Top PHP MVC Frameworks

Top PHP MVC Frameworks in 2019

PHP, a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, is a server-side scripting language for web development. Contrary to most common beliefs, PHP is not a dead language. In fact, PHP is one of the top server-side programming languages in December 2018.

If you’re planning to start a PHP project, one aspect to consider is choosing the best PHP MVC framework. But why do you need a framework?

A framework is generally a basic conceptual structure. It can be related to ideas or a structural frame. In web development, a framework is a basic platform where one can build web applications, web services, and websites.

Web development frameworks are very useful. They save loads of time for your developers; since these reduce the production of repetitive code. For 2019, we created a list of the top PHP frameworks for you to venture into innovative modern web development projects. If you need expert PHP developers, then we can also help with that.

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Top PHP MVC Framework List for 2019


A popular PHP MVC framework introduced in 2011 is Laravel. The framework’s main goal is to take the drag from development to make it more fun and enjoyable. Laravel’s philosophy suits very well mostly among millennial web developers.

Laravel achieved this output by easing common tasks like authentication, routing, sessions, and caching. It is pleasing even without sacrificing functionality — making it very suitable for beginners of PHP.

Key Features

  • Rapid application development (RAD)
  • Simple and elegant syntax
  • Appealing templates without increasing loading time
  • Vast community and comprehensive tutorials for beginners


CodeIgniter is one of the oldest PHP frameworks, a brainchild of Rick Ellis in 2006. Being a classic doesn’t imply that this framework is outdated. It only means that CodeIgniter has gone through a lot of trials, errors, and updates that made it a PHP MVC framework.

In addition, Codeigniter has in-depth documentation and support from its community — making it a great advantage for web developers for technical support. Its main strength lies in its speed that competes with other frameworks.

Key Features

  • Fast even with database tasks
  • Well-documented
  • Built-in features and components


Launched in 2005, Symfony is a sophisticated web development platform. Similarly, its years in the industry garnered increased support in the community. It has various updates and upgrades to better help your web developers.

Symfony has had a head start from the other PHP MVC frameworks. It has established quite a reputation. However, its advanced features would make a difficult learning curve for if you have novice or junior web developers.

Key Features

  • Suitable for long-scale enterprise projects
  • Easy to install and configure
  • Reusable PHP components and code

Zend Framework

Implemented using a 100% object-oriented concept, Zend has features like inheritance and interfaces. In addition, Its other features are a drag-and-drop editor, cryptographic coding tools, and instant online debugging tools among many others.

However, the only detrimental side of the Zend Framework is its complex components. It’s one of the most difficult PHP frameworks on the list.

Key Features

  • Preferred framework for large IT department and banks
  • Supports front-end technology such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript


CakePHP was said to be one of the easiest frameworks to learn. The creators of this framework managed to develop the CRUD concept: which means create, read, update, and delete.

Already a decade old, it remains one of the most popular PHP frameworks. CakePHP helps your developers create visually impressive feature-loaded websites.

Key Features

  • Best used for commercial applications
  • Built-in fast and flexible templating feature


Modular, extendable, and flexible, FuelPHP is a full-stack PHP framework. Launched in 2011, this framework supports MVC and its update, HMVC (Hierarchical model-view-controller). 

Unlike other frameworks, FuelPHP gives great importance to security. They created a secure and stable framework to keep VSS and CSRF attacks away. The framework’s team has developed a utility called OIL that can help speed up development, increase efficiency, and assist in testing and debugging.

Aside from its powerful features, FuelPHP is also lightweight. It’s also popular due to its own authentication framework and good documentation.

Key Features

  • Focus on security
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Helps deliver end-to-end web solutions


Another exceptional framework on this list is Yii. Pronounced as “yee,” this term means simple and evolutionary in Chinese.

True to its Chinese semantic meaning, Yii is created to be simple, fast, and reliable. It is based on the DRY (Don’t repeat yourself) concept to help agile development for your web developers.

Key Feature

  • Works well with large-scale website development
  • Can be integrated with AJAX and JQuery features
  • Perfect for all kinds of web apps
  • Robust security features suitable for e-commerce projects, portals, CMS, forums, and many more


A popular micro-framework that helps quickly create simple but powerful web applications and APIs.

Key Features

  • Easy to learn
  • URL solution, session, and cookie encryption, client-side HTTP caching
  • Active maintenance and friendly documentation


Unlike the other frameworks, Phalcon is based on C and C++ coding styles. Since its launch as a C-extension, there won’t be a need for your web developers to learn about the C language.

Looking for a fast website? Phalcon may be perfect for you. While it’s full of good features, Phalcon is mostly flawed in patching bugs.

Key Features

  • Increased execution, speed, asset management, universal autoloader, translation, caching, security, and more.
  • Optimize performance through its efficient memory utilization


Introduced in 2012, PHPixie implements the HMVC design platform. One of the latest frameworks in PHP, this new framework is still gaining popularity and community support. Even then, it is still said to be reliable for web development.

Key Features

  • Well-suited for social networking websites, customized web applications, and web application development services
  • Standard ORM, input validation, authorization capabilities, authentication, and caching

How to choose the best PHP MVC framework?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a PHP MVC framework. Primarily, make sure that the database server supports database type, and the framework should have community support. Therefore, the size and popularity of a community may not matter, for as long as support is available.

Additionally, don’t choose a framework with no documentation and user guide; rather than being an asset, it will only give you more burden. Most importantly, the framework should use the MVC model or Model-View-Controller architecture.

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