Tiffany B. Brown

What’s your favorite PHP framework?

Another post of interest: An interview with Timani Tunduwani on why he made the switch from CakePHP to PRADO.

Related post elsewhere: You may be interested in PHP frameworks – Which one is Most Suitable for you?

So I’m making my first foray into PHP frameworks. I’m tinkering with CodeIgniter right now. I chose it on a lark, in part because it was easy to install, didnt’t require too much tinkering with configuration settings, and well-documented.

Though I like CodeIgniter’s OO-MVC approach, I’m not wedded to it. I’m also very interested in what else is out there. So please share with us:

  • What PHP framework are you using?
  • What’s your favorite PHP framework (if you have tried enough to compare)?
  • If you were going to recommend a framework to learn, which would you choose (or warn folks to avoid) and why?

And if you haven’t yet looked into PHP frameworks, here’s a (far from comprehensive) list to get you started:

Also worth reading, Rasmus Lerdorf’s February 2006 post, The no-framework PHP MVC framework.

86 Responses to “What’s your favorite PHP framework?”

  1. Colin Morris says:

    Have any of the comments resulted in a change of your approach from CodeIgniter to something new? I’ve played with Symfony, CakePHP and CodeIgniter (and yes, they all installed). CodeIgniter definitely seems to be the fastest to get to grips with for someone without Framework experience, and the benchmark I found (only found one so far) said CI was much faster than the other two. I’m still waiting for a good database style benchmark.

    Symfony was the easiest for me to use as an actual framework with building (ie. telling it my db format and letting it work out the controller etc). But, in my day to day work and my home toying, I still haven’t found a good argument to use a framework over build-it-yourself PHP; especially if you’ve built up libraries and templates for MVC/ data-app-presentation that work nice and fast.

  2. tiffany says:

    @Colin: I can’t say that I’ve been swayed by comments. I still dig CodeIgniter’s ease of configuration. But I haven’t had time to dig into any other frameworks.

    A recent side project, however, has me knee-deep in Smarty as a templating language and framework. The web application we’re using includes Smarty at its core.

  3. tiffany says:

    @Colin: I can’t say that I’ve been swayed by comments. I still dig CodeIgniter’s ease of configuration. But I haven’t had time to dig into any other frameworks.

    A recent side project, however, has me knee-deep in Smarty as a templating language and framework. The web application we’re using includes Smarty at its core.

  4. Colin says:

    Might be off topic, but I can give a thumbs up for Smarty so far. We’ve been using it at my work for the last year or so and found it very valuable for separating app from presentation.

    It’s also great to build the app, and throw the user interface at the designers and let them figure it all out without risk of impacting code. Fast too.

  5. Colin Morris says:

    Might be off topic, but I can give a thumbs up for Smarty so far. We’ve been using it at my work for the last year or so and found it very valuable for separating app from presentation.

    It’s also great to build the app, and throw the user interface at the designers and let them figure it all out without risk of impacting code. Fast too.

  6. java says:

    Codeigniter is my best choice and i have developed all of my project based on it.

  7. java says:

    Codeigniter is my best choice and i have developed all of my project based on it.

  8. James says:

    I chose CodeIgnitor because of the easo of installation and configuration, the light footprint, and speed. It is also an easy way to begin using a framework. Maybe when I have more experience with it, I will start to stretch and try some of the others I looked at. But if you need to get going on a project immediately, it seems the best way to go.

  9. James says:

    I chose CodeIgnitor because of the easo of installation and configuration, the light footprint, and speed. It is also an easy way to begin using a framework. Maybe when I have more experience with it, I will start to stretch and try some of the others I looked at. But if you need to get going on a project immediately, it seems the best way to go.

  10. Ivan says:

    You may consider this one too – qphp.net. It is ASP.NET like, object oriented, event driven, component based, ajax support, i18n support, highly customizeable.

  11. Ivan says:

    You may consider this one too – qphp.net. It is ASP.NET like, object oriented, event driven, component based, ajax support, i18n support, highly customizeable.

  12. Mason says:

    I chose PHP5. I think understanding how to access that which I need is much more productive for me. PHP5, Yahoo UI and some JSON is my framework of choice. All these layered fluff is starting to become less OOP and much more of a multi-layered bloated chaos. You can create the same with less fluff with PHP. Then again, I’m justa passin thru here!

  13. Mason says:

    I chose PHP5. I think understanding how to access that which I need is much more productive for me. PHP5, Yahoo UI and some JSON is my framework of choice. All these layered fluff is starting to become less OOP and much more of a multi-layered bloated chaos. You can create the same with less fluff with PHP. Then again, I’m justa passin thru here!

  14. Nahun says:

    Well I really like the Zend Framework, it has the backup of Zend and the MVC is well defined and easy to setup, clear SEO friendly URLs are easy to configure, a really simple DB abstraction and interaction, full OOP in php5, lots of documentation and tutorials and more. Although there are components that are unnecessarily complicated(Zend_Form for example) I find it really easy to use. I guess all depends on how you like to work, to me, Zend is the choice.

  15. Nahun says:

    Well I really like the Zend Framework, it has the backup of Zend and the MVC is well defined and easy to setup, clear SEO friendly URLs are easy to configure, a really simple DB abstraction and interaction, full OOP in php5, lots of documentation and tutorials and more. Although there are components that are unnecessarily complicated(Zend_Form for example) I find it really easy to use. I guess all depends on how you like to work, to me, Zend is the choice.

  16. [...] of general purpose respect for a Tiffany B. Brown experiment, I thought I would view the introductory videos to CodeIgniter. My randomness [...]

  17. praveen says:

    i haven’t tried any of framework BUT i think codeigniter would be best for me to start.

  18. praveen says:

    i haven’t tried any of framework BUT i think codeigniter would be best for me to start.

  19. Jim says:

    People just getting into MVC or those of you who are unfortunately covered in Cake, it’s time to look at the Fuse PHP Framework. Get serious about decreasing your development time and intuitively using the features the framework offers. Read this article:

    http://jimkeller.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-you-should-do-your-php-development.html

  20. Jim says:

    People just getting into MVC or those of you who are unfortunately covered in Cake, it’s time to look at the Fuse PHP Framework. Get serious about decreasing your development time and intuitively using the features the framework offers. Read this article:

    http://jimkeller.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-you-should-do-your-php-development.html

  21. steward says:

    Been shopping for a few weeks, awful tired of trying out new stuff!!
    No decision yet, but have to disagree with the cake votes. I never did get it running and the community support was ‘unfortunate’ to put it nicely.

    CodeIgnitor has been the easiest so far. Still shopping…

  22. steward says:

    Been shopping for a few weeks, awful tired of trying out new stuff!!
    No decision yet, but have to disagree with the cake votes. I never did get it running and the community support was ‘unfortunate’ to put it nicely.

    CodeIgnitor has been the easiest so far. Still shopping…

  23. juli says:

    qcodo is now forked as qcubed. The site is http://www.qcu.be

    There are some really good people working on it and I would tell anyone to give it a try.

  24. juli says:

    qcodo is now forked as qcubed. The site is http://www.qcu.be

    There are some really good people working on it and I would tell anyone to give it a try.

  25. tiffany says:

    Thanks Juli. That’s good to know. I’ve updated the post accordingly. It doesn’t look like Qcodo is dead, however. Is the Qcodo project still active?

  26. tiffany says:

    Thanks Juli. That’s good to know. I’ve updated the post accordingly. It doesn’t look like Qcodo is dead, however. Is the Qcodo project still active?

  27. jam3s says:

    Havent had much experience with php frameworks but
    yii looks promising.

  28. jam3s says:

    Havent had much experience with php frameworks but
    yii looks promising.

  29. Pelle says:

    With all due respect, I think this list (including its comments) lacks of the very best PHP framework available: YII.

    YII is probably not listed because it is quite new, but it is very feature rich. It has all the MVC stuff, i18n, l10n, jQuery integration(!), it has command line tools for creating applications, models, scaffolds and more, it uses every database that can be handled by PDO, it is the most straigtforward framework I have seen so far (I learned to know it in detail it in less than 1 day), very well documented, and best of all: it is by far the fastest and most stable framework out there so far. (Compared to similar frameworks like CI, Prado, CakePHP, Symfony and Zend) No catch! (Unless you plan on running PHP4.)

    If you plan on using PHP5, I'd really recommand you to give YII a try. Watch the screencast at their website.

  30. Pelle says:

    With all due respect, I think this list (including its comments) lacks of the very best PHP framework available: YII.

    YII is probably not listed because it is quite new, but it is very feature rich. It has all the MVC stuff, i18n, l10n, jQuery integration(!), it has command line tools for creating applications, models, scaffolds and more, it uses every database that can be handled by PDO, it is the most straigtforward framework I have seen so far (I learned to know it in detail it in less than 1 day), very well documented, and best of all: it is by far the fastest and most stable framework out there so far. (Compared to similar frameworks like CI, Prado, CakePHP, Symfony and Zend) No catch! (Unless you plan on running PHP4.)

    If you plan on using PHP5, I'd really recommand you to give YII a try. Watch the screencast at their website.

  31. webmaster says:

    codeigniter is one of the most used PHP frameworks, along with strong user community.

  32. webmaster says:

    codeigniter is one of the most used PHP frameworks, along with strong user community.

  33. Sebas says:

    Personally, Zend is a must !

    It should be mastered first, than other like Pear should be mastered as well.

  34. Sebas says:

    Personally, Zend is a must !

    It should be mastered first, than other like Pear should be mastered as well.

  35. SitePoint has a list of 16 PHP Frameworks, some of which are not mentioned above or in the comments.

  36. SitePoint has a list of 16 PHP Frameworks, some of which are not mentioned above or in the comments.