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Getting the Best PHP Framework: Tips and Resources

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A framework as per me is a substratum where developers are able to place their codes in a comfortable manner. Before the era of Frameworks began, every coder had his own style of arranging the codes and way of deploying their technical arsenals. These coding varieties of developer resulted in issues like documentation errors, complex programming techniques and lastly one big question that remains unanswered that is “who will be cleaning the mess when he leaves”.

It was in the year 2004, model-view-controller or MVC based Frameworks came into existence and there has been no looking back since then. With so many PHP frameworks at our convenience today, web masters often end up in jeopardy when it comes to choosing the best of the rest. This article will prove to be the best platform for people to know the importance of PHP Frameworks and choosing the best one for their respective businesses.

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Let me tell you something about PHP Framework

Let’s start with actually knowing what a framework is, as not all may be aware of its true meaning. PHP framework is an established set of PHP classes and functions that developers abide by or adhere to while a website is being developed. The benefit of a framework is that the platform offers you a flexible template on which a programmer has to place codes and codes only.

Generally, your preference of Framework depends on the project requirements and the circumstances. The idea behind the robust selection is to shorten the learning curve for the web master, which is why I personally try to understand the requirements of the tools and functionalities that my client needs before suggesting anything.

Here’s how you come to a perfect conclusion:

Your needs and expectations from the to be website

Before going on with the popularity of the platform you should know the needs and expectation from the project. This can easily be done by seeking answers to the following questions:

What’s the Plan mate?
The first thing that needs to be considered is what actually you have in your mind, an ecommerce portal, an online directory or a social media platform. As the framework requirement would vary depending on the type of project, you are working on. For instance, in case of an ecommerce website we need to have a PHP framework with in-built libraries having extensions for processing credit card payments. Meanwhile, a social media platform with messaging function would need a platform that can use multiple servers and databases for much faster connectivity.

Any idea about the Hosting Environment you wish for?
Depending on the Framework, the need for installing additional modules and software arises from time to time. In case of a shared hosting environment, installing additional PHP modules may not be the option. In addition to that, if you are going for a light framework then, serious data processing or even data manipulation will be a tough task at hand. In other words, in case of lightweight framework, one will have to compromise in terms of functionality. Some frameworks have optimum performance with MySQL while some may just do with libraries and key values.

Is your development team capable enough?
Some frameworks being user-friendly work well with beginners but complex functionality would always be troublesome. It’s always a good habit to learn new things but given the tight timeline, strict budget and delivery commitments, some cannot afford to wait. If you have a team of amateur web developers then it will be better to opt for a framework that offers a smaller learning curve.

To name some popular ones that you should consider:

Cake PHP

Cake PHP

Cake PHP is your best bet when it comes to writing PHP 4 codes. Over the years, since its introduction to the web development world, Cake PHP has earned a formidable reputation of being one of the most efficient frameworks ever. Cake PHP is not only an efficient framework with equally interesting functionalities but also with several support avenues such as message boards, IRC, forums etc. With in-built tools for testing, XML-RPC and easy web services integration with feed parsing, Cake PHP will never let you down if utilized properly.

Zend Framework

Zend Framework

A very convenient platform that features object oriented components, Zend Framework assists PHP Developers in creating complex applications with sheer ease. It is because of the Model-View-controller design present in Zend the codes are more reusable. Here are some advantages associated with Zend that makes it a primary choice:

  • Better known for its simplicity, the lightweight component library of the framework offers functionality as well as customization to a developer.
  • In-built components such as model-View-Controller (MVC), Rapid Application Development (RAD), localization of the database assists in improving the functionality and productivity.
  • Highly flexible with support for all recent PHP versions and SEO friendly URLs.
  • Without developing the components within the framework structure, the same can be utilized by the developer.

CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter

A brilliant PHP MVC framework with great documentations features. It is because of its smooth functioning and relatively easy features, CodeIgniter is easy to work with for even an amateur developer. Developers who start their career with CodeIgniter will not only learn fast but will be able to develop quality websites on a long run. It is because of the massive developer community that surrounds the platform; you will be able to locate an existing CI library very easily.

For those who are looking forward to develop a medium web application or even content rich website, CodeIgniter is what you will need. If you are new to web development then CodeIgniter is your safest way to website development.

Conclusion

The Frameworks that I have mentioned above are some of the topmost players of the game. I hope my words prove to be of great use to you in finalizing the perfect framework for your project. Feedback and comments are always welcomed with open hearts; however, additional information is always a pleasure for me.

Author Profile: An experienced web consultant and the Managing Director of a professional new media firm, Maneet Puri has been associated with web development and designing paradigm since more than a decade. His experience in PHP frameworks and design methodologies has gifted him with a global clientele worth showcasing. Apart from offering valuable advise to his clients, Maneet is also an active writer who likes to educate his readers on latest web design trends and technologies.
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