5 most popular PHP frameworks in 2020 [BONUS]

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Are you completely lost trying to choose the perfect framework for yourself as a learning material so that you can finally start as a PHP programmer? If so this article is for you!

Choosing a PHP in 2020 framework doesn’t seem easy. After all, learning his workflow is not a matter of the day, especially for less advanced users.

In this article, I wanted to present the 5 most popular PHP frameworks to help you choose.

If You have more questions feel free to comment. I will do my best to answer You.

Symfony

One of three solutions I use every day and the first I’ve learned. My personal favorite and solution that I use on a daily basis. Symfony is a very powerful framework – a set of PHP components, philosophy and community. All these elements work very well together.

Symfony (and all others) is based on the object-oriented MVC (model-view-controller) programming pattern. It is independent of the database system – we can work on both SQL and NOSQL databases (like MongoDB).

It is widely said that Symfony is not a very affordable learning framework due to the level of difficulty. However, the situation is improved by very extensive documentation and an involved community.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
64k+23k+

Laravel

To be honest. I think Laravel is best framework of all because of it developer friendly features and should be your point of start. It seems that developers are listening to other developers and are fantastic at transforming them into a set of good practices.

PHP framework for web Artisans, as it describes itself. Laravel is extremely fast, has beautiful syntax and portability.

Laravel is also a fragment based on the MVC (model-view-controller) programming pattern. It merges best elements from other known frameworks. Patterns were taken not only from PHP projects, but also Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET and Sinatra.

Laravel is leading the way, being currently the most popular PHP framework.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
131k+56k+

CakePHP

CakePHP helps create web applications faster, simpler, using less code. The modern PHP 7 framework offers a flexible database access layer and a powerful, scalable system. With CakePHP you can build (bake) faster and more solidly.

CakePHP is compatible with older versions of PHP. It has database integration based on Active Record. Built-in CRUD support facilitates work, but can additionally limit.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
83k+8k+

ZEND  

Professional PHP framework that works with PHP 7. Zend Framework is a collection of PHP packages. The Zend Corporation has done a lot of good for PHP, as we know it today, but this framework is no longer used as often as in past.

I don’t think many people start with Zend as their first framework.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
48k+5.7k+

Codeigniter

CodeIgniter is quite a powerful but also a small PHP framework. It is built for developers who need a simple and elegant solution to build a fully-featured application.

CodeIgniter is based on the MVC (model-view-controller) design pattern. It has relatively fewer functions compared to other frameworks – which makes it lighter and faster.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
63k+18k+

[BONUS] Phalcon

Less people know about Phalcon framework. It is PHP build as C-extension, wich potentially makes it extremely fast.

It has everything You need to have: “Dependecy Injection”, “Routing”, “Autoloading” etc. and ships with fully-featured ORM and templeting called “Volt” witch is very similar at first look to Twig.

Stackoverflow TopicsGithub Stars
5k+10k+

Google Trends

Thanks to the above chart, we can clearly see that the most popular PHP framework in the world is Laravel. Symfony and Codeiginiter go head to head, while the other two are not doing well in the last five years.

It is worth mentioning that depending on the country (and thus the labor market) trends may be completely different. For example, in Poland Symfony is as popular as Laravel, while Codeigniter was until recently the most popular framework in Asia.

Summary

It is impossible to answer unequivocally the question which framework is the one. We should not compare them as if in war (like PC vs. console users).

I think that for the moment the most people will choose Larvel. And rightly so because it is a very good framework.

I recommend Symfony for those who are a bit more stubborn. Despite the quite difficult learning, this framework will pay off to us very nice moments with it.


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