Laravel Vs Symfony: Which is The Better Framework in 2024?

Priyanka Ghosh

By : Priyanka Ghosh

Laravel Vs Symfony: Which is The Better Framework in 2024?1

Summary

All web frameworks seem one and the same unless you have to actually work with them. That’s when things start to get difficult and you end up feeling puzzled. Should I go with an open-source framework or the more easy-to-use one, should I prefer performance over scalability or vice versa; you may have pondered upon these facts if you have started the tedious job of choosing a web framework for your project.

Today, we intend to make your life less stressful with this Laravel vs Symfony guide that compares the two PHP web frameworks in depth. Scroll through the two frameworks, their benefits, drawbacks, similarities, and dissimilarities to choose your pick in 2024.

Then, you can decide whether to hire Laravel developers, Symfony developers or proceed with an in-house team.

What is Laravel?

Created by Taylor Otwell in June 2011, Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework. Based on Symfony and following the MVC architecture, Laravel is famous for its scalability, robust features, security, and huge community.

Its high customizability and vast ecosystem of libraries make it a perfect choice for full-stack development. However, it is preferred and used dominantly for server-side web development.

Use Cases of Laravel: BBC, Invoice Ninja, Ratio, Biozol, PaceX, Route1

Features of Laravel

  • Blade Templating Engine: The flexible and robust templating engine Blade is used for clean and reusable HTML layouts.
  • Artisan Console: You can automate redundant programming tasks with the help of Laravel’s built-in command line tool.
  • Automated Testing: With its unit and feature testing, Laravel can help you detect errors and loopholes quickly.
  • Quick Authentication: One of the key features of the Laravel framework is its fast and easy native authentication system. It assures efficient development of secure web applications.
  • Built-in ORM: With built-in ORM in the Laravel package, developers can easily interact with the database using simple PHP syntax. Therefore, database interactions are simplified and you don’t have to work with SQL queries.

Pros and Cons of Laravel

Pros:

  • Neat Syntax: The clean and expressive syntax of the Laravel PHP framework makes coding faster and more efficient.
  • Robust Ecosystem: Improved development capabilities with a wide range of tools and packages like Envoyer, Forge, and Vapor.
  • Elevated Security: It provides strong security features, such as protection against SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, and cross-site scripting.
  • In-Built Tools: Multiple built-in tools come with the Laravel package that makes development easier. For example, Eloquent ORM, Artisan command-line interface, migration system, Blade templating engine, etc.
  • Strong Community Support: Laravel has a large and active community, offering extensive resources, tutorials, and forums for support.

Cons:

  • Steep Learning Curve: Though popular, Laravel isn’t exactly beginner-friendly. Especially for people who lack experience with advanced PHP skills and MVC architectures.
  • Performance Overheads: The abstraction layers and advanced capabilities of Laravel can make it slower compared to other frameworks.
  • Limited In-Built Support for APIs: You may have to rely on third-party packages or put additional effort into developing headless APIs.
  • Scalability Issues: Since Laravel is resource-intensive, you may face scalability issues when building large-scale or complicated applications.
  • Upgrade Challenges: Major Laravel updates can be cumbersome and may require significant changes in the codebase.

What is symfony?

Symfony is a PHP web application framework and a set of reusable PHP components/libraries. It was created by Fabien Potencier in 2005 and is now one of the most popular PHP frameworks used by developers around the world.

Based on MVC architecture and its extensive libraries, you can quickly build many essential features like routing, authentication, object configuration, and form creation.

Use Cases of Symfony: Spotify, Drupal, Trivago, Dailymotion, Natgeo, PHPMyadmin

Features of Symfony

  • Twig Templating Engine: Symfony framework uses Twig, a flexible, fast, and secure templating engine, allowing for clean and concise template code with easier maintenance.
  • Bundled Components: With Symfony, you get multiple reusable and decoupled components. You can use these components independently in PHP development, making development more flexible and efficient.
  • Form Handling: The Symfony PHP framework includes a powerful form builder with input filtering and validation, making form creation and processing simpler and more secure.
  • Automated Testing: Symfony supports unit and functional testing to help detect errors and security vulnerabilities effortlessly.
  • High-Quality Documentation: Having elaborate and high-quality documentation is imperative when working with frameworks. With Symfony, you get high-quality documentation that supports your various development and maintenance ventures.

Pros and Cons of Symfony

Pros:

  • Rapid App Development: As Symfony uses reusable components, it became easier to use Symfony for quick PHP Development. One of the many reasons why it is used for developing minimum viable products (MVPs) and applications that have strict turnaround times.
  • Cache Management: The Symfony framework includes a caching system to manage data efficiently. This is particularly useful because it works with MySQL databases, which handle all data retrieval requests made by Symfony.
  • Reusable Components: The component-based architecture of Symfony makes it easy for you to reuse code from various projects.
  • High Flexibility: Due to its bundle system, Symfony is extremely flexible, allowing developers to pick and choose the functionalities they need.
  • Extensive Community and Resources: Symfony has a huge community of developers with a wealth of extensive documentation, 3rd-party bundles, and troubleshooting forums to help find solutions to critical problems.

Cons:

  • Complexity: The advanced capabilities of Symfony don’t make it suitable for developing small or simple web applications.
  • Steep Learning Curve: Compared to other PHP frameworks, learning to work with Symfony could be challenging, especially for beginners.
  • Parsing Issues: It is difficult to access lever and parser code, thus making testing challenging for you.

While both Laravel and Symfony have their own set of disadvantages, you can overcome these challenges by availing of PHP development services. The experts should help you get rid of the issues and build a highly engaging, robust, and secure PHP application.

However, if you are still divided on what to choose between Symfony vs Laravel, here’s a detailed comparison for your reference. But before that, we will start with the similarities first.

Similarities Between Laravel and Symfony

  • Both Laravel and Symfony are based on PHP scripting language.
  • Both are popular as cross-platform frameworks.
  • MVC architecture and object-relational mapping are common to both frameworks.
  • Multi-user and multi-language frameworks facilitating seamless development by all.
  • Huge community and developer support.
  • Both use Composer for dependency management.

Laravel Vs Symfony: In-Depth Comparison

Aspect Laravel Symfony Winner
ORM (Object Relational Mapping) Eloquent ORM tool offers a layer of abstraction for database interactions, simplifying and streamlining database operations with a more object-oriented approach. It uses Doctrine ORM, providing you with a more robust and flexible tool to handle complex queries. Both
Template Engine Laravel uses Blade template engine, which has a rather straightforward syntax. Symfony uses Twig as its template engine, which comes with added capabilities like flexibility and extendibility. Symfony
Routing Laravel is known for its beginner-friendly and intuitive routing syntax. It allows for closure-based routes and supports middleware integration and route grouping. Symfony’s routing system provides a high level of control and is designed to handle complex routing requirements. It allows for annotation-based routing and reuse of routing components. Symfony
Performance With very good performance, Laravel is an excellent choice for building small to medium-scale applications. With new upgrades, its performance is continuously elevating. The average website loading speed for a Laravel website is 60 milliseconds. Performance of a Symfony-based framework is good. However, complex and large applications may load slowly compared to Laravel-based applications. Symfony-based sites take about 250 milliseconds to load, which is quite large compared to Laravel’s 60 ms. Laravel
Learning Curve Laravel is generally considered more beginner-friendly due to its simplicity and comprehensive documentation. Symfony has a steeper learning curve with its granular level of control and complexity. Laravel
Database Migration Database migration in Laravel is performed manually without requiring any field definitions. Database migration can be automated in Symfony frameworks. However, you will need to add small definitions for the fields of the model. Both
Security Laravel offers robust security features including user authentication and CSRF protection. It has a rather simple method for security maintenance. Compared to Laravel, Symfony has a stronger security system with advanced capabilities like an authentication approach and a granular permission system. However, implementing these security practices can be tricky and you may need an expert’s help for it. Symfony
Documentation Laravel boasts extensive and very user-friendly documentation. Symfony also has comprehensive documentation. However, it can be more technical and detailed leading to a steeper learning curve. Laravel

This PHP Laravel vs Symfony comparison should give you a clear idea of its capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Now, it is up to you to compare the two PHP frameworks head-on and decide which one is a better fit for your unique requirements.

Pro Tip: When comparing technologies, you have a plethora of options for your web project. Whether to choose a PHP-based technology, a JS-based technology, or simply PHP, it is a constant challenge. But to rise above these challenges, we present you with different guides that compare similar technologies; like our NodeJS vs PHP guide. Take a look to explore the various similarities and differences between the two technologies.

Laravel Vs Symfony: Conclusion

Both Laravel and Symfony are powerful PHP frameworks, each with its own strengths and ideal use cases. Laravel stands out for its ease of use, rapid development capabilities, and robust built-in features, making it a favorite among developers working on small to medium-scale projects or those requiring quick turnaround. Symfony, on the other hand, excels in flexibility, modularity, and scalability, catering to the needs of complex, enterprise-level applications that demand long-term maintainability and high performance.

This PHP Symfony vs Laravel guide should help you explore the various aspects of these two technologies so you can decide the one is more suitable for your project. However, one thing remains constant – and that is your need for expert developer talent to get the most out of these frameworks.

Connect with a web development company that can consult and give you expert technical assistance whether you choose Laravel or Symphony for your project. BiztechCS is one such PHP development company with over 17 years of experience in the field.

Want to consult industry experts for your project? Connect now!

FAQs

Which is better, Laravel or Symfony?

Choosing between Laravel and Symfony depends on your project’s specific requirements and your team’s expertise. Laravel is generally better for rapid development, ease of use, and smaller to medium-sized projects, thanks to its intuitive syntax and rich set of features. Symfony, on the other hand, is often preferred for larger, more complex applications due to its flexibility, modularity, and scalability. So, it all depends on your priorities and requirements.

Why is Laravel more popular than Symfony?

Laravel’s ease of use, rapid development, high performance, and user-friendly approach make it more popular among developers. Furthermore, it has an easier learning curve compared to Symfony and is preferred by novice developers.

Is Laravel better than Symfony?

Laravel is better than Symphony in multiple aspects such as ease of use, performance, development speed, documentation availability, etc. However, there are areas where Symfony surpasses Laravel. For example, it has advanced security features, a better templating engine, and is more suitable for handling large-scale and complex applications. Thus, it is really critical to say which one is better as it is completely subjective to your specific needs.

Is Symfony Difficult to learn?

Yes, Symfony is difficult to learn compared to other PHP frameworks and has a steeper learning curve. With its advanced capabilities, it brings more complexity to the table, which can be difficult for developers.

Can Laravel and Symfony be used together in the same project?

Yes, Laravel and Symfony can be used together in the same project. Laravel itself is built on several Symfony components, making them inherently compatible. Developers can leverage the strengths of both frameworks by using Symfony components for complex, scalable functionalities within a Laravel project, combining Laravel’s ease of use and rapid development capabilities with Symfony’s robustness and flexibility.

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