Top PHP Frameworks For Creative Web Developers In 2023

top PHP framework

Are you interested in Web Development? Do you wish to build some cool dynamic and interactive websites? Then, PHP is something you will have to master along with other essential programming languages. And like many others, to ease your PHP coding journey, you might be searching for the top PHP Frameworks to be used in 2023. Right? 

Any which way, if top PHP frameworks are what you are looking for; we are here to ease your pain with all the reasons you should be using one of these PHP frameworks.

PHP or Hypertext PreProcessor is one of the most dramatically used server-side scripting languages on the web. Around 79.2% of all websites use PHP for creating dynamic websites. We also use PHP for reading & writing web files and tracking sessions.

Nonetheless, if you try and write a PHP script from scratch, you might feel overwhelmed half-a-way. To add to the complication, you might sometime need to rewrite the same functions several times, making the work all the more time-consuming.

Here comes the use of PHP frameworks!

PHP frameworks assist in simplifying such processes while enhancing workflow. Remember, a wrong or not-suited framework can lead to the failure of single or multiple projects. So better be careful and opt only the right one.

You need to underline 3 things before you go down and select from the stack.


  1. It is a fixed, popular and well-supported framework
  2. It stands true to your business needs and goals
  3. The framework is estimated to stay in high demand at least for the next 3 years.

Let’s move ahead and build the list of top PHP frameworks you can use for your projects.

Top PHP frameworks:

The PHP frameworks listed here are unique in their way. You can check your business requirements before picking up the best suitable one among these top PHP frameworks. 

To be precise, we have introduced the top 12 PHP frameworks here.

Sr No.Top PHP FrameworksDeveloped ByLaunched InPopularly used byFocus of FrameworkOfficial Website
1.LaravelTaylor OtwellJune 2011Disney, Bankrate, The New York Times, etc.The PHP Framework for Web Artisans
2.CodeIgniterEllisLabFebruary 2006Buffer, Bike Easy, G-Shock, WooBox, etc.Framework with a small footprint
3.SymfonyFabien Potencier October 2005Sainsbury’s Magazine, Sony VAIO UK site, Intelius, etc.A set of reusable PHP components
4.Laminas Project/ Zend FrameworkZend TechnologiesMarch 2006BBC, BNL Paribas, Cisco Webex, etc.The enterprise-ready PHP Framework & components
5.CakePHPCake Software Foundation, Inc.April 2005Printivo, World Architects, etc. Cleaner, faster,
6.YiiQiang Xue and its teamOctober 2006WordCounter, Purple, YMCA, etc.A fast, secure, and efficient PHP framework
7.PhalconAndres Gutierrez and othersNovember 2012Learny Online, Marchi Auto, etc.A full-stack PHP framework delivered as a C-extension
8.FuelPHPDan Horrigan and its teamJuly 2011Wan wizard, Front Desk, etc.Lightweight, load what you need and configuration over convention.
9.SlimJosh Lockhart, Andrew Smith, Rob Allen, Pierre Bérubé and their teamAugust 2019CG Forge, Canine Principles, etc.A PHP micro framework to write simple yet powerful web applications and APIs.
10.PHPixieRoman TsiupaFebruary 2018Edvantis, Magecom, etc.The modern component-based PHP framework
11.Fat-Free FrameworkBong Cosca 2009PC Specs, Malwarebyte Jobs, etc.A powerful yet easy-to-use PHP micro-framework designed to build dynamic & robust web applications fastly.
12.AuraJake Johns and 166 others. 2012Prada, Cartier, LVMH, etc.High-quality tools for high-quality applications.
Top 12 PHP frameworks

Before we head deep into the top PHP framework discussion, let us give you more about PHP: Read here: Python Vs Php: Which Language is The Clear Winner for Web Development?

Here, we have included both full-stack PHP frameworks and micro-frameworks.

Just to give you a gist of both, let us tell you that:

  1. Full-stack framework: It helps programmers with the complete bandwidth of web development processes. It incorporates the user interface, data storage, and the back end.


2. Micro-frameworks: It has fewer features. However, you can implement these few features in creating small applications for specific uses, like an HTTP request router. 

Other than this parameter, we have also considered the following: 

  • Debugging feature
  • Learning curve
  • Model View Controller (MVC) 
  • Caching system
  • Security.

First of all, let us understand,

Why do we need a PHP Framework, anyway?

  1. With the built-in libraries and tools, PHP frameworks help in faster development
  2. Thanks to built-in functions, you end up writing too less code in the whole process of development
  3. Many common tasks within web apps can be directly filled in with available libraries
  4. Follow best coding practices
  5. The overall code is easy to maintain
  6. More secure

We will walk you through the 5 top PHP frameworks here. For more details on the others, you can comment to us in the comment section below and we will share the details with you shortly.

1. Laravel:

The first on our list of top PHP frameworks, Laravel is termed the best PHP framework for Web Artisans.

Simple, elegant syntax with amazing functionality is what defines Laravel’s beauty. Top websites like Disney, Bankrate, The New York Times, WB, etc., use Laravel at their core. You can create expressive and elegant websites without sweating the small things with this PHP framework.

You can build robust, full-stack applications in PHP using Laravel and Livewire. And if you are a fan of JavaScript. You can create a monolithic React or Vue-driven frontend by pairing Laravel with Inertia.

Moreover, you can even let Laravel serve as a robust backend API for your Next.js application, mobile application, or other frontends. So, it’s a comprehensive package that can offer multiple goodies under the hood.

Known as the PHP Framework for Web Artisans, Laravel was introduced by Taylor Otwell in June 2011. It is designed to create applications based on the MVC architecture.

Technical Specification

  • Current version: 8, released on September 8th, 2020.
  • PHP >= 5.5.9 (or use Laravel Homestead)
  • Composer should be installed
  • Database support for MySQL 5.6+, PostgreSQL 9.4+, SQLite 3.8.8+, SQL Server 2017+.

Pros of Laravel:

  • Easy to get started: a user-friendly virtual development environment & Laravel Valet
  • Built-in templating engine or Blade
  • Packalyst with 15,000 packages
  • Excellent availability of security features and methods
  • Flexible options for creating a REST API
  • Eloquent object-relational mapping
  • Artisan Console command-line tool
  • Availability of an advanced administration panel
  • Easy integration with no SQL solutions
  • One of the fastest PHP frameworks
  • A large community of developers

Cons of Laravel:

  • The comparatively higher input threshold
  • Some imperfections in the debugger
  • Need for separate admin panels in case of multiple stakeholder access

Top users of Laravel:

2. CodeIgniter:

CodeIgniter is a small PHP framework with powerful features. If you are looking for a framework to build full-featured web applications with a simple and elegant toolkit, then CodeIgniter is your best pick.

 Launched in February 2006, this is one of the top PHP frameworks that allow building web apps quickly with minimal configuration.

Technical Specification

  • Current version: 4.0.3
  • PHP >= 7.2
  • Database support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite3

Pros of Codeigniter:

  • Good Performance
  • Lightweight PHP framework
  • Easy to learn
  • Simple solutions over complexity
  • Strong security
  • Clear documentation
  • Nearly zero configuration
  • supports multiple methods of caching

Cons of Codeigniter:

  • The new releases are somewhat irregular, so it may not be the best option for an application that needs regular updates to maintain security.
  • Has a distinct coding style than what is accepted by code creation models
  • The dependency Injection pattern is missing

Top users of Codeigniter:

3. Symfony: 

Symfony is a set of reusable PHP components and one of the best PHP frameworks for web projects. Launched in October 2005, this PHP framework will help you create large-scale high-performance web projects. With a modular solution architecture, Symfony has a convenient API for searching and manipulating folders and files. 

top PHP frameworks

Symfony has an improved stack control supported by a complete console with arguments and the capacity to control parameters. It also supports third-party packages, libraries, and components, and can customize them.

Technical Specification

  • Current version: 5.1.4
  • PHP >= 7.2.5
  • Composer installed

Pros of Symfony:

  • Best for highly scalable websites
  • Its modular component is very flexible and
  • Supports most of the databases
  • Debugging is straightforward with the in-built toolbar
  • Easy to learn, fast, and secure Twig template engine
  • Packagist list with over 4000 packages
  • Commercial backing from Seniso Labs
  • Good professional support is available
  • Has long-term support releases
  • Huge community support

Cons of Symfony:

  • A bit harder to start with
  • The security system is complicated
  • Its feature-rich nature makes it a bit slower compared to other PHP frameworks

Top users of Symfony:

4. Laminas Project or Zend Framework:

If you are amongst the creative folks, who wish to build a feature-rich enterprise-level web application, then the open-source. With over 570 million installations, it is one of the top PHP frameworks used by enterprises. 

top PHP frameworks 2

Laminas Project is often referred to as a glue framework for its component-based nature. Originally launched on March 2006, Laminas is a completely object-oriented framework, using features like inheritance and interfaces that make it highly extensible. 

Previously known as Zend Framework, Laminas consists of 3 parts: Laminas components, Mezzio, & Laminas API Tools. Technical Specification:

Technical Specification

  • PHP >= 5.6 (Zend) or >=7.3 (Laminas)
  • Composer installed
  • Database support for MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and Informix Dynamic Server.

Pros of Laminas Project:

  • Its code can be ported across to other frameworks without difficulty
  • You can use the essential components alone
  • Used to build Restful APIs
  • A good forum and the slack group help in collaboration and support
  • Flexible caching system
  • Support from a large number of database management systems

Cons of Laminas Project:

  • Comparatively slow
  • Complicated from the learning point of view

Top users of Laminas Project:

5. CakePHP

A recipe to succeed as they phrase it, every new release of CakePHP sounds tastier than the earlier! One of the very first PHP MVC frameworks, CakePHP is one of the best available PHP frameworks to date.

The fixed sets of coding guidelines give CakePHP a more uniform coding environment for improved collaboration.

top PHP frameworks 3

Overall, CakePHP is quite simple to use as it has a minimal configuration. You can go ahead and build visually impressive and feature-rich web applications using CakePHP.

Technical Specification:

  • Current version: 4.1.1
  • PHP 7.2 (minimum), 7.4 recommended
  • HTTP server with mod_rewrite preferred
  • Database support for MySQL 5.6+, MariaDB 5.6+, PostgreSQL 9.4+, SQLite 3.8, SQL Server 2012+.

Pros of CakePHP:

  • CakePHP’s coding conventions
  • A broad set of components
  • Multiple support portals
  • Simple & easy to install
  • Good security features
  • modern framework, fast builds, proper class inheritance, & validation.

Cons of using CakePHP:

Developers who don’t prefer to align with more rules & restrictions should better avoid CakePHP, as it has a fixed set of coding guidelines.

Top users of CakePHP:

So, that covers the 5 top PHP frameworks for you. We hope this information can help you choose the best suitable PHP framework for your project.

So, which are the top PHP Frameworks of 2023?

According to the statistics, Laravel clearly hits the list of the top PHP frameworks. But again, every user is different and every product requirement varies. So, choose your fit by understanding each PHP framework from your requirement perspective.

If you wish to give a 3X growth to your web development career, here is something you should not be missing:

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A traveler, and explorer, Archana is an active writer at GUVI. You can usually find her with a book/kindle binge-reading (with an affinity to the mystery/humor).

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