Pros and Cons of Using PHP Frameworks and WordPress Together
PHP is one of those languages that despite the many years of existence still manages to keep the leading position in terms of popularity. Most companies these days are willing to have at least one PHP developer on their team as these specialists are an excellent choice when it comes to web application development.
One of the major aspects of PHP development is the framework that is being used. A PHP framework is a platform for future applications or website development. It is the basis of the future application, a set of well-debugged code for solving the problems that website developers are most commonly facing. It can save you plenty of time and make the development process more convenient.
PHP Frameworks Pros and Cons
Just like any programming tool out there PHP frameworks have their positive and negative sides. Let’s start with benefits first:
- Improved code performance. Websites that were written using PHP only tend to work faster.
- Higher security. The development process of every framework is being done by an experienced developer and later tested by the whole community. This approach allows to notice the security flaws of the code in time and eliminate errors.
- Increased flexibility. Frameworks allow you to solve almost any problem. They make it possible to use already created classes and libraries written by other programmers.
- Simplified web application maintenance. Due to the support of the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture by PHP frameworks, the application can be divided into various layers, which brings many advantages whenever a fix needs to be made.
- Task automation. Besides working on the code a PHP coder has to simultaneously perform other small tasks. Most PHP frameworks have automated solutions for that such as caching, authentication, URL mapping, etc.
- Low costs. PHP is an open-source language so your dedicated PHP developer will have several free options to choose from when it will come to PHP frameworks.
However, regardless of how great these frameworks may seem, there still are some imperfections to consider:
- Difficulty in learning. PHP is not the simplest programming language out there so working with one of its frameworks would require a serious level of skills. More than just that, learning how to manage a PHP framework is even more important than knowing PHP itself.
- No opportunity to modify the behavior of the framework’s core. Not all PHP frameworks are great, so considering that your PHP web developer will not be able to make any global changes to it – choose wisely.
As you see, there are quite a few points to consider, however, benefits clearly outshine the flaws.
The Most Popular PHP Frameworks: A Short Overview
As we have already mentioned, there are quite a few PHP frameworks out there. Let’s quickly get through some of the most popular ones and their features.
According to recent studies, Laravel is being used by 50% of all PHP developers which makes it the most popular PHP framework so far. Laravel works on MVC architecture and uses its own language for template development. All that makes it a perfect tool to work with HTML layouts.
The enormous popularity that Laravel currently gets can be explained by a broad number of additional features, applications, and packages that this PHP framework has. It can also be a great fit for SaaS, eCommerce, or any other type of project.
- Laravel can be handled even by a junior PHP programmer as it is simple to use and has plenty of documentation.
- There is a big number of packages and additional features to be installed.
- It is suitable for an application of any level of complexity.
- It might be slower than other frameworks due to the big number of additional features.
It would be fair to say that Symfony in many ways revolutionized the PHP programming community. It is not just a framework but also a set of components that can be separately added to any other PHP project you have. Symfony has many contributors and a big community which is a huge benefit in comparison to other frameworks.
Just like Laravel, Symfony is based on MVC architecture and enables object-relational mapping using Doctrine ORM.
- It has been around for a while and is worthy of your trust in long-term projects.
- It offers over 50 separate components that you can use to customize the framework the way you want it to be.
- It offers built-in testing mechanisms.
- A conveniently designed database makes the maintenance process easier.
- It is much more complicated to figure out in comparison to other frameworks.
Unlike two previous frameworks, this one is written in C language and is rather an extension to PHP. This gives you a huge benefit if you are concerned about the speed of your application. It can also offer you a wide range of other benefits such as increased security, object-relational mapping, caching, and templating.
Phalcon is loved by many companies because of its excellent performance and high speed.
- It is a pre-compiled framework.
- It has a low-level architecture and optimizations due to which it can offer the lowest overhead out of all PHP frameworks.
- It requires a small number of file operations.
- This framework’s syntax is slightly more complicated in comparison to other ones.
- Phalcon supports only 3 database adapters: MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
CakePHP can significantly speed up your development process with many of its built-in features. For those who need more flexibility in their projects – it offers a database access layer which is a great option for both, simple and complex systems.
CakePHP has been one of the first MVC frameworks to come out to work with PHP and it has grown a lot since then. One of the greatest things about CakePHP is that its set up is convention-based which means that the configuration process will begin automatically.
- It is fast.
- It offers plenty of additional built-in features to simplify the development process.
- Increased security as this framework’s database has been reviewed by the Mozilla Secure Open Source program.
- It has a rather small community so whenever a problem occurs your developer will have to find a solution on their own.
- Sometimes the problems occur when upgrading or downgrading this framework’s versions.
Yet another MVC PHP framework that has been growing in demand during the last couple of years. The best part about it is that it can be used not only as a framework but also as a separate speed boosting tool to improve the application’s performance. It also does not enforce you to be using the MVC approach, however, it is highly recommended.
Many features are included in the package of the framework such as support of various databases, caching, routing, etc.
- It is a pretty lightweight framework due to the limited number of built-in features.
- It does not require many optimizations, can be used right out of the box.
- It is possible to choose the design pattern that is the most suitable for each project.
- It is hard to maintain the code at times due to the flexibility of the framework.
- It might take some time for the new release to come out.
WordPress for Website Development: Main Features
WordPress is the most well-known CMS or Content Management System written with PHP. It is a comprehensive software solution that allows you to quickly create and fill the most popular types of websites with content.
However, it would not be fair to call it just a CMS as many developers are using WordPress as a PHP framework. In this case, it plays the role of a combination of CMS and front-end management system.
Let’s take a look at the two biggest benefits that circle this CMS out of the other similar tools and make it a great choice for anyone who is looking for a PHP framework:
- It is incredibly fast. WordPress is a real treasure for anyone who needs to build a website fast. It has an extensive list of built-in features and ready-to-go solutions that speed up the development process.
- It is easy to use and does not require knowledge of any programming language.
However, WordPress cannot offer you much flexibility so it is best to figure out why you are going to use if before the actual development process starts.
PHP Frameworks and WordPress Together: Yay or Nay
Sometimes it is not enough to use just a PHP framework or just WordPress. It often happens in situations when you need to develop custom PHP pages within a WordPress website. This is when these two options should go hand in hand. It is a great way to extend the capabilities of this particular CMS. Just take a look at the list of benefits you might get if you try to use a PHP framework alongside WordPress:
- It gives you the power of CMS (mainly speed) and PHP frameworks (flexibility, security);
- It allows you to re-write big code parts without any trouble;
- You can significantly improve the optimization of your website or application by sharing data;
- It is a great chance to create an application (or even multiple ones) that is similar to your website. This approach benefits the user experience of your clients;
- This approach maintains the simplicity of the WordPress administrative panel for your clients and keeps all the perks of the PHP framework for development purposes.
As much as we would want to focus on the benefits, it would be unfair not to mention those few negative moments that you might encounter while trying to embed the functions of the PHP framework into WordPress:
- WordPress does not have native support of the Composer, so be prepared for possible difficulties during the integration process.
- Such integration requires a highly skilled specialist, so hiring a freelance PHP developer might not always be the right option. If you are concerned about the PHP programmer salary, then in this case it would be better to try and find the developer through a professional outsourcing development company.
The integration process of the PHP framework into a WordPress website is not the most common inquiry these days, however, that does not mean that it is a bad or ineffective idea. As you know now there are plenty of benefits for you to get from this kind of integration. All you need to take care of is to find a qualified PHP developer. If you want a truly great result it is always best to turn to professionals for some help. Find a PHP development firm in your region or try looking for some outsourcing vendors. In the latter case, it might even be more financially effective.