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Top 10 Lightweight Frameworks for PHP Development

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Development is a process of achieving certain user requirements. Software development includes creating and maintaining web and mobile applications, fulfilling users' needs. A website has been developed for a variety of purposes - to meet specific needs of a particular business, to meet a perceived need of potential users or to meet any other personal use. Framework catalyzes development process. A framework is a set of functions and classes which makes the development process faster, secure and more enjoyable. It reduces repetitive coding, assists productivity and creates more stable sites by providing structures to normalize web apps.

Frameworks came into existence in 2004. It offers a comprehensive solution to build robust websites. Most of the popular PHP frameworks are predominantly based around the design methodology called model-view-controller (MVC). The PHP framework enables developers to develop PHP applications quickly, efficiently and in a much simpler manner. Choosing the right PHP Framework is very important, because it adds an element of robustness and success to the process.

Benefits Of Using frameworks

  • Frameworks can be used for rapid application development, enabling quick prototypes to be developed.
  • Each project is based on a similar structure, it allows for a faster development cycle.
  • Developers can easily jump from project to project without worrying too much about the structure of the code.
  • It plays well with Agile software development.
  • The underlying code will change less often, resulting in a more stable site.
  • There are numerous frameworks that are available over the web with a unique approach and benefits aimed at programmers. Everything depends on the developer end, as to which particular Framework he/she would choose to serve his/her purposes.

Top 10 Lightweight PHP Frameworks which makes development easy and helps to built powerful stable solutions:

1. Yii: It is one of the top frameworks amongst all PHP Frameworks. It can aid web based websites. Contains features such as MVC, ActiveRecord, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, testing, open source, high performing, object oriented, database access object, easy form validation, default support for web services and many more. Yii Framework is ideal and perfect for developing social networking websites reduces development time significantly.

2. CakePHP: Another popular PHP Framework considered as a rapid development known for design patterns like ActiveRecord, Association Data Mapping, Front Controller and MVC. The goal is to provide a structured framework that enables PHP users at all levels to rapidly develop flexible and robust web applications.

3. Zend: It is a leading open-source PHP framework has a flexible architecture that lets one easily build customized web applications and web services. Zend Framework is based on simplicity, object-oriented best practices, corporate friendly licensing and a rigorously tested agile codebase. It is focused on building more secure, reliable and modern web 2.0 applications & web services.

4. Symfony: It is a application framework which follows the model-view-controller (MVC) system and getting more famous day by day. It is a free framework under the MIT license, which has made development easy with the help of libraries having many PHP code classes.

5. Laravel: It is a clean and classy framework for PHP web development. It helps one build wonderful applications using simple, helps speed up coding. Laravel makes development easier and more creative for developers.

6. DooPHP: It is one of the lightweight frameworks which is fast and less intrusive. Presenting a series of benchmarks that claim to lay waste to high-profile frameworks such as CakePHP and CodeIgniter, DooPHP website identifies the framework as being "the fastest MVC-based PHP framework," while still managing to offer an impressive array of features including authentication and authorization, front-end and back-end caching and a RESTful API.

7. Kohana: It began life as a child process of the popular CodeIgniter framework. However, the 2.0 release was a complete rewrite of the codebase, which exclusively supported PHP 5. In addition to the strict support for PHP 5, Kohana differentiates itself by advertising easy extensibility, a rapid development cycle, API consistency and an intuitive ORM interface.

8. Limonade: It is the most compact of the solutions described here in terms of the amount of code required to build useful, with powerful demos such as the Wikir wiki (written in under 200 lines of code).

9. CodeIgniter: It is a lightweight framework for large active community, having good documentation. Created by EllisLab in Oregon and released soon after CakePHP, in 2006, this is great in projects where a best of breed approach is favored. One can add other third-party software without feeling weighted down like CakePHP and Zend, it has a clear MVC folder structure which one can follow. It gives developers more headroom to solve problems according to their thinking, unlike Zend or Symfony, in which one need to think in terms of the individual methodology.

10. Sinatra: It is an open-source Ruby framework, that really makes things faster. Nowadays it comes with a finer version known for its simplicity known as Slim Framework. It focuses on quickly creating web applications in Ruby with minimal effort.

PHP developers around the globe have managed to offer users more customized and modern solutions by making use of enhanced and powerful frameworks and tools. With so many possibilities, surely one of the above mentioned frameworks will strike user's requirements and meet their business needs.

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