15 Best Free PHP Frameworks

The story articulates which are the best PHP frameworks.

Chapter 1

15 Best Free PHP Frameworks

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, which is one of the most popular web programming languages. Millions of websites, today, have opted for PHP. According to W3Techs survey, 82% of majority web server uses PHP. Its interactive features, excellent HTML and database integration support make it so accessible. Just like other popular web languages, PHP has some great frameworks to make your development process fast, more productive, and it eliminates the chances of low-level errors. It also guards your website against attacks like SQL injection, XSS attacks etc. Here is a list of the best PHP Frameworks that you get online for free.

  1. Laravel :- Laravel is the most popular PHP frameworks that developers rely on today. It was released on February 22, 2012. The latest version of Laravel comes as individual Composer packages. It consists of good routing, easy authentication, migrations support, Blade templating engine and many more.
  2. Symfony :- Symfony is a flexible, scalable and robust PHP framework for MVC application. There are plenty of reusable PHP components like Security, Templating, Translation, Validator, Form Config etc. It aims to make the creation and maintenance of your web application faster with less repetitive coding.
  3. CodeIgniter :- CodeIgniter is a free PHP framework that EllisLab maintains. It has excellent documentation with a large community of users. CodeIgniter includes features like no PHP version conflict, almost zero installation, easy error handling, easy security and encryption steps and rich built-in libraries and helper.
  4. CakePHP :- CakePHP is a PHP framework that supports version 4 and above. It is easy to learn with fast and flexible templating. The integrated CRUD is a feature in CakePHP that comes handy for your database interaction. It has a built-in feature for security, email, session, cookie and request handling.
  5. Zend Framework :- Zend Framework is a scalable and object-oriented PHP framework, now available in version 2 with lots of new features and enhancements. It has an online training and certification, and plenty of enterprise organizations use it. With its Object-Oriented programming and consistent design patterns, you can easily extend custom classes and only use what you need.
  6. Phalcon :- Phalcon framework offers great speed. When benchmarked with other popular frameworks, it has the fastest time request and lowest memory usage according to Systems Architect and Phalcon crew test. It is so because it was entirely written with C/C++ to facilitate performance optimization.
  7. Slim :- Slim is a lightweight micro-framework for PHP inspired by Sinatra, which is a Ruby framework. It comes in a tiny size and is built with incredible routing system. It focuses on RESTful API with all HTTP methods-support. You need to have at least a PHP version of 5.2+ for using it.
  8. Yii :- Yii Framework is a modern PHP framework with OOP design system inside. Besides being easy to install, it is also highly extensible, helping you to fit what you need. Yii has a built-in integration with a great PHP testing framework, CodeCeption, to test your application faster.
  9. Fat-Free :- Fat-Free is a powerful and easy-to-use PHP micro-framework. Bong Cosca developed it in 2009, making it one of the lightweight frameworks that have a size of less than 50KB. It was developed almost entirely in PHP with main features of URL router, multilingual application support and cache engine. There are plentiful plugins for a large number of database backend like MySQL, MSSQL, SQLite, Sybase, DB2, MongoDB, CouchDB, PostgreSQL and Flat File.
  10. Kohana :- Kohana is a PHP framework with Hierarchical Model View Controller architectural pattern. Kohana was built with PHP OOP in mind. Hence, it allows you to get visibility protection, abstracts, automatic class loading, interfaces, overloading and singletons. You can also use the GET, POST, COOKIE, and SESSION methods as you want. You need a minimum PHP version of 5 for using it.
  11. FuelPHP :- FuelPHP is a PHP framework written in PHP 5.3. To be able to use FuelPHP, you will need to use the same version of PHP or above. It uses a Kohana-inspired Cascading File System. The main features include a URL routing system, RESTful implementation, HMVC implementation, template parsing, form and data validation, ORM (Object Relational Mapper), vulnerability protection and caching system. The community-driven approach makes it a flexible, modular and extensible framework.
  12. Flight :- Flight is an extensible PHP micro-framework, with straightforward documentation which makes it easy to learn even for beginners. It is a simple framework that is not quite suitable for big web application projects. It also supports routing, error handling, JSON sending and request and much more.
  13. PHP-Mini :- PHP Mini is a lightweight RESTful PHP framework for mini projects and quick prototypes. It comes with a simple but clean code and is very easy to understand/comprehend. It has CRUD demo action to facilitate easier database entries. The codes are written natively in PHP. Hence, you will not need to learn an additional framework.
  14. Simple PHP Framework :- This framework is a personal project of Tyler Hall that he started in 2006. He has been dealing with hundreds of different projects and has consistently been using this library for his projects base. The framework can bootstrap your project with user authentication, database calls, RSS feeds, etc. available on the code. 
  15. Zikula :- Zikula is a free, open-source PHP framework based on Symfony and Doctrine. You can use it for small enterprises and also for personal projects. Zikula is well integrated with the popular Bootstrap 3 framework and Font Awesome 4. It comes with some cool features like a flexible theme system, WYSIWYG editors, ModuleStudio, document creator, galleries, chat and more.


 If you use PHP frameworks, you can make your development process faster, easier and more fun. Each of them offers unique and amazing features. Hence, you must only use what you consider to be most appropriate and easy-to-learn framework for your project. Hire a PHP developer for your website development project. The PHP developer may use any of these above discussed frameworks of PHP while building your website. 



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