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. In the market, you can find a lot of PHP frameworks, but Laravel and Symfony are the most popular of this kind through the web developers.

Making a decision 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 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 consists also 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 as 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.



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.



In spite of 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 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 which contain huge features and used by a significant amount of clients. Whereas Laravel is related to MVC design pattern which was aforementioned. When it goes for scalability if you choose Laravel you should be aware of necessity 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, but also take into account the preferences of your developers. 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 application improves. It adjusts an individual core feature speed, so the whole application seed easily by deciding which features are required at the moment.


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



  • 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


  • 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.




  • 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.


  • In the begging, you could find it harder to learn Symfony than the other PHP framework.
  • It relies on other technologies and that is why 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 Laravel is better than Symfony (and the other way ground)?

Laravel seems to be perfect for the 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 a bunch of 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 saving your time, money and mental health of your web developer.

Symfony is an answer for long-term, complex projects. It requires from you higher financial outlays, but it returns the favor when you will 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 which you will truly demand. This framework consists of bundles – you are able to make profound changes at the level of bundle, and as a result, you have not to change the whole project.

Symfony has the potential to 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 (1) 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.