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Best PHP Frameworks for 2018

08.05.2018 Daria Mickiewicz
Best PHP Frameworks for 2018

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages in the world and is used in major projects. For instance, Facebook uses PHP to maintain and create its internal systems. WordPress utilizes PHP to power its internals, which in return is powering more than 26% of the web. According to W3Techs, PHP is used by 83.4% of all websites whose server-side programming language we know.

In this article, we’ll look at the most popular PHP frameworks to help you decide which one might best fit your needs.

Following is the list of the best PHP frameworks for 2018:


Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework intended for web app development following the MVC architectural pattern and based on Symfony. Some features of Laravel are:

  • a modular packaging system with a dedicated dependency manager
  • different ways to access relational databases
  • utilities that aid in application deployment and maintenance
  • orientation toward syntactic sugar

Laravel is used not only for big projects but also works well for small projects. The source code of Laravel is hosted on GitHub and licensed under the terms of MIT License.


Symfony is a PHP framework for web applications and a set of reusable PHP components. Symfony is used by web applications like and and popular PHP projects like Drupal and Magento. Symfony APIs enable easy integration with third-party applications. It can be used with popular front-end frameworks like AngularJS.

Symfony pioneered a developer toolbar that allows developers to spot and correct problems early in the project. Using this toolbar is now common practice in other PHP frameworks.


Phalcon is a PHP web framework based on the MVC pattern. It is written in Zephir and C and aims to boost execution speed, reduce resource usage, and handle more HTTP requests per second.

Phalcon offers features like an ORM, a request object library, a template engine, caching, and pagination.

The install process only takes a few minutes, and installation instructions can be found in the documentation. Phalcon is open-source, and you can modify the code and recompile it if you want.


FuelPHP is a Model-View-Controller framework that was designed to offer full support for HMVC as part of its architecture. ViewModels (or presentation models) are also added, which give you the option to add a powerful layer between the Controller and the View.

FuelPHP supports a router-based approach, meaning you might route directly to a closure that deals with the input URI, making the closure the controller and giving it additional execution controls.

Zend Framework

Zend is a PHP framework for developing web applications and services using PHP. It offers object-oriented code using a broad spectrum of language features.

Zend Framework uses Composer as a package dependency manager, PHPUnit to test all packages, and Travis CI as a Continuous Integration service. Zend also follows PHP-FIG standards and includes implementation of PSR-7 for HTTP message interfaces.


PHPixie is one of the most popular full stack PHP frameworks that retains a high performance. This is partly because of the strict architecture that avoids common pitfalls like reliance on static methods, global scope, singletons, and other anti-patterns, which also ensures that the code is easy to read, debug, extend, and test. In fact, all PHPixie components boast full unit test coverage.

PHPixie also provides a friendly and helpful community. You can expect to get an answer to your question within minutes of asking it in the chat. The framework documentation is full of examples and is updated with tutorial videos.


CakePHP is an open-source web framework. It follows the model–view–controller approach and is written in PHP, modeled after the concepts of Ruby on Rails, and distributed under the MIT License.

CakePHP uses well-known software engineering concepts and software design patterns, like convention over configuration, model–view–controller, active record, association data mapping, and front controller.


Yii is a high performance, component-based PHP framework to rapidly develop web applications. Because of its component-based architecture and sophisticated caching support, it is especially suitable for developing large-scale applications such as portals, forums, CMS, e-commerce projects, and RESTful Web services.

Yii provides many proven and ready-to-use features: query builders and ActiveRecord for both relational and NoSQL databases, RESTful API development support, and multi-tier caching support.

Yii is extremely extensible. You can customize or replace nearly every piece of the core’s code.


Slim is a PHP micro framework inspired by Ruby’s Sinatra. It is best used to build lightweight RESTful APIs with its built standard and add-on features such as URL handling and routing as well as HTTP caching. Developing with Slim is easy because it is actively maintained and it has extensive, beginner-friendly documentation.


CodeIgniter is an application development framework for people who build websites using PHP. It enables you to develop projects much faster than you could if you were writing code from scratch by providing a set of libraries as well as a simple interface and logical structure to access these libraries. CodeIgniter lets you focus on your project by minimizing the amount of code needed for a given task.

Fat-Free Framework

F3 is a PHP micro-framework designed to help you build dynamic and robust web apps. F3 gives you a solid foundation, a mature code base, and a no-nonsense approach. It includes a web development toolkit, a high-performance URL routing and cache engine, built-in code highlighting, and support for multilingual applications. It’s lightweight, easy-to-use, and fast.

F3 supports both SQL and NoSQL databases off-the-shelf: MySQL, SQLite, MSSQL/Sybase, PostgreSQL, DB2, and MongoDB. It also comes with object-relational mappers for data abstraction and modeling that are as lightweight as the framework. No configuration is needed.

F3 is packaged with other optional plug-ins that extend its capabilities.


Aura is a minimal framework for combined web and command-line projects. It provides a dependency injection container, a configuration system, a web router and dispatcher, a CLI dispatcher, a pair of web request and response objects, a pair of CLI context and standard I/O objects, and a logging instance.

This minimal implementation should not be interpreted as “restrictive.” The DI container, with its two-stage configuration system, allows a wide range of programmatic service definitions. The router and dispatchers are built with iterative refactoring in mind, so you can start with micro-framework-like closures and work your way into more complex controller and command objects of your own design.


Flight is a PHP micro-framework. It gives you a few tools to manage common tasks like routing and loading classes—suggesting a structure and method of coding—but leaves everything else up to you.

Flight PHP allows you to:

  • handle requests through a logical routing system
  • respond to requests in a uniform fashion
  • set variables
  • add filters to methods before and after they are called
  • register classes
  • handle views


Medoo is a lightweight database abstraction library for PHP. Its main features include:

  • Support for multiple databases: MySQL, MariaDB, Sybase, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle
  • Secure: prevents SQL injection, it uses PDO
  • Easy to use: API is very intuitive

Medoo is an interesting project that went from being outright dismissed to somewhat accepted.


Pop PHP is an open-source, object-oriented PHP framework that can be used to build REST applications and APIs.

Pop’s focus is to provide a robust set of lightweight tools to assist developers with rapid application development. Pop aims to help developers get the features they need in their applications. It uses only a few web-based components, although additional components can be added at any time.


Nette Framework is an open-source framework for creating web applications in PHP. It supports AJAX, DRY, KISS, MVC, and code reusability. Nette is a free software released under both the New BSD license and the GNU GPL version 2 or 3.

Features include:

  • an excellent templating system
  • unbeatable diagnostic tools
  • effective database layer
  • rock-solid protection against known vulnerabilities
  • HTML5 and AJAX support, SEO friendly
  • well-written documentation and an active open source community
  • mature and clean object-oriented design leveraging the latest PHP features
  • best-practice solutions that are encouraged, but not enforced

We hope you found this list of the Best PHP Frameworks useful.

If you are finding it difficult to develop an app using PHP, you can hire an experienced PHP developer from any experienced software development company.

VironIT has the team with expertise in iOS, Android, and Web application creation to develop your vision. Contact us today for an intuitive and fast solution for your business or enterprise.

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2 responses to “Best PHP Frameworks for 2018”

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