How a PHP Framework Can Speed Up the Development Process

How a PHP Framework Can Speed Up the Development Process

With a whopping 79.1% of market share, PHP is certainly the most popular scripting language. No wonder. The current release, PHP 7, packs a huge number of features and capabilities, making it very competitive. However, in its out-of-the-box state, PHP doesn’t have an infrastructure that would enable programmers to develop websites and applications effectively—the very reason why many devs despise raw PHP and why a PHP framework is crucial to streamline development work.

Breaking Down the PHP

PHP has come a long way since its first release in 1995 and only started drawing attention in 2004, with the 5th version. Still, raw PHP, even in its 7th edition, has many shortcomings compared to a PHP framework. But before I’ll talk about those, let’s learn more about frameworks.

What Is a PHP Framework?

A PHP framework is a platform for developing applications or websites. Frameworks come with a set of elements that programmers can use to create software. A library of reusable components, compiler, MVC architecture support, or unit-testing are just some of the features a framework has.

Frameworks were built to make the work of a developer easier, more efficient, and faster. A programming language, on the other hand, doesn’t have all those valuable functionalities inherent to a framework. So when we look at native PHP, the following drawbacks become apparent:

Database Abstraction

There is no single set of functionality in PHP that allows interacting with multiple database vendors. If you initially decide to use MySQL and then switch to PostgreSQL, you have to replace all mysql_* functions to equivalent pg_* functions. This is a nightmare no one wants to deal with.

Templating

Without any template library, each .php page is composed of HTML and PHP code, which results in its piling up. Eventually, maintaining such code is a really painstaking task and quite often turns out to be virtually impossible.

Routing

If you’re trying to create SEO-friendly URLs, you have to rely on the server’s rewrite module and map each .php file to an elegant URL.

The three above are only a few major issues. Developing applications or websites in native PHP is extremely time-consuming and inefficient, and time is everything in today’s fast-paced IT environment.

Speed Up Your Development Process with a PHP Framework

In general, PHP frameworks streamline and optimize application development by automating many of the patterns employed for a given purpose, meaning they already include codebase to develop any application or website.

With MVC (model – view – controller) approach, the code is structured better, thus improving readability and maintainability. Now let’s see why:

  1. Model includes all business logic of the application
  2. View is responsible for data presentation and removes the need to mix lengthy PHP code with HTML. This often is based on a templating library such as Blade or Twig
  3. Controller utilizes a routing module to forward a request to an appropriate action and makes the creation of SEO-friendly URLs extremely easy. The following Laravel example illustrates how to create a route for a team page with 3 lines of code

<?php

// routes/web.php

Route::get('/team', function () {

    return view('pages.team');

});

?>

A PHP Framework Solves Pressing Application Issues

Using a framework makes your website more secure. Vulnerabilities such as CSRF, XSS, and SQL injection are already handled by the framework. Click To Tweet

Also, when using the more popular frameworks like Laravel and Symfony with a large developer community, bug fixes and issues are addressed quicker.

With an abstract database layer, frameworks support multiple database vendors and switching to PostgreSQL or NoSQL is a matter of adjusting a few parameters in the database configuration file. There’s no need to update anything else in the application.

Laravel framework also provides Artisan Console that enables developers to generate entire user authentication and authorization by issuing the following command:

php artisan make:auth

It includes user login, registration, password reset, and even email verification functionality. Artisan Console also allows developers to easily create models, controllers, automated cron jobs, email, and SMS notifications, APIs and more, saving time to code such functionalities from scratch.

Frameworks Make the Developer World Go Round

At Polcode, we build most of our PHP projects in:

All three frameworks have a vibrant community, excellent support, out-of-the-box authentication and authorization features, and good documentation, among many other perks.

A good PHP framework is an invaluable tool in the hands of a developer, streamlining work and automating multiple operations. That’s why choosing the right PHP framework for a project helps to lower development costs, speed up delivery, and maintain code quality. A framework that fails to meet the above requirements will be a source of frustration for the developer.

With a large number of PHP frameworks available today, it might be difficult to make the right decision when choosing which one to use. That’s why in my next article I’ll talk about common mistakes when picking out a PHP framework.

 

Polcode is an international full-cycle software house with over 1,300 completed projects. Propelled by passion and ambition, we’ve coded for over 800 businesses across the globe. Have an interesting project in mind? Contact us. We’ll help you get your idea off the ground.

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