Currently, PHP frameworks are a major tool in the tool set of many PHP web developers worldwide. For example, if you look at PHP Job listing, you will mostly see “PHP Framework Experience” as one of major requirement. It is one of the most important skill sets for PHP developers.
The popular PHP frameworks like Laravel, Phalcon, Symfony, Zend and CodeIgniter provide a standard folder structure with handy tools and libraries for PHP developers to build large application effortlessly. There are many great reasons to use PHP framworks, but they are mainly used because they add lots of extra functionality, which would take a lot longer to complete by hand coding everything from scratch.
In the following article I will discuss some of the main reasons a PHP framework is the way to go, for any PHP programmer looking to save time and money, while also improving their code quality.
1. Code and File Organisation With PHP Frameworks
Each Framework has its own standard folder structure to manage projects. You just need to follow the same standard to keep everything organized and structured correctly. In some respects, PHP’s ease of use is its downfall because it has fewer restrictions on the structure of the code you write, it’s much easier to write bad code. But once you get used to using the standard folder structure, you will stick with it.
2. Libraries and Helpers
The major benefit of using Frameworks is its many useful libraries and tools. The PHP Frameworks have built in tested libraries and helpers that make things easy for programmers and speed development.
Most of PHP Frameworks are come up with following Libraries and Helpers:
- Form validation
- Database abstraction
- SOAP/REST API
- Caching Mechanism
- Input/Output filtering
- Data Handle With JSON
- Session and Cookie handling
- Email, Calender and pagination and much more
3. MVC (Model View Controller) Architecture
Model-View-Container is a well-known design pattern that separates out business logic from user interface making the code cleaner and extensible. The popular PHP frameworks like CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Zend Framework, Symfony all based on Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern. Actually separation of presentation and logic help in maintainability — clean code is easy, understandable code.
The PHP Frameworks uses MVC Pattern to PHP applications is as follows:
- Models: represent your data structures, usually by interfacing with the database.
- Views: contain page templates and output.
- Controllers: handle page requests and bind everything together.
4. Less Code & Faster Development
If you’re going to develop a big project using PHP, then PHP Framework will work for you. Actually Frameworks help you to develop project in short time. You need to write less code and also can use existing libraries and modules that come with the framework install.
5. More Secure
Frameworks makes you tension free about security vulnerabilities as it handles everything automatically for you and amkes your project more secure. It handles following threat automatically for you.
- Avoiding injection attacks with input validation
- Central input validation and filtering.
- Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) Protection
- Session Management Security
- Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Protection
- All HTML generating functions, such as form helpers and URL helpers filter the output automatically
- Encrypting cookies automatically and lot more…
6. Performance Tools
If you are developing project using PHP frameworks then you don’t need to worry about project performance. Frameworks are equipped with tools that help you to do caching, benchmarks, profiling etc. You can use these tools to improve your project performance with features like dynamic loading, as they load code only as needed. Different page requests can load different amount of library code based on what needs to be used.
7. Efficiently Access Database
Most of PHP Frameworks provides the way to access database in an object-oriented way. With frameworks, you can use Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) model to manage the structure and relationships between your data instead of directly interacting with the database using SQL queries.
8. Write Clean and Pretty URLs
Frameworks provide an easy way to write clean search engine friendly URLs. This increases better chance of performing well with the search engines and also yields usability benefits.
9. Large Community Support
Most of popular PHP frameworks have large community. If you have any issue during development, you can talk to other developers, get help, feedback and also give back to the community yourself. You can also learn a lot by just browsing the forums and look at what other people are talking about.
10. Job Opportunities
Currently every PHP job requires experience with either Frameworks or a CMS. So if you used to PHP framework and experience with PHP Frameworks greatly increases your job qualifications as a PHP developer.
There are many other benefits of using frameworks but its utilization is completely dependent on your project requirement and choice of development platform for web developers. However, you should always keep an open mind and keep up to date with all the new developments in the web development world.