Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii vs. Zend

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Importance of PHP framework

It is never easy for web developers to turn the design of the website into clean code in least possible time. This is where the concept of framework comes in. Framework enables developers to build a website in least possible time. PHP is robust, powerful and popular web programming language and it is used to build a powerful and complicated website and web apps. Recently, PHP frameworks have exploded in popularity cake PHP, Laravel, Symfony, Yii and Codelgniter emerge as popular framework that let developers to initiate the modern and innovative website development practices. Choosing the best framework never easy, when you have plenty of options. However, after plenty of research, we have finally mustered the strength to write on the topic: Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii vs. Zend.

Before diving into our prime subject, first of all we would like to explain the importance of PHP framework and how to choose the best?

Importance of PHP framework:

Following are reasons that web agency uses a framework instead of raw PHP to develop a website.

  • It enables developers to make development faster. This mean developers don’t need to write complex queries to retrieve the data from database, it becomes very easy to create, read, update, and delete the data.
  • It becomes very easy to scale the system.
  • Maintenance of code become easier.
  • The MVC model ensures rapid development.
  • You can save your web application from common threats.

Above are the benefits of framework which you cannot ignore. Definitely, raw PHP can be used to create any application, but to manage the time and meet the market demand use of framework becomes necessary.

Tips to choose the framework:

Before choosing the framework for project, first of all, you have to understand the need and requirement of the project. You have to analyse following points before going forward.

Features and functionality of the framework: All frameworks are awesome, but you should choose it as per your project need. Examine the features and functionality before going forward.

Learning curve- Whether you choose CMS or framework make sure that developers are comfortable with that platform. Where Cake PHP and Codelgniter are easy for beginners, the same Zend and Symfony are the most complicated.

Security- Since web apps or websites are vulnerable, so you must consider security before choosing the framework. Make sure that your selected framework has highest level of security. Symfony and Laravel ensures highest level of security.

Community Support- Community support is the lifeline of framework, it can make or break the framework. A strong and dedicated community support ensures instant help for any query and rapid application development. Laravel is the perfect, when it comes to community support.

Documentation- Well documentation enhance coding speed, which enable developers to develop something stunning in least possible time. Laravel will not disappointed you, if you are looking for well explained documentation.

 A brief introduction of Symfony, Laravel, Yii and Zend:

Symfony- Symfony is the powerful PHP framework enable developers to build stunning and user friendly web application without any hassle. With this framework, it becomes very easy to perform different experiments. Some of the large open source projects like Drupal and PHBB use a Symfony framework.

Laravel – Laravel is the most popular and undisputedly the king of PHP framework. With excellent community support and easy learning curve this framework proves a great interface to build a complex back-end system in least possible time.

Yii– Yii is the powerful, fast and secure web application framework that enable developer to create web portals and forums in short frame of time, jQuery integration proves helpful for front- end developers to embrace the framework quickly. Initially in 2008, Yii was lagging behind the Symfony and Laravel, but release of Yii 2.0 proves turning point and become popular among developers along with Symfony.

Zend –Zend is a robust, complicated but evergreen PHP framework to create large and powerful web application. Mastering Zend is not overnight work, rather you need to devote more time and effort to become perfectionist. Zend fuel some of the top notch corporates like BBC, BNP and Paribas. Its enormous configuration option simply increase the complexity.

How they compare:

All four frameworks are awesome to create a robust and powerful website, but each framework serves a different purpose. In this blog we will compare these four on certain emerging pattern like templating engines, installation, rapid development, database support, pros & cons.

1-Templating engines: Templating engine enable front- end developers to write clean and impeccable code in least possible time. Additionally, it provides feature like automatic HTML, escaping and filters bridge the gap left by raw PHP.

Symfony- Twig is a modern templating system for PHP. Symfony developers use Twig to write clean and concise code.

Laravel- Laravel developers use blade templating system to write clean and clear code in minimum time.

Yii- Twig and smarty are recommended templating engine for Yii, but Yii does not utilize any third party templating system.

Zend- Zend developers use smarty templating system to write clean and clear code.

2- Installation:  All four frameworks provides multiple installation procedure but the best thing is that via composer it becomes very easy to install all four without any hassle.

3- Rapid development:

Symfony- Symfony is fast and reliable framework enable developers to use software components and rapidly integrating it with the application. Additionally, easy upgrades and maintenance are plus point of Symfony.

Laravel- Laravel is the king of framework, here you will get too many support and latest plan to execute your development plans. The well integrated testing support will help you to get the right output in real time.

Yii- Yii ensures rapid application development to meet the business requirement. This PHP framework has ability to support caching and designed to work efficiently with AJAX.

Zend– Definitely Zend isthe most complicated for beginners but this framework enable developers to work with independent libraries in this way it becomes very easy to take advantage from processed components without having to work with complete framework.

4- Database Support:

Symfony- Symfony offers better database support than Laravel, Yii and Zend. You can work with an array of databases like NoSQL and DynamoDB.

Laravel- Laravel supports four database including MySQL, Postgress, SQLite and SQL Server.

Yii- The databases supported by Yii including Microsoft Bl, Mongo DB, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite.

Pros and cons of Symfony-


  • It is faster than any other PHP frameworks, if used properly.
  • Very easy to manage all chunks of web development and also ensures security of websites and application.
  • It is scalable than any other framework. Easy to optimize propels, minimize the number of queries and limiting the number of object to hydrate.


  • Overall structure of Symfony is complicated and needs to be configured.

Pros and cons of Laravel-


  • Documents are simple so easy to learn.
  • It allows developers to generate new tools using an IoC container.
  • Since Laravel is MVC framework so developer don’t need to write all html and PHP code in same file.


  • Development is not so fast as ruby on rails.
  • It is lightweight framework so you will get less inbuilt support.

Pros and Cons of Yii:


  • It is fast, in fact very fast.
  • Big community, light weight, well documented and lots of extensions.
  • Very easy to learn.


  • Not suitable for big applications.
  • If you have not technical concepts like namespaces, MVC, composer, virtual host and URL routine then very soon you will in trouble.

Pros and Cons of Zend:


  • Most robust, well tested and widely used.
  • All the features that a good framework should have.
  • Oldest and trusted framework among developers.


  • Too much configuration option simply increase the complexity so learning curve becomes very difficult.
  • It is really slow compared to other framework like Laravel.
  • Documentation is pretty bad.

And the Winner is:

In the battle of Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii vs. Zend, all four are awesome and have magnificent features. But for us Laravel is the winner. Literally selection of framework depends on your requirements, if you need modular and well supported framework then Symfony will good for you, but if you are looking for ease of use and fast prototyping then go with Laravel. Don’t go after lucrative marketing offer rather use your brain and evaluate your requirements thoroughly before choosing framework.

Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii vs. Zend
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