Laravel vs Symfony: Choosing The Right PHP Framework

Symfony vs Laravel
10 Minutes to read

Table Of Content

Introduction

In the world of custom PHP web development, Symfony and Laravel have been at the top of the list for several years. Streamlining processes and optimizing code are two areas where they can help web developers improve efficiency.

In terms of speedy web development, both frameworks are fantastic choices. They may help in the development of apps that fully match all business requirements while also being easily adaptable to future changes. Laravel and Symfony are similar frameworks in their ability to create cross-platform, multilingual content.

Laravel is preferred by developers for its fast development, performance, and high speed. Whereas, Symfony is suitable for the development of complex and large-size web applications effortlessly. We’ve done a full analysis of the features of each framework’s capabilities, as well as its pros and cons.

What is Laravel?

Taylor Otwell created Laravel in June 2011 to the alternative option of CodeIgniter. Laravel is a well-known open-source (free) PHP web framework under MIT license. Laravel framework is developed in qualified MVC (model-view-controller) framework and is built using the Symfony components.

Laravel has a modular packaging system as well as Composer, a PHP language dependency manager that is dedicated to Laravel. Also included a range of methods for accessing relational databases as well as capabilities that help databases management and application deployment.

The Laravel is a highly utilized PHP framework that is ideal for all types of enterprises. Expert PHP developers all across the world have praised Laravel for its consistent performance, rich features, and adaptability, among other reasons.

As previously stated, it develops using the MVC structure, which makes it significantly easier to start developing and ultimately managing web applications. Additionally, it comes with several useful built-in features, including authentication, sessions, routing, and mail, these are just a few names. When all of these positive characteristics and capabilities are combined, they result in Laravel being an incredibly valuable piece of the framework that all developers should be familiar with and easily able to use.

What is Symfony?

Symfony is a PHP framework and provider of reusable PHP components for web development. Symfony is created by Fabien Potencier in October 2005 under the MIT license. Symfony is open-source, that’s why Symfony may be customized to meet the unique demands of each programmer by implementing any required module on their own. That is exactly how it works. Due to the scale and support of the Symfony community, each user has an equal number of alternatives. After all, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you can always integrate custom components into your framework.

To make the most of the PHP Framework Symfony, it can be structured using the MVC (Model View Controller) model. However, it is not a true MVC framework like Laravel. The primary concept behind the Symfony Framework is to eliminate the difficulties in coding and save time throughout the web development process. It is founded on the principle that users should be able to design software for their own requirements. Developers’ lives are made easier by the availability of freely available framework components and high-end configurations. In order to make use of PHP5, the Symfony Framework serves as the foundation of your application. It establishes the overall design and structure of your product. Also, it has 50 stand-alone components that are available for applications.

Usage Statistics and Market Share

Symfony vs laravel-Usage Statistics

Laravel

Laravel Usage
  • Laravel is used to develop 0.89% of the top one million websites on the internet.
  • There are 1,35,974+ websites built using the PHP laravel framework.
  • Laravel has a total of 100,173 unique domains.
  • You can already see in the below pie chart that out of 100% of the industry who uses Laravel 5.62% is used by the IT industry, followed by Science & Education which consist of 3.13% and then Art & Entertainment and Law & Government which is 2.31% and 2.10% respectively and every other industry is counted in others.
  • USA uses Laravel the most across the globe around 14,504 websites are made with the help of it.
Laravel Top Industry Verticals

Symfony

Symfony Usage
  • Market share in web application framework is 0.22%
  • The current status of website develop using Symfony is 11,654.
  • Symfony has a total of 7,802 unique domains.
  • Already, you can see in the below pie chart that the Science & Education industry accounts for 9.04% of all industries that use Symfony, followed by IT industry 3.65%, Vehicles 3.61%, and Health 2.51%, with every other industry being counted in the “others” category as well.
  • Symfony is most popular in the United States, where 2076 websites have been built using it.
Top Industry Vertical Symfony

Speed and Performance

Symfony vs Laravel Performance

Well, the fun fact about the speed and performance of both Laravel and Symfony is, Laravel is built with Symfony components, and the fun fact doesn’t end here Laravel works faster when Symfony is caching source code. According to ThinkMobiles test results, websites built with Laravel are claimed to load in approximately 60 milliseconds, but websites built with Symfony are estimated to load in approximately 250 milliseconds.

Simple one-page applications for each framework, each of which executes a single action when the program is launched.

The task at hand was as follows:

  • Get 1,000 records from a database using the following formula: (each with unique title, price and stock).
  • Place a total of 1,000 orders for all of them.
  • Stock counts in the database should be updated.
  • Obtain an estimate for the entire price of the purchase order.

So now let’s compare more, Laravel vs Symfony and see who wins here.

Server Requirements

Laravel requires:

  • PHP >= 5.6.4
  • OpenSSL PHP Extension
  • PDO PHP Extension
  • Mbstring PHP Extension
  • Tokenizer PHP Extension
  • XML PHP Extension
  • Composer

Symfony requires:

  • PHP >= 5.5.9
  • JSON Extension
  • ctype Extension
  • Your php.ini needs to have the date.timezone setting

Installation

Laravel

The quickest and most straightforward method of installing Laravel is through Composer, which requires first downloading Laravel:

composer global require “laravel/installer”
#Once installed, the laravel new command will create a fresh Laravel installation in the directory you specify.
laravel new blog
#Creating a new Laravel installation using this command in Composer:
composer create-project –prefer-dist laravel/laravel blog

Either of these will result in the creation of a new Laravel installation in a directory named blog. That is the simplest version.

Symfony

# Downloading Symfony installer
sudo curl -LsS https://symfony.com/installer -o /usr/local/bin/symfony
# Granting permissions to execute installer
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/symfony
# Creating new Symfony project
symfony new symfony_project
# Launching built-in server
cd symfony_project/ && php bin/console server:start

Also, one more thing is that By default, both Laravel and Symfony use the same localhost port (8000), which means that they cannot run concurrently. Before launching the Laravel server, be sure to stop the Symfony server by running php bin/console server: stop.

Scaffolding

Scaffolding involves having a tool develop the basic code necessary to CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) data from your database automatically, effectively using the templates as a “scaffold” upon which to develop the application.

Although Laravel does not provide a scaffolding tool by default, several tools can be integrated with it, including Yeoman via the generator-Laravel package, InfyOm’s Laravel Generator, or the Scaffold generator for Laravel 5.x. If you’re not able to figure out how to use Scaffolding in Laravel then I suggest you should Hire an experienced Laravel developer or consult with the best Laravel development company, who can help you to get more understanding about Scaffolding.

Symfony comes with a pack called SensioGeneratorBundle that offers you all the commands you need for Scaffolding the bundles, forms, controller, and even CRUD-based backends. However, you are under no obligation to do so; if you prefer, you can use the generator-Symfony or generator-sf packages, which use Yeoman to develop a Symfony PHP application that includes Browsersync, a variety of CSS preprocessors, jspm, webpack, browserify, and Service Worker.

Template Engine

Laravel

Laravel makes use of Blade, a lightweight yet powerful template engine that is optimized for performance. Blade, in contrast to other PHP templating engines, allows you to utilize plain PHP code in your view. All Blade views compiled into standard PHP code are cached indefinitely until they are modified. Because of these, the Blade templating engine has only a small impact on the overall performance of your application.

Symfony

Symfony makes use of Twig, which was developed by Fabien Potencier. When compared to PHP templates, Twig allows you to develop more compact, legible templates that are more web designer-friendly and powerful in a variety of ways.

You are also not confined to this. Twig may be used in Laravel using the TwigBridge project, which allows for seamless integration of Twig into Laravel 5.

Thus, when it comes to Symfony vs Laravel, the choice between Twig and Blade boils down to two points for many developers. For starters, you are easily able to use the standard PHP code in Blade. Some of the Laravel developers appreciate this since it simplifies development. Furthermore, Blade has a number of features that Twig does not have. Unlike Blade, which permits code reuse and direct injection into the template, Twig does not allow for such functionality. Lumen is a sub-framework included with Laravel that facilitates the construction of microservices and APIs

Modularity and Scalability

The Symfony framework includes an extensive library of reusable components, which results in increased modularity. It elegantly organizes the code, allowing it to be used for larger, more sophisticated applications without difficulty. One of the reasons why professionals choose Symfony over Laravel is because of this.

Even though Laravel’s strength is in MVC-based application, once you deviate from MVC principles. Laravel is unable to assist you. Because of its versatility and flexibility, Symfony wins the lead for this criteria.

Database Support and Migration

Symfony vs Laravel Support and Migrations

Both Symfony and Laravel make use of object-relational mapping, also known as ORM. When compared to Laravel, Symfony makes use of the Doctrine Object-relational mapping (ORM). The database support provided by Symfony outperforms that provided by Laravel. Laravel supports the databases: MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, SQLServer, and many more. Whereas, Symfony does support the databases supported by Laravel and also supports other databases like Drizzle, Oracle, SAP Sybase, and SQL Anywhere.

Migrations of data from one database to another are automatic in Symfony, while they must be done manually in Laravel. Fields must be defined in order for Symfony’s automatic migrations to work properly. As a result of its automated nature, Symfony appears to have a distinct advantage in this area. To be sure, unlike the manual technique used by Symfony, Laravel’s manual approach is not unduly difficult because the fields do not require any specification.

Data Modelling

Laravel requires a more in-depth knowledge of SQL. With Symfony, this is not the case, despite the fact that each call needs the development of a repository function. Using a complex database structure extensively in your application will require the employment of a large number of repository functions in your application.

Eloquent, on the other hand, has a tendency to tie your application to the design of your database schema. It is possible that changing the name of a column will result in modifications throughout your codebase. Doctrine, and Symfony, make use of the mapper design in order to allow for the separation of your database schema from your business objects and business logic.

Pros and Cons of Laravel and Symfony

Pros of Laravel:

  • The framework’s primary characteristic is its simplicity of use. The user documentation is comprehensive and written in the simplest possible language. PHP screencasts make this easy to understand.
  • It implements the MVC or Model View Controller pattern. It avoids any illogical architectural patterns in which all PHP and HTML code is contained in a single file.
  • The blade template engine makes it simple to incorporate any type of logic into an HTML file. It has become incredibly simple to extend the functionality of programmes without modifying the core.
  • The Routing mechanism has become extremely simple to control and abstract. It has simplified all processes and the offered abstraction eliminates all levels of complexity. Additionally, the framework supports a reverse routing function.
  • Queue management – Laravel provides an outstanding abstraction process for abstracting unneeded operations and queueing them behind the scenes, resulting in a significantly faster user response time.
  • Ready to use CLI, LTS, cron jobs.

Cons of Laravel:

  • Because Laravel is a lightweight framework, it comes with less built-in support than Django and Ruby on Rails. This issue can be resolved by integrating third-party applications, but the chores might become lengthy and complicated for large or customised websites.
  • The development is slower than that of ruby on rails.
  • It is quite slow and presents developers with a novel platform to work with.
  • Amateur developers frequently encounter difficulties when extending codes and classes.

Pros of Symfony:

  • Symfony bundles are libraries that are exceptionally easy to install and utilize.
  • You can learn it quickly if you’re already comfortable with PHP, and because the community is large, you can easily find experts to help you with any problems that you may be having with the language.
  • Its community and key developers are always working on new components and features to keep it up to date with the latest technology.
  • As a PHP framework, Symfony includes all of the features that a PHP framework should have; as a result, it may effectively act as a one-stop shop for the lower-level components required for developing a PHP application.
  • Symfony enables network debugging, has a sizable community, and plug-in packages.

Cons of Symfony:

  • When optimizing for high traffic, the default database ORM concept is not clearly defined and has a steep learning curve.
  • It is reliant on other technologies, which implies that certain applications may run more slowly than others because there are no origin elements.
  • Due to the requirement to pre-build code for numerous purposes, it necessitates additional testing time, resulting in a slower development process.

Popularity, Learning Curve, and Documentation

Symfony vs Laravel Popularity

If you’re solely looking for a PHP framework based on its popularity, you’re making an error. But there are certainly benefits to using a framework with a large user base. It should come as no surprise that Laravel is a well-known framework for PHP development. Symfony, on the other hand, is the preferred framework for more complex and extensive web applications. 

Laravel has a plethora of training, tutorials, and support information available online because of its popularity. Among other things, Laravel provides training and knowledge via Laracasts discussion forum, Codebright, Treehouse, and Sitepoint. However, there isn’t much information available about Symfony right now. Symfony’s documentation is fantastic but it is complex so you need to hire a Symfony developer or a Symfony web development company.

According to Google Trends, Laravel has been the most widely used PHP framework during the past 12 months. Symfony is the runner-up in this category. While this is true, it does not imply that Laravel is the ideal choice for your specific project.

Summary of Comparison between Laravel vs Symfony

If you’re looking for rapid web development, performance, and speed, then contact one of the professional Laravel development companies. On the contrary, if you’re planning to build complex, large-scale web applications, then you should go with Symfony development services.

One must choose a framework that fits your web project well and is suitable for your web apps.

SymfonyLaravel
Launch YearOctober 2005June 2011
LicenseMIT LicenseMIT License
CreatorFabien PotencierTaylor Otwell
Stable Release5.1.3 / 2020-07-248.3.0 / 2020-09-15
Written inPHPPHP
Speed and PerformanceApprox 250 millisecondsApprox 60 milliseconds
Server RequirementsPHP >= 5.6.4
OpenSSL PHP Extension
PDO PHP Extension
Mbstring PHP Extension
Tokenizer PHP Extension
XML PHP Extension
Composer
PHP >= 5.5.9
JSON Extension
ctype Extension
Your php.ini needs to have the date. timezone setting
Modularity & ScalabilitySlow performance for complex websites. Easy scalability options are available Easily extensible Optimal performance and adaptabilityHigh performance Faster development with minimal coding Advanced scalability options Easily extensible Easy data migration and data management
ModularityUtilizes reusable components, which ensures more robust modularity. The code is well-organized.Uses MVC-based apps with plenty of pre-built dependencies. This makes the framework slightly less flexible but is easier to use if you’re using MVC- apps.
Database SupportUses ORM for data access through Doctrine. Symfony supports Drizzle, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, SQLite, SQLServer.Employs ORM for data access through Eloquent. Laravel supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and SQLServer.
Database MigrationsAutomatic data migrations; requires simple definitions for fields within the model.Manual database migrations; but do not require defining fields.
Data ModelingDoes not require strong SQL knowledge, however, you need to create a repository for each call.Requires strong knowledge of SQL. Eloquent usually ties your application to the DB schema design, which makes it less flexible in that regard.
GitHub Star Ratings22.8K Stars57.7K Stars
Number of Contributors2048524
CommunityLarge Community of 600,000 developers from more than 120 countriesLarge
PopularityLess Popular (33,000 websites built on Symfony)Very Popular (1M+ websites built on Laravel)
FeaturesSupport multi-user system ORM on Doctrine Low installation capacity HTML, templating on Twig Multilingual support REST API compatibility (with FOSRestBundle)Support multi-user system ORM on Eloquent Low installation capacity HTML, templating on Blade Multilingual support REST API compatibility
Documentation, Learning CurveBasic documentation on Symfony Community Learning curve (middle)Video and textual tutorials on Laracast, SitePoint, Treehouse, CodeBright, GitHub Learning curve (low)

Who will Win? Laravel or Symfony

As previously said, both Laravel and Symfony are frameworks with a large number of features. Both can be used for a wide variety of web development projects, and they are both free.

Laravel is a very popular choice because of its speed and performance. With Symfony, you can quickly and easily build complex, large-scale online applications. But, if you ask me and my personal opinion I will prefer to choose Laravel because it is very flexible and widely used among all top tier companies.

To put it another way, select the option that is most suitable for your project. When it comes to developing web apps, make sure to choose the PHP framework with which you are most comfortable. If you’re still confused to make the selection between Laravel or Symfony then Contact our expert developers, they will help you to provide the best web development solutions.

Symfony vs Laravel
Jigar Shah
Shah
Jigar Shah is the Founder of WPWeb Infotech - a leading Web Development Company in India, USA. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and handles the execution of the projects. He is Enthusiastic about producing quality content on challenging technical subjects.

frequently asked questions

Which is better Symfony or Laravel?

Both Laravel and Symfony offer a rich feature set. Both frameworks are ideal for a wide range of web development projects. The functionalities of both PHP Laravel and PHP Symfony make them capable of developing innovative and powerful applications.

If you’re looking for rapid development, performance, and speed, then you should reach out to one of the professional Laravel development companies. If you’re planning to build complex, large-scale web applications, then you should go with Symfony development services. You must choose a framework that fits your web project well. Just make sure you choose the right framework that is suitable for your web apps.

Is Symfony faster than Laravel?

PHP frameworks are one of the best frameworks for web development due to their scalability, development speed, code reusability and organization, and several other reasons. Two of PHP’s most popular frameworks are Laravel and Symfony.

Both Laravel and Symfony are caching views. Symfony is also caching source code. Traditionally, Laravel’s performance has been significantly better, but with the updated Symfony 4+, its performance has also improved and is at par with Laravel. However, websites built on Laravel also have a much faster loading time than those built on Symfony.

When it comes to scalability, Symfony has a better edge.

Are Laravel and Symfony compatible with microservices architecture?

PHP supports microservices architecture, and it is evident that Laravel and Symfony support microservices architecture as well. How do they do it?

Laravel is broken down modularly into small building blocks, each with its function and responsibility. Symfony supports microservices through the Microkernel attribute. It helps the framework load the application with fewer lines of code, making the deployment faster.

Laravel’s functions communicate with each other using language-agnostic APIs, and as a result, the app becomes compatible with the microservices architecture. The kernel in Symfony helps to create service containers that have individual functions. So, each time a user interacts with the app, these services execute functions according to the application logic.

For the past few months, the need to use Laravel with microservices architecture was so intense that a developer came up with a framework – Lumen. It serves a similar purpose and is a leaner, smaller, and lighter version of Laravel. Amongst other advantages, this change means the overhead of running an individual application is much smaller, making Symfony more attractive for use in a microservice architecture

What are the other PHP frameworks?

Besides Laravel and Symfony, there are several other PHP frameworks including Codeigniter, Zend Framework, Phalcon, FuelPHP, CakePHP, Yii, PHpixie, and Slim.

Got More Questions Related to Laravel or Symfony PHP Framework? Contact us for more details.

Does Laravel use Symfony?

The first and the most important thing to know about Laravel is that this framework is developed on Symfony components. Laravel also uses Symfony as its frame; however, supplements it with its logic and vision to write software using PHP language.

Laravel use some Symfony components - but not all. It has many of its own components (such as Eloquent, Blade, Cashier, etc), and other 3rd party components. Or to think of it in another way - whilst there is an overlap in components - the way those components are "glued" together sets them apart.

When to use Symfony?

If you want to build large-scale enterprise-grade applications, Symfony is the ideal choice. You can also choose this framework to create web apps with real-time data synchronization. For search engine features, a customizable marketplace for buyers and sellers, and a single-page application for your business, go for Symfony.

2 comments

  1. author_image
    Ruhan Diaz

    Yeah!! Your blog is very useful, because I found actually what I needed. In my opinion, Laravel is a better alternative for those who are new to web development and are looking to gain more experience. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time on a learning curve, it’s ideal for student projects. With Symfony, a company that builds projects on behalf of its customers is the preferable option These projects should be able to withstand the test of time and be able to grow as a group. It’s possible that Laravel might be a better choice for a tiny or short-term project, but I’d stick with Symfony because Laravel won’t be any faster to work with once you’ve already had a handful of Symfony projects in place.

    1. Jigar Shah

      True! You are right that Laravel is for newbies and Symfony is for someone who wants to build a large online application, glad you were able to find what you were looking for in this article.

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