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Web Development: PHP Frameworks that works for Web Developers

In the wide scope of web development, learning different programming languages has been one of the effective ways to create an interactive and innovative websites. Web developer professionals know that each programming languages has its own differences and it is used depending on its functions. One of the famous languages utilized in web creation is PHP, which is known because of the convenience it delivers in developing dynamic web content. In the survey of W3 Tech as of December 2013, PHP is continuously gaining its popularity as the top Programming Languages for Server-Side Scripting used in website creation. Moreover, its advantages and even disadvantages make it significant for web developers to look for an easy way to develop PHP applications in a fast, efficient yet simple way to code—through PHP Frameworks. Taking advantage of its availability in the market, PHP Frameworks let developers deliver robust and successful process of web development.

What are PHP Frameworks?

PHP Frameworks are basic platforms that give structure to codes in an organized way. It is an efficient tool for web developers to have faster development cycle. It supports Rapid Application Development where quick prototypes are developed. (Terrance, 2010) Instead of coding entire application from scratch, developers use frameworks. It leads to more secured and stable web applications while reducing repetitive coding and saves time.

Refer below as the description and features of some PHP Frameworks used by web developers are explicitly stated.


Yii, pronounced as Yee, is an acronym for “Yes, it is!” It is fast, secure, professional and FREE! It is a framework used by web developers for productive projects. It is developed by Qiang Xue to be an open-source PHP framework with clear, DRY or “Don’t Repeat Yourself” design with rapid development. The latest version of Yii—Yii 1.1—was released last August 11, 2013, where in it requires PHP 5.1.0 or above.

Yii includes the following features:

  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) Pattern
  • Yii Data Access Objects (DAO)
  • Authentication and Authorization
  • Internationalization and Localization
  • Skinning and Theming
  • Caching
  • Error Handling
  • Security
  • Testing
  • Automatic Code Generation
  • Third-Party Libraries

  • CodeIgniter

    When it comes to developing full-featured website applications with PHP, CodeIgniter functions as an absolute yet elegant toolkit that developers need. It is easy to learn and easy to understand that suits work for beginners and simple projects. It is built with an exceptional performance that even collaborative web projects are documented in a detailed and coherent way. The latest version was released last July 8, 2013, which is known as CodeIgniter v2.1.4. It comes with some additional improved security in xss_clean() and some enhancements to the 2.x stable version.

    Listed below are some of the main functions of CI or CodeIgniter:

  • Model-View-Controller Based System
  • Active Record Database Support
  • Form and Data Validation
  • Security and XSS Filtering
  • Email Sending Class
  • Image Manipulation Library (cropping, resizing, rotating, etc)
  • Full Page Caching
  • Error Logging
  • Application Profiling
  • Search-engine Friendly URLs
  • Flexible URI Routing
  • Large library of “helper” functions

  • CakePHP

    Developing a website in a structured and rapid process with the use of CakePHP and its remarkable features, developers can possibly control a more flexible and productive web projects. It is a free, open-source, rapid development framework for PHP baked and sustained by developers from Cake Software Foundation since 2005. This active team provides the community of web developers using CakePHP, an improved and updated feature that supports faster web applications development. Because of active participation of these developers and continuous improvement for this framework, the latest version CakePHP 2.4.3 became immediately available last November 25, 2013.

    Baking website development with CakePHP includes the following features:

  • Flexible licensing
  • Integrated CRUD for database interaction
  • Application scaffolding
  • Code generation
  • MVC architecture
  • Request dispatcher with clean, custom URLs and routes
  • Built-in validation
  • Flexible ACL
  • Data Sanitization
  • Flexible Caching
  • Localization

  • Zend Framework

    Another open-source PHP framework that developers take advantage of is Zend Framework. This framework has evolved from Zend Framework 1 (ZF1) to Zend Framework 2 (ZF2) with more advanced components for web application developments. Developers using ZF2 can exploit object-oriented nature in a way of customizing codes that can create unique functionality for specific projects. The latest version released last September 23, 2013 is known as Zend Framework 2.2.5.

    The object-oriented nature of features of Zend Framework includes the following:

  • Object-oriented PHP 5 and E_STRICT compliant
  • Powerful module management system
  • EventManager
  • Event-driven MVC layer
  • Support for multiple database systems and vendors,
  • Email composition and delivery
  • Flexible caching sub-system

  • Symfony

    As a developer seeking for speedy creation and maintenance of PHP web applications, take advantage of this high-performing framework known as Symfony. This PHP framework is a reliable platform that includes structured tools and development procedure that reduced time consumed in terms of coding. Aside from the support given by SensioLabs, Symfony has its wide community of users and contributors that gather annually in order to maintain its developments and improvement. The latest version is known as Symfony 2.4 recently released last December 3, 2013.

    The change brought by latest developments includes the following features of Symfony:

  • Easy to install and configure
  • Database engine-independent
  • Simple to use but still flexible to adapt to complex cases
  • Compliant with most web best practices and design patterns
  • Built-in internationalization layer
  • Automated validation and repopulation of Forms
  • Cache management
  • Routing and smart URLs
  • Built-in e-mail and API management
  • Factories, plug-ins, and mix ins


    In website development, finding out the easiest ways to code a web page can be an advantage for web developers. However, choosing the most accurate and compatible PHP Framework depends on how comfortable a developer uses such in an organized and faster way of developing web applications. Furthermore, maximizing skills on PHP with the use of these available frameworks can create productive outputs.

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