Each web developer can execute PHP code in two distinct ways. He can either ember the PHP code into HTML code or combine the PHP code with a variety of frameworks and development tools. But many web developers prefer using PHP frameworks to build web applications rapidly by availing several tools and code snippets. The web developers also have the option to choose from several open source PHP frameworks including Laravel, Symfony and Phalcon. They can even use these frameworks without increasing project overheads. But the features and performance of each of these PHP frameworks differ. Also, the beginners need to consider the learning curve of three popular PHP frameworks.

Brief Overview of Laravel, Symfony and Phalcon


The usage statistics posted on various websites depict that Laravel is currently more popular than Symfony and Phalcon. Also, Laravel is a good framework for PHP developers and  much younger than other widely used PHP frameworks. But it comes with a number of features to simplify and speed up development of modern and large web applications. Its elegant and expressive syntax enables programmers to write clean and maintainable code. Likewise, database agnostic migrations and schema builder features of Laravel make it easier for developers to work with various databases. At the same time, Laravel also comes with useful features like authentication, routing, queuing and ORM. The updated version of the framework also supports PHP 7.0.


The usage statistics posted on various websites depict that Symfony is currently more popular than Phalcon. Symfony is also designed based on the web application development best practices followed by developers across the world. The framework allows users to choose from 30 standalone and reusable PHP components. Each Symfony component is designed as decoupled and reusable PHP libraries which can be added to the PHP project through the commonly used package manager Composer. Each Symfony component enables programmers to add specific functionality to the application or perform certain tasks. For instance, the developers can use BrowserKit component to simulate the behavior of a web browser, while Debug component provides robust tools for debugging PHP code.


Unlike other PHP frameworks Phalcon is one of the hottest PHP frameworks, Phalcon is delivered as a C extension. But it is designed with features to boost the performance of web applications without consuming additional resources. The PHP programmers also have the option to use the classes and functions provided by the extension directly. At the same time, Phalcon also allows users to build modular web applications, control the application’s business logic through Autoloader configuration, and use a service throughout the application once it is initialized. Also, the developers have the option to integrate a robust template engine like Volt into the PHP application as a component. Likewise, they can take advantage of the form builder component provided by Phalcon to generate forms dynamically and maintain the forms easily.

Comparing Learning Curve of Laravel, Symfony, and Phalcon

Often beginners opt for a PHP framework that can be learned and used without putting any extra time and effort. But it is always important for the beginners to compare various PHP frameworks features and performance. Also, they must learn a PHP framework that enables them to build robust websites and web applications over a longer period of time. Hence, it is always advisable for beginners to learn Laravel instead of Symfony and Phalcon. However, they can always consider learning other frameworks to enhance their career prospects.

Symfony2 is considered to be faster and feature-rich that Laravel. The current version of Symfony further enables programmers to take advantage of commonly used software development paradigms like object oriented programming (OOP) and model-view-controller. The beginners have to put extra time and effort to learn and use the features provided by Symfony2. Likewise, Phalcon is considered to be faster than both Laravel and Symfony. But it is a compiled PHP framework. Hence, the functionality and performance of Symfony depend on a set of core APIs. Also, the programmers find it difficult to change some of its core functionality.

According to the usage statistics posted on several websites, Laravel is currently the most widely used open source PHP framework. In addition to being a modern PHP development tool, Laravel also supports PHP 7.0. Hence, the users can always boost the performance of web applications by availing the new features provided by the most recent version of the server-side scripting language including enhanced speed and minimal resource consumption. Also, the features provided by Symfony enable programmers to write reusable code and build maintainable websites.

On the whole, it is always important for the programmers to pick best PHP frameworks for building web application development project. As each PHP framework has its own strengths and weaknesses, the developers can always consider learning multiple frameworks and tools. Hence, a beginner must be familiar with Laravel, Symfony and Phalcon to build web applications by picking the right PHP frameworks.