There are many open source PHP frameworks for rapid development. Each one has its own advocates and for beginner PHP developers it is really time consuming to learn and choose the frameworks that they are comfortable with.
IMHO, they are really no best frameworks. Every developer has his/her own preferences. Many may favor over one framework, but others exist for a reason.
For me, I mainly use 2 frameworks nowadays.
This is the framework I initially used, and still using now and I like the simplicity of it. As quoted from the 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.
CakePHP supports PHP 4 and 5, which is the reason I use it as my web hosting is still running on PHP 4 few years back. Nowadays most web hostings have upgraded to PHP 5, and as such I started to look into Zend framework since it claims to be the leading open source PHP framework.
This is the framework I am currently exploring. Zend framework claims to be the leading open-source PHP framework which has a flexible architecture that lets you easily build modern web applications and web services.
Zend framework features
- An extensible and well-tested code base – easy to augment
- A flexible architecture – not locked-in to a rigid application structure
- No configuration files necessary to get up and running – or when maintaining and deploying your apps
Zend framework can only run only PHP 5, which should not be a problem nowadays since most web hostings support it already.