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Yii Vs Zend Vs Laravel Vs Symfony Frameworks, which is the Best Emerging Platform for PHP in 2017?

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We all know that PHP is one among the most popular programming language and its latest version is more stable than ever when compared with server side programming language. Therefore, PHP is used by companies for their major projects. Currently, PHP manages to run more than 80% of all the websites (with server side programming).

It is a difficult task for web developers to change the design of a website into codes within a short period of time. This is the part where framework comes into play as they allow developers to create a website in the least possible time. Every framework is created for reducing the time on building a complex web application, improve security and easy upgrading of the websites. The nature of the framework depends on ease provided in syntax and usability.

Tips for choosing a Framework

You have to understand the requirement in detail before choosing a framework for your project. The main among them are listed below:

  • Features and functionality of a framework

You should choose a framework based on the need of your project because every framework is good in a way or another.

  • Security

All websites are vulnerable and considering security, you must give serious thoughts while choosing a framework. You should make sure that the framework you selected has high-level security.

  • Community Support

It is the lifeline of every framework because either it can make or break a framework. Instant response for queries and development of an application can be quick if you have a dedicated and strong Community support.

  • Documentation

A developer can build a website faster if there is a well-documented project, as better documentation enhances coding speed.

A Brief introduction of Yii, Zend, Laravel, and Symfony


Yii enables developers to create forums and web-portals in a short period of time as they are fast, powerful and a secure web application. For the front-end developers, JQuery integration is useful to manage the framework quickly. Yii was overtaken by Laravel in 2008 but they bounced back with the release of Yii 2.0 as they became hit among developers.


Zend is used for creating powerful and large web application as they are robust and complicated. You have to give more time to understand Zend because mastering Zend is not everyone’s cup of tea. Major corporates like BBC, BNP and Paribas uses Zend framework.


Laravel is the most popular and used framework in PHP. It has got huge community support and quick to learn which makes them a good interface for creating a highly complex back-end system in a short period of time.


Symfony allows developers to create powerful and stunning applications that come with reusable PHP codes. The developer gets to choose from 30 different components in order to build a user friendly web application. Technology giants such as Drupal and PHBB uses Symfony frameworks for their large projects.

How to Compare Them?

Powerful and robust websites can be created with these frameworks but each serves a different purpose. Here we can compare these frameworks based on the pros and cons of certain patterns such as Database Support, Installation, Templating Engine and Rapid Development.

1. Database Support

  • Yii: Yii supports Database such as MYSQL, Oracle, SQLite, PostgreSQL, Mongo DB and Microsoft Bl.

Pros of Yii:  It is very fast and easy to learn. It has good community support along with a variety of extension. Yii is also well documented.

Cons of Yii: There are chances of getting into trouble if you don’t have Technical concepts such as URL routine, Namespaces, Virtual host and MVC. 

  • Zend: Zend supports Database such as IBM DB2, MSSQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MYSQL, DBeaver.

Pros of Zend: Zend is widely used, robust and well tested. It is one among the oldest and trusted framework.

Cons of Zend: There are many configuration options which makes them very complex. The Documentation process is bad which makes them slower compared to Laravel.

  • Laravel: Laravel supports database such as MySQL, Postgress, SQLite, and SQL Server.

Pros of Laravel:  Documentation is best in Laravel, making it easy and simple to learn. Developers can even build their own tools with the help of IoC container. The developer doesn’t need to write the PHP and HTML codes in the same file since MVC framework is employed in Laravel. 

Cons of Laravel: Inbuilt supports will be less as it is a lightweight framework. Laravel also lags behind in development time as it is not so fast as ruby on rails.

  • Symfony: When compared with Yii, Zend, and Laravel, Symfony has the best database support. Symfony has the largest database support such as Apache Jackrabbit, Couch DB, Dynamo DB, Gemfire, Graph DB, MYSQL, NoSQL, Oracle etc...

Pros of Symfony: If used properly, Symfony is fastest among PHP frameworks. They don’t compromise on website security and organize all chunks of web development. Symfony is simple with optimizing propels, reducing the number of queries and scalable.

Cons of Symfony: When comparing its overall structure, Symfony is a bit complicated and needs to be configured.

2. Installation

All Yii, Zend, and Laravel have their own procedures for installation and with the help of the composer all these frameworks are very easy to install.

3. Templating Engine

With the help of Template engines front-end developers can design flawless and clean codes in the least possible time. It also has features like filling the gap left by raw PHP, Automatic HTML and escaping.

Yii: Recommended Templating engines for Yii are Twig and Smartly because Yii doesn’t support third party Templating system.

Zend: Smartly Templating systems are the only one employed in Zend as they deliver clean codes.

Laravel: Laravel is the only framework that uses Blade Templating system making them fast in writing efficient and clean codes in minimum time.

Symfony: Symfony also uses Twig like Yii for templating system in order to write neat and simple codes. 

4. Rapid Development

Rapid development revolves around creating an application for customers by beating competitors in their segment.

Yii: Yii is pretty good in development as it meets business requirements rapidly and work efficiently with AJAX and supports caching.  

Zend: Zend allows developers to work with independent libraries with which they gain access to processed components without completing the whole framework. Due to this Zend becomes more complicated for beginners. 

Laravel: In this segment, Laravel leaves everyone behind as it has latest strategies and support to develop your plans. It has even got integrated test support which allows achieving right output in real time.

Symfony: Software components are available for developers making them reliable and fast framework. Symfony enjoys a strong community behind them and therefore is robust.

After comparing the above frameworks and the reviews from the users, we came to the fact that Laravel is the best player in the market and shows no sign of stopping. In case your requirements are for well supported and a modular network, then Symfony should be your choice. But if you are looking for Fast prototyping and ease of use, then go with Laravel. Laravel has got all of the little parts which will help you one way or around while developing and after going through the facts there is no doubt in saying that Laravel is the most famous PHP framework in 2017.


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