Laravel vs Symfony: An Evaluation Of Two Popular PHP Frameworks


May 23, 2022


September 14th, 2023

As and when we talk about creating high-quality enterprise-level web applications, PHP frameworks are the most common and popular. PHP frameworks are ideal for web application development as they offer a great coding style and efficient practices. There are multiple PHP frameworks available in the market of which Laravel and Symfony are the most popular ones.

Laravel vs Symfony is an interesting comparison commonly done by developers. Both have their own pros and cons, similarities and differences, and still, stand tall as the most popular PHP frameworks. This article highlights Laravel vs Symfony comparison, based on their features, similarities, and dissimilarities. Before we dig deeper into that, let us look at them individually.

What Is Laravel?

Laravel is a PHP framework for web artisans, a web application framework with expressive, elegant syntax. It is open-source with an MVC design. It needs the least configuration with an impressive syntax and is well-known for its simplistic and fast coding style. It reuses current components of various frameworks for creating a web application. If you are known to PHP, Laravel comes out as an easily understandable framework.

Since it is simple to use, it lessens the development time framework. It has a modular packaging system and a dependency manager for Laravel. It is apt for all kinds of enterprises because of its salient features, reliable performance, authentication sessions, and flexibility. Some of the common use cases of Laravel are SaaS-based apps, on-demand streaming web apps, multilingual CMS systems, and self-hosted monitoring apps.

Good Read: Laravel 10 Is Here: Check Out the Exciting New Features

Laravel Features:
  • Easy integration of backend tools
  • Developer-friendly, secure, and robust framework
  • Objective-oriented libraries that are installed
  • Compatible with third-party libraries and platforms
  • Comprehensive documentation
  • Implementation of MVC architecture
  • Routing mechanism and innovative blade template engine
  • Queue management with an abstraction process
  • Secure migration and effective ORM
Companies That Use Laravel:
  • Pfizer
  • BBC
  • About you
  • Ratio
  • TourRadar
  • Crowdcube
  • 9GAG
  • Fingent
  • Invoice Ninja
  • Cheesecake Labs
  • Belitsoft
  • Innowise Group

What Is Symfony Framework?

Symfony framework is a set of PHP Components, a Web Application framework, a Philosophy, and a community — all working together in harmony. Symfony also depends upon MVC architecture and executes on multiple computing platforms with its reusable PHP components. Being a mature and trustworthy platform, it is apt for complicated enterprise projects. It reduces problems occurring in coding and saves time for developers.

The most common use cases of the Symfony framework are content management systems, blogs, microservices, reporting, eCommerce platforms, bots, and accounting systems. The main objective of this framework is to facilitate users to design software for their own needs. Framework components are accessible freely with high-end configurations.

Symfony Features:
  • Flexible URI routing
  • Secure, high-performance, MVC-based system
  • Easy to manage sessions and error tracking
  • Huge developer community support
  • Availability of reusable and decoupled components
  • Interoperability and standardization of applications
  • High-end security against cyber attacks
  • Integration with other popular frameworks
  • Network debugging and plug-in packages
Who Uses Symfony
  • Trivago
  • Drupal
  • Wikimedia
  • phpMyAdmin
  • Dailymotion
  • Spotify
  • NatGeo
  • OpenSky
  • Doctrine
  • BlablaCar
  • Vogue France
  • Doc planner

Symfony vs Laravel: The Similarities

  • Cross-platform PHP frameworks
  • Support for multi-language and multiuser content
  • Offer scaffolding of application and support text search
  • Support for object-relational mapping (ORM) and MVC architecture
  • Availability of CLI tools for routine tasks and testing tools
  • Encompasses full stack and executes on multiple platforms
  • Inbuilt internationalization features and is extendable
  • Large community support from developers


Laravel vs Symfony: Key Differences

Parameters Laravel Symfony
Year of Launch 2011 2005
Overview Majorly utilized for common MVC framework, simple to use with higher speed Majorly used for large scale and complex projects with a long-term perspective
Speed Maintains good speed by ensuring appropriate version control features that help in-app migration Maintains speed smartly by ruling out extra features that are not necessary and by adjusting the quality
Performance Faster development, high performance, and advanced scalability Slow but optimal performance, easily extensible and scalable for complex sites
Popularity Highly popular with over one million websites built with it Comparatively less popular with over 33000 websites created
ORM ORM on Eloquent needs manual migration of data with all CRUD operations ORM on Doctrine automatically migrates all the data
Database Support Supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, SQL Server, etc. Supports Drizzle, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, SQL Server, SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, etc.
Database Migration Manual database migration that does not need a definition of fields Automatic database migration with a need to define simple fields within the model
Data Modeling Needs strong knowledge of SQL Does not need a strong knowledge of SQL
Flexibility Less flexible More flexible
Modularity Makes use of MVC-based apps with inbuilt dependencies Makes use of reusable components with robustness
Templating Engine Blade – Capability to insert PHP code into the body with code reusability. Usage of the same code multiple times. Twig – Users make use of this to filter to update data. Redefines functions multiple times.
Documentation Videos and tutorials on Laracast, Treehouse, GitHub, etc. Basic documentation support on the Symfony community
Security A simple approach to security with basic features that are easy to use Powerful but complicated to set up, with a different way of authentication
Form Validation Validates are based on inputs against a limited rule. Can use either form validation or manual validation. For multi-field validation, it supports the After Validation Hook. Makes use of a validator component that validates based on rules. Need to create a completely new validator with extra files for customized validation.
Middleware Makes use of a decorator pattern that creates a function for calling the next middleware level Makes use of an observer pattern that adds listeners to pre-events and post-events
Loading Speed of Sites Takes around 60 milliseconds as the average loading speed. Caches only views. Takes around 250 milliseconds as the average loading speed. Caches both source code and views.

Symfony vs Laravel: When To Use What

Use Laravel when – 

  • There is a need for rapid application development
  • Developers want to do more with less code and tight deadlines
  • You need to hire developers with ease

Use Symfony when – 

  • There is a need to create business-level applications
  • The projects are complicated
  • Long-term maintainability is a need

Interesting Read: Django vs Laravel: Two Prominent Web Frameworks Being Evaluated

As We Conclude

For a developer, it is like choosing the better out of the best. Laravel vs Symfony is a comparison of two robust and mature PHP frameworks and hence selecting either one offers great results.

As mentioned above, there are certain conditions that may seem favorable for each but overall, either of them can be selected based on different parameters like project requirements, budget, skills, resources, and time availability.

Select either – both are popular and trustworthy!

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