11 Best PHP Frameworks For Web Development in 2018


Software application development might be cumbersome and a lengthy process. But, with the help of the right framework, one can ease out the process and lessen the time required for development. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), being the most powerful and popular server-side scripting language in the world provides large spectrum of such frameworks. These frameworks come with different advantages and functionalities for targeted developers having different levels of experiences and expertise. Here are 11 best PHP frameworks for web development in 2018 that you can use for smooth web application development.

These frameworks come with the basic structure that provides coders the capacity to perform specific tasks and functions in the development of web applications. These PHP frameworks are built with a rapid application design called RAD which makes PHP web development easy to use.

PHP frameworks are having different advantages with functionality and usage for targeted developers with different levels of experiences.

If you are a solo modern web developer, web development consultant or you would like to have your project developed in a PHP development company and are confused with the variety of options available, here are 11 best PHP frameworks for web development in 2018 that you can use for smooth web application development.

If you are an expert working on PHP or someone new looking to take a career in PHP development frameworks, then you must be informed about the best frameworks for web development that you can use in this competitive industry.

  1. Laravel

This is the best PHP framework any developer can boast of developing a website and web application. It is by far the most top rated PHP frameworks available at the moment. Laravel was developed far back in 2011 by Taylor Otwell as a better alternative to CodeIgniter due to the lack of some certain features.

This framework comes with some dazzling and advanced features like the extensible MVC architecture which helps to increase development speed, Object-Relational Mapping (ORM), very strong encryption packages, built-in support for user authentication and many others.

Developers or PHP development company using this framework for web development also enjoy its packaged Vagrant box, Homestead for hassle-free development. The only drawback using this framework is that it doesn’t work on shared hosting plans.

  1. Symfony

Symfony is recognized as second most popular PHP framework after Laravel. Symfony is a reliable and high performing framework developed from Sensio Labs. As a developer using this framework, you will enjoy the following benefits;

  • High performance as a result of Bytecode caching.
  • Reusable PHP libraries assisting you in tasks like routing, authentication, templating and many others.
  • Excellent support system.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • Aid faster web creation
  • A stable and well-documented framework

It is very difficult to conclude which is better between Laravel and Symfony as they both have common and exceptional features and are among the most popular framework used in web development.

Not forgetting, Symfony is also built on the famous Model-View-Controller (MVC) web architecture design pattern.

  1. CodeIgniter

This is another PHP development framework for developers looking for a simple and classic toolkit which features like plug-ins, libraries and other required resources for web development.

CodeIgniter is a powerful framework that has been around since 2006. It was developed by the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Websites or web applications built on CodeIgniter always come out great and unique.

Many modern web developers have testified that CodeIgniter is the best framework when you need to develop a website or web application at a fast speed with standard databases such as MySQL. It features includes;

  • It uses normal web hosting services
  • Good documentation and long-term support.
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Requires zero configuration
  • Neat documentation for code clarity
  • XSS security features
  • Most rapid non-MVC PHP framework

A knowledge in CodeIgniter is gold as many IT companies are looking to hire PHP web developers with sound knowledge in CodeIgniter.

  1. Phalcon

Phalcon is another PHP framework built on MVC web architectural design pattern with a unique C-extension feature. The speed it uses in processing HTTP request is magnificent and it also uses lesser memory. Phalcon is very easy to use, understand and it is well-documented.

Its key features include;

  • Good built-in security functionality
  • Auto-loading component
  • Support for PHP 7 functionality.
  • Low overhead
  • Good template engines and many others.

Phalcon is one of the best developer friendly PHP frameworks but can’t be compared with Laravel in terms of functionality. You can give it a try as it is easy to learn.

  1. FuelPHP

If you are a developer or want to try a framework that is friendly, then you should consider FuelPHP. You can only describe FuelPHP with just two words, ‘Full-Stack’ and ‘Flexible’. It is one of the PHP framework written in PHP 5.3.

It is an open source web application framework with a built-in modular structure that not only supports the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural design pattern but also supports HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) pattern.

Here are the key features included in FuelPHP;

  • High PHP 7 compatibility
  • RESTful implementation
  • Integrated ORM supports
  • A large community of developers
  • Strong security protection
  • Nest template parsing
  • URL routing system
  • Lightweight
  • Authentication package etc.

Version 1.8.1 is a bugfix release that comes with some basic enhancement.

  1. Zend Framework

As a web developer, it is certain that you must have knowledge about Zend as it is the most fundamental aspect of PHP language for every developer. It is a framework ideal for enterprise applications.

Zend framework is free, open source and an object-oriented framework developed by Zend Technologies in 2006. Zend can be used to develop web applications using PHP 5.6+.

With the Zend framework, the efficiency of developers has increased without any increase in the development cost as the framework is object-oriented.

Key features of the Zend framework includes;

  • High performing MVC
  • Easy integration with third-party apps
  • Instant online debugging
  • Cryptographic coding tools
  • Unit testing tools with other tons of component.

Aside from these, you have strong security features with some drag and drop editor.

  1. CakePHP

Any developer providing PHP development framework services must know about CakePHP framework. It is one of the easiest frameworks to learn presently. One interesting about this framework is the CRUD (create, read, update, delete) feature embedded in it.

It is another open source web application framework compatible with PHP4 and PHP5 for better web development experience. It is very easy to build prototypes with CakePHP framework because of it scaffolding and code generation features.

Things you may like to know about this framework includes;

  • Built-in security for protection against unauthorized access.
  • Form validation tools
  • Well documented
  • Active developer community
  • SQL injection prevention
  • Clean MVC convention and other many features.

A special framework for developers looking for a framework with lots of pleasing features for better web developing experience.

  1. PHPixie

A reliable framework that is simple to use and understand. It can be learned in a maximum of 45 minutes. It is quite new to the market compared to other best-known framework.

Initially, PHPixie started as a micro-framework but has grown into one of the best PHP frameworks with its high-speed performance still maintained. It mostly concentration is speed and page load time.

PHPixie is an open source web application framework with MVC architectural design pattern that provides control over execution flow.

Below is a list of features you will get from PHPixie framework

  • Good routing system
  • Inbuilt authentication
  • PHP template and ORM library
  • Good documentation of code
  • Migrating component
  • Strong security

PHPixie also has a community that is friendly and helpful. There are no questions that you won’t find answers to when you ask in the community.

  1. Yii 2

The word Yii that is being pronounced as Yee is an acronym for Yes It Is. It is derived from the Chinese word which means ‘simple and evolutionary’. This is one of the frameworks that are so rich in terms of features. If you are developing web 2.0 applications, this is the best framework to use as it allows developers to be able to create large-scale applications.

Yii is easy to install, object-oriented, flexible with an uncluttered design. It is one of the oldest PHP frameworks to date. It comes with lots of configuration, follows MVC design pattern, and has a strong caching support.

  1. Slim

Developing with the Slim framework is something any developer will enjoy. It is a framework good for developing small web applications as it is a micro framework. Where a full-stack PHP framework is not needed, Slim comes into play.

Many developers use it to develop RESTful APIs. It also comes with impressive features such as HTTP caching, cookie encryption, URL routing etc.

  1. Fat Free

If you have heard of any most simplified micro framework in PHP development framework, it is Fat Free framework. Besides being a micro framework, it is packed full with lots of features like a full-stack PHP framework.

Fat Free is both SQL and NoSQL databases supported which makes web developing very easy for it users. It is also lightweight as it weighs less than 50KB. This framework was built using Symfony components.

It is our belief that you found this post educative. I assume that by now you must have decided on the framework you will be using for your next project based on the variety of factors you are looking for and the ones to give a try too.

If you have any questions on any of the mentioned PHP framework, feel free to drop a query to us and our PHP experts will surely get back to you.


  1. With PHP being the most popular server-side programming language to date, Selecting a web development platform/framework often becomes a scary affair but you have neatly put down the key features for each framework which is very crisp and easy to understand which one to choose according to the requirement.

  2. Very well written and nicely described all the PHP web development frameworks. And as we know Laravel is a strong PHP framework and it makes the best use of HTML and builds the efficient website and applications. This framework eliminates the use of complex code and makes the development process quite easier

  3. In 2018 Techempower.com/benchmarks/ reveal what PHP frameworks in general and particular are good for. See for yourself.


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