10 Most Used PHP Frameworks for Web Development in 2022

Stanislava Konchakivska
Stanislava Konchakivska
IT Researcher Specialist

Nowadays, developers deal with various tasks on building complex web applications and websites to meet innovative customers’ ideas. App and web development is a time-consuming and complicated process, but with evolving technologies, it is much easier for developers to gain the desired results. PHP remains one of the best and most commonly used coding languages admired by more than 45% of developers globally. It is also important to mention that 80% of all existing websites are written on PHP frameworks since they represent a reusable and maintainable code that is easy-to-use and guarantees speedy development.

Furthermore, frameworks provide developers with ready-to-use components, enforce proven architecture and libraries, ensure separation of model, enforce file and coding structure, view and controller logic (MVC paradigm), abstract from the low-level security concerns, and offermany other features.

However, it can be a big challenge to choose the right framework for your project. That is why we are here to highlight the 10 most popular PHP frameworks and the key differences and purposes discovered.

Table of contents

    Why You Should Keep Using the PHP Framework in 2020

    There are numerous reasons why PHP frameworks for web development bring benefits. For starters, the language is compatible with many other scripting languages and easily integrates with HTML. PHP is also handy for implementing interactive features to applications, thus meeting the project’s unique requirements. This aspect is especially crucial in 2020 when users are more demanding and want their applications to be user-friendly and functional.  Last but not least, most PHP frameworks are either free or have minimal purchasing costs.

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    List of Top 10 PHP Frameworks for Website Development

    There are now more than 37 PHP frameworks. However, we would like to point out the most popular and oft-used frameworks within the developers’ global community.  So, here is a list of the best PHP frameworks.

    1. Laravel

    According to Google trends, Laravel is considered the most popular framework in comparison with other PHP frameworks. Laravel reached 95 out of 100 points in 2018 compared to only 5 points by CakePHP. 

    Advantages of Using Laravel

    • The most powerful and precise syntax

    • Laravel boasts a hugely supportive community and tons of free tutorials 

    • Big list of features that can help develop any large scale project in a short period

    • Considerably facilitates testing work

    • Helps in the process of configuring errors and handling exceptions

    To build lightning-fast APIs, the Laravel team has created a micro PHP framework called “Lumen.”  

    For a more detailed description of the framework, check out its official website Laravel.com

    2. CakePHP

    CakePHP is the second most popular PHP framework after Laravel. CakePHP is usually used for commercial web app development because it is simple and understandable even for non-professional developers. A recent release in CakePHP is the introduction of 4.0 Version, which has streamlined APIs, making the app development much easier and faster.  

    Advantages of Using CakePHP

    • Contains numerous classes and features, such as Model, Controller, View Classes, Helpers, Components, and Behavior, that make the development more accurate and precise

    • Has a productive chain of reusable libraries

    • Easily complies with PHP V4 and V5

    • Supports different databases and has flexible Catching

    Besides, if you need a modern framework to create robust PHP, CakePHP is the best option among open-source frameworks. 

    3. Yii 

    Introduced in 2008, Yii is mainly designed to deal with large-scale web apps. Due to its light-weight feature, it is a perfect framework to create high-traffic platforms like CMS (Content Management Systems), e-commerce applications, and forums. 

    Advantages of Using Yii 

    • Easily installed and configured to meet specific needs

    • Allows the processing of data migration to upgrade or downgrade the app version

    • Highly secured, thus able to resist all external threats

    • Takes little time for development thanks to several useful inbuilt tools

    • Integrates with jQuery for backend developers’ better understanding

    On the other hand, the main disadvantage of Yii is that if the developer lacks experience and PHP skills, the code will be challenging to explore and understand. As for templating systems, your team can choose Twig or smarty. It is another great benefit of Yii because it does not have a pre-fined templating system. Also, Yii is considered the best framework to fulfill the needs of object-related development.

    4. Symfony3


    The main distinctive feature of Symphony is that it can combine flexibility, speed, and reusable components. And unlike Yii, it contains a clear structure that helps developers get a better understanding of code. 

    Advantages of Using Symfony3

    • Has many reusable components, thus a short Time to Market (TTM)

    • Doesn’t contain many issues

    • High security due to constant upgrades

    • Incredibly flexible in terms of having many components, such as PHP files, plug-ins, and image 

    Unlike other most used PHP frameworks, Symfony 3 has a complex learning curve. This factor increases the demand for specialists. Thus hiring Symfony developers might be costly. 

    5. Phalcon

    Phalcon has an impressive operating speed because it’s built on C and C++ to reach the highest performance optimization level. It represents many useful features such as translation, security, universal auto-loader, asset management, caching, etc.

    Advantages of Using Phalcon

    • Doesn’t require many resources 

    • Can be used with existing base or elements build previously

    • Perfectly suits high load apps

    • Allows direct access to internal PHP structures

    • Runs on fewer file operations

    Most specialists who work on this framework claim that Phalcon is best-suited for app maintenance due to its high performance and extended functionality. 

    6. Slim

    Slim is an easy to learn platform that contains all the necessary features to create an innovative product. These include but are not limited to caching, encrypted cookies, vivid page samples, and flash messages. 

    Advantages of Using Slim 

    • Among PHP frameworks, it is the fastest in terms of REST

    • Has many PSR-7 complaints

    • Has excellent documentation

    • Contains many classes to manage requests, cookies, etc 

    If class middleware architecture is what you need, the Slim framework will meet your project specifications and business goals. 

    7. CodeIgniter

    Even though CodeIgniter is a considerably old framework, it still demonstrates the speed and ability to easily set up a procedure that needs a bit of configuration.   

    Advantages of Using CodeIgniter

    • Presents many ways of customization

    • Provides complete data migration and updates

    • Allows building and testing modules via MVC (Model View Controller) 

    • Has numerous features that facilitate SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    • Has a smooth testing process due to test-driven development 

    CodeIgniter makes it possible to develop and use personal coding. Furthermore, if you are working on a large-scale project and need to add more complex functions, you can easily insert three party plugins to Codeigniter.

    8. Zend


    Zend framework is probably the most popular PHP framework. For instance, its package “Zend-Eventmanager” is downloaded and an average of1,381 times monthly. Let’s see why developers admire this framework, among others. 

    Advantages of Using Zend

    • Incredible customization opportunities to design a web app with numerous features and functionalities

    • Allows to build a platform in many languages via zend_translate modules

    • Has a large support community 

    • Guarantees excellent quality due to intensive testing

    Zend contains essential features such as accreditation and web-grounded training, that play a significant role in creating an innovative application for users in 2020. 

    9. FuelPHP

    FuelPHP has input and uniform identifier (URI) filtering what makes it the most secure and reliable framework for developers to use in web development. 

    Advantages of Using FuelPHP

    • Has a large support community to unite experts

    • Can be easily operated on different servers

    • Due to its cutting-edge nature, it guarantees RESTful API development services

    • Offers reusable code 

    • Easy to handle Exception, Session Management, and Autoloading classes

    Besides, FuelPHP has detailed documentation and authentication, making it one of the most popular PHP frameworks.

    10. PHPixie

    PHPixie is considered a relatively new framework with already established and beloved features that PHP developers admire.  

    Advantages of Using PHPixie

    • Has full unit test coverage

    • Easy to obtain and learn by experts with a lack of experience

    • Has a restricted full stack that concentrates on the efficiency of coding

    If PHPixie code has any issues, there is a friendly community always ready to give you a hand. You can ask questions in a chat and get your answer right away.

    Examples of Successful Websites That Are Build on PHP Frameworks 

    There is an unprecedented number of popular websites created using top PHP frameworks. In 2020, when the market for mobile applications and web pages presents stiff competition, it is imperative to be on the same wave with technologies. Here is the list of successful PHP-based websites. 

    1. Facebook

    It is no secret that the backend of most social media platforms is built on PHP. Though only a few know that Facebook developers were searching for an out-of-the-box solution for scaling, and as a result, they released HipHop for PHP in 2010. The development was quite successful since Facebook developers released the Hip Hop Virtual Machine (HHVM), making the process of deployment much more manageable.

    2. MailChimp

    This is the most popular marketing automation platform sending over 400 million emails for their 7 million users worldwide. MailChimp developers claim that they used PHP for every feature of the MailChimp application to make it reliable and user-friendly. 

    3. Wikipedia

    This world-renown online encyclopedia was developed mainly using PHP, MySQL, and MariaDB as its backend. This platform runs two times faster than other knowledge platforms due to the features of PHP frameworks, including HHVM. 

    4. Slack 

    With over 3 million users worldwide, Slack is a handy application that helps startup company employees build integrated and uninterrupted communication with each other, organize general meetings and special events, greet newcomers, etc. Though it is a relatively new project, Slack developers used PHP as their backend to gain maximum efficiency for this communication tool.

    5. DailyMotion

    Another popular platform developed on PHP V7. It is one of YouTube’s main competitors and generates about 3 million video views per month.

    6. Tumblr

    Tumblr is a widely used social media platform that allows its users to share pictures, links, and stories, attach GIFs, and other information. Tumblr has a massive library of blogs, with around 400 million stories and useful recommendations. Similar to DailyMotion, this platform was designed on PHP7 and other frameworks.  

    How Difficult It Is to Support PHP Frameworks in 2020

    Since this server-side coding language is in high demand in all countries, there is a large pool of developers who build complex PHP-based websites and support the existing platforms. Moreover, while searching for an expert, you will most likely bump into the so-called “PHP Support Developer” who has a rich experience in scripting pon PHH and its frameworks accordingly. 


    Many useful PHP frameworks suit the needs of both large-scale and small-scale projects. However, it can be difficult to choose a framework that will satisfy all your needs and bring the desired features for your end product. This is when you may need the help of specialists.

    KeyUA is a team of professional developers who have been providing software development services on the IT market for more than 9 years. From European countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland) to the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia, we develop customized and multi-functional applications that accurately follow customers’ requirements. Today, more and more companies choose to work with Ukrainian outsourcing teams to reduce their expenses and focus on more critical inner tasks. Ukrainian developers are proven to be extremely responsible, dedicated, and well-education. Our team would be happy to cooperate with you and solve your problems with ease! 

    KeyUA developers will incorporate the best features of Laravel, CakePHP, and Zend frameworks to develop a winning application for your business!

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