Top 7 PHP Frameworks for Web Development in 2023


The web development landscape is diverse. There is a myriad of technologies and frameworks that you can use to build your next web app or website. One of the most impactful technologies driving web development is PHP, but within that, there are a ton of great PHP frameworks that you can pick from.

PHP is an object-oriented programming language designed for web development, but it is also used as a general-purpose programming language. It is one of the most popular languages on the web and is used by some of the biggest websites in the world.

Also, PHP is one of the top backend developer skills in 2023. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the top 7 PHP frameworks shaping web development in 2023, but before discussing that, let’s first understand what a PHP framework is.

What is a Framework in PHP?

A PHP framework is simply a platform that facilitates development in PHP. It comes with a galore of libraries that contain predefined functions, resulting in saving development time by avoiding the need to develop everything from scratch. There are several types of PHP frameworks.

One of the most popular types of PHP frameworks is a PHP MVC framework. Such a framework is capable of developing web apps and websites while keeping application data and business logic separate from the presentation. PHP micro framework is another popular type of framework in PHP.

Best PHP Frameworks for Web Development in 2023

1.) Laravel

Developer – Taylor Otwell

First Appeared – June 2011

Type – PHP MVC framework

Hailed by many as the best PHP framework, Laravel has the highest community approval rating and the most available resources related to it. Many popular websites have been built using it. It’s reliable, fast, secure, and has a functional toolset that makes development easy for everyone.

Although Laravel is an open-source framework, its commercial version ‘Enterprise Laravel’ offers production-ready features for eCommerce stores and ERP apps, enterprises, developers, and agencies with large project requirements.

Laravel is one of the most popular web frameworks as it has an elegant and simple syntax that makes the development of web applications easy and comfortable. It is a highly reliable and flexible tool that not only provides an easy approach but also enables you to master the art of building web apps.

2.) CodeIgniter

Developer – EllisLab (Original), British Columbia Institute of Technology (Previous), CodeIgniter Foundation (Present)

First Appeared – February 2006

Type – PHP MVC framework

CodeIgniter is simple, fast, secure, and small. It is a free and open-source advanced PHP framework with a very small footprint. Also, it is super easy to install. It is a powerful PHP framework that comes with a built-in database abstraction layer that supports most database systems.

CodeIgniter is a robust open-source PHP web application development framework designed for developers who need a simple and elegant toolkit to create fully-featured web applications.

This framework helps you to develop any type of web application using less code. So, if you are a beginner or a professional developer and looking for a platform with which you can develop any type of web application, CodeIgniter is the right choice for you.

3.) Symfony

Developer – Symfony community

First Appeared – October 2005

Type – PHP MVC framework

Symfony is a PHP web framework and a set of reusable PHP components that makes web development with PHP easy. It has remained popular due to its ease of use, flexibility, and long-term durability.

The advantages of this PHP framework are well-recognized by many experts in the development community. Advantages of using Symfony are its speed, security, consistency, and the ability to easily integrate with other components. It also provides an XML-based templating system that allows creating HTML syntax.

4.) Laminas Project (Zend Framework)

Developer – Linux Foundation

First Appeared – March 2006

Type – PHP MVC framework

Previously known as Zend Framework, Laminas is a web development framework written in the PHP programming language. It is an enterprise-ready PHP web development framework that carefully plans all the aspects of an application’s design, including security, modularity, and code reusability.

Laminas was built with the intention of increasing your productivity by reducing the amount of time that you invest in dealing with repetitive issues that are common with larger or more complex applications. It has components to handle many common tasks, providing developers a base from where they can start building their applications.

5.) CakePHP

Developer – Cake Software Foundation, Inc.

First Appeared – April 2005

Type – PHP MVC framework

CakePHP is a rapid development framework for PHP that uses commonly known design patterns like ActiveRecord, Association Data Mapping, Front Controller, and MVC. Also, it’s completely free-to-use.

The best thing about CakePHP is that it implements these well-known design patterns in such a way that they make building web applications much easier and faster than other ways.

6.) Slim

Developer – Slim Framework Team

First Appeared – Not available

Type – PHP micro framework

Slim is a PHP micro framework that helps you quickly write simple yet powerful web applications and APIs. Slim is easy to use for both beginners and experienced developers alike. In fact, Slim was created as a response to the growing complexity of existing PHP frameworks. Even if you are new to programming, Slim will help you get started with building your web application in no time.

You can even get started without needing any third-party libraries or tools in your project. Slim shares many similarities with other popular PHP frameworks in terms of code organization and architecture.

7.) Phalcon

Developer – Andres Gutierrez and others

First Appeared – November 2012

Type – PHP MVC framework

PHP is the fastest growing server-side programming language on the internet. Phalcon, which is a PHP-based open-source web framework, has gained popularity in recent years. It is one of the fastest, secure and easy-to-use platforms for developing web apps.

Some Honorable Mentions

Although the aforementioned frameworks are the best PHP frameworks to use in 2023 for developing websites and web apps, the following are some other PHP frameworks that are also very popular among the PHP community:

  • Fat-Free Framework
  • FuelPHP
  • Kohana
  • PHPixie
  • Yii


We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. We’ve gone through 7 of the most popular PHP frameworks at the moment and reviewed each. At the end of this guide, you now know enough to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the PHP framework for your new project. All the best!

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