Choosing the right framework to build your next big idea is always difficult given the long-term implications. Fortunately, there is a lot of great frameworks that are gaining traction in PHP and you are spoiled for choices. But that also makes the decision harder.
Though your decision will be greatly influenced by qualitative factors, we did research on quantitatively which framework is getting the most traction. Call it the wisdom of the crowd! Hope this will help you make your choice.
We considered Laravel, CodeIgniter, Zend and Symfony as they are coming up as options the most often when we choose our architecture. We have built multiple applications on this frameworks and will share our experiences and learnings from the trenches in another blog soon.
We ranked the traction based on
We started with Google trends which show Laravel is clearly gaining momentum in the last couple of years.
Though the number of contributors varies only marginally, the number of people who have shown interest on Laravel is significantly higher than other frameworks. Also, the Fork numbers indicate that the number of new projects in each framework initiated in the last one year.
This is the obvious place to measure community support and interest.
Over the past one year, there have been more questions on Laravel comparing to CodeIgniter. Its promising that symphony is not far behind. It also shows the transition happening in PHP where more developers are moving towards Laravel.
Summary of findings:
In our research, clearly, Laravel is having the most momentum and gaining on Zend and CodeIgniter. In a relatively short time span, Laravel has amassed an engaging community which in turn is attracting more developers. With the unique features like Eloquent ORM, Query builder and Homestead, Laravel is definitely here to stay.