If you're planning to develop a website in 2023, it's essential to consider the best PHP frameworks that can meet your business requirements and save you time and money.

Developing a website or mobile application from scratch involves a lot of effort, and you may end up creating functions that have already been developed and are freely available. Why not leverage these functions and create business-specific features for your digital products instead?

A PHP web development framework is a foundation for building your web application without reinventing the wheel. However, choosing the appropriate PHP framework for web development requires hard work. You'll need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of all available frameworks to find the one that best suits your business needs.

Sounds difficult? Don’t worry.

This article will assist you in identifying the top PHP frameworks for website development by presenting you with the eight options. Let's start by understanding the fundamental advantages of using a PHP framework.

What is a PHP framework?

A PHP framework is a fundamental structure that aids web developers in launching web applications and concentrating on the application's features instead of the intricacies of the code.

Typically, PHP frameworks follow the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern, which divides the application's functionality into three distinct parts:

  • Model: Business logic that represents and modifies the application's data.
  • View: How the data is presented to the user.
  • Controller: How the user interacts with the Model (usually through the View).

The most significant benefit of this approach is that it enables developers to focus on a particular aspect of the application and modify it without impacting other areas.

More Resources: What is PHP? A Beginners Complete Guide to PHP Development

Why use a PHP framework?

Using a PHP framework can provide many benefits to web developers. Here are some of the main reasons why you might want to use a PHP framework:

1.Speed up the development process:

With access to application architecture, templates, utility functionalities, and other features, using a PHP framework can help you streamline the development process and save time

2. Improve website or application security: 

Popular PHP frameworks follow safety best practices, making developing more secure websites or applications easier. Reduce errors and avoid reinventing the wheel: Using a PHP framework can help you avoid making common errors and reinventing the wheel for every application. This can result in better code quality and a more efficient development process.

3. Facilitate teamwork and access abundant resources: 

Developers can benefit from using a PHP framework by working collaboratively with a shared understanding. Additionally, excellent learning materials, documentation, and community support are available for the most popular PHP frameworks.

4. Take advantage of the third-party ecosystem:

Popular PHP frameworks have a large ecosystem of templates, plugins, and add-ons that developers can use to speed up development. While a PHP framework can be valuable for web development, better solutions may exist. For smaller projects or projects with unique requirements, using pure PHP without a framework may be a better option to reduce overhead and dependencies.

More Resources: How To Create A One Page Website: 15 Essential Steps

How to Choose The Best PHP Frameworks For Your Business

A one-size-fits-all solution for frameworks is impossible to find, regardless of the technology you use. When selecting a PHP framework for your business, you should consider a few indicators (listed here in their order of importance)

Popularity: The popularity of a framework is not necessarily related to its quality, but having more developers using it generally means that it is stable, robust, and has a vibrant community. These are excellent reasons to choose a framework for your projects, as you'll receive high-quality code and assistance from other developers along the way.

Features: Choosing a framework can be a particular task based on the type of projects you're working on. However, having more features means the framework will be helpful for a broader range of projects. If your project has specific requirements, you should examine a framework's features to see how well they suit your particular use case.

Maintainability: Frameworks maintained recently will usually be better prepared to handle the challenges and demands of modern online standards. You can use older frameworks that haven't been updated recently, but doing so can come at the cost of security and reliability.


10 Best PHP Frameworks for Website Development

 The article discusses 10 of the best PHP frameworks for web development in 2023. It highlights the benefits of using a PHP framework, such as streamlining web application development, improving security, reducing errors, and facilitating teamwork. The article also provides tips on choosing the best PHP framework based on popularity, features, and maintainability.

 1. Laravel PHP Framework:

Launched in 2011, Laravel has become the most popular free, open-source PHP framework.

Handles complex applications securely and at a faster pace than other frameworks

Why use Laravel?

  • Easy to get started with Laravel Homestead, a pre-packaged Vagrant box that provides a virtual development environment
  • Full of features that help configure and customize complex applications such as authentication, authorization, encryption, hashing, password reset, data migration, routing, and MVC architecture support
  • Laravel Artisan Console, a command line tool, speeds up development by automating repetitive tasks and generating boilerplate code.
  • Highly expressive with excellent speed, security features, and flexibility that evolves with the latest web development trends

Must read: How To Hire Laravel Developers: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Disadvantages of Laravel:

Creating a separate admin panel to manage and edit content may be unsuitable for applications requiring multiple stakeholders to access the settings.

2. Symfony Framework:

Why Symfony is a Good Choice for Web Applications


  • Symfony is highly scalable, making it ideal for developing web applications that need to handle a lot of traffic.
  • The modular component system of Symfony makes it very flexible and allows developers to pick and choose components to use for their projects.
  • Easy installation and configuration on most platforms, making it an excellent choice for developing enterprise-level applications.
  • Its key features are reusable PHP components, database engine independence, stability, and following most web best practices and design patterns.
  • Symfony is highly flexible and allows integration with other vendor libraries.


  • Symfony targets advanced developers and may be harder for beginners or intermediate developers than Laravel.
  • The security mechanism of Symfony can be challenging to use.
  • It can also be slower than other frameworks due to its feature-rich nature.

3. CodeIgniter: 

A Lightweight PHP Framework for Dynamic Websites

Why use CodeIgniter?

  • Flexibility encourages development using the MVC architecture, but developers can also use other architecture paradigms.
  • Lightweight: easy to install and set up compared to other frameworks.
  • Security: includes defenses against CSRF and XSS attacks, context-sensitive escaping, and a Content Security Policy.
  • Performance: supports multiple caching methods that help speed up web applications.
  • Easy to learn: has an easy learning curve compared to other frameworks and is very extensible.
  • Detailed documentation: ideal for beginners.

Disadvantages of CodeIgniter

Irregular releases: may not be the best option for an application that needs regular updates to maintain security.

4. CakePHP

CakePHP is an established and popular PHP framework that simplifies development work with built-in features like code caching, validation, translation, and database access. It also has backward compatibility, allowing developers to create visually appealing websites that are important for attracting users, especially for commercial sites. In addition, CakePHP has robust security measures like cross-site scripting protection and SQL prevention.

Benefits of using the CakePHP framework:

  • Suitable for beginners to learn due to the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) principle.
  • Easy installation process.
  • Ideal for e-commerce or commercial sites due to its security and ability to create visually appealing pages.
  • Comprehensive documentation and forums are available for developers.

Must read: How to Become a Full Stack Developer in 2023 (Step-by-Step Guide)

5. Yii

Yii is a popular PHP framework for its simplicity, high performance, and component-based architecture. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of using Yii:


  • Easy installation and setup with well-written documentation
  • Robust security features, including bcrypt password hashing, encryption, authentication, and authorization, make it suitable for building highly secure projects such as e-commerce, CMS, and forums.
  • Excellent performance and elegant caching support, with code generator tools that help create highly optimized web applications
  • Yii has a massive community of experts, core developers, and users, making it easy to get support when needed.
  • Yii is very extensible, making it easier for developers to customize every part of the core code.


  • Yii has a steep learning curve, making it somewhat more challenging for beginners to get started
  • Requires greater attention during development as one mistake in code can cause issues in the entire application.

6. Zend

Zend is an open-source, highly customizable, and object-oriented framework that uses features such as inheritance and interfaces to create highly extensible web applications. The framework is designed to follow PHP best practices and is an excellent choice for building feature-rich enterprise-level web applications.

Transition to Laminas Project:

Recently, Zend has transitioned to the Laminas Project, and migration to Laminas is highly recommended since Zend is no longer updated.

Benefits of using Zend:

  • Structured and reusable code makes it great for building complex enterprise-level applications.
  • Key features include MVC components, cloud API, encryption, and session management.
  • The ability to integrate with third-party libraries and templates allows developers to use only the components they need.
  • Offers excellent performance, security, and extensibility.
  • Detailed documentation and a large community of developers and users for support.

7. Phalcon

  1.  Phalcon, a full-stack PHP framework that uses MVC architecture, is a high-performance framework delivered as a web server extension written in C. It offers several benefits to users.

Why use Phalcon?

  • Installing Phalcon is easy, making it an excellent option for creating highly configurable web applications that adhere to enterprise development best practices.
  • Phalcon is known for its high execution speed, caching, asset management, and security.
  • Efficient memory usage and avoidance of file reading and statistics optimize performance.
  • Phalcon is also loosely coupled, allowing developers to create their directory structure.
  • The templating engine Volt is high-speed and features helper classes for easy view creation.

Disadvantages of Phalcon

However, Phalcon has some disadvantages. Updates and patches to fix bugs may be less frequent, which may not work for applications requiring high levels of security.

More Resources: Our portfolio

 8. FuelPHP

 FuelPHP, a community-driven full-stack PHP framework, is known for its flexibility. It follows the MVC design pattern and has its version, the hierarchical model view controller (HMVC), which adds another layer between the Controller and the View. The HMVC implementation of FuelPHP saves time and memory by avoiding content duplication on multiple pages.

Advantages of using FuelPHP

  • FuelPHP provides many features, including RESTful services, a URL routing system, good security, and a caching system. 
  • Its security features include output encoding, CSRF protection, and URI and XSS filtering. 
  • FuelPHP's code organization is more modular and extensible than other frameworks. 
  • It comes with its command-line utility, oil, which can run tasks, debug code, and generate components.

Disadvantages of using FuelPHP

  • Since FuelPHP is relatively new, it may offer less support and have a steeper learning curve than other frameworks.

 9. Slim

 Slim is a micro PHP framework enabling developers to create simple yet powerful web applications quickly. It focuses on handling HTTP requests by invoking callbacks and returning HTTP responses.

Why choose Slim?

  • Slim is user-friendly and has a lean codebase with no third-party dependencies, resulting in high speed.
  • Its critical features include URL routing, client-side HTTP caching, session, and cookie encryption.
  • Slim is ideal for creating small web applications that don't require a full-stack PHP framework. Slim can integrate with both first-party and third-party components for more advanced needs.

Disadvantages of Slim?

  • While Slim is great for small projects, there are better options for developing large and complex web applications.
  • Its dependency injection could be more substantial, making it more suitable for enterprise-level applications.

10. PHPixie

 PHPixie is a full-stack PHP framework designed for developing high-performance web applications. It utilizes the HMVC design pattern and is built with independent components.

When to use PHPixie?

  • PHPixie is an excellent choice for creating customized web applications, services, and social networking websites. It is easy to get started with and requires minimal dependencies.
  • Key features include HMVC architecture, Object-Relational Mapping (ORM), input validation, authorization, authentication, and caching.
  • PHPixie components can be used individually within the framework, allowing for greater modularity and extensibility.
  • PHPixie offers excellent performance, low coupling, and more.

When not to use PHPixie?

PHPixie has a smaller user community than other PHP frameworks, making it less popular and harder to find support or resources.

Find The Developers To Work With Your New PHP Framework With 360digital Services!

360digital Services can assist you in finding the right developers to work with your new PHP framework. When deciding on the best PHP framework, it's essential to consider each framework's different approaches to web app development. While these frameworks can help developers create great websites, building one is more than aesthetics or speed. It's also essential to have someone with a solid technical background to take care of other vital aspects.

However, finding and hiring developers can be challenging and time-consuming, but 360digital services can help you with this. We specialize in headhunting tech professionals who will build unique websites for you while ensuring they fit your company culture. We can do this in as little as two weeks, which is not an exaggeration. If you want to hire talented remote PHP developers full-time, contact us or visit our office in Montreal!

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