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Best PHP Frameworks for Developing Applications

updated on Oct 29, 2014
Best PHP Frameworks for Developing Applications After reviewing more than 50 PHP frameworks, we have found several of the best, by using which you are able to develop applications without spending much time by reusing generic modules and components. Besides, with these first-class PHP frameworks, you are capable of building software easily by building a unified structural foundation. The winners are CodeIgniter, Yii, Bootstrap, CakePHP and Kohana.

Each of the selected frameworks can help you facilitate long-term maintenance and scalability observing development standards, keep your code organization and allow your projects to grow and evolve as time goes by. In addition, using each of the winners, you are able to save much time to dedicate more time to functionality, and to focus on quality code and sustainability. Proceed to the main information about the awarded frameworks.



With a small footprint, CodeIgniter is an agile, proven and open PHP framework, which is widely used by thousands of developers around the word. This framework is very useful for developers who need an elegant and simple toolkit to create feature-rich web software, with which you don't have to comply with the respective coding rules or learn another template language.

Moreover, if you prefer simple solutions and zero configuration or use shared web hosting service, this is the right framework for you. Some other highlighted features of CodeIgniter are:
  • Exceptional performance.
  • Clear and thorough documentation.
  • Broad compatibility with standard hosting.

Best PHP Frameworks - CodeIgniter



Coming with rich features, such as MVC, I18N/L10N, authentication and role-based access control, caching, testing, scaffolding and so forth, Yii is able to save you a lot of time. Besides, Yii generates the basic PHP code, so you just need to go through 2 steps to build your application rapidly - creating a database and customizing the PHP code to fit your exact needs. In addition, Yii just loads the features you need, which reduces some inconvenience and helps you create applications rapidly.

More highlights of this framework are listed as below.
  • Form input and validation.
  • Friendly with third-party code.
  • Many security measures preventing your applications from attacks.

Best PHP Frameworks - Yii



Bootstrap is an open-source framework, which is hosted, developed and maintained on GitHub. Up to now, this framework has been used by numerous developers to develop WordPress wedding themes, WordPress portfolio themes, Concrete5 themes, PrestaShop themes, OpenCart templates, and much more. Just with one code base, Bootstrap can easily and efficiently scale your project from phones to tablets to desktops.

Outstanding features of Bootstrap are:
  • The largest open-source community in the world.
  • Support for 2 of the most CSS preprocessors, Less and Sass.
  • Beautiful and extensive documentation with numerous live examples, code snippets, etc.

Best PHP Frameworks - Bootstrap



If you want zero configuration, CakePHP is the right option for you. There are no complicated YAML or XML files, so you are allowed to set up your database without any other trivial matters. Additionally, creating a new project is very easy with CakePHP because it includes all things you need, such as database access, translations, caching, authentication, validation and much more.

Besides, you are able to build your application quickly by using the code generation and scaffolding features. Furthermore, CakePHP comes with the following tempting features.
  • 2 official source of documentation.
  • A set of conventions guiding developers in developing applications.
  • A large number of built-in tools for CSRF protection, SAL injection prevention, etc.

Best PHP Frameworks - CakePHP



Kohana is an elegant HMVC PHP 5 framework, which provides many components for building web applications, such as database access, translation tools, code profiling, validation, and much more. Besides, the BSD license is included, which can be used and modified for commercial purposes. What's more, highlights of Kohana enable you to extend existing components, add new libraries and create a new application easily and rapidly.

In addition to the outstanding features mentioned before, Kohana also includes outstanding features as follows.
  • Good debugging and profiling tools.
  • No code generations or endless configurations.
  • A very active community forum and IRC channel.

Best PHP Frameworks - Kohana