Best PHP Frameworks For Developing Agile Software Applications
03 September 2014

Which PHP Frameworks Are Best Suited for Developing Agile Software Applications?

Which PHP Frameworks Are Best Suited for Developing Agile Software Applications?
By Manmeet Anand


Developing agile software applications seems a cumbersome task if you are not using a particular framework for doing so.  It is not clever to indulge in the time consuming and complicated task of building software applications without using any framework. We all want to develop software applications using a framework which can make the development process much faster with the codes and modules and that can function with greater efficiency.

Although application development on PHP frameworks is a part of custom PHP development services, but choosing the ideal frameworks by comparing the features embedded in them is a bit tiresome job. PHP frameworks if used in developing agile software and web applications facilitate reliability and long term maintenance.

However, there are numerous PHP frameworks available in the market and it becomes difficult sometimes to filter and choose the best ones for easing the process of application development.

To help in easing your app development process, I have selected the best PHP frameworks that help in developing agile web and software applications with not only organized codes but also offers immense functionality with increased sustainability.


Considered as one of the best and powerful PHP framework, CodeIgniter is a proven, agile and open PHP framework, which is widely popular among the PHP developers across the globe. The developers who prefer an impressive yet useful toolkit for building up feature enriched software applications, CodeIgniter are the first choice for them, with which they do not have to abide by the respective coding rules neither they have to learn any other template language.


Some important and highlighter features of CodeIgniter are:

  • Excellent performance
  • Offers greater separation between the logic and presentation
  • Thorough and clear documentation
  • Impressive compatibility with standard hosting


Blessed with rich features such as MVC, authentication and role-based access control, testing, coaching, scaffolding etc, Yii is one of those best PHP platforms that save a lot of your precious time by separating the development of  agile software application process in just two steps- developing a database and customizing PHP codes to suit your preferred requirements. Moreover, Yii offers loading of features much faster than any other PHP frameworks, which reduces the inconvenience caused to the developers while waiting for the features to load.


Some remarkable features of Yii framework that make it an ideal choice for developing software applications are:

  • Form input and corroboration
  • Compatible with third party code
  • Embedded with numerous security measures for avoiding the applications from attacks


If you need zero configuration, then CakePHP is the right choice for you as it helps you to develop software applications very conveniently and speedily using the code generation features. You will find no complex YAML and XML files. Hence, you can easily create the database without any insignificant matters. Moreover, developing and managing new projects with CakePHP is easy as you will get everything you need like access to database, caching, translations, validation, authentication, and much more.


Apart from this, you can also develop the software applications quickly using the scaffolding and code generation features.

Other tempting features embedded with CakePHP framework are:

  • It offers two official sources of documentation
  • Comes with a set of conventions to help developers in building applications
  • Comes with huge number of built-in tools such as SAL injection prevention, CSRF protection, etc


Considered an a graceful HMVC 5 PHP framework, Kohana offers various components for developing applications like translation tools, database access, validation, code profiling and much more. Further, Kohana is fitted with BSD license, which can be utilized and altered for commercial purposes. The highlights of this famous PHP framework enables you to pull out components, integrate latest libraries, and develop any new application very expediently.


The other outstanding features that are incorporated with Kohana include:

  • Comes with impressive profiling and debugging tools
  • No endless configurations or code generation
  • Blessed with active community forums and IRC channels


Regarded as a popular and well-accepted PHP framework, Symfony speeds up the development and maintenance of applications with its amazing features. With the use of ‘de-facto’ standards such as PHPUnit, the developer is nowhere confined within the Symfony atmosphere, but they have the liberty of choosing the software components as per their need. This acknowledged PHP framework has a set of prefabricated components, which is embedded with clear methodology to help the developers build up applications effectively and efficiently. ‘


The list of beneficiary features added with this PHP framework is given as follows:

  • Develops complex applications
  • Used as standalones for developing versatile functionalities in applications
  • Removes repetitive coding tasks

Zend Framework 2

Using object oriented code, Zend framework 2 is highly appreciated for creating faster software applications with enhanced scalability. With the perfect integration of components in the standard library, Zend framework 2 forms an extensible and powerful framework, which provides a durable and high performance MVC execution. Developers can employ the client libraries for accessing the popular web services and you can also load the components as per your requirements to take benefit of the components as single libraries instead of the complete framework.


Other striking features that contribute to Zend Framework 2’ popularity are:

  • The framework is easily extensible and adaptable to your requirements
  • Comes with modular base that can be used as a piece
  • Secured framework


Offering lower resource consumption and improved performance, Phalcon is a PHP 5 framework that is executed as a C extension. It has PHP classes ready to use and you can download and install Phalcon as an independent module for performing the development of software and web applications. With just two years of existence in PHP world, the Phalcon framework has rich documentation and community as compared with other well-known and existing competitors.


The set of beneficial features incorporated with Phalcon framework are:

  • Fully featured framework developed in C language
  • Saves processor time and improve overall performance
  • Very simple and easy to use documentation


Simple yet effective, the PHP MVC framework is blessed with an uncomplicated Model-View-Controller application structure, which is very easy to learn. This framework is highly documented and exhibits a self-explaining structure with optional composer integration. Despite of not being a fully featured framework, it offers a bare bone structure, which aims to be tremendously down. This framework motivates the developers to comply with the PSR ½ guidelines, sponsoring the use of PFO and other external libraries through the Composer.


The other additional features of PHP MVC framework is listed as follows:

  • Comes in two version- basic and advanced with the advance version representing automatic SAS compiling and added Twig support
  • Self explaining structure
  • Optional composer integration
  • Impressive URLs

Concluding Memo

Wrapping up the complete topic, I will recommend you to choose the PHP frameworks as per your choice because there are several other options to select, then if you make the decision wisely, you will definitely end up in developing better web and software applications with improved competence. You may also refer to the best PHP frameworks for 2014 for more guidance. It is really difficult to take a wise judgment of which framework to select for the application development process, but taking help from experienced PHP developers or hiring skilled professionals will certainly help you in developing best applications on time without putting extra efforts.

By Manmeet Anand

Manmeet singh is a SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER with TIS India Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. from many Years. He is a programming geek who spends most of his time developing web applications , enhancing user experiences and creating usable softwares. He has helped many overseas clients come out of the project management nightmares by comprehensive requirement analysis and ensuring timely delivery of projects.

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