PHP is the most popular server-side programming language and is still going strong in the future. So, we decided to talk about the Best MVC frameworks for PHP. Moreover, the popular PHP frameworks discussed here have emerged to build complex, secure, and expansive web applications quicker than ever before.

PHP web frameworks come in various sizes built for various web developers with distinct levels of skills, experience, and development needs. However, before looking at the best web frameworks, let’s brush up a couple of web development basics.

What is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor. (Nope there is no typographic error here) However, earlier PHP was called Personal Home Pages which was then updated to Hypertext Pre-processor.

The basic definition states, PHP is a server-side scripting language used to develop static or dynamic websites and Web applications. Likewise, it’s open-source software that is free to download and use.

Why should you use PHP for your server-side programming?

  • It’s open-source, so it’s free.
  • PHP can run on all the major platforms showing a platform-independent characteristic.
  • It supports many databases like MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Informix, etc.
  • PHP is compatible with almost every server available today.
  • The syntax of PHP is straightforward to understand and learn.
  • PHP offers multiple security layers against malicious threats and attacks.

What are PHP Frameworks?

You already know that PHP is the most sought after scripting language, but coding in PHP more often becomes repetitive or monotonous. That’s where PHP frameworks enter the scene.

The frameworks make PHP web development easier by streamlining the process. In other words, these popular frameworks help in the rapid application development (RAD) process.

These web frameworks offer an essential structure following which the PHP development becomes fast, stable, and under a standard format.

Top PHP Framework Statistics for 2022:

  • Pie-Chart of PHP Frameworks usage in Web Projects:

PHP Framework Usage

  • Google’s Search Trends of PHP Frameworks for the past 12 months:

PHP Frameworks Google Trends

Now that you know about PHP and its frameworks, we can move on to know about the best MVC PHP frameworks.

Top 7 MVC Web Frameworks in PHP

When we talk about PHP frameworks, the general idea is about Model View Controller (MVC). In other words, when you wish to separate the business logic from the web UI and program them separately, then you go with MVC.

In simple terms, PHP MVC frameworks break down the development process into modules. As a result, the web developers can work on individual modules without affecting the others. And, that is the reason PHP remains a top programming language so far. Whether you compare PHP vs Node.js or PHP vs ASP.NET, PHP rules the roost among all, though in certain cases only.

Enough with the lecture, now let’s meet the top 7 PHP frameworks. Here’s the list of the best PHP frameworks:


The PHP Laravel Development framework is probably the most popular one among web developers. Further, the Laravel Framework is a free, open-source PHP framework that is suitable to develop web applications, Mobile apps with complex backend requirements.

As a leading laravel development company, we recommend laravel because of the features such as;

  • Unit Testing
  • Templating Engine
  • ORM
  • A Packaging System
  • Lightweight Blade
  • RESTful Controllers

In other news, Laravel is the first framework to introduce routing abstractly. Also, Laravel can easily handle NoSQL structures like Redis and MongoDB.

Laravel Usage Statistics:

  • There are 1,106,000 websites that are using Laravel framework.
  • At any given time there are 129,000 live websites built using Laravel framework.
  • The top 5 countries that prefer Laravel framework are US, Russia, UK, Brazil, and the Netherlands (all technologically advanced countries).

With Homestead, installing Laravel has become easier, and with the robust Composer built into Laravel, you can easily add packages. Meanwhile, Laravel recently launched Nova; a superior admin panel for skillful Laravel web developers who aim for new creations while staying equally productive.

It’s such amazing features and possibilities that have made PHP Laravel the go-to PHP framework for web developers.

Why go with Laravel PHP Framework?

  • Perfect for an easy-to-learn framework
  • Seamless Data Migration
  • Popular among the PHP communities
  • MVC Architecture Support
  • Tons of Training Materials (Documentations, Images, and Video Tutorials)
  • View Template Engine
  • Simple Unit for Testing Purposes


CakePHP is completely free for personal or commercial use. Thus, you can build feature-loaded and visually impressive websites with the best CakePHP development services.

Back in the 2000s, CakePHP was the best PHP framework around. After all this time, it’s still one of the best PHP frameworks you can use. To sum up, CakePHP started as a simple and elegant toolkit, which only grew stronger over the past 15 years.

Because of its CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) framework, CakePHP is the simplest framework to learn. Also, installation is a “piece of cake” with CakePHP; You only need a web server and a copy of the CakePHP framework.

CakePHP development is perfect for commercial applications due to security features such as:

  • SQL Injection Prevention
  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Protection
  • Input Validation
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Protection

This framework brings code generation and scaffolding functionalities to speed up the development process.

CakePHP provides excellent documentation, many support portals, and also premium support for developers through Cake Development Corporation.

Why choose CakePHP Framework?

  • Easy Extensions with Plugins & Components
  • Proper Class Inheritance
  • Zero Configuration
  • Modern Framework
  • Support for AJAX
  • Fast Builds
  • Built-in validation


CodeIgniter is probably the most suitable PHP framework for developing dynamic websites. It’s a very lightweight and straightforward PHP framework.

Its size is only about 2 MB (including the documentation). So inherently, CodeIgniter has a minimal footprint, and it allows web developers to add third-party plugins to access more complex functionalities.

CodeIgniter development also offers several pre-built modules to develop robust and reusable components for web development. This PHP framework is ideal for beginners because of the simple setup process.

If you wish to avoid PHP version conflict, CodeIgniter is the right choice for you. It works seamlessly on almost all the hosting platforms (shared and dedicated).

Although CodeIgniter is considered a PHP MVC Framework, it is not based on MVC architecture completely. So the Models and Views classes are optional with CodeIgniter while Controller is obligatory.

Why Go with CodeIgniter PHP Framework?

  • MVC Architecture
  • Top-Notch Error Handling
  • Provides Exceptional Performance
  • Several tools available in one package
  • Inbuilt Security Tools
  • Excellent Documentation

Zend Framework

Zend Framework is a complete object-oriented PHP framework. This PHP framework is very customizable, which becomes a beneficial point for developers that need to add project-specific functionalities.

Zend is built on the agile methodology, which helps developers to create and deliver high-quality web apps to large-scale clients.

It’s the perfect fit for complex, enterprise-level projects that are mainly concerned with security, performance, and extensibility. Zend framework is preferred mostly by large IT businesses and financial institutes like banks.

Zend Framework Features:

  • Instant Online Debugging
  • PHP Unit Testing Tools
  • Connected Database Wizard
  • Cryptographic Coding Tools
  • Drag & Drop Editor with Front-End Tech Support

The Zend Framework can seamlessly integrate with external libraries, so developers can choose to use only the components needed at a given time.

This framework has sufficient documentation and a large community base that supports this popular PHP framework. Zend has also partnered with several major tech companies such as IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, and Google, among many others.

If you like object-oriented coding, Zend framework is the best PHP framework for you.

Why Go with Zend Framework?

  • MVC Components
  • Superior Front-end Tech Supported Tools
  • Large Developers Community
  • Simple Cloud API
  • Supports Third-Party Components
  • Data Encryption
  • Support for AJAX
  • Session Management


Symfony was launched in 2005, making this PHP framework’s existence longer than any other framework on our list. This framework is an extensive PHP MVC framework making it a reliable and mature platform.

Symfony is probably the only framework that is known to follow PHP standards to the dot. It’s very stable, well documented, and high-performance in nature. Such characteristics make Symfony the perfect choice for developing large-scale enterprise projects.

One of the key features that make Symfony a unique gem among PHP frameworks is it’s reusable PHP components. With the reusable components development time reduces as many modules like form creation, object configuration, templating, etc. can be built from old components.

Symfony is easy to install and configure on most platforms and portrays database engine–independence. It’s highly flexible nature makes it possible to integrate with bigger projects like Drupal.

Why should you consider Symfony?

  • Long Term Support
  • Most Number of Bundles
  • Built-in Testing Functionalities
  • Framework Filled with Features
  • Official Training Courses & Certifications


Yii framework stands for Yes, it is! This framework is everything that you would want from a PHP framework. It’s a revised and advanced version of the Yii framework, which was a high-performance, component-based PHP framework.

Yii2 is popular among website developers for its security features, which makes it suitable for projects in e-commerce, CMS, portals, forums, etc. With Yii2, you can model the database as objects, so developers can avoid the complexity of writing repetitive SQL statements.

Yii2 is superbly extensible,  So that you can customize almost every piece of its core code. It’s the primary choice when programmers need to ensure extensibility and develop efficient, easily maintainable web applications.

This powerful and easy to use framework has become a universal web framework suitable for all kinds of web app development.

Why choose Yii2 Framework?

  • AJAX Support
  • Efficient Tool to Handle Errors
  • Customize Default Setups
  • Easy 3rd Party Component Integration
  • Strong Community Backing


Phalcon is written in C and C++, which means it’s delivered as a C-extension. But this doesn’t mean that you have to learn the C programming language to use the Phalcon framework. It may sound odd to have a PHP framework that is basically a C extension, but Phalcon is the fastest PHP framework.

Phalcon is quite easy to install and is perfect for creating highly customizable web solutions. One of the best thing with storage is that Phalcon itself has almost no files once you install the framework. You just add the modules and libraries you need to work with; this makes the development process very uncluttered.

The PHP Phalcon framework creates websites and web apps that are in line with enterprise mobility development guidelines.

Phalcon (among the most popular PHP framework) uses very few resources compared to other frameworks, resulting in the fast processing of HTTP requests.

Why choose Phalcon PHP Framework?

  • Execution Speed
  • Low Overheads
  • Asset Management
  • Uniquely written on C-extension
  • Universal Autoloader
  • Developer friendly framework
  • Top Security & Caching
  • Ideal to Build Performance REST APIs

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10 Best PHP Frameworks Comparison [Infographic]

top php frameworks infographic

Choose the Best PHP Web Frameworks

So now you know which are the 7 most popular PHP frameworks of 2024. You learned about their features, specialties, pros, and cons; now it’s time to make a decision. If you still are confused between the two or three best PHP frameworks, you can talk to our web development expert.

We can help you find the top framework and Provide the best web developer for your next web development project.

Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld. He firmly believes in using technology to solve challenges. His dedication and attention to detail make him an expert in helping startups in different industries digitalize their businesses globally.