Highly flexible and can be used for a wide range of project sizes.
      • Comes with a large set of reusable PHP components.
      • Very stable, with a long history and a well-established reputation.
      • Used by large projects such as Drupal and Magento.
    • Cons:
      • Can be complex and have a steeper learning curve for newcomers.
      • Less developer-friendly syntax compared to Laravel.
  3. CodeIgniter

    • Pros:
      • Simplicity and excellent performance.
      • Small footprint: the entire source code for CodeIgniter is close to 2MB.
      • Offers a simple and elegant toolkit to create full-featured web applications.
    • Cons:
      • Lacks some of the modern features provided by Laravel and Symfony.
      • Smaller community and fewer third-party resources compared to Laravel and Symfony.
  4. Zend Framework (Now Laminas)

    • Pros:
      • Highly configurable and suitable for complex, enterprise-level projects.
      • Highly secure and robust with a long history.
      • Lots of components that can be used independently.
    • Cons:
      • Can be over-complicated for small to medium-sized projects.
      • Has a steep learning curve due to its complexity.
  5. CakePHP

    • Pros:
      • Simplicity and rapid development with code generation features.
      • Has built-in security features such as SQL injection prevention.
      • Conventions in CakePHP help streamline the development process.
    • Cons:
      • Not as popular as Laravel or Symfony, which can lead to fewer resources for learning and troubleshooting.
      • Some developers find the conventions restrictive.


  1. Laravel: https://laravel.com/
  2. Symfony: https://symfony.com/
  3. CodeIgniter: https://codeigniter.com/
  4. Laminas Project (formerly Zend Framework): https://getlaminas.org/
  5. CakePHP: https://cakephp.org/