8 Best PHP Frameworks in 2022


The realm of web development has expanded rapidly over the years. One of the major reasons behind this increase has been the use of the latest technology in website development and its benefits to businesses all around.

Some leading web development languages are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP etc. But out of the top ones, PHP has emerged as one of the most widely used. According to research, PHP accounts for more than 3/4th (78.1%) of server-side web development processes. The next best is ASP.NET which is at 7.9%. It shows the relevancy of PHP in the modern-day business world.

PHP has a larger developers’ ecosystem that allows them to interact and get through the tough times of product development. Moreover, PHP has simpler coding that makes the developers feel at home in no time.

Therefore, in today’s blog, we will understand the top 8 PHP frameworks that will be big in 2022 and beyond. As software development is becoming increasingly difficult, the app development framework needs to have design patterns, tools, etc., to be at par with the complexity. Therefore, we will also look at the strength and weaknesses of the selected PHP frameworks. It will help our readers understand which framework is best for their business.


Top PHP frameworks that will lead the market in 2022

One of the prime reasons PHP is a leading web development framework is that it renders better performance and faster development. Moreover, while curating this list of leading PHP development frameworks, we have gauged them with every possible aspect that will impact their performance in the modern-day business world.

1.  Laravel

This PHP web development framework was first launched in 2011. Laravel is open-source and helps developers to handle complex apps effectively. Another reason for its longevity is that Laravel is faster than its peer frameworks.

Why opt for the Laravel framework?

Laravel is highly expressive and has airtight security features. In addition, the framework is flexible and evolves easily with all the latest development trends. Moreover, it is easier to customize complex applications in Laravel as it has a full set of features such as:

  •         Authorization
  •         Authentication
  •         Data migration
  •         Hashing
  •         MVC architecture support
  •         Routing

Therefore, to avail of the full benefits of Laravel, it is important to hire the best Laravel developers. Also, with Laravel Homestead, which is a pre-packaged Vagrant box, it becomes easier for the developers to begin the development process here. The Vagrant box has an inbuilt virtual development environment and removes installing a web server or other server software.

According to a survey done by Jetbrains, half of the PHP developers prefer working on Laravel. Moreover, the bootstrapped startups to begin with Laravel are easy to learn and have powerful enterprise features.

Advantages of Laravel

  •         Laravel has great documentation; thus, the developers at their nascent stage will find it easier to learn the language.
  •         It is easier to install large applications and packages and add some new features.
  •         It has every feature that an advanced application might require in the future.
  •         Easier to deploy cloud service providers such as AWS.

Disadvantages of Laravel

  •         Since it has many features, it can become a heavy framework to work on
  •         Developers might find the framework opinionated since the project structure and syntax is enforced

2. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is the best PHP development framework available if the business organization is looking to develop dynamic websites. Moreover, the framework has a variety of modules that helps to construct reusable and robust components.

Why opt for the CodeIgniter framework?

It is an MVC-based framework that assists in developing newer projects rapidly. The greatest USP of CodeIgniter is that it is not a restrictive framework. Furthermore, it can be used as a toolkit for enhancing the speed of development. There is support available for multiple databases in CodeIgniter, and it also offers caching, routing, and other relevant features.

Small and large organizations can easily use CodeIgniter to develop lightweight apps and APIs. Moreover, the features in the framework are neatly packaged and can be used flexibly.

Advantages of CodeIgniter

  •         Although CodeIgniter prefers MVC architecture, it doesn’t enforce it and allows the developers to choose any design pattern.
  •         It has a small footprint because of fewer built-in features
  •         With faster loading time, CodeIgniter requires less optimization

Disadvantages of CodeIgniter

  •         Because of the flexibility, maintaining the code becomes a tough job in CodeIgniter.
  •         There is no stable calendar release in CodeIgniter that makes it difficult to address the security issues.

3.  Symfony

If the organization aims to make a scalable web application, it must go for the Symphony PHP framework in 2022. It is because it has a very flexible, modular component system. Moreover, it gives the authority to the developers to pick the right components for their business project. 

Why opt for Symfony?

It will be safe enough to say that Symfony has revolutionized PHP development as it is a much-matured framework. Furthermore, the reusable components in Symfony can be used directly in any PHP project.

The framework is based on the MVC pattern, and it also offers object-relational mapping using Doctrine ORM. Symphony has robustness, a large developers’ community, and a wide range of features, and this is why it has been included in the leading PHP frameworks in 2022. Moreover, if the business organization seeks predictable and optimized support for the web development project, it must opt for Symfony.

Advantages of Symfony

  •         It has built-in testing capabilities, and due to this, advanced functionalities and unit-testing are possible.
  •         Symfony has 50 customizable, standalone components that can be used in any project.
  •         If the business organization is looking for a framework they can trust for the long term, Symfony is the right one.

Disadvantages of Symfony

  •         This PHP framework doesn’t work in an intuitive way
  •         It has a steeper learning curve as the developers need to understand many of its components to master the framework
  •         The ORM, Doctrine of Symfony is difficult to learn

4.  CakePHP

If the main focus of the business organization is to create PHP apps at a faster rate with less configuration, they must opt for CakePHP. The framework is simple to use and assists in building feature-rich website applications that are visually impressive.

Why opt for CakePHP?

CakePHP has a flexible database access layer. In addition, the framework is powerful enough to build both simple and complex software systems. CakePHP is one of the first MVC frameworks launched in the early 2000s, and since then, in the past two decades, the frameworks have evolved by leaps and bounds.

Advantages of CakePHP

  •         Whether it is authentication, validation, localization, etc., CakePHP has many built-in features.
  •         It has convention-based methods, making it easier for developers to build new apps easily.
  •         It has comprehensive, modern security features

Disadvantages of CakePHP

  •         Developers face problems in this PHP framework when upgraded from an older to a newer version.
  •         It has a smaller community, and thus, it becomes difficult for the developers to find solutions easily.

5.   Phalcon

Phalcon is written in C, and it has been delivered as a web server extension. In addition to this, it has a very high performance and full-stack PHP framework. Moreover, the framework has an easier learning curve as no prior knowledge of C is required to use it.

Why opt for Phalcon?

To begin with, Phalcon is fast and has great security and caching features. Moreover, it becomes a great choice for creating highly configurable web applications because 1) it is easy to install and 2) it follows the best enterprise development-practices

Moreover, if the business organization is looking for a framework with better execution speed and great asset management, Phalcon should be the go-to PHP framework in 2022. 

Advantages of Phalcon

  •         The developers here can create their directory structure as Phalcon is loosely coupled.
  •         It has a template engine that is extremely fast and has helper classes vital to creating views easily.
  •         It is a high-performing PHP development framework as it uses memory efficiently.

Disadvantages of Phalcon

  •         Bug fixing in the framework is infrequent
  •         The updates rolled out in the framework are in patches and inconsistent.

6.   Lumen

It is a micro-framework developed by the creator of Laravel and is now maintained by the same community. Since the creators are the same, Lumen is much like Laravel. Therefore, a developer with prior experience in Laravel will feel at home with the PHP micro-framework.

Why opt for Lumen?

Lumen is highly preferred for building single-page web applications. Moreover, it is used for building APIs that support back-end services where high performance is very important. Also, it is used for building microservices as well. Lumen is lightweight and slim, and thus it also becomes ideal for developing modern apps.

Advantages of Lumen

  •         It has a much easier learning curve.
  •         Requires only the bare minimum configurations to get started
  •         If Lumen becomes too complex for a project, it can be easily converted to a Laravel project

Disadvantages of Lumen

  •         Since it is a micro-framework, it does not have the best and most detailed documentation.
  •         The developers might be required to install some key missing features manually.

7.   Slim framework

Slim, too, is a popular PHP micro-framework just like Lumen. It quickly develops powerful web applications that can do wonders on the business front. Whether it is building RESTful APIs for single-page web applications, microservices, or scalable systems, the Slim framework is capable of doing anything.

Why opt for the Slim framework?

If the business organization wants to develop web apps that don’t require a full-stack PHP, the Slim framework becomes highly useful. It is easy to understand for the developers and has a very lean codebase. The framework also has some key features such as:

  •         Client-side caching
  •         URL routing
  •         Cookie and session encryption

Advantages of Slim framework

  •         It is a lightweight modern PHP framework that follows the best and the most updated software development practices.
  •         The developers would find a lot of freedom while using the Slim framework.
  •         It supports some key functionalities such as middleware, dependency injection, etc.

Disadvantages of Slim framework

  •         Despite being fast, the framework cannot handle more requests per second compared to Lumen.
  •         It has no ORM by default but allows the developers to choose the ORM by installing it manually.

8.   FuelPHP

After studying two micro PHP frameworks, it is time to come back to a full-stack framework that is highly stable. FuelPHP supports the MVC design pattern, and along with that, it has its own Hierarchical Model View Controller (HMVC).

Why opt for FuelPHP?

The full-stack framework has some great security features such as CSRF protection, output encoding, XSS, and URI filtering. Moreover, the framework has great modularity and extensibility compared to its peers. FuelPHP has a great organization of code as well.

Apart from having HMVC implementation, the other key features are RESTful services, great security & caching system, URL routing system, and many more.

Advantages of FuelPHP

  •         The framework has its command-line utility. It is used to debug the code, run tasks and generate components.
  •         It allows the developers to build end-to-end web applications despite their varying size or complexity.
  •         If the project’s security is of utmost importance, FuelPHP is the best framework to choose

Disadvantages of FuelPHP

  •         Smaller developers’ community since the framework is relatively new
  •         The steeper learning curve as compared to other PHP frameworks

Final thoughts

Using PHP frameworks makes the entire web development process easier. However, the framework has its share of perks or perils for documentation, database support, community, etc.

Now there might be a question, how to choose the right framework? Selecting the leading PHP frameworks can be a tough task, but in-depth market research and a clear understanding of the project requirements will immensely help the business organization.


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