17 Apr Best Frameworks for PHP Web Development in 2020
Every decade brings with it a whole new set of advancements. Like, the first iPad, launched in 2010, brought a revolution in the industry. Looking at the engagement of people with the internet, it can be predicted that such a revolution can be plausibly seen in the field of Web Development in this decade.
A framework is an abstraction of the system in which the generic services are already written in the form of reusable codes. The services can be altered as per the requirements and the desired outcome can be achieved. It is because of the frameworks that the development becomes swift. The PHP frameworks provide you with a bunch of reusable code which is very well-organized. The frameworks, as they save a lot of time from coding, give you extra time to work on more features that can be included to make your website creative.
Let us look at some of the best frameworks of PHP for Web Development in 2020.
An open-source MVC (Model View Control) framework, Laravel, lets its users manage the coding tasks in an easy, flexible and efficient conduct. There have been many changes in the syntax and other features of Laravel, after constructive criticism by several developers about inconsistencies in the framework. The escalation in popularity of this framework can be attributed to the ease of coding with this framework which can be used for designing and building complex web applications. Moreover, it provides a secure and speedy execution. Laravel 6.14.0 is the latest version which has this new function – dispatchAfterResponse(). This method can be used to dispatch only a short coding job, but instantaneously, and not having for it to wait in a queue. The artisan CLI (Command Line Interface) of PHP allows you to schedule tasks for event occurrences and this can be used to have a glitch-free experience of web development. Most of the coding tasks can be automated using this tool – Artisan CLI as it creates a skeleton and simplifies the code management. Moreover, the framework aims at simplifying the entire development process by abridging the tasks of session management, routing, queuing, authentication, etc. Because of a vast ecosystem offered by Laravel, the developers tend to prefer it more. It enables instant hosting and deployment, and there are tutorials about screen-casting on the official website of Laravel. Homestead is a nomadic box (pre-packaged for easing development) which improves the development. Overloading by the use of the dynamic methods, strong encryption techniques, etc. are parts of a large set of out of the box functionalities provided by Laravel. If you find any difficulty in using Laravel in your project, feel free to go to the official website that houses detailed informative documentation.
Symfony framework was launched in 2005, and evidently, it has lasted longer than any other PHP framework. It has been able to hold the trust of developers for over fifteen years now, and the best thing about it is that it keeps on maturing with time. It will not be surprising if it does wonders in the coming decade too. It is the only PHP framework that completely follows the standards of PHP as well as web development. Many modules developed using this framework are being used in Drupal, OroCRM, and PHP Bulletin Board (PHPBB). There are numerous reusable libraries and components available with this framework for the purpose of authentication, templating, configuring objects, etc. and this has made it popular in the web developing community. It is very stable and has this feature of engine independent database support with which it stands out. You can combine it with many third-party libraries and design patterns. For almost all the large scale enterprise assignments, Symfony proves to be the one-stop-shop. Alike Laravel, Symfony has also got a vast ecosystem. It too has got large community support and has many tutorials for the beginners.
CodeIgniter is a very small framework, 2MB in size which also includes its documentation, used for web applications. Although it is small in size, it provides a simple toolkit with various modules built for assistance in developing amazing web applications. Alike Laravel, this framework too uses the MVC technique to separate the business logic from presentation logic. The coding style and type of functionalities provided by CodeIgniter are better than Laravel, and so it is being used widely too.
Because of its small footprint, it is very easy to install and it does not require much configuration prerequisites than just the basic ones. The web applications developed using this framework has proven to work smoothly on shared as well as dedicated hosts. The fast speed and solid performance being the reasons, this framework turns out to be the best choice for developing small lightweight web applications. CodeIgniter has a very simple error handling, security and encryption scheme, etc. Being so simple, this framework can be the best option for a beginner. Although there are several benefits of using this framework, it is advisable to not use this for applications that have strong security requirements.
Based on the concept of DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), Yii is an object-oriented framework. The successor of Yii is Yii 2 which has several improvements on the previous framework, which is one of the oldest frameworks of PHP used for large-scale web development. It is a good choice as it can be easily integrated with JQuery and AJAX. It is faster than many other frameworks because of its lazy-loading feature. Yii 2 comes with a powerful code generator tool Gii which can be used by the programmers to generate the code of their desire. Gii has simplified the object-oriented programming requirements with rapid prototyping. It has a web interface through which the programmers can interact and generate code. It has a very short development time as there is an availability of numerous packages for security and other purposes.
CakePHP can be used to create a feature-rich web application that is visually appealing as well. Moreover, its backward compatibility has made the websites or web applications upgradable to bring about changes. The framework, more than a decade ole, is still in the hearts of the developers because it has kept up with changes and time. Every version brings new changes that only make the framework more likeable. It provides support for modular programming and also allows you to create your own standalone libraries.
CakePHP has provisions for security in the form of protection from SQL Injection, Cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting, etc. Moreover, its other features include inheritance, validation, faster builds, etc. Apart from the premium support from its parent company, there are many other portals for support for this framework too. Moreover, it is very easy to get a hang of, easy to install and use too. All you need is a web server and a copy of the framework and you are good.
The features like interfaces, classes, inheritance, etc. make Zend a completely object-oriented framework. It is a customizable framework and so, by using it you can deliver an amazing website to your clients with all their requirements fulfilled. This framework too follows the approach of MVC. Other advanced features include simple cloud API, data encryption, support for external libraries, proper documentation, large community support, etc. Zend was developed keeping in mind the agile methodology of web development and by using this framework; you can aim at developing good enterprise level applications. As it focuses on enterprise applications, it comes with a set of related features too such as authentication, services, forms, etc. It comes with an option for drag and drop elements, online debugging tools, scalable interface, coding tools, etc all required for building complex web applications or websites. Even though it offers a great set of features, it is still not considered ideal for the rapid development process. Moreover, it is one of the most difficult frameworks for neophytes.
Fuel PHP is one of the most flexible and extendable frameworks in PHP language. It is not limited to just the MVC approach. Rather, it is one step ahead of it as it follows the HMVC (Hierarchical Model View Control) approach in the architecture of the framework. This framework has an additional class – Presenter Class, between Controller and View layers. This class holds the required code logic for generating the necessary views. As it is a security-focused framework, it has several dedicated features that take care of the security concerns such as filtering of input and URL request query, output encoding, etc. It also has other unique features such as HMVC support, caching, routing mechanism, vulnerability protection, etc. This framework is more apt than most others for creating end-to-end solutions of varying sizes and complexities.
Slim is a micro-framework. The main idea behind this and other micro-frameworks is that they are developed just for making excellent small applications. It is suitable for applications that do not require full-stack development. The minimalism does not mean that it has not got any rich features. It has a support for URL routing, session management, cookie encryption, client side caching, flash messages with HTTP requests, etc. It is widely used for developing applications that follow the REST API and for other services. Slim has got a very active user base and it is well maintained. Updates are brought regularly to keep up with time. Also, there are many tutorials available.
This is not an exhaustive list of PHP frameworks. There are still a lot of other frameworks all with some capability to bring wonders in not only the year 2020 but the years ahead too. It is now clear that these frameworks have been designed with the sole purpose of simplifying the development process without compromising on any other feature. There is at least one framework available for whatever may be the requirements of your website. Every framework has got community support and tutorials for your reference to see that you do not get stuck somewhere. The documentations are very informative and helpful too. So, use the comfort of the frameworks and design and build amazing websites to do wonders.