laravel vs symfony
16 Aug 2019 11 min to read

Laravel vs Symfony in 2021 – Which PHP Framework Choose For Your Project?

PHP frameworks are the most frequently chosen solution when it comes to web development. You can find many PHP frameworks in the market, but Laravel and Symfony are the most popular of this kind through web developers.

Deciding on which of these two will be better for your project could be difficult – both of them have some pros and cons, which you should know before you selected Laravel or Symfony. That is why we decided to prepare a quick comparison between these two, and we hope that after reading this article, you will not have any doubts about which of these frameworks will be the best for you.

 

Laravel & Symfony – basics information about both frameworks

Laravel is an open-source framework that follows a model-view-controller design pattern. It reuses existing components of different frameworks to create a web application. It also consists of basic features of PHP frameworks like Yii, CodeIgniter, or Ruby on Rails. If you have a good knowledge of Core PHP and Advanced PHP, Laravel will occur for you so much easier. It is well-known for the simple coding approaching and reducing the development time framework, which is great for developing a simple PHP application.

Symfony – this framework also bases on open-source PHP projects like Propel, Doctrine, PHPUnit, Twig, and Swift Mailer. Despite the fact, that it has its components like Symfony YAML, Symfony Event Dispatcher, Symfony Dependency Injector, and Symfony Templating. Since 2005 Symfony risen as a more and more reliable and mature framework. It is mainly used for complex enterprise projects.

 

Similarities

The first one is the most obvious – they both use PHP as their programming language.

They are cross-platform, which means that they are computer software that is implemented on multiple computing platforms.

It is worth mentioning that both are multi-user and multi-language content. The two provide the scaffolding of the application, pattern for interfaces and support text search.

 

Differences

Despite some similarities connecting these two frameworks, we are definitely able to point out differences too.

Symfony might be named as conventional PHP language – it could be modified to C# or Java, but of course, it consists of unique and one of a kind elements which make it outstanding. In 2021 Laravel appeared as the most popular PHP framework. It relies more on magic methods and traits. This makes the code shorter and the whole framework easier to understand. Symfony is designed for a bit larger-scale or more complex projects containing huge features and used by a significant number of clients. At the same time, Laravel is related to the MVC design pattern, which was aforementioned. When it goes for scalability, if you choose Laravel, you should be aware of the necessity of writing the code for handling this. Symfony provides several platforms for maintaining scalability – it scores a point.

Templating engine – Symfony supplies Twig, but Laravel provides Blade, which has a great benefit – you could reusable the code. That option does not exist in Twig.

laravel vs symfony

When choosing a PHP framework, you should be driven by the project requirements and consider your developers’ preferences. Some of them may have good arguments for choosing one of the technologies.

 

If you are interested in database support – both provide object-relational mapping for data access. Symfony uses Doctrine, Laravel – Eloquent.

And last but not least – the speed. In Laravel speed of application is similar to the other PHP application. It secures a proper version control system, which helps the migration of applications later. If Symfony is properly implemented, the speed of the application improves. It adjusts an individual core feature speed, so the whole application can easily decide which features are required at the moment.

 

Pros & Cons of Laravel and Symfony – Comparison of PHP frameworks

Laravel

Pros:

  • It stays updated with the newest version of PHP features.
  • It allows integrating apps and the most popular email services through API.
  • It is also compatible with other third-party platforms and libraries.
  • It has a large ecosystem of additional tools.

Cons:

  • Some applications built in Laravel might be heavier for faster loading on mobile.
  • Updates are not compatible – it probable that if you update Laravel to the newer version, you could break the code.

 

Symfony

Pros:

  • A significant amount of developers is using Symfony actively. Its community is one of the biggest in the market.
  • Well-known platforms like Drupal, Magento, and eZ Publish using Symfony, so it is a good recommendation for this framework.
  • Symfony is regularly updating to keep it up-to-date with web developers’ needs.

Cons:

  • In the begging, you could find it harder to learn Symfony than the other PHP framework.
  • It relies on other technologies so that some applications could load slower – there is a lack of origin elements.
  • Because of the need to prebuilt code for multiple uses, it requirements more time for testing, and, as a result, the development process is slower.

 

Laravel Symfony
Modularity and Scaling

Utilizes MVC-based apps, with a number of pre-built dependencies. This makes it slightly less flexible, but more user-friendly if you’re using MVC- apps.

Uses reusable components, ensuring more robust modularity. Code is organized better.

Templating Engine

The default templating engine is Blade, allowing for code reusability that you don’t get with Twig. Lumen is another sub-framework the framework uses, making it perfect for building APIs.

Uses Twig as its default templating engine.

Database Support

Utilizes object-relational mapping (ORM) for data access through Eloquent. Laravel supports the following databases out of the box: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite and SQLServer.

Utilizes object-relational mapping (ORM) for data access through Doctrine. Symfony supports the following databases out of the box: Drizzle, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, SQLite, SQLServer.

Database migrations

Database migrations are manual, but don’t require defining fields.

Data migrations happen automatically, requiring only simple definitions for fields within the model.

Data modeling

Requires substantial knowledge of SQL. Eloquent also usually ties your app to the DB schema design, making it much less flexible in that regard.

Does not require significant SQL knowledge, though you must create a repository for each call.

 

When is Laravel better than Symfony (and the other way ground)?

Laravel seems to be perfect for projects when you need to develop your app quickly, and you do not want to spend so much money. When you decide to download Laravel, you will get many ready to use implementations that make the work easier. But on the other hand, not every solution will occur useful for you, and you might have never used it.

When it goes for the authorization with this framework is extremely easy – you should only configure a database and models during migration.

Magic methods are the greatest advantage of Laravel – you can avoid too complicated and too long code. It is saving your time, money and mental health of your web developer.

Symfony is an answer for long-term, complex projects. It requires you higher financial outlays, but it returns the favour when you want to personalize your app. New versions of Symfony – for example, Symfony 4 provides you with only the most necessary things and allows you to add only those elements you will truly demand. This framework consists of bundles – you can make profound changes at the level of bundle, and as a result, you have not to change the whole project.

Symfony can be quicker than other frameworks – its speed depends on the velocity of individual elements, so a good selection might be helpful.

Laravel and Symphony are both popular and trustworthy. As we mentioned before, the crucial thing is to consider what project we want to launch, what features it should have and what goal we want to achieve. We hope that after answering these questions and reading the article, this hard choice became clear.

 

PHP Frameworks FAQ

What are the advantages of the Laravel Framework?

Laravel has many advantages. First of all, it has a very friendly syntax and excellent documentation. It is very flexible, easy to scale and expand. It's super popular - it's easy to find a developer and help the community. Quick and ready to integrate with the front-end - a big advantage. CLI, LTS, cron jobs - it's all ready to use.

What are the advantages of Symfony Framework?

Symfony allows everyone to work quickly and efficiently. It has a huge amount of reusable components to use in many situations. Twig, the Templating system in Laravel is one of the most popular among programmers. Symfony allows you to debug the network, has a huge community, plug-in packages. Developers like Symfony because it is user-friendly.

What are the other PHP frameworks?

Laravel and Symfony are not the only PHP frameworks. Others are: Codeigniter, cakePHP, Yii, Zend Framework, Phalcon, FuelPHP, PHpixie, Slim.

 

Call to action
There is no better or worst framework – there is only fitted or not to your project. And we can help you decide which one is better for you!

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    COMMENTS (4) comments arrow

    1. There are many typos in this article, but either way, isn’t to bad of one! I prefer Laravel because of how fast you can go from design, to prototyping, to development, to production with Laravel, especially as the code is very reusable. In terms of the speed you mentioned for mobile, that can be fixed fairly easily by caching your routes, views, controllers, and models using Artisan. There is about a 23% Difference when doing such, and you can also check your PageSpeed Insights to get an even clearer perspective on how to make your site even faster. With just a little bit of research, it is very possible to get a 95+ on PageSpeed with Laravel. The only reason the Symfony seems faster, is in terms of how you can swap out any components you don’t need at all. Don’t get me wrong, it it still very fast, and Laravel even uses a few Symfony components in it’s own framework, but Laravel can still excel in speed. In Symfony 4, it saw a much larger speed increase, and Laravel ended up adding some of it’s components into it’s own code. An example of Laravel using Symfony is present in it’s installer mainly, as it uses symfony/console, symfony/filesystem, and symfony/process as you can see on the installer’s packagist.

    2. Chris Manuel Fritsche

      I have the filing that this article was writted by a more Symfony friend as Laravel. But, regardless, I would recommend to also make more two mentions: 1- the difference between the ORM’s (Eloquent -> Active Record and Doctrine -> Data Mapper), because this interfere a lot how you build you application. 2- the documentation (Here, without discussion, Laravel is some good steps in front, and this can make a big difference, believe)

    3. Laravel is for pros. Symfony is for experts 😉

      On a more serious note: when I work with Symfony projects that are ~7 years old I find little trouble, except for missing out on new features. However, when I work with Laravel projects that are just as old, I endure lots of frustration.

      It might be coincidence that developers for those Symfony projects did a better job than the developers on the Laravel projects did. To my beliefs a big part of the difference lies in the framework:
      Laravel offers Facaded, helpers and magic that help you write less code, but also enables you to write code that is bad to maintain. Symfony somewhat enforces their best practises on you, which might feel like you have less freedom, but that’s often just a matter of lack in experience.

      Consider this: less code in Laravel means that you’ll have to do/know more out of your head, while in Symfony you can just read the code that is missing in Laravel. This potentially makes Laravel quicker to work with when you’re working on something on your own, but it makes Symfony more suitable when it is a team effort or a long-term project.

      Here’s my take:
      * Laravel is the better choice for people who are relatively new and want to gain more experience. It is perfect for student projects, since it’s not long-term and you don’t want to waste too much time on a learning-curve.
      * Symfony is the better choice for companies that build projects for their clients. These projects should be robust for the long-term and suitable for developing as a team. If you’re absolutely certain that a project is small or short-term, then Laravel might be a better pick, but personally I’d stick with Symfony: once you already have a couple of projects in Symfony, then Laravel won’t be faster to work with (at least I definitely cannot build a project faster with Laravel than I can with Symfony)

    4. WILLIAM DOUGLAS

      I think Twig is reusable, you can extend a base template, and include another snippets. It also have a lot of filters, and you can override content blocks too.

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