PHP is the de-facto web programming language in the modern day. Applications developed in PHP range from personal web sites to multi million enterprise apps. Today, we are going to look at some of the popular web application framework written in PHP.

Code Igniter
CodeIgniter is a very basic yet powerful web framework written in PHP. It is very often the choice of the beginners who look forward to starting their first MVC app. It is a powerful PHP framework with a very small footprint, built for PHP coders who need a simple and elegant toolkit to create full-featured web applications. CodeIgniter can be easily installed on a shared hosting. It has the best documentation among the web frameworks.

Zend Framework
Zend Framework is a full stack web framework from Zend, the PHP company. Zend Framework is a loosely coupled framework with a huge library with plenty of helpers. Form the Zend Framework website:

Extending the art & spirit of PHP, Zend Framework is based on simplicity, object-oriented best practices, corporate friendly licensing, and a rigorously tested agile codebase. Zend Framework is focused on building more secure, reliable, and modern Web 2.0 applications & web services, and consuming widely available APIs from leading vendors like Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, Flickr, as well as API providers and cataloguers like StrikeIron and ProgrammableWeb.

Zend Framework is a real gem. It’s strict, but it allows you to write bad code too. However, the strictness is not something that can hurt like a framework which I frequently call a configuration junky, like symfony.

CakePHP
CakePHP is another very popular framework. It is intended to be a rapid development framework in php. It follows a strict convention and makes some tasks easy as a breeze. But yet some people might find the strictness hurting them.

From the CakePHP website:

CakePHP is a rapid development framework for PHP that provides an extensible architecture for developing, maintaining, and deploying applications. Using commonly known design patterns like MVC and ORM within the convention over configuration paradigm, CakePHP reduces development costs and helps developers write less code.

Symfony
Symfony is a full-stack framework, a library of cohesive classes written in PHP. It provides an architecture, components and tools for developers to build complex web applications faster. Choosing symfony allows you to release your applications earlier, host and scale them without problem, and maintain them over time with no surprise.

But the configuration of Symfony is weird and can take way too much time compared to other frameworks!

Kohana
Kohana emerged as a CodeIgniter fork with some added features. It has awesome performance and better OOP. The community is also very helpful.