Despite being an open source server-side scripting language, PHP has matured significantly since its initial release in 1995. The PHP Group has already made beta versions of PHP 7.0.0 available to developers for testing. With the programming language being updated consistently, many PHP frameworks have become obsolete. Some frameworks are also being redesigned completely to take advantage of the most recent version of PHP. That is why; often programmers find it a daunting challenge to pick the right PHP framework. But according to a long list of reports, Phalcon is one of the most trending and widely used full stack PHP frameworks of 2015. Many programmers have also rated Phalcon as the speediest PHP framework available in the market.

Unlike other popular PHP frameworks, Phalcon is delivered as an extension written in the C programming language. The distinct implementation makes Phalcon score over other PHP frameworks available in the market. In addition to increasing its execution speed drastically, the implementation further enable the open source PHP 5 framework to use less resource. Further, Phalcon can effectively handle more requests per second in comparison to other web development tools. As it is loosely coupled, the programmers also have option to use either the full framework or specific parts of the framework as a glue component. There are also a number of features that make Phalcon hugely popular among PHP programmers across the world.

What Makes Phalcon Hugely Popular among Modern PHP Developers?

Optimized Performance and Speed
Nowadays businesses launch marketing campaigns to divert more visitors to their websites. There are many instances when popular ecommerce websites crashed while being visited by a large number of visitors to avail special offers or exclusive deals. Thus, developers have to choose the right PHP framework while building high-traffic websites. As noted earlier, Phalcon is written in C and implemented as a PHP extension. So it can efficiently handle a much higher number of requests per second than other frameworks. The optimized performance and speed of Phalcon makes it easier for programmers to write a variety of websites and web applications that work under high traffic.

Supports MVC Development Pattern
Like other modern web application development frameworks, Phalcon supports model-view-controller (MVC) development pattern. The feature makes it easier for developers to speed up development of large and complex web application by keeping the business logic and user interface separate. The MVC pattern further makes it easier for them to build both single module and multi-module websites within a shorter amount of time. They also have option to create the MVC-based applications using commonly used files, structure, patterns and scheme.

Minimum Resource Consumption
Despite being effective in processing a higher number of requests per second, Phalcon does not consume any additional resources. As a C-extension, Phalcon is loaded along with PHP while the process is started by the web server’s daemon. The programmers can further directly and instantaneously use the classes and functions provided by it without performing any modification and customized. Phalcon also uses compiled code instead of interpreted code. So the code need not be recompiled for particular platforms and processors. At the same time, the low-level architecture of the framework provides minimal overhead for web applications developed using the MVC programming pattern.

Object Relational Mapping (ORM)
The models used by individual web application differ. Some of these models use static data whereas others use frequently-changing data. So the website’s performance is often impacted by access to the database and fetching data from the database. Phalcon makes it easier for programmers to decide the best way to work with various databases using ORM. The ORM allows programmers to effectively interact with databases without writing lengthy SQL statements or customizing SQL statements for individual databases.

Phalcon Query Language (PHQL)
Phalcon further enables developers to use a standardized SQL-like language called PHQL. PHPQL is implemented as a parser written in C programming language. It is designed with features to translate the syntax for a specific RDBMS. The parser further has a low memory footprint as it used the same technology used by SQLite. At the same time, PHQL also comes with a number of features to enable users to access, and interact with the database in a more secure way.

Volt Template Engine
While using Phalcon, developers have option to use a simple templating language called Volt. Despite being inspired by Jinja, Volt has both enhanced features and functions. It is written specifically for PHP using the C programming language. So it can be seamlessly integrated with other components of the framework. Also, the developers can use Volt as a standalone component in their PHP applications. They can simply register Volta as a View component, and boost the website’s performance by taking advantage of its advanced features.

Forms Builder
The developers can also use the Phalcon/Forms component to effectuate development and maintenance of forms in the website. They can use the features to generate forms dynamically based on the form definition. Likewise, they have option to render each form element in a customized way as required by the web application. At the same time, the programmers can also reuse the forms classes or organize the form classes in a separate file. Phalcon further enables them to secure the forms using built-in validation components or by creating custom validators.

The loading speed and performance of a website will have a direct impact on its user experience. So developers have to identify and fix issues that affect the website’s performance and speed. Often developers have to work on size of images, processing videos, sending emails and similar background tasks to enhance the web application’s speed. Phalcon makes it easier for programmers to put these background tasks in queue and wait till the processing is completed. It comes with a simple and lightweight job queuing tool called Bens inspired by Memcache. After connecting to Bens, the developers have option to put several jobs in the queue, and define customized message structure for their execution.

However, Phalcon is younger than other some other popular PHP frameworks. But it can compete with other mature frameworks in the categories of documentation and community support. The programmers can further switch to Phalcon 2.0.6 to avail a number of new features like simplified option to set cache headers, no notice generation in case the beanstalkd connection is closed, and generate SQL accurately using the PostgreSQL dialect. However, it is always important to evaluate the features of Phalcon according to the specific needs of a web application development project.