15 Most Favorite PHP Frameworks To Increase Your Productivity

15 Most Favorite PHP Frameworks To Increase Your Productivity

A PHP framework provides a basic structure for streamlining the development of web applications. We use them because they speed up the web development process.

PHP framework for large scale application is a huge entity, multiple level of planning and huge architecture involved on the application development. Each module should be designed properly and integrated with the core application.

Here is the list of best PHP framework for large scale and enterprise applications:


A PHP web application framework that suits all types and sizes of projects is Laravel. Its expressive refined syntax aims to ease certain tasks such as routing, caching, authentication, and sessions. It is hosted on GitHub and released under MIT License. Laravel has powerful, accessible tools to build large applications with an expressive migration system, tightly integrated unit testing support, and inversion control container. It is built on top of several components of Symfony that provides a strong foundation of reliable, well-tested code. It works on SQL Server, SQLite, etc.


  • MVC Pattern
  • Convention over configuration
  • Promotes DRY principle
  • Unit Testing


An MVC PHP web application framework, Yii is an object-oriented, open-source, and component based framework. It is considered as the most powerful framework that supports clean, DRY design and rapid development. As Yii stands for its high performance, it allows the developers to write web applications easily and quickly. The most important things that Yii offers are supportive community and excellent documentation.


  • Run well in third-party code
  • Code generated by its components and tools follows XHTML standard
  • Automatic Code generation for applications such as skeleton, CRUD, etc.
  • Functionality and Unit testing based on Selenium and PHPUnit
  • Prevention of cookie tampering, cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting, etc.
  • Error handling and logging
  • Layered caching scheme
  • Internationalization and localization
  • Generation and handling of complex WSDL service specifications


To build dynamic web applicationsCodeIgniter would be the best PHP open-source framework that comes with the small footprint and creates fully featured web applications.


  • Clear documentation
  • No coding rules
  • High Performance
  • Compatibility with standard hosting
  • No large-scale monolithic libraries, configuration, or template language
  • Mere solutions over complexities

It is based on MVC pattern. Under CodeIgnitor, controller classes are important for the development whereas views and models are optional. CodeIgnitor is noted for its speed and gains fame for its lighter, faster, and the least like a framework qualities.


An open-source PHP web application framework, CakePHP is based on MVC pattern and modeled after Ruby on Rails concepts and released under the MIT License. It uses the concept of familiar software engineering and other design patterns like Association Data Mapping, Convention over Configuration, front controller, and Active Record.


  • Integrated CRUD for interaction of the database
  • Application scaffolding and code generation
  • Request sent off with clean, custom URLs
  • Inbuilt validation
  • Fast and flexible Templating
  • View helps for AJAX, JavaScript, HTML Forms, etc.
  • Effective components
  • Flexible ACC and caching
  • Date Sanitization and Localization
  • No configuration required and can work from any website directory


A leading PHP framework, Symfony is to build web applications and websites and to quicken the creation and maintenance of it. By using naming conventions for classes and PHPUnit, you can select any required software components as you are not limited to Symfony environment. A set of components integrates with your web applications to help in completing complex tasks effectively and efficiently.

Zend Framework 2

Zend Framework 2 is to develop web applications and an object-oriented, open-source PHP framework. An extensible framework has been formed by the combination of extensive components in the standard library to offer a rich, high-performance MVC implementation. There are no predefined restraints to stop you from implementing the components and framework in whatever way you wish.


  • Use-at-will architecture
  • Support for multiple database system and vendors like MySQL, Oracle, SQLite, etc.
  • Composition and delivery of, recovery through mbox, IMAP4, POP3, and Maildir.
  • Flexible caching subsystem with support for memory or a file system


While comparing with CodeIgniter and other frameworks, Kohana the HMVC PHP5 framework is noted for its high performance. As it is released under the BSD License, it can be used for personal, commercial, or for any open source. This elegant framework is hosted on GitHub. Issues in Kohana are tracked via the issue-tracking tool Redmine. It is built with an aim to be small, swift, and secure.


  • File system: Cascading file system makes it more extensible and flexible
  • Scalability: Its scalability enables us to move the module to a different location by making direct requests using its request execution mechanism. Requests can be made from inside the application either for any internal components or for an external application.
  • Easy Configuration: Configurations can be overridden from a higher level
  • Routing: Routing mechanism of Kohana manages any kind of URLs and discharge user’s request
  • Security: It secures your applications from the attacks of SQL injection, XSS, etc. with the tools for signed cookies, input validation, XSS removal, etc.
  • Inbuilt Modules (ORM, database abstraction module, pagination, etc.)
  • Exception handling and profiling: Its exceptional handling activates debugging easier, and profiling allows us to write efficient code.


A high-performance PHP framework Phalcon is based on MVC pattern and released under BSD license. It is written in C extension to optimize performance and reduce resource consumption. It saves processor time and boosts overall performance and competes with other frameworks in the community, documentation, and development. We can use the full framework for free or certain parts as glue components as it is loosely coupled. We can download and install Phalcon as a PHP module. But, Phalcon requires root/administration access on the server to install.


A professional tool for professional applications, Aura comes with the collection of library packages that works on any code base. Each library package is independent and does not depend on any other packages. It is the revised form of Solar and intended for PHP 5.4+. Aura has the following features that were not available in the earlier PHPs:


  • Formal namespace
  • Anonymous Function
  • Late static Binding
  • Short Array Syntax
  • Traits


Simple but powerful web apps and APIs can be written quickly via a micro PHP framework, Slim. It has access to HTTP caching, AES-256 encryption, error handling and debugging, flash messages, and secure cookies. Following are certain features of Slim:


  • HTTP Router
  • Middleware
  • PRS – 7 Support
  • Dependency Injection
  • Page Templates
  • Route redirects
  • Route parameters
  • HTTP methods

Fat-Free (F3)

Powerful web applications can be written using Fat-free, a micro PHP framework. It is built with an aim to be more usable rather than usual. F3 comes with a fully featured toolkit and with a lightweight code base. Optional plug-ins extend the capabilities of F3 that are the custom logger, markdown-to-HTML converter, unit testing toolkit, template engine, etc. It supports SQL and NoSQL databases with well-organized directory structure and simple configuration. The doctrine of this framework is to minimize structural components, keep off complexities, attaining a balance among elegance of the code, the performance of the web applications, and productivity of the developer.


PHP-MVC is a simple, unique, and effective MVC application structure, but not a fully featured framework. It forms the bare-bone structure to slim down and build a quick application. Highly documented and clean and the learning this framework is not a painstaking effort for those who are new to PHP. Recommends coders to work based on the guidelines of PSR ½ coding, promoting UFO usage, and using external libraries through Composer.


  • Self-explaining structure
  • Twig Support
  • Optional Composer Integration
  • Automatic SASS compiling


An open-source web application PHP framework that enforces the HMVC pattern is FuelPHP. It has been built with an aim to give powerful functionalities and to have a lightweight code base. This framework also secures and prevents XXS attacks by encoding all the output. To prevent SQL injection attacks, it supports input filtering, the Query Builder, and CSRF prevention with tokens. A powerful layer can be added between the controller and the view with ViewModels.


  • A URL routing system and A caching system
  • Implementation of RESTful and HMVC
  • Form and data validation
  • An Object Relational Mapper
  • Template Parsing


Akelos PHP framework is aimed to write less code and build multilingual database-backed web applications and based on the MVC design pattern. Being Ruby of Rails’ interface to PHP, it allows you to write elegant JavaScript/Ajax/PHP code preferring convention to the configuration. Akelos requires PHP to be installed in the system. It probably does not need to run any PHP configuration (nonstandard). That means Akelos gives out stand-alone web applications that can work on any shared web-hosting providers. In this framework, the developers can code views using Ajax and control requests and responses via a controller. It can handle internationalized web applications and communicate models and database using simple conventions.


  • Locale on URLs
  • Using DBdesigner files, database migrates
  • Pure PHP support for Unicode
  • Source code is unit tested
  • Code compiler
  • An inbuilt XHTML validator
  • automated locale management
  • Using CSS event selectors, clean separation from HTML and JavaScript
  • Uploads Ajax file
  • format converters
  • SFTP used to handle file handling for shared host running Apache as user no one (as many cPanel servers do)
  • Dojo Rich Text Editor
  • Databases used to distribute the sessions
  • AFLAX integration


The requirement for the fully functional, light GUI brings forth the PHPDevShell framework that has been written using PHP with no JavaScript. It is based on MVC pattern and has the configuration options for multiple domain/site. Using this framework is a simple and unique way to split your MVC. With the help of Ajax calls, PHPDevShell provides a wonderful way to create the web application or site as fluent as possible. This framework is an open source that comes with GUI Admin code, and can extend any existing project easily. PHPDevShell features clean and good file structure, smarty template, and plug-in manager.

Author: Nowsath

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