We like to think of a good PHP Framework as a good foundation for any sustainable home—you can never see the foundation of a house and it doesn’t help you lead a more satisfying lifestyle, but without it, your house would collapse in the next earthquake.
The same goes with frameworks for quality websites. You can build many responsive features for your new website and create a mighty tower made of powerful code. But if its foundation has even a tiny gap in its code, your tower will collapse.
However, nowadays, it is not necessary to build your website from scratch with complicated web development languages. All the tedious work that starting a website represents, such as: building libraries, creating components, providing separation of model, and putting low-level security together can be time-consuming. And now, you can fast-forward through all these headaches in just a few minutes and jump right to the parts that we all like when it comes to creating a website.
So, let’s see the 9 best PHP frameworks that are out there for your next awesome responsive website and how you can cut hours of coding.
1. Symfony 2
This badass PHP framework is definitely not for the lighthearted. It can be daunting at first glance with its many features of Models, Entities, Routing, Controllers, etc. On the other hand, if you have a solid body of knowledge when it comes to PHP and HTML, you will create monstrous web applications with the help of this buddy.
The Symfony is an open GitHub project, and more than 300,000 developers have worked and improved its code lines along the years. You can download it for free with an MIT license.
Symfony 2 is made up of a series of reusable PHP components that you can easily install on most platforms, and it is known for being stable and flexible for any of your website ideas.
If you want speed for your website, you call on PhalconPHP. It is a framework written in C and is by far the fastest PHP framework on the market. Don’t turn your back on Phalcon just because it is a PHP C-extension; the framework will offer you the majority of the full-stack updated features such as routing, view templates, Caching and ORM, controllers, query language, etc.
Phalcon is always a step ahead of the game with its low overhead that cuts down memory consumption like no other traditional framework, offers dependency injection, a set of PHP helpers, autoloader following PSR-4, and advanced routing power. Plus, it is a great fit for even Intermediates, as it's very easy to learn how to use.
With just a simple Google trend job, you can see with your own eyes that Laravel is the most popular framework in 2016. And that’s no wonder! It’s another masterpiece for which any great developer can contribute to thanks to its MIT license.
It’s the easiest framework to learn as its developers wanted a script that is simple to implement and not another complicated starting point for a website or web application. The most powerful feature of this framework is its own personal templating engine, called ‘Blade’, which develops no performance overheads in your website.
Laravel also has a time-saving tool named ‘Composer’ through which you can easily integrate the third-party packages into your website. Laravel enjoys a large community at its foundation, and you can quickly find any kind of tutorial to get you started in no time.
Yii is the script you need for professional APIs and web developing. It is another easy-to-use framework, and you will enjoy the benefits of its open-source status. Your development work will go smoothly and efficiently thanks to its scripting language, PHP5. The framework doesn’t lack all the necessities of any professional website, as the CMS and CRM are its two strongest points that represent the core of any reliable script.
Yii does an amazing job when it comes to security through thorough maintenance and ensures its developer a maintainable and efficient result. The Gii in Yii is a powerful code generator, which is web-based. Thanks to it, you can easily generate forms, modules, CRUD, models, etc.
Codeigniter is a simple and polished full-featured toolkit to build web applications. It takes only 2MB of your space, and the CodeIgniter User Guide will walk you through its simple components through which you can easily bypass the complex MVC.
You don’t need a template language for CodeIgniter, as it provides a substitution tool with templates and simple add-ons & plugins.
You can choose CodeIgniter if you want more free time and fewer hours spent on complex development work.
Cake is a modern 5.5+ framework that can still exist in the top 9 frameworks even though its release was back in 2005. However, CakePHP 3.3 positions the framework among the most powerful scripts from 2016.
Even beginners can develop an impressive visual experience for their websites with its help. It holds an MVC pattern which is actually a model support to handle the data more effectively, ORM features that convert data from incompatible type systems in programming languages, and lots of extensive components, behaviors, plugins, and helpers.
CakePHP is best suited for commercial websites and requires no configuration thanks to its lack in complicated YAML or XML files.
You can easily come to trust the Zend framework just by looking at the huge websites that use it: BBC, BNP Paribas, or Cisco WebEx. It has been around the block for 9 years now, and it shows no signs of an outdated script.
Zen is an object-orientated framework at its core, so use it best for inheritance or interfaces. Its latest version is optimized for PHP7, but it can easily support even PHP 5.5. Zend has replaced the MVC stack with a lighter alternative built on middleware runtime patterns like Apigility.
It is not recommended for beginners or even intermediate programmers, as it has a very steep learning curve and can be considered as quite a challenging framework. However, once you get used to it, you are all set to build a web empire.
Fuel welcomes both beginners and professionals to its community as it is a very versatile framework. It is a Model View Controller (MVC) framework that supports HMVC. It is recognized worldwide for its simplicity, flexibility, and modern features.
Its developers created a powerful Documentation sector to get anyone started in developing professional websites with the use of a clean syntax. It enjoys high portability, as anyone can work with Fuel with any server. Its active community constantly streamlines the core scripts to support new & modern features and to build any kind of complex web application.
Slim is a flexible PHP framework that you can place in the micro category for frameworks. The best thing about microframeworks is that you don’t need to spend lots of hours on actually learning your way around them.
Slim is very lightweight and even though it is a micro framework, you can still create powerful web applications. It comes with a streamlined router, template rendering featured with custom views, secure cookies, flash messages, a simple configuration process, HTTP caching, error handling, and more.
And this is where our list of 9 best PHP frameworks to build responsive websites ends. Now you can really see that it is not the level of your proficiency that dictates the quality of your websites, but the correct choice of your PHP framework.