How To: Choose a PHP Framework for Your Next Project


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How To: Choose a PHP Framework for Your Next Project

  1. 1. Choose a PHP Framework for Your Next Project
  2. 2.  Whats the primary focus of your application? What will your hosting environment be? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the developer(s)?
  3. 3.  If you still need to write PHP4 compatible code, CakePHP is a great option. This PHP 4 & 5 MVC framework is one of the oldest and most popular on our list. Cake PHP has built up a reputation as a formidable and capable framework. It also has many avenues for support (groups, message boards, IRC) and excellent tutorials. There are also built-in tools for unit testing, XML-RPC and feed parsing for integration with web services as well as scaffolding for rapid prototyping.
  4. 4.  The Zend Framework is for more experienced developers and those building enterprise-level applications. The framework is highly modular, meaning you can use as little or as much of the Zend code as you need. Several libraries can easily be extracted for stand-alone use. There is a lot of built-in support for tasks such as integration with existing web services, localization and extensive unit testing. While the Zend framework may be a large overhead for small projects, if youre building large-scale applications it is typically considered the framework of choice.
  5. 5.  CodeIgniter is (as of v2.0) a PHP5.2+ MVC framework with a small footprint and great documentation. CodeIgniter is nonetheless flexible and powerful. The framework has a large community surrounding it, so its fairly easy to find an existing CI library for just about anything you could dream up. CodeIgniter is best suited for content sites and small-to- medium web applications. Youll likely see a performance drop with very large numbers, but there is some built-in caching to help with that.
  6. 6.  Symfony is one of the oldest PHP frameworks, and is designed for enterprise-level web applications. For all its power and performance, however, Symfony has a small footprint and is easy to configure on a variety of PHP hosting environments. Symfony uses command line generators for quick project setups and automatic code generation, which allow you to get up and running with your code in very short order. It offers internationalization, URL routing, test suites, a robust templating engine and a powerful plug-in API for extending Symfonys features, or adding your own.
  7. 7.  Kohana began as a fork of CodeIgniter, though it’s much more than a simple branch off. Like CI, Kohana strives to be a lightweight, easy-to-use framework that performs well for small-to-medium web applications and custom content management systems. Unlike CodeIgniter, Kohana requires PHP 5.3. The 5.3 requirement also means less code can accomplish some of the same tasks with less concern over backwards comparability.
  8. 8.  Yii is a highly modular, high-performance PHP5 framework designed specifically for developing web applications. Yii uses a lot of command line generators and tools to get you up and running quickly; therefore, its best used by people that arent intimidated by a terminal window. Its easy to extend Yii and add in your favorite third-party libraries. Yii also supports templating, themes and widgets, and includes tools for testing, libraries for internationalization and web service integration. The automatic code generation makes it a great framework for rapid development.