PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages used for web development. It’s an open-source language, has a fairly simple code and can be run on all major operating systems. It can also boast great levels of flexibility and scalability.

As of May 2018, 83.5% of all websites are developed in PHP. Facebook, the largest social media platform, and WordPress, a popular content management system, are both written in PHP. Due to PHP’s popularity, it has a wide community of developers who constantly work on improvements, updates and the process of coming up with new extensions, which help other programmers to add new functionalities to their projects quickly and conveniently.

Thanks to PHP’s simple learning curve, it is also a language recommended to beginners. Developers who are just starting their adventure with PHP may wonder which framework would be the best option for adding more complexity to their web development projects, since, contrary to Ruby or Python, PHP does not have a default framework. Shared by experts from Firewall Technical, here is an overview of the two most popular PHP frameworks, Symfony and Laravel:


Created by SensioLabs, Symfony offers a set of decoupled and reusable components and bundles (plugins) which reduce the overhead costs of development. It is a great solution for large-scale enterprise level projects, where easy re-usability and reconfiguration are crucial. This framework is used for many popular web application projects, including Drupal or eZ Publish. Symfony APIs allow for easy integration with third party applications.

Additionally, Symfony uses a powerful template language called Twig, which allows for a more concise, readable code. With a huge community of users, the popularity and usage of this PHP framework is still growing. For new users, SensioLabs have created a series of tutorials that help developers easily get the hang of the framework. Testing is also made easy thanks to the re-usability and lack of strict dependencies.

Another reason why Symfony is often chosen over other PHP frameworks is the fact that it comes with constantly updated, well-written documentation, which makes the developing process even more smooth and effective. SensioLabs also assures its users of the framework’s stability and high security that are continuously managed by the company.


Powered by Symfony, Laravel is a web application framework praised for its elegant syntax and rich features. They allow for an efficient, rapid web development of applications which follow the MVC architectural pattern.

Laravel uses Blade, a templating language which, contrary to other PHP templates, does not restrict users from using plain PHP code in their applications. Just like Symfony, Laravel can boast a growing community of developers who constantly work on sharing useful resources that make the life of other developers that much easier.

The framework is often praised for its simplicity, which makes it a perfect choice for developers who are just starting to work with PHP. It also contains a built in authentication system which makes the authentication process much simpler. Laravel is also equipped with tools that provide protection against SQL injections, cross site scripting and request forgery among others.

Of course, as is the case with any language or framework, the bottom line is to choose the tools that will suit your individual needs and developing experience best. Both PHP frameworks described here can offer many solutions and significantly speed up the web development process.