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Noting the Differences in PHP Frameworks: Codeigniter vs CakePHP vs Yii vs Laravel

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Although not an ultimate guide but this post hopes to demystify differences among popular PHP frameworks!

PHP as one of the most popular scripting language.  It is easy to use and brings flexibility in code. PHP Frameworks break the monotony and bring about fresh new ways to code an application.

The Need to Compare PHP Web Development Frameworks

As we compare four popular PHP frameworks here, let’s first analyze why various PHP frameworks exist:

  • PHP Frameworks helps developers in adopting some of the best practices in development along with Rapid Application Development.
  • These facilitate code reuse and components that result in a structured and maintainable web application.
  • PHP Frameworks separate the presentation and logic layers by the inbuilt model view controller.
  • These make use of object-oriented programming methods and tools that extend web application capabilities.
  • PHP Frameworks have inbuilt security policies and methods

Comparison Between Codeigniter Vs CakePHP Vs Yii Vs Laravel

Here is a comparison (although not stepwise) among the most popular PHP frameworks:

Laravel

Laravel is one of widely used and the most favored PHP framework since 2015.

It supports object-oriented libraries that come along with many pre-installed features and simplifies the authorization logic and control access to resources. It includes tools like Artisan that help to perform tedious programming tasks which are otherwise manually performed by most of the programmers. It also generates new tools with the help of a LOC container. It has support for MVC architecture like Symphony that ensures clarity in logic and presentation. Laravel topped the list of the best and most prevalent PHP frameworks in 2018:

  • It authorizes and implements resources systematically.
  • It allows applications to send emails through local or cloud-based services and includes drivers for SMTP, Sparkpost, Mandrill, Mailgun, etc., being one step ahead from normal web services and mailer API’s.
  • It is possible to configure multiple cache configurations with a default file cache driver.
  • It features inbuilt testing functionality, has exceptional error handling and is secure against cross-site scripting, any kind of cross-site forgery and SQL injection, applications built in Laravel frameworks are robust and easily deployable.
  • Laravel has unified API’s across a variety of different queue backends that defer the processing of a time-consuming task and speed up web requests to the application. It also follows restful routing.
  • It has various constraints enforced between multiple database objects with the help of an advanced query builder mechanism. It also has Object Relational Mapping (ORM) support with an active record implementation.
  • Laravel has an auto-loading facility and does not need manual maintenance and inclusion paths.
  • This framework provides an easy version control system that further simplifies management of migrations.
  • Laravel framework includes Event, Queues & Command Bus which is used to run the command bus. This helps it execute different commands and dispatch different events in an easier way.
  • It is fast and easy to set up and customize.

CakePHP

CakePHP is 100% backwards compatible which essentially makes it eligible for frequent upgrades. It does not adapt well with newer PHP habits and has shown some consistency in the form of stable releases. All this and more enables it to go with fat models, skinny controller and automatic routing approach imply most of the work is automated. Features that make it popular:

  • Cake PHP is free and open source.
  • It is secure and authenticates users with ease.
  • CakePHP can be easily put to practice by naïve as well as experienced programmers.
  • It suits well to the development of large applications as it is based on MVC pattern.
  • CakePHP smoothly handles the site location and configuration are all done by the framework automatically. The database connection is required.
  • This framework provides ready to use templates. This makes the process of web application development faster.
  • CakePHP is easy to manage and which gives a chance even less experienced developers to work with ease.
  • It also provides custom testing features, which make the testing task quick and easy for developers. 

Codeigniter

Based on MVC Architecture, Codeigniter does not have any special requirements for the server. It can easily be extended and understood by programmers. It is a package full of libraries, components, and tools, built-in libraries, comes without installation, built-in security tools, database abstraction, and extensive documentation have extensive and active community support and above everything, the ExpressionEngine allows re-using libraries and functions. Features that distinguish Codeigniter:

  • This framework minimizes the amount of code needed for each task
  • It is faster and more reliable than other frameworks
  • This framework is lightweight
  • It helps in easy removal of errors on the site
  • It works well for modular programs
  • Codeigniter is compatible across platforms, various servers, and platforms

Yii2

Yii is easy to install, based on modern technologies, is highly extensible, and has provision for testing, is simple to implement, is secure, has short development time, performs better, handles errors swiftly. Moreover, it is lightweight and comes with powerful caching. Yii help create sites faster sites and makes use of the lazy loading technique. It performs much better than other platforms as far as a number of requests it can take per second. The security features of Yii include cross-site scripting prevention, cross-site request forgery prevention, and cookie attack prevention. The platform has an inbuilt authentication that helps in the enhanced security of the website. It is compatible with third-party codes. Developers get a chance to make use of various different widgets and extensions with this framework. This framework has also got useful caching features like APC, Memcache, XCache and DB based page and segment caching.

Tabular Differentiation of Top PHP Frameworks

Points of Differences

CodeIgniter

CakePHP

Yii

Laravel

Programming Language

PHP

PHP

PHP JavaScript

PHP

License

MIT License

MIT License

New BSD License

MIT License

Database Model

Relational object-oriented

Object-relational document-oriented

Relational object-oriented

Object-oriented

Template Language

PHP Proprietary

PHP

PHP Smart Twig

Blade Template Engine Blade

Programming Paradigm

Component-oriented

Object-oriented, functional, event-driven

Object-oriented, event-driven

Object-oriented event-driven functional

Supported VCS

GIT Subversion GITHUB

GIT Subversion

GIT Subversion

GIT Subversion


In Conclusion


The differences mentioned above, particularly curated for PHP developers, must be taken into consideration while going for web application development by startups or enterprises. PHP frameworks are required to scale up the system, ensuring rapid development, for maintenance or security of code, ensure rapid web application development.

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