Laravel is a PHP framework that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is known for its ease of use and flexibility. Laravel is a good choice for small to medium-sized projects and when done properly, even for big projects.
Symfony has been around for longer than Laravel. It is known to be suitable for larger projects. Symfony is also more complex than Laravel and can be challenging to learn. While Laravel is quite opinionated in the ways how a project is set up an configured, Symfony holds back on this and let's the developers decide. This can come at a cost of increased development time.
In terms of features, both Laravel and Symfony offer a lot. At some point, the differences are quite big. For example, Laravel offers as ORM Eloquent, while Symfony uses Doctrine. Another example is that Laravel offers the Blade templating engine while Symfony uses Twig.
When it comes to performance, Laravel is generally considered to be faster than Symfony. However, this is not always the case and it really depends on how the framework is used and configured. In general, both frameworks are quite fast and performant.
In 2023, which is the better framework to use for web development projects - Laravel or Symfony?
To answer that question, well look at these four factors:
Available CMS options
Laravel has a large and active community. The Laravel website has tons of documentation and there are many resources available online. In addition, Laravel has a huge ecosystem with various tools, packages and even some paid-services available. These paid services are not essential for development, but can speed up the process or make it easier.
The Symfony community is also large, but not as active as the Laravel community. The Symfony website has comprehensive documentation, but there are not as many resources available online as for Laravel. Symfony also has a huge ecosystem with various tools and packages available. However, since Symfony is more complex than Laravel, there are not as many paid services available. Most notably, there is the paid consultation and support that is offered by SensioLabs.
Laravel arrived at version 9 this year. It matured over the years, which is the reasen it became so successful and loved. New versions are released regularly with new features and bug fixes. However, major releases are few and far between. This means that you can upgrade to a new Laravel version without having to rewrite your entire codebase.
Symfony also follows semantic versioning and new versions are released regularly. New minor versions are released every six months and new major versions are released every two years. However, unlike Laravel, Symfony uses long-term support (LTS) releases. This means that every two years a new LTS version is released with bug fixes and security updates for three years. The recent reccomendation is to upgrade every six month to the latest version to reduce technical debt due to queued updates.
In general, Laravel and Symfony are both rather quick and efficient. In general, Laravel is considered to be somewhat faster than Symfony. This isn't always the case, however, and it all depends on how the framework is utilized and setup. A general answer is hard to give here, since there are so many different factors that play a role in performance.
Laravel is known for being rather directive about the way a project is established and configured. This may result in less time spent developing because much has already been predetermined for you. In addition, the Laravel blade templating system can speed up development time by making it easier to create templates.
Symfony is more flexible and gives you more freedom to configure your project the way you want. This may result in more development time spent, because you have more choices to make. Especially in larger projects these decisions have to be made carefully to avoid problems later on. However, this flexibility can also be seen as an advantage, because it gives you more control over the outcome of your project.
Available CMS options
There are a only few reasonably sized content management systems (CMS) available for Laravel, such as October CMS or Statamic. The most popular one is definetly Statamic, which is free to use and offers paid pro features. Statamic is used by Spiegel Online, one of the largest news websites in Germany. It's also backed by a large community and considered to be a safe choice for a Laravel based project that needs to incorporate a CMS.
Symfonys CMS of choice is Sulu, although there are more, we'll only cover Sulu here. Sulu is available since 2014 and is used by companies such as Trivago, 9flats or Trusted Shops. It's a good option for a Symfony-based project that needs to integrate a CMS. Its user base, on the other hand, is considerably smaller and Sulu itself is less developed. It stands out by offering a function known as "portals." Sulu, like wordpress multisites, divides a website's sections that can be managed separately.
Laravel is the clear winner when it comes to ecosystem and community. This popularity is reflected in the number of available packages, templates and paid services. The paid services include Laracasts, which offers video courses on everything Laravel. Forge, which is a server management tool for Laravel, and Envoyer, which is a deployment tool. To list all of them would be too much, but you can find an overview of the most popular ones here: https://laravel.com/.
Symfony's community and ecosystem are both considerably smaller. That being said, there are still many useful packages available for Symfony. Some of these include EasyAdminBundle, which is a backend CRUD generator, and FOSUserBundle, which is a user management system.
There is no denying that the Laravel ecosystem is impressive. With its many packages, templates, and paid services, it provides everything you need to build a reliable and feature-rich app quickly and easily. If you're looking for a framework with a large community and plenty of resources, Laravel is the way to go.
Symfonys flexibility and control give you more freedom to configure your project according to your needs. This may require more development time, but it also allows for a more customized outcome. Symfony's CMS of choice, Sulu, is also a good option for projects that need to integrate a CMS. However, its smaller community and less developed status should be taken into account.
Laravel is definitely the way to go if you're looking for a framework that's quick, efficient, and has plenty of resources available. It's suited for projects that need to incorporate a CMS while offering customized business-logic. Its blade templating system makes template creation a breeze. In addition, the Laravel ecosystem is impressive, with its many packages, templates, and specialized services. If you're looking to build a reliable and feature-rich app quickly, Laravel is the way to go.
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