In today’s world, your website isn’t just mere online catalogue but an important element of your marketing strategy. Whenever individuals get to know about you, their first response is to look up your website. Hence, this can be just the perfect complementing tool for your other marketing media.
Take for example; you launched a Newspaper advertising campaign. While you would have given your contact details there, not everyone would be so interested to immediately call or mail you. Most people would want to know more about you, and telephone / mail can be limiting at times. That is when they would visit your website and extract all the information about you from there.
Moreover, if one’s business is reliant on one’s website (like an Ecommerce store and social networking sites) then the emphasis on intriguing websites escalates all the more. Not only should the website be visually appealing, but it must be robust as well. Its functionalities should be user friendly and must have some other necessary features too. However, there are times when people avoid getting a robust website developed. This might be either because of some cost constraint or also because of the lack of knowledge they have in the field.
If gurus in the field of web development have to be believed, the use of an ideal scripting language is imperative. This can not only add robustness but also make the development process cost effective, at times. A robust language can bring with it a range of other advantages too. Most recent trends suggest that PHP tops the list of the preferred scripting languages by developers. It is prompt, robust and cost efficient.
Introduction to PHP
PHP is a server side scripting language. For anyone who belongs to the sphere of web development, PHP is one of the preferred choices of scripting languages. The language was created way back in the year 1995, and it was then called ‘Personal Home Page’. With time, though, it came to be renamed and is now known as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. If one was to delve further into the history of this scripting language, one would realize that its original objective was to support the designing of dynamic yet interactive web pages. However, with the progression of time, things have advanced, and it is now being used for the development of web based applications too. Such transition has been due to the enhancement of features that have been introduced with PHP, from time to time.
There are many benefits that PHP proposes. Following is a brief account of the same:
- By the virtue of being an open source scripting language, it assists in bringing down the overall cost of the project. This can be helpful, especially during times of recession when people are being made to cut corners to make ends meet.
- From what the expert developers in the field say, PHP is highly user friendly too. When compared with some of the other languages as C, ASP or even ASP.net, PHP can be considered to be simpler to use and execute.
- This scripting language also helps in cutting down on the overall development time. This is firstly because of its ease of use. Secondly, because of the large community of PHP, you can promptly find solutions to problems that you might face during the process of development.
- It can work well with all major operating systems. Given that web users are dispersed across various browsers today, this feature can be helpful.
- It is directly embedded into HTML coding. This makes the life of developers simpler and they can breathe easy about the process of development.
If you are involved in PHP development, you would know about the various frameworks that are available. These coding structures and methods can simplify the development process. If there is a specific requirement that one has, the right framework can be chosen to add an element of robustness and success to the process. In the above sentence, the phrase ‘right framework’ is very important. This is because there are numerous frameworks that are available, and all of them have their own unique approach and benefits for developers. It is the prerogative of the developers to choose that particular framework which can best suit the need.
Once the right PHP framework has been chosen, though, you will be able to explore many advantages. These include:
- Quicker Development
- Standardized Application Architecture
- Code Compatibility
- Easy Debugging
- Code Modification Functionality
- Online Help
- ……..many others.
Below mentioned are some of the highly acclaimed PHP frameworks. This list has been compiled on the basis of market sense and conversations with industry experts.
How many of you have heard of YII framework? If you haven’t, you have been missing on a solid framework for Web 2.0 based sites. Some of the interesting features of the framework include:
- Open Source
- High Performing
- Component Based
- Object Oriented
- Database Access Object
- AJAX Based Widgets
- Built-In Authentication & Authorization
- Easy Form Validation
- Easy Form Input Process
- Default Support for web services
Its name is supposed to be pronounced as ‘Yee’. It is an acronym for ‘Yes It Is’. Many developers call this framework the ‘King’ of PHP frameworks. This is because of its features / functionalities and also because of the extensiveness of its popularity. The core objective of its development has been to assist Web 2.0 based websites. With Web 2.0 being in the thick of things lately, it does make sense to have a framework which is specifically meant for that. If one had to shortlist one form of web entity that would be ideally developed using YII, the answer would be a ‘Social Networking Website’. The kind of features that the framework has, it can just happen to be the perfect launching point for the development of a social networking website.
CakePHP is one of the well known PHP frameworks. It is an open source framework for web application. This means that it can assist you in cutting down on your development costs. It was first conceived in the year 2004, and it is modelled on the popular concepts of Ruby on Rails. Moreover, there are various other basic and advanced concepts of Software engineering and software designing patterns that it utilizes. The developers generally receive assistance from a large community that has developed over time. Over and above the community, there is also a handbook named CakePHP, CookBook which has been published to offer necessary information and assistance to the developers. The reason why it is considered as ideal for commercial application use is because it has been licensed under MIT license. Moreover, the framework offers appreciable security standards too. There are certain built-in tools which can considerably pitch up the quality standards of an application. These include:
- Input Validation
- CSRF Protection
- Form Tampering Protecting
- ….and others
The other appreciated features of the framework include its rich authentication practices and easy session handling. For the developers who are using this framework for the first time, here’s a piece of advice. You can make use of code generation and features of scaffolding to rapidly bake prototypes.
Like some of the other popular PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter is also an open source framework. This means that one can expect the costs to be under control by using this framework. The core focus of the framework is on increasing the rapidness of development. The first version of the same was launched in the year 2006, and there have been many other versions that have been released since. To an extent, the framework is based on the Model-View-Controller pattern of development.
As mentioned earlier, the eventual goal of the same is to escalate the speed of development. To do the same, it has developed libraries of various codes that are commonly required. Hence, when you do not have to write codes from scratch, you save some valuable time. Moreover, these libraries are easy to access because of their simple interface and logical structure. If you are being haunted by tight deadlines, this can happen to be the right choice for you. Moreover, it is very light, and is perfectly suited for those who are looking for frameworks that are small and simple. According to many experts, this framework can be considered to be better for those websites which are being developed for shared hosting environments.
ZEND is one of the more popular PHP frameworks. It is implemented in PHP 5 and has been used by various developers for engineering critical applications. It is licensed under the New BSD License, which is approved by Open Source Initiative (OSI). One of the interesting aspects of ZEND is the fact that it comprises of individual components. These are those components which take care of all the common tasks in the process of PHP web development. These components can be used together or even individually. In fact, they can even be utilized with other applications and / or frameworks. While this adds an element of flexibility, it also escalates the rapidity with which such development work is performed. Given that time is a valuable commodity today, such conservation can happen to be really helpful. Moreover, the framework can adapt to your needs. You can make use of it as per the requirements.
In case of the requirement of technical support, you can avail that round the clock through ZEND server and ZEND cluster manager. Even the large community of this framework can be of help in terms of any questions or queries that you might. Finally, the framework is embellished with all such features which can escalate the security standards of your web entity. Hence, if you are planning to develop a robust web application in a short duration of time, this can be the ideal choice for you.
This is another one in the list of popular PHP frameworks. It is a web template system which is written in PHP. Most of the promotion of this system is done as a tool for separation of concerns. The App presentation layer is separated from the app logic layer. By the virtue of such simplified segmentation, it ensures that the developer has some flexibility while changing the presentation of a web page. The endeavour is to allow for such changes separately from the back end of the application. What this generally leads to is a plunge in the costs and efforts required to maintain a software tool.
In terms of the usability of the framework, it can be ideally suited for all kinds of requirements. Regardless of whether a large enterprise sized or a small application is being developed, Smarty PHP can assist in the same. Moreover, support can be availed too, making the job of development simpler.
Symfony is a web application framework, written in PHP. It is popularly referred to as a ‘Full Stack’ framework. This name points towards the range of functionalities that are on offer. The framework follows the model-view-controller (MVC) system and has assumed decent popularity in the recent times. It is a free software and was released under the MIT license. It has garnered most of its popularity because of the swiftness of development process that it promotes. This is being done with the help of a library which comprises of many PHP code classes. This replaces the need for repetitive coding tasks, and hence escalates the speed of development. It can be utilized to build robust applications for enterprises.
Therefore, these are some of the frameworks which have received popularity and have also been considered to be robust according to the experts. All of them boast of different features and offerings, and the task of the developer would be to choose between them. The choice will depend upon the kind of application that one is developing as also the other requirements that one might have. As mentioned earlier, the selection of just the right framework can be the perfect start for a successful development.