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The Best 10 Lightweight Frameworks that Aid PHP Development

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The development process can be made speedier and more secure with the help of a framework. But, a developer, making use of a key framework, like Ruby on Rails, Zend Framework and Grails, must spend some time to be well-versed with the specific approach that each solution encompasses. To address some of the issues related to frameworks, the Rails community came up with alternate solutions like Sinatra and Camping, which continued to adopt the framework approach while at the same time minimizing time investment as well as resource requirements. Usually denoted as lightweight frameworks, such solutions have the potential to implement a large number of projects and is also prevalent in the PHP community. Here we bring to you some of the topmost lightweight frameworks that go in efficient PHP web development.
  • DooPHP: It is perhaps the least intrusive and fastest MVC based lightweight PHP framework, coming with a host of impressive features such as authorization and authentication, a REST-based API and a front end and back end caching.

  • Fat-Free: This is the smallest available PHP framework makes use of the features particular to PHP 5.3. The Core Pack comes with the optimum features that are involved in developing a website, such as HTML forms processor, router, template engine as well as development tools like unit testing suite and code profiler. There is also an additional Database Pack that lends capabilities for database interaction through the Fat-Free Axon ORM. Again, an Expansion Pack clubs several extensions together, incorporating a sitemap generator, thumbnail generator, a CAPTCHA generator and other beneficial features.

  • Kohana: It started off in the form of a bifurcation of the well-liked CodeIgniter framework. But the 2.0 version involved a complete rewriting of codebase, that rendered exclusive support to PHP 5. Apart from this, Kohana claims to have a swift development cycle, convenient extensibility, a perceptive ORM interface and API consistency. Moreover, a module ecosystem is also growing up with around 60 projects presently existing on the site. Strikingly, a number of these projects tend to be ports of components available in Zend framework.

  • Limonade: This is one of the most compact solutions available with respect to the quantity of code required to come up with something that is beneficial, with potent demos like the Wikir wiki.

  • Recess: This framework offers a brilliant user experience, including a meticulously developed website containing good documentation and several tutorial-based options. Apart from providing support to typical features like ORM, custom routes and REST, Recess comes with several unique features like diagnostics, modular support and a GUI-oriented wizard known as Recess Tools that enables users to conveniently develop their primary Recess driven application.

  • Orinoco: Another lightweight MVC framework, Orinoco offers a synchronized ORM solution and tailor-made routes.

  • PHP MVC Framework with No-Framework: This PHP framework founded by Rasmus Lerdorf, is fast, secure and incorporates a sophisticated yet simple design.

  • Simple PHP Framework: This is a practical approach for development of websites using PHP5 and follows the Active Record pattern. This framework is meant for individual programmers who can do without the cumbersome, large MVC frameworks and web design shops that are required to complete projects rapidly.

  • Yii: Developed by Qiang Xue, Yii, in spite of being categorized as a lightweight framework, is loaded with enterprise-level features such as logging, functional testing integration, capability of code generation and management of website by means of a console interface. Yii has an active extension repository comprising 200 extensions.

  • Zend Framework: Although weighing 31 MB and comprising a bundle of around 100 components, the Zend framework is designated as a lightweight framework because it facilitates the incorporation of standalone components into custom web applications.
Keeping in line with the community’s trends, PHP developers worldwide are capable of offering a range of solutions to users. With the plethora of possibilities available, certainly one of the above-mentioned frameworks will find favor with you!

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