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According to the W3Techs survey, PHP is used by 82% of the majority of web servers.

Enterprises can always expect great functionality from the diverse PHP frameworks that can be quite helpful for generating adequate revenues for the newcomers in the market.

Time has changed now, and we are in 2020. The selection for the ultimate choice of the right or the best PHP frameworks is based on business discretion and project requirements.

But, why do we need PHP frameworks?

Is using PHP frameworks beneficial for your web development projects?

For rapid web development, web frameworks provide you with a basic structure. They are reliable when it comes to custom web application development services. The programmers have to write fewer lines of code, and it reduces coding time and faster the development process.

Apart from reducing the coding, PHP frameworks automate the development tasks and simplify the web application maintenance. As a result, businesses get reduced web development costs with high-quality web applications.

Here’s a list of the Top 16 Best PHP Frameworks That You can Choose From:

After detailed and thorough research, we have carefully selected the 16 best PHP frameworks based on:

  • Increased Development Efficiency
  • Framework’s Popularity
  • Technical Specifications

These Web Frameworks will best facilitate and streamline the process of backend web development along with hiring PHP developers. Frameworks

1. Laravel Web Development Framework

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

Laravel is one of the best PHP frameworks and most popular PHP frameworks used by core businesses for developing rich web apps. It (Laravel) is an open-source PHP framework that comes with restful routing and some brilliant and innovative features for development.

Because of being a modern and easy-to-understand framework, demand for Laravel is on the rise, and it’s almost become a synonym for PHP. Therefore the need to hire laravel developers is constant.

The framework is one of the top web development frameworks that include native PHP or lightweight templating. It provides a solid base and foundation for web application development.


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Reasons to Go for Laravel Web Development Framework:

  • Built-in Functions & Add-ons
  • Seamless Data Migration
  • Top-Notch Security
  • Robust Tool Integration
  • Low Server Overhead
  • Vast Developer Community

2. SYMFONY (One of the Best PHP Frameworks)

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

Symfony is currently the most scalable and one of the best PHP frameworks. This is also one of the web development frameworks that help in the faster creation of a web application, along with its simple maintenance of a website.

Symfony framework provides the advantage for other components like Templating, Translation, Validator, Form Config, and more which makes it one of the top PHP frameworks.

While comparing Symfony and Laravel, it’s difficult to say which one is better as they have many common and unique features and both are popular web development frameworks.

The major business benefits of Symfony are given below:

  • Faster development
  • Long-term support
  • Easier maintainability
  • Better security
  • High flexibility
  • Proven reliability

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3. Zend Framework

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This framework is one of the most lightweight & popular PHP frameworks that is loaded with different features. Version 3 of this framework is available now with new significant improvements. If you hire PHP developer, you can build an amazing business website. 

It is easy to learn and also provides various online training programs. The USP of this PHP framework is consistency in design and object-oriented programming. You only focus on the components and functions that you use, and the rest can be ignored.

To save development time, It offers code reusability, and to extend the framework’s functionality, you can integrate this platform with external libraries. All these functionalities together make it one of the best PHP frameworks. Hence, hiring PHP developers is a good option. 

Business benefits of Zend framework are listed below:

  • A free and open-source framework
  • Multi-functional quality
  • Faster development
  • Flexible Architecture
  • High productivity
  • Supported by more than 300 contributor

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Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This is one of the easiest & one of the best PHP frameworks to learn currently. It’s a PHP CRUD Framework (‘create, read, update and delete’), which is one of the most popular aspects of this framework.

Some of Cake PHP’s other exciting features include- Session, Cookie, Request Handling, E-mail, Security, Validation, etc. 

CakePHP is easy to install and to use this framework you need a web server along with the framework’s copy. The coding conventions of CakePHP also make the coding hassle-free for the coders and make the development faster to reduce time-to-market.

Reasons to Use the CakePHP framework are:

  • Open Source Platform
  • Coding Conventions for Faster Coding
  • Superior Compatibility
  • Easy Database Administration
  • Better Security
  • Cost Saver
  • Documentation Makes it Easy to Learn

cakephp developers

5. CodeIgniter

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

Codeigniter, one of the popular PHP frameworks, is currently available in version 3.1.11. It comes with simplified documentation that makes it easy to learn and utilize.

This framework is a brilliant choice when you have to create lightweight and scalable web applications that execute on modest web servers.

Some of the main features of this MVC-based PHP framework include nearly zero configuration, no large-scale monolithic libraries, compatibility with standard hosting, no restrictive coding rules, no need for template language, etc.

Reasons to use CodeIgnitor as Your PHP Framework:

  • Open-Source Framework
  • Easy to Learn and Use
  • Easy Implementation
  • Secure & User-Friendly
  • No Restrictive Coding Rules
  • Scalable Web App Development
  • Great Performance


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out – Hire PHP web developers for it

Phalcon is a kind of a C extension of PHP that is written in C and Zephir. It offers fast execution of web components due to its low-level architecture, which makes it one of the best PHP frameworks for developing custom Web applications. 

The memory and processor consumption of Phalcon is also less as compared to other frameworks, that provide low-overhead for MVC-based applications. So, you can plan to hire PHP developer for building good business websites using this framework. 

Speed is the USP of this PHP framework. It uses less memory and the time request is faster when compared with other PHP frameworks. This framework is built on dependency injection that lets you initialize or define the web services once and use them everywhere in the application.

Reasons for Phalcon to Consider as Your Next PHP Framework:

  • Fast Execution
  • Views & Frontend
  • Template Engine
  • Innovative Architecture
  • Forms Builder
  • Flash Messages

7. Yii Framework

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This lightweight PHP framework is known for its easy installation process and can be easily extended. In this framework, PHP integrates with CodeCeption which is a popular testing framework.

It’s a back-end framework like Laravel that allows faster web application development and testing. Memory usage of the Yii framework is the same as Symphony and it takes around 1.4 MB per request that is quite good.

Yii is a perfect choice for developing forums, portals, CMS, RESTful Web services, e-commerce projects, and many other web services. So, you can consider it as one of the best PHP frameworks & go for hiring PHP developers. 

Reasons for Selecting Yii as a Backend PHP Framework:

  • Offers Lightweight Code
  • Less Memory Usage
  • Offers Great Security Features
  • RESTful API Development Support
  • High Performance


8. Fat-Free

Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This is one of the most simplified, lightweight, and one of the top PHP frameworks currently. The whole framework weighs less than 50KB and is considered as one of the lightweight PHP frameworks.

The main features of the URL router, multilingual application support, and cache engine have been used for the creation of this powerful framework.

FatFree framework comprises a variety of plugins, a powerful queue library, an amazing ORM, painless routing, and simple authentication. It has been built using Symfony components.

Reasons to Go for Fat-Free PHP Framework:

  • Multi-User System
  • Unit Testing
  • Highly Modular Framework
  • Multiple View Engines
  • Great Documentation
  • Easy to Learn & Implement

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Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

Kohana was built with PHP OOP in mind and provides many advantages like visibility protection, abstracts, automatic class loading, interfaces, overloading, and singletons.

However, you can use this lightweight PHP framework only if you have PHP 5 or updated versions. This framework is highly scalable and offers an easy configuration with existing systems. There are a lot of reasons and benefits that make it one of the best PHP frameworks. So, you can plan to hire PHP developer for building such websites. 

Reasons to Use Kohana as PHP Framework:

  • Fully OOPS
  • In-Built Templating
  • ORM Engine
  • Easy Configuration
  • Seamless Scalability
  • Good Community Support


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This is one of the top PHP frameworks which is written in PHP 5.3. It uses a Cascading File System. You can use multiple features of FuelPHP like HMVC, Caching, Sessions, ActiveRecord, Cookies, Models, Forms, Templating, and many others. 

Advantages that make it one of the best PHP frameworks are- RESTful implementation, HMVC implementation, URL routing system, form and data validation, vulnerability protection, and caching system.

Reasons to Consider FuelPHP to Fuel Your Web App Development:

  • Modular Structure
  • Flexible URI
  • Community Driven Approach
  • Restful API Development
  • Lightweight ORM Model
  • Input Filtering & Great Security

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Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This is one of the best PHP micro-frameworks and quite extensible as well. The documentation of this framework is simple and one can easily learn it. It uses Static methods that don’t require instantiating the application class.

The framework is not recommended for larger web application projects, as it is relatively simpler. This framework offers filters that are functions. You can execute these functions prior to or after the initialization of other functions and you can also change the parameters and the output of those functions.

Reasons for Selecting Flight as your Micro-framework are:

  • Static Methods
  • Open-Source (Under MIT-License)
  • Filters instead of Hooks
  • Well Documented
  • Easy to Learn & Implement


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

This framework is based on Symfony and Doctrine. The platform is an open-source one and is absolutely free to use. It is suitable for all kinds of big and small projects.

The Framework provides the advantage of being integrated with Font Awesome 4 and Bootstrap 3. The framework comes with a flexible theme system, ModuleStudio, chat, and document creator galleries that make it one of the best PHP frameworks. 

Reasons to Select Zikula as Your Next PHP Framework:

  • Increased Development Productivity
  • Elegant Theme System
  • Model-Driven Development Tool (ModuleStudio)
  • Provides Stability, Continuity, and Extensibility
  • Centralized Maintenance


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

PHPixie is quite new and it was built back in 2012 with the aim of introducing a high-performance PHP framework for read-only websites. Just like FuelPHP, it implements the HMVC architecture design pattern and was built using independent components.

These components are available for use without the framework itself and are 100% unit tested requiring minimum dependencies. Which makes PHPixie a good framework for beginners and pro developers.

Reasons for Selecting PHPixie are:

  • Stable & Adaptable Architecture
  • Focuses on Page Speed & Load-Time
  • Inbuilt Authentication
  • Composer Class Map Generation 
  • MongoDB Support
  • Unit Tested


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

In search of a PHP framework that enables you to quickly write simple yet powerful web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs)?

Say hello to Slim. Slim is a PHP micro-framework and is minimalist in design.

Thus, it’s excellent for small web applications where a full-stack PHP framework is not really needed.

Furthermore, it’s used by many PHP developers to develop RESTful APIs and web services. It’s packed with rich features like URL routing, client-side HTTP caching, session and cookie encryption, etc. So, why wait a long to hire PHP developer who will use PHP Frameworks?

Reasons that Make Slim as one of the Best PHP Frameworks:

  • Minimized Debugging Process
  • PSR-7 Support
  • Make REST Applications
  • Enhanced Security
  • Great Documentation
  • Excellent Scalability

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Lithium makes use of PHP namespaces to create a powerful plugin architecture. Almost every component of the PHP framework is replaceable. This Framework can return JSON and many other formats from the same actions that render templates increasing productivity in many cases.

It handles a “type” key in the route which allows it to render various responses with different Content-Types. Which is incredibly useful and easy to extend. This combined with closures in routes makes Lithium a very good framework for building a RESTful API.

Reasons for Selecting Li3 are:

  • Unified Relational and Non-Relational Database APIs 
  • Integrated Unit Testing
  • Fast Bootstrap & Autoloader
  • Robust Plugin Architecture
  • Speed-up Development


Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

Nette is an open-source PHP framework and is distributed under the MIT license. It is a set of PHP 7 standalone components that make up the framework, rated as the 3rd most popular in the world. Nette puts extra emphasis on productivity, clean code, and security.

Reasons to Use Nette as PHP Framework:

  • Lightweight
  • Toolbar for Performance Testing
  • Eliminates Safety Traps 
  • Built to Help Developers
  • Beginner Friendly

If you want to know, How to choose the right PHP framework for your web app development?

Then, this video might help you out!


In 2022, your choice of a PHP framework will depend on the project in question, so far we have sorted a list of reliable and best PHP frameworks that would surely help businesses in 2022.

The best part of all the above-listed PHP frameworks is that these are future-ready PHP frameworks and consist of countless features to give you an amazing web development experience.

For making things easier, I’ll suggest going for Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and Yii. These are some of the best PHP frameworks to opt for. All these frameworks offer great functionalities that can be utilized within your web development projects.

Still, in confusion, you can consult ValueCoders for project evaluation, strategy, and implementation. If you have already selected the preference of your PHP framework, hire PHP developers from us at cost-effective prices with flexible hiring models, source-code authentication, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Which PHP frameworks are in demand?

Answer: Introduced in 2011, Laravel is the most popular, open-source PHP framework and most widely used framework since 2015. Why? Because it is faster, secure, and can handle large and complex applications easily than other frameworks.

Question 2: Which PHP frameworks are the fastest?

Answer: But for an answer, yes, Codeigniter is one of the fastest & most stable frameworks out there, with such good documentation & support.

Question 3: Should I use PHP frameworks?

Answer: You can start using a framework when you’re at ease with PHP. You should always use them because It is much, much faster than re-coding everything. Apart from that, PHP also makes modifications easier, like changing databases or changing views.

Question 4: Why do we use PHP frameworks?

Answer: In other words, PHP frameworks help to promote rapid application development (RAD), which saves you time, helps build more stable applications, and reduces the amount of repetitive coding for developers. The general idea behind the workings of a PHP framework is referred to as the Model View Controller (MVC).

Question 5: Is PHP good for enterprise applications?

Answer: PHP is an open-source technology. Hence, developers can use PHP without paying any licensing fees. On the whole, both Java and PHP find wide use for enterprise application development.

Question 6: What are the best PHP web app development companies?

Answer: There are a lot of  PHP web development companies who provide development services at an amazing price-break:

  1. ValueCoders
  2. PixelCrayons
  3. PixelPex
  4. Sparx IT Solutions
  5. Appinventiv
Top 16 PHP Frameworks To Watch Out

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