Which is the best PHP framework ?

I’ve been asked a lot of times which is the best PHP framework. Well, it’s a very difficult question to answer this question and there are some pros and corns in each framework. So, today I would to hear your views via poll. Please let everybody know which is the best PHP framework among CakePHP, Symfony, Zend Framework, CodeIgniter and Seagull. So that, it will be easier for the PHP developer to choose right framework for the next project. And please post the comment, if you’ve something more to say.

Which is the best PHP framework?

  • Zend Framework (43%, 139 Votes)
  • CakePHP (22%, 73 Votes)
  • CodeIgniter (21%, 68 Votes)
  • Symfony (13%, 42 Votes)
  • Seagull (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 326

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After looking at the above result is clear that Zend framework is the best PHP framework. To learn, Zend Framework you can check the following book from Aspress for learning the best PHP framework as preferred by many PHP developers, Zend Framework.

The Definitive Guide to Zend Framework

44 thoughts on “Which is the best PHP framework ?

  1. I don’t understand why people can vote for codeigniter. Maybe it’s because they haven’t tried any of the other frameworks? I’m currently working on a codeigniter project and we’ve had to make many changes to it. The biggest change which had to be made was to add a front controller that all the other controllers extend. Without this simple feature its almost not even worth having a framework because all the framework ends up doing is organizing code and CI doesn’t even do it that well due to its lack of naming conventions.

    The Framework that will ultimately do the best is the ZendFramework. You’ll start to notice a lot of the other frameworks like CI and CakePHP are going to have problems keeping up because they decided to use their own naming conventions instead of PEAR. The PEAR naming conventions make it easy to migrate to namespaces and even easier to include autoloading. Once people get used to autoloading they’ll never go back. Additionally frameworks like Zend and Madeam (www.madeam.com) that use the proper naming conventions will be able to borrow libraries from one other. Consider using a light weight framework like Madeam to handle the MVC part of the framework and then adding the ZendFramework to your library directory. Simply by doing this all of the ZendFramework libraries are available for autoloading without you doing anything.

    Note: check out Madeam’s SVN on google code for an up to date version.


    svn checkout https://madeam.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

  2. red

    It’s ‘symfony’

  3. @joshdavey – I’m using CakePHP these days and heard a lot about the popularity of the Zend framework. It is being used by Magento and phpfreaks.com as well. These days most of client request to use Zend framework for their project. And, it seems that I need to give a chance to Zend framework for my next project..

    @red – thanks for the heads up…corrected now…

  4. SomeOne

    You forgot the best php framework : PRADO

  5. I’ve wrote some notes on the subject: http://www.alexatnet.com/node/137

    In short:
    # 80% of the code I have written do not operate with frameworks.

    # Language constructions, right tools and good methodology are more important then frameworks.

    # ZF style is more flexible and allows you to write faster code and its learning curve is not as high as it is for declarative frameworks (PRADO/ASP.NET).

  6. As the manager of the Zend Framework project at Zend, I have to say that I’m delighted to see that so many people seem to like ZF according to this poll. But I also have to say that your question is fundamentally unsound. :/ As you’ve said, it’s a very difficult questions to answer. I think the reason is that the best framework depends on the requirements of the project and/or the philosophy and coding style of those working on it. You simply can’t ask this question without more context and expect a useful answer. The other problem is that you’ve left out some other really great frameworks, like Solar, Prado, and many others that a lot of developers seem to prefer above the frameworks listed here. I appreciate what you’re trying to get to, but this is popularity contest and not a true measure of which framework is ‘best’.
    I probably won’t be able to keep myself from checking in to see who ‘won’, tho. 😉


  7. @joshdavey, why codeignitor?

    here are my reasons… as why CodeIgniter is right choice for me.

  8. @Wil Sinclair – you are right there should be a particular context for this but I’m running this poll for common scenario.

    Let’s suppose, One is developing a dating site , another is developing auction site and the other is developing a news portal. And each kind of people ask me which framework will be better to use for their next project.

    Furthermore, I think it’s a time consuming process switch from one framework to another framework from project to project since you need some time to learn the coding convention of that framework. What I mean to say, we should be able to meet the requirement of the such a kind of common project with the framework we choose the best framework is the one which once we choose, will be able to develop such a kind of common website using that framework.
    If you have to change the framework from one project to another project then

  9. @thecancerus, I’m using CI on a project right now and I can tell you all of the stuff they list on the link you provided is completely meaningless.

    This is probably the funniest point of all: “You eschew complexity, favoring simple solutions.”

    CI offers simple solutions? Then why does it force you to copy and paste code from one controller to the next. Why can’t they just put in a front controller and solve a bajillion problems? There is a balance between letting people be flexible and too flexible with their code and CI breaks that. Just look at anything built by Ellis Labs. They use globals for everything and it makes the code unnecessarily complicated.

  10. Shahways Romani

    No vote from me, since you missed the best one out there … give Qcodo (http://www.qcodo.com) a try!

  11. I prefer using a custom framework I have developed – but in this list, I would vote for CakePHP.

  12. I believe that the best framework is the one that you can code the fastest with. That would be CodeIgnitor for me.

    I tried the others and CI allowed me to code up a sample Real Estate app quicker then the rest.

    I am not a command line guy so Baking is not for me and I often 9 times out of 10 have to alter a CP to my liking so baking would not be all that beneficial for me.

    I use CI and Zend as my default and rarely have to step out for anything else.

  13. Clint

    Why is QCodo never considered for the best framework. I think it should be added to the poll. http://www.qcodo.com

  14. Johann

    This is an interesting question. I think that instead to see who’s the most popular PHP framework it wold be more useful to know what people have to say about pros and corns in each framework. Right now I’m evaluating between Zend, CakePHP and Codeigniter.

    I haven’t used any of them, just take a look to it’s getting started tutorial.

    Zend is popular and have Zend support which has a great value, but its getting started tutorial doesn’t works.

    CakePHP looks nice but I’m not sure whether its name conventions are worse than Zend

    Codeigniter seems easier but I’m not sure if it lacks some other features.

  15. mglibres
  16. Jonathan

    Well I’ve used a friend’s framework based in ajax and smarty and then in my work told me to use Symfony, and then I discovered that it was great, it is very intuitive and helps to do a lot of things, since the easy ones to the complicated ones.
    I would suggest you to take a look at it – http://www.symfony-project.com.

    Then in a book I read some summary process about the Zend framework and discover that Symfony do the same but easier. Well maybe I have to use Zend a little more but those of you who know how to use Zend give Symfony a closer look and compare.

  17. I think zend frame work better but other may be used as per the requirements.

  18. Glad to hear about the success of Zend. We have recently shifted from Symfony to Zend:


  19. @Raj Anand – it seems that Zend is most preferred by PHP developers compared to other PHP frameworks …

  20. @mglibres

    Yea, they ended up using Zend Framework. My point exactly.

  21. @Roshan that is a possibility initially, although ZF needs fair amount of learning. Similar argument can be made for SF or ZF.

  22. I need a table where I can see not only a comparison, I need see what people think about each feature and the rating of success for each feature, that will help me more to take the choice.

  23. as far as complexity concern, Symfony is more usable for rapid website development compare to cakePHP.

  24. Dart

    CakePHP it is !! It not only makes development easier and faster, but covers a lot of issues as well.

  25. Just to introduce a french PHP5.2 modern framework : http://jelix.org

  26. Joel L.

    List below are sets of features which the best framework should have:

    1. Speed up the creation and maintenance
    2. Easy to install on any configuration
    3. Clean design and code readability
    4. Flixibility enterprise context. (can handle Enterprice model, Less Dependency)
    5. Simplicity and Scalable (Security and Performance, easy integration with other libraries)
    6. Uses commonly known design Patterns
    7. Agile well-tested code base principles
    8. Latest Web Development Features (RIA ,AJAX, RESTful)
    9. High-quality, OO class library – unit testing & loose coupling
    10.Backward compatibility

    does your framework have this?

  27. hey,
    I wonder why u choose CodeIgnitor? .. its a simple framework, but dont have good updates and can only be used with php4.
    There is better and more advanced framework which replaces codeignitor, and its Kohana
    Please do check this http://kohanaphp.com

    Amjith PS
    Senior Developer,
    Prominentlabs Technology Solutions and Services.

  28. I know someone mentioned Qcodo earlier, but I would like to extend that to the community branch – QCubed http://qcu.be

    I also like Zend and would not even mention these if it wasn’t for the code generation and clean object oriented PHP they provide.

    Feel free to check out my own comparison here: http://www.piranhamethod.com/2009/05/25/php-framework-comparison

  29. @Amjith PS: you’re wrong. CI is simple,easy to use,it’s running with both php4 & php5 and faster than Kahana. Kohana only supports php5. CI’s community is one of greatest communities i’ve seen, they’re very very friendly.

  30. @Hoang Tan: hi Hoang,
    Thanks for your reply, but u are wrong sir. I have worked in codeignitor for many projects and i used to say the same thing as u thought. Later i came across kohana, CakePHP, Symfony… in PHP language. I always prefer CakePHP for works. and when guys who like to develop using codeignitor can easily handle kohana which uses PHP5.
    You have said about CI’s community. I dont think there are many brilliant guys there, if so why no one interested in understanding the version changes of PHP? Why they still follows the old version? If so i cant find any good updates on CI when compared to other frameworks available.
    We should adopt new things and changes in Web development, then only there will be growth. I wont prefer any one to use Codeignitor.
    And about fast. I dont think thats a good point.

    Amjith PS
    Senior Developer,
    Prominentlabs Technology Solutions and Services.

  31. maybe you guys should try out Samstyle PHP Framework

  32. dimis283

    I used codeigniter and at the last 3-4 months I am using Yiiframework.com
    Yii is very good framework and codeigniter I thing has some minus as the form validation (see Yii form validation),they also do not have a authentication system as cakephp,Yii and zend have.
    The next framework I wll learn is symfony.

  33. I am web developer in india symfony best framework

  34. Zend is best framework but it very big. Not good for small project 😀 i like codeigniter

  35. Panggrayta

    I Use CakePhp……..!!

  36. It is Cakephp because cakephp has a great CMS here

    cakeui CMS http://cakeui.com

  37. Zend and codeigniter are two best frameworks.

  38. Dnz

    You haven’t mentioned Yii Framework.

    For me Yii is good and I have provenly tested it.

    Come and check out Yii Framework

  39. san

    hi ,
    I believe cake php ,symfony and zend are the best framework.But All it depends upon the kind of application you are going to develop and the time span.

  40. Stas

    For all frameworks i recommend to use free PHP IDE Codelobster PHP Edition with special plug-ins for installation, autocomplete, context help and etc.

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