Laravel is relatively a new PHP framework developed in July 2011 under MIT license and is the most popular since then. Laravel is currently on 5.6 version which is quite stable.
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is an open-source server-side scripting language embedded in HTML. The syntax is similar to C. It is the most popular one and covers around 82% websites in the world including Facebook, Flicker, WordPress etc. It provides the ability to manage the content dynamically together with the support of various databases and session-tracking. It supports major protocols such as POP3, IMAP, and LDAP.
Laravel is used for building high-end web applications. It has a strong collection of tools and graceful syntaxes. It saves huge time and reduces the planning part to develop the website from scratch.
Comparison of Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Yii
Trends and popularity
Among these frameworks, the most popular is still CodeIgniter because it provides ease of use in 2.x. Laravel is at its peak popularity right now. Yii’s popularity was there a couple of years ago but now it’s websites are only which need updates and maintenance. CakePHP usage has gone down gradually since 2009.
CodeIgniter, Laravel, and Yii follow MVC architecture whereas CakePHP follows a very strict methodical approach.
CodeIgniter has become much strict since 3.x but still there is no support for Middleware and Composer. Laravel updates are common and recurring. The updates in Yii are not so frequent, it is still on version 2.0.x
CodeIgniter doesn’t provide the same level of third-party libraries that other frameworks such as Laravel or Yii provide.
The CodeIgniter has a lot of built-in functionality along with handy guide in a website for use. Laravel’s has its own official documentation along with Laracast.com. Yii is an old framework, therefore, has a lot of online help available. CakePHP has a long history making the online help very easy with a lot of sources.
By default, the databases provided by CodeIgniter are relational ones such as MySQL or PostgreSQL with the limited support. CodeIgniter and Laravel come with their own ORM tool. It is easy to maintain database changes and versioning in Laravel. It uses seeder tool to introduce test data. Laravel has packages for every database available. Yii has its own ActiveRecord ORM which provides decent database support allowing to work with various relational databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle. For other databases like MongoDB third-party packages are available. CakePHP framework comes with ORM and query builder tools. It has support for conventional relational databases and for others, one has to get third-party libraries.
Ease of development and templating
CodeIgniter is easy to use. It is pure PHP code. Laravel comes with Blade template engine through which one can inherit templates as well define sections. Due to automatic code generation, development is much faster in Yii. It does not have default templating system, but it can achieve the same using third-parties like Smarty and Twig. CakePHP design pattern leads to a quicker development with a lot of time-saving due to adherence to standard practices. It follows a crude PHP structure in templates allowing Twig.
The developers for CodeIgniter are readily and usually work around $10-12 on an average whereas Laravel services are a bit costlier with the developer hourly rate around $12-18. Yii is the advanced spectrum of PHP Frameworks and hence one should be able to hire Yii developer at $14-$18 hourly rates. CakePHP developers are fairly easy to get with great services in $12-15 per hour.
Laravel the best choice
The top reason which makes Laravel the best PHP framework is its pre-installed oriented libraries which are not available in any other framework such as Authentication library which has many advanced features like checking active users, password reset, encryption, hashing, CSRF (Cross-site Request Forgery) protection. It makes use of salted and hashed password which enables to save the password in encrypted form in the database rather than a plain text.
Another reason is it supports MVC Architecture providing better documentation and ensuring clarity between different layers namely logic, business, and presentation.
A developer can interact with Laravel efficiently using the tool called Artisan which is an inbuilt command line allowing to perform the majority of repetitive tasks avoiding performing them manually.
With the release of Laravel 5.5 in August 2017, some new features were added- Responsible Interface and Automatic Package Discovery. Now users don’t have to set up the providers, it will automatically detect the package which users want to install and will do the needful. This feature can be disabled for specific packages as per user requirement. Laravel 5.6 continues the improvements made in Laravel 5.5 and was released on February 7th, 2018. It has added an improved logging system, single-server task scheduling, inclusion of the Collision package for cli error reporting, and more. In addition, all front-end structure has been upgraded to Bootstrap 4.
Due to an extensive range of evolving features, it is growing at a great speed. It has the strength to handle all types of web development. The future of Laravel is intense enough. Developers will switch to Laravel in the coming future as it remains to be a perfect choice for companies and developers.
Laravel is an undoubted winner among the PHP frameworks.