A brief introduction to some popular PHP frameworks.

A brief introduction to some popular PHP frameworks. This is a survey of PHP framework popularity showing which PHP frameworks people prefer to use both at work and in-home projects. The detailed results are quite interesting and well worth a read.

By far the most popular framework at the moment is Laravel. This framework has almost every feature already included, such as a database access library, its templating engine, lots of helpers, code generators, and plugins and more. It has excellent documentation and as it’s so popular it has a large community online with many websites offering tutorials so you can learn Laravel easily and sites where you can get help quickly when you need it.

A disadvantage of Laravel is that being so full-featured means it needs a fairly powerful web server to run well. If you don’t need all the features of a full-fat framework like Laravel, then a microframework like slim might be better. With slim, you can write applications that only do what they need to do. It provides a dispatcher and router. That accepts an HTTP request and returns a response and that’s it. As it’s a microframework, the codebase is small and it doesn’t need a powerful web server to run and would run well on shared hosting.

If speed is your main concern, then Falcon is the framework for you. Falcon is a full stack framework that is written in C and installed as an extension to the web server. This means that the framework is compiled code instead of interpreted code in the case of PHP, which runs much, much faster. Like Laravel, it includes its templating language and libraries for database access and anything else you can think of. The only downside is installing Falcon is a bit more complicated than installing a framework written just in PHP like Laravel, but once you’re up and running, it’s comparable to Laravel for features.

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