How to Choose the Best PHP Framework

A web application framework is used to design a web based application that can be accessed by all devices. PHP has the most extensive and popular list of PHP frameworks when it comes to web application development because it uses a very simple coding language and apps with this framework have a versatile outlook. Take for instance Facebook – Yes, it is the biggest open source web application based on this framework.

The best possible way to choose a PHP framework is to analyse the purpose of your application first. For example, there is no point picking a Ferrari supercar for an off-road event where you will have to travel in rough conditions. Yes, Ferrari offers the best and the most expensive cars in the world but they are supposed to travel on evenly laid tarmac, not through dust and stones. Similarly, you can spend millions on the most expensive framework possible but if it is not in sync with the aim of your application, it is useless. Here are a few other things that you should keep in mind while choosing a PHP framework.

How to Choose the Best PHP Framework

Online Payments

An application with the option of online payment requires a dedicated framework in order to provide a secure and hassle-free payment mode. You need to make the users feel that their credit/debit card details will be confidential, and for that, you need to use a framework which keeps all data within it and stops unauthorised access to the database. Magento and osCommerce are the two popular frameworks along with Zend.

Noteworthy example – Flipkart, the biggest e-commerce player of India, uses Zend framework.

Number of images

If you are looking forward to build a rich web application full of graphics and images, then you should opt for Ruby on Rails framework. It is the best PHP based framework in case there are a lot of photographs with links.

Noteworthy example – Slideshare is the best example of a web app based on this framework.

Video Based

Video based app need an interactive framework and PHPmotion is the best thing currently available. The framework is used by almost every popular video sharing apps and is also popular among apps based on music, as well as, photo sharing.

Noteworthy example – Check out YouTube, built on this framework.

Content Rich

Most of the news based websites and other sites having substantial amount of content use WordPress as their default framework. It is one of the easiest frameworks from a development perspective and is popular because of its publishing system. It is also the first preference of bloggers due to its flexibility and wide choice of themes.

Mobile Based

The popularity of smartphones has forced websites to develop a distinct mobile version and a mobile app version. eyeOS is the preferred PHP based framework to be used in this case. It is popular because it adapts to smaller screens and provides a better viewing experience.

Interactive and Dashboard Enabled

Open Atrium is the latest PHP framework witnessing massive adoption. It is popular amongst content rich apps which offers a great visual experience through their dashboard feature. It is also used for providing links to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platform where the app has an official page/handle.

When to use a framework in PHP

When to use a framework in PHP

In the last couple of years, there have been ground breaking changes in framework technologies. Over the decade, PHP frameworks like Phalcon, Laravel, Zend, Symphony and Codeigniter have gotten bigger and consequently better. Today, they are the leading tools for developers looking to create large applications with ease. Frameworks today is one of the most crucial skill set for development professionals. Here are the situations when you need to use a framework in PHP.

1.       When development relies on Coding and file organization

Just because you have a “/inc” folder with “functions.php” doesn’t necessarily mean that your code is organized. Every PHP framework comes with a certain folder structure by default. Developers are expected to follow these standards and subsequently keep things organized. This can however be a challenge for developers using the vi. Here, there are more numbers of smaller files. However with IDE and other code organizers, it will get easier in searching what you need and when you need.

2.       Using Utilities and libraries

PHP provides countless numbers of libraries and tools. However, when it comes to building websites, most developers will either hunt for third party libraries/codes or write them on their own. However, diving deep into existing PHP libraries will give you better opportunities with things like form validation, database abstraction, input/output filtering, cooking and session handling, pagination, calendar, emails etc.

3.       Using the MVC structure

Model View Controller was introduced into PHP back in 1979 but it still remains one of the most important aspects of programming. Models in MVC represent data structures interfaced with the database. Views on the other hand contain the page templates and various layouts. Lastly, Controllers bind everything together including handling page requests.

4.       When you require strict security

PHP provides a variety of input and output filtering options to protect the final website against hacks and other attacks. If you have handled them manually, it would have been tiring and you might even have skipped some. Frameworks like Codeigniter however does the work automatically by filtering any value pressed to a database object, thus rescuing the code from SQL injections. Similarly, user inputs can be guarded from XSS attacks and encrypting cookies add additional layers of security.

5.       When you want to write less code for faster development

Scripting has always tested the patience and focus of developers. However, once you have passed the learning curve of PHP, you will be able to do more with less coding. As an example, you will not have to depend upon 3rd party libraries or worry about manually chasing possible bugs.

6.       When you need the support of experts

Being the most popular programming platform today, PHP also attracts a huge community of developers who help each other at every step. Using mailing lists and message boards, you can seek to clarify your problems from experts in the industry.

7.       When development is about teamwork

Another great advantage with PHP libraries is that it facilitates teamwork. You can divide the work among designers (for the Views part), database specialists (Models) and programmers to create reusable plugins, libraries, etc. Further, you can have a separate team working on unit tests as Frameworks come with special tools in this aspect too.

PHP frameworks are continually being improved and give great lengths of opportunities to any web developer.

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