PHP frameworks help PHP developers to write clean and reusable code. They follow the MVC pattern, ensuring a clear separation of logic and presentation. But there are different opinions, on which framework is the best because some developers prefer performance, some prefer better documentation, some prefer lots of built-in functions, etc.  But which is the Best PHP framework for 2016?

The very popular CodeIgniter framework remained the top choice for most developers from 2011 to mid-2014. However, later in 2014, a new framework “Laravel” arrived  to become the most popular and most used framework in 2015. Now in 2016 it is clear that the Laravel framework will remain at the top, due to the huge interest from developers and clients worldwide.

This article will discuss the most popular PHP frameworks and outline each with Google Trends for 2016.

Best PHP Framework? Laravel vs CodeIgniter vs Yii vs CakePHP vs Zend Comparison Chart

The Laravel PHP Framework

As shown in the Google search trend chart below, Laravel is the most popular PHP framework among PHP developers. This is a relatively new php framework, but great web application framework with expressive, elegant syntax that aims to make web development easy and fast, by easing common tasks used in the majority of web development projects, such as authentication, routing, sessions, queuing, and caching.  Hover, some say it’s code is a bit bloated, but it is the most popular out of the top php frameworks currently available.

Best PHP Framework Laravel

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CodeIgniter PHP Framework

CodeIgniter is the second most popular web framework among PHP developers. It is a lightweight powerful PHP framework that provides a simple and elegant platform to create full-featured web applications. CodeIgniter has been around much longer than Laravel and is a very dependable, robust framework.

Best PHP Framework CodeIgniter

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YiiFramework is a high-performance modern PHP framework. As its popularity in the chart shows, it attracts many PHP developers due to its features, such as fast development, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, testing, etc.

Yiiframework | Best PHP Framework

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CakePHP is also popular among PHP developers due to its lightweight, simplicity, speed and requiring less code. It is easy to learn with fast and flexible templating. The built-in CRUD feature is very handy for database interaction. The framework also has various built-in features for security, email, session, cookie and request handling.

Best PHP Framework for 2016

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Zend Framework 2

Zend Framework 2 is a well known PHP framework among PHP developers evolved from Zend Framework 1, a successful PHP framework with over 15 million downloads. The Zend Framework 2 uses 100% object-oriented code and utilizes most of the new features of PHP 5.3, namely namespaces, late static binding, lambda functions, and closures.

Best PHP Framework for 2016

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No doubt, Symfony is a stable PHP framework ( that’s why not included in the chart) widely used by PHP developers to create websites and web applications. It is a flexible, scalable yet powerful PHP framework. Symfony has a huge community of fans. Symfony has plenty of reusable PHP components that can be used like Security, Templating, Translation, Validator, Form Config and more.

Best PHP Framework for 2016

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I’m sure some of our readers either agree, disagree or have other PHP Frameworks, which they consider the best, but may not be on our list.  If this is the case, then please add a comment below and let us know your thoughts and suggestions.

So which one is the Best PHP Framework?

The Best PHP Framework depends on your specific needs, style and the type of applications you build.  I recommend reviewing each one listed and figure out which one fits your needs best.